“I was messed up in the head at the time. I thought I was going to make the great American comedy, that I was going to reinvent comedy, and I wanted to pick up from where I saw Buster Keaton or WC Fields. I wanted to isolate this idea of violence and the repetition of violence and how it would become humorous. Y’know, a guy slips on a banana peel and hits his head, or falls down some stairs, or hangs off of a clock tower, and there was something humorous in this. I was trying to figure it out.
“So I thought the purest, truest humour would be to just have a series of brutal fights, where I would just lose the fight. But I would fight every single demographic. So, like on wednesday I’d fight a lesbian, on tuesday I’d fight a Greek guy… you know what I’m saying? To just go through the entire demographic of people that constituted New York City at the time.
“But after maybe five fights I realised that I wasn’t gonna be able to hang on.”
But with Chaplin and Keaton, part of what makes it funny is that you know they’ll be alright…
“Right, but like I said, I felt like it was the next [level]. I felt like it was the evolution. Where you actually knew that the person was not gonna be alright.
“I don’t know how funny it is, but at the time it seemed like that was the most obvious place to go.”
What did your friends and family say about this project?
“They were very concerned.”
– Harmony Korine discussing his abandoned project Fight Harm (from this 2010 interview for The Quietus)