Al St. John in his persona of Fuzzy Q. Jones basically defined the role and concept of "comical sidekick" to cowboy heroes from 1930 to 1951. St. John created a character, "Stoney," in the first of a continuing Western film series, The Three Mesquiteers, that was later played by John Wayne.
Born in Santa Ana, California, he entered silent films around 1912 and soon rose to co-starring and starring roles in short comic films from a variety of studios. His uncle, Roscoe Arbuckle, may have helped him in his early days at Mack Sennett Studios, but talent kept him working. He was a remarkable acrobat. St. John frequently appeared as Arbuckle's mischievously villainous rival for the attentions of leading ladies such as Mabel Normand and worked with Arbuckle and Charles Chaplin in The Rounders. The most critically praised film from St. John's period with Arbuckle remains Fatty and Mabel Adrift with Normand.
When Arbuckle formed his own production company, he brought St. John with him and recruited stage star Buster Keaton into his films, creating a formidable roughhouse trio.