“My first appearance on the screen was in a comedy with Roscoe Arbuckle called The Butcher Boy. The scene was a general or country store. I entered to buy some molasses, but it happened that the two principal comedians were just then exchanging bags of flour with one another, across the store. I intercepted one with my head and was knocked out. Those early screen comedians aimed true and threw straight! I can remember that blow now. After I was picked up and brushed off a bit, I bought my molasses, only to discover that I had left the quarter in the bottom of the pail. Then followed a scene in which almost everybody in the store and myself tried to get the quarter. I became covered with molasses and my panshaped hat fell into the pail. As this scene did not seem to go right, it was taken several times. My first day in pictures, and it was for this that I gave up two hundred and ten dollars a week!”
—- from “Why I Never Smile” by Buster Keaton - Ladies Home Journal, 1926
I always find it interesting that Buster recalls his first day on the set as if it were decades earlier, when this interview was conducted in 1926 - only 9 years after it happened! He later said that he didn’t know until after he had signed on that he was only going to make $40 a week. Good thing, or he might have hightailed it back to Shuberts and I wouldn’t have anything to post about!