Growing up watching the films of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy on TV, it was easy to take them for granted. When my boys were young, they weren't on TV nearly so often but fortunately there were occasional theatrical showings, some of which even included live music for their early silent shorts, films which I had never seen before. Seeing a new 35mm print struck from the original negative was a revelation—some of them looked as if they had been shot by Ansel Adams, their tonality was that good.
The last one we went to featured a guest appearance by Stan's daughter, Lois (also in the home movie clip above, which is the last footage of Laurel and Hardy together.) She was introduced by John Gallos, a local TV personality who had long been a champion of L&H. Lois was elderly, but full of life and obviously appreciative that Stan and Ollie could still pack a theater. She told several stories about what it was like growing up with Stan as a parent—heartfelt and sincere. After the speeches were over, they played several films.
And all of us, young and old alike, roared with laughter.
Batty, when I first came to the Midwest to go to college I spent every Sunday morning watching L&H in the dorm lounge. I don't know if I would have made it otherwise.
Professor Batty said...
I always thought they were at their best when they did small "tabletop" gags- with coffee cups, hats, etc.
"Pardon me, but my ear is full of milk."
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