[Another version of that story can be found here.]
Someone who claimed to have known Fields once told me that after one such performance, as the future comedian was being borne on a stretcher off the beach, he heard a woman remark, "My God, Mabel! That man must be a hopeless drunkard. It's the third time they've had to rescue him today."
Reflecting on W.C.'s distinctive features, it's clear that he was a poor choice to play a succession of non-descript victims. But he survived to conquer vaudeville, then talking pictures, and leave a legacy that persists until this day, so in a small way we have publicity-hungry Jersey hoteliers to thank for that.
Check out the original post at one of the better stops on the internet ... Shorpy. Your personal time machine to your parents, grandparents, great grandparents and maybe even further back.