Whenever I’ve been offered the opportunity to write about Laurel and Hardy, I’ve jumped at it. This is not just because they were a staple of my childhood as I mentioned here:
I love Laurel and Hardy. I’m not sure how many of their features I’ve seen. I do fondly recall watching their shorts on weekends growing up.
However, that and the fact that The Music Box became a sort of white whale for me for years does factor in. The fact that Laurel and Hardy was just something I found on TV, usually thanks to TCM, lead to me seeing many of their shorts without knowing their names. The internet, my studying films, and revisiting some had men eventually find The Music Box by title.
In my youth I knew them as O Gordo e o Magro first, the Portuguese name for the pair which translates to The Fat Man and The Thin Man. I learned their names in English, and watched them here, I even recall coming across plastic toys of them in Brazil.
That dyed-in-the-wool fandom has me wandering back to them on occasion as my gyre of movie-watching wends its way through history, be it their silent, more often their short talkies or their features I come back to this duo often.
Sometimes this is by design and others it is by chance. When writing on the topic of non-competitive Oscars I ran into Stan Laurel, whom was awarded one (Oliver Hardy was not) for:
his creative pioneering in the field of cinema comedy. Stan Laurel was not present at the awards ceremony. Presenter Danny Kaye accepted the award on his behalf.
When trying to select a way for me to discuss the War to End All Wars on Film Laurel and Hardy were the only way I could find to get myself a comfortable toehold.
A silent, solo turn by Ollie in The Show, and their film Brats was one of my favorite discoveries of 2012, were two other times they came up just on my blog. So, you can clearly see an omnipresence there in my life and times.
However, the most persistent memory of them of all so far as I’m concerned is The Music Box. It’s one I may have lost track of for a time because I think of it the way Friends names episodes “The One with the Piano Movers.” This is likely their most iconic bit. It’s not a wonder the synopsis cites Sisyphus because the task at hand is just as hopeless and fraught with peril but far funnier with these two involved.
Humor is subjective, but since I saw it this has been one of the handful of funniest things I’ve ever seen. Enjoy!