Laurel and Hardy

Laurel and Hardy were The great comedy team from Hollywood’s Golden Era.

Their best films were made before 1935. They won an Academy Award for short subject with The Music Box in 1932. Eventually, their popular improv-style shorts were turned into expensive and structured features and they became too old to be knockabouts. But television brought them back into the limelight in the 50s and 60s with a cult worship that keeps regenerating.

Some of their best include Sons of the Desert, (1933) Helpmates, (1932) Busy Bodies (1933) and Big Business (1929). with archfoe James Finlayson, aka “Mr Doubletake” who invented the Homer Simpsons’ d’Oh! expression.

Recently-found rare clips include their final farewell to their fans via The Water Rats, the English music-hall performers’ union, and their final appearance together in a home movie shortly before Hardy’s death, as well as an insightful interview with Stan Laurel one week after Hardy’s death in 1957. (Laurel died in 1965.) And then there’s this one.

The classic soundtrack for the Laurel and Hardy films was created by Leroy Shield and their opening theme song was Dance of the Cuckoos by Marvin Hatley.

And there’s the persistent rumor that Laurel and Hardy were actually portraying gay characters. I think that there are enough unusual moments in their films to suggest that they were at least playing it as a gag. But I think it was just a gag.

You too can join Sons of the Desert, the international Laurel and Hardy appreciation society, by going to their website.

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