When it comes to the Classical era of Hollywood, one would be hard-pressed to find a funnier act than that of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
Laurel and Hardy were a comedy double act during the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema. The team was composed of thin Englishman Stan Laurel and heavyset American Oliver Hardy. They became well known during the late 1920s through the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy, with Laurel playing the clumsy and childlike friend of the pompous Hardy.
The duo’s signature tune is known variously as “The Cuckoo Song”, “Ku-Ku”, or “The Dance of the Cuckoos”. It was played over the opening credits of their films and has become as emblematic of the duo as their bowler hats.
Prior to their being teamed up, both actors had well-established film careers. Laurel had appeared in over 50 films while Hardy had been in more than 250 productions. The two comedians had previously worked together as cast members on the film The Lucky Dog in 1921. However, they were not a comedy team at that time and it was not until 1926 that they appeared in a movie short together, when both separately signed contracts with the Hal Roach film studio.
The two officially became a team in 1927 when they appeared in the silent short film “Putting Pants on Philip.” In the following 23 years, they would go on to appear in 107 films together until their retirement from the screen in 1950. This clip from British Pathé features a rare interview of Laurel & Hardy from 1947.
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