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Pie Throwing 101: A Master Class
Part 3: Buster Keaton's Guide to Pie Throwing

Never in any of his own films did screen legend Buster Keaton throw a pie. However, in his first film “The Butcher Boy”(1917), co-star Roscoe Arbuckle taught Buster the fine art of throwing sacks of flour (with Buster being on the receiving end). Buster was eventually able to take this knowledge and apply it towards the art of pie throwing. Towards the end of his career in 1950, Buster had the opportunity to share this knowledge with TV star Ed Wynn.

Buster had the studio's bakers make up pies the same way as in his throwing days. Two crusts cooked until they were brittle and then pasted one inside the other with a paste of flour and water. The double crust prevented the pie from crumbling or the thrower's fingers going through as they slid across the bottom of the pie just prior to delivery. A tin pie-plate was never used for fear of injuring the recipient.


The pie crust was then filled with an inch deep mixture of good sticky flour and water paste, the topping depending on the recipient! For blondes or someone wearing light clothing, blackberries, strawberries or chocolate liberally garnished the top, for brunettes a lemon meringue topping was substituted in both cases the confection was finished off with a liberal layer of whipped cream.

When Buster taught his pie-throwing technique to Ed Wynn on his show, Buster explained the different throws used in the old days:


1. The Walking Thrust

Walk up to the person, push the pie in their face and before you walk away give it a slight twist. This makes the sticky part of the pie cling to the recipient.


2. The Shot Putt

Thrown straight from a distance of three to five feet. With shots over eight feet, you need to make sure the pie is of the

right weight to fly perpendicular as it leaves your fingers.


3. The Ancient Roman Discus Throw

The most beautiful delivery of them all. Spin half way round turning the pie as you whirl and then let go, hitting the victim square inthe face.


4. Catchers Throw to Second Base

The hardest of all. Pull back your arm just as far as it will go, and then bring the pie in all the way from East St.Louis - and let 'er go!


A suggestion from Buster for beginners though - "Don't try it in the house"



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