Thursday, December 27, 2018

Stan and Ollie

I don't go to movies anymore so I'll have to wait 'til Netflix or Prime or whatever to see STAN AND OLLIE but from what I hear, it's a lovely--if not strictly accurate--tribute that will hopefully introduce a whole new generation to the unique comedic genius of Laurel and Hardy.

When I was a teenager, the concept that Laurel and Hardy would be largely forgotten in just a few decades would have been unthinkable to me. It seemed at the time like there was a new book about them at least once a year and their films were still being re-released on the big screen.

The children's record seen above may have been my first exposure to Stan and Ollie. I never saw the Larry Harmon cartoons but my mother bought me this 45 because SHE knew who they were. I had no idea they were real people or that Stan was, briefly, still alive.

In 1970, I saw Robert Youngson's 1960s compilation documentaries, WHEN COMEDY WAS KING and LAUREL AND HARDY'S LAUGHING 20'S on the big screen. A few years later, I ran across John McCabe's classic 1960s book on the pair and more books followed quickly. Their movies were on television all the time, even the silent ones (on PBS).





But somewhere along the way, as with many aspects of pop culture that my generation just presumed everyone knew and would always know, Stan and Ollie were left behind. Oh, there are still obsessively devoted fans but at best they've become a trivia question to the average person over the age of 40 and I'd be surprised if you can find 50 people younger than that who have ever even seen or heard of them. 



Hopefully that will change now.

4 comments:

Eric Stettmeier said...

I'm by no means young (44) but I'm a fan and was excited to hear about this movie and really look forward to seeing it!

78sRandy said...

Thanks for posting this, Steve. There are still lots of us devoted fans who are doing all we can to keep the real Laurel and Hardy alive and well in our popular culture. I had that Larry Harmon Little Golden Record, too -- I saw it in a Fed-Mart store when I was five, in 1964 (not long after I, too, had been indoctrinated into the L&H world through a week-long series of TV screenings of "The Golden Age of Comedy" on KHJ-TV, Channel 9). I *screamed* when I saw it, to such a degree that everyone in the checkout line thought I'd been injured or something. Anyway, my passion for L&H has continued through the decades, and when I was in my teens and 20s I was privileged to know and interview more than 60 of their associates. Shameless plug -- information about my L&H books is at bonaventurepress.com

Steven Thompson said...

I have an earlier edition of Randy's book and based on the fact that it's excellent, I hope to be able to someday afford the ultimate, revised edition. If you are at all a L&H fan or curious about them due to all the current buzz, I HIGHLY recommend it!
https://bonaventurepress.com/dd-product/laurel-hardy-the-magic-behind-the-movies-ultimate-edition/

thesilencer1969 said...

If you are interested , there is a Laurel and Hardy " Tie - In " (Of A Sort !! ) that most people do not know about . It is in the Ninth novel in the " Partridge Family novelization series . It is titled --"The Fat And Skinny Murder Mystery !! " by Vance Stanton .The book does not feature the ACTUAL Laurel And Hardy , but rather two men who are their exact doubles !! You might find it interesting and a fun book !!