As film historian Donald Crafton notes, “it was the rare movie [in the early sound period] that was not a musical in some sense” (The Talkies, 315-316). The category of musical and musical comedy shorts was, in consequence, a particularly capacious one whose borders opened onto other short-subject categories of the time. In some of these shorts, for instance, the musical performance was clearly the primary attraction, as in the case of what film historian Katherine Spring dubs “star-song attractions” featuring some of the era’s favorite singers performing hit songs within lightly comic narratives (e.g., RKO’s Ruth Etting Musicomedies). Such shorts can at times be distinguished from presentation acts and song shorts only by virtue of their loose narrative frames. Other musical comedies, however, placed the emphasis rather on full-bore physical slapstick with a few musical numbers scattered among the mayhem (e.g., MGM’s Musical Revues featuring Ted Healy and His Stooges or Hal Roach’s “Schmaltz Brothers” films with Billy Gilbert and Billy Bletcher). Although it might make retrospective sense to include the latter type in the category of “live-action comedies,” I have chosen to respect industry discourse of the time in maintaining the distinction.