Monday, October 15, 2012

Did Houdini really give Buster Keaton his name?

The blog Entertainment Urban Legends Revealed has tackled the question of whether Houdini really gave silent star Buster Keaton his famous nickname. They are claiming the story is false, and the case they make is interesting. I'll leave it up to you to read and decide.

UPDATE: Hard to argue with hearing it from the man himself:


  1. In his book "My wonderful World of Slapstick" Buster says Houdini gave him the nickname.
    Who are you going to believe?

  2. Don't believe it. It was a small vaudevillian tab show guy named George Purdy who whilst Joe and Myra were playing Myers Lake in Canton , Ohio, their little boy took a spill down a flight of stairs and didn't make a sound. George turned to Joe and said, "My what a Buster" Joe Keaton liked the sound of the name and kept it. Circa 1899 it was reported in The Akron Beacon Journal naming Purdy as the man who gave Joe Keaton, Jr. His moniker....the rest is history....Buster took a lot of prat falls to live up to that name.

  3. Did Harry every refute that he named Buster?

    1. I'm not sure if Houdini himself ever said anything about it.

  4. it makes sense and Buster is a good name for such a character I believe him


Legal Disclosure

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Receive updates via email