Moreland and Brown where black comics that were in the films for comic relief. They played stereo typical roles as negro drivers or house boys. A double whammy, having a black man play a house boy to an white man who was playing a Chinaman who was, supposed to be from a racial sense, the traditional house boy.
There were some 35 Charlie Chan novels, some of which were made into films, some of them silents. Besides Roland Winters, Sidney Toler, Warner Oland, and J Carol Naish, Peter Ustinov and Ross Martin were Charlies and two silent film stars whose names escape me at moment.
AS Bill Steele put in his song about Carlie Chan.
"Tho' he's yellow on the outside he was always white within,"
"He's the movies top banana, Charlie Chan."