These days when we hear “Doh!” grunted in frustration or surprise, we think of Homer Simpson. homer doh
However, someone coined that word, in just that way, far better than any clownish cartoon character ever could. In fact, the “Doh!” became his trademark.
You say you aren’t familiar with James Finlayson? If you had lived eighty or ninety years ago, you would have heard about him, often. Small and wiry with a narrow bald head and huge handle-bar mustache, Finlayson’s face was one of the most recognized in show biz. JamesFinlaysonPublicityHeadshot
Born in Scotland in 1887, Finlayson worked a number of jobs before he found his passion was for performing. He started on Broadway then went into vaudeville, but he sealed his popularity by joining Laurel and Hardy and starred with them in numerous shorts and movies. james finlayson and ollie He played easily frustrated and frequently exasperated character roles, and always his character got the short end of the stick. He rivaled Oliver Hardy for the “slow-burn” and his double-takes made the audience howl. Finlayson (known as “Jimmy” or “Fin”) died in 1953, leaving a legacy on film for future generations to love and enjoy. Here is a three minute video that showcases this genius of expression and pratfalls. I hope you enjoy it, and maybe get a laugh or two today.

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