Lively and highly readable, "What Made Pistachio Nuts?" examines what Henry Jenkins calls the anarchistic tradition in American film comedy. Anarchistic comedies of the 1930s mock the social order and celebrate the creativity and impulsiveness of their protagonists in a form of clowning that ultimately reestablishes the status quo. Jenkins focuses on well-known films such as the Marx Brothers' "Duck Soup" and W.C. Fields' "It's a Gift", as well as all-but-forgotten works like "Diplomaniacs", "Hollywood Party", "So Long Lefty", and others. He tracks the careers of the comic stars - Eddie Cantor, Winnie Lightner, W.C. Fields, Charlotte Greenwood, the Marx Brothers, and Wheeler and Woolsey - as they moved from vaudeville and the New York reviews to Hollywood.