Keystone Kops

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Keystone Kops

A term applied to people who are seen as bumbling and inept. The original Keystone Kops were ineffectual policemen in Mack Sennett's early-20th-century slapstick comedies. The defensemen were like the Keystone Kops out there, banging into each other and just letting the other team score.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Keystone Kops

Incompetence incarnate. One of the staples of Mack Sennett's silent-movie comedies from World War I through the 1920s was a group of clumsily ineffective policemen known as the Keystone Kops (Keystone was the name of Sennett's film company). The Kops moved as a group, bumping into each other, driving their car in circles, and otherwise achieving nothing in the way of law enforcement but producing lots of movie mayhem. As a phrase to describe a group that accomplished nothing after lots of effort, “Keystone Kops” would suit them to a T.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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