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Keystone Kops

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Keystone Kops in The Muppets Go to the Movies
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Inspector Fortescu Farquar and the New York City Department of Missing Birds illustration by Joe Mathieu

The Keystone Kops were a series of silent film comedies about an incompetent group of policemen that were produced by Mack Sennett. Their first film debuted in 1912, but after a few years Sennett shifted them to supporting characters for the silent film comedies of Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle and Mabel Normand. They continued to appear after their heyday in such films as 1955's Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops, and inspired many homages including Mel Brooks' Silent Movie and the 1980 Broadway production (and its 1983 film adapation) of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance.

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