Sunday, April 26, 2009


I've always liked Laurel and Hardy. My grandparents were big fans of the comic duo and as a child, I spent many happy hours round at their house watching Laurel and Hardy films. Laurel and Hardy were a classic and unique comedy duo. Unfortunately they don't make films like that any more. I'm sure some of the innocent slapstick comedy of yesteryear would be lost on some of today's movie goers.

Not many people know but Stan Laurel wasn't American, he was actually English. Arthur Stanley Jefferson or Stan Laurel (as he is more famously known) was born in Ulverston, Cumbria in 1890. He met Oliver Hardy in 1926 when they were both in Hollywood working for the Hal Roach Studios. The two formed a comedy partnership that lasted 31 years. Stan and Ollie appeared in 106 short films and motion pictures spanning the silent film era until the 1950's. Now the famous comedy duo have been immortalised with a £60,000 bronze sculpture which was unveiled last weekend by comedian Ken Dodd in Ulverston. Ken arrived for the ceremony in a vintage Model T Ford with Laurel and Hardy lookalikes to add to the fun. Hundreds of people, including members of The Sons of the Desert (Laurel and Hardy Appreciation Society) gathered to watch the unveiling ceremony. The sculpture which now stands in Ulverston's County Square shows Stan and Ollie leaning against a lamppost. Stan brought Ollie back to his hometown of Ulverston in 1947, with the duo famously waving from the Coronation Hall balcony to a huge crowd of adoring fans standing below. One of my favourite all-time Laurel and Hardy classics is a scene from the movie, "Way Out West", where they sing, "On the Trail of the Lonesome Pine". To view it, click on the player shown below:-


Fran Hill said...

Nope, I had no idea Stan Laurel was British. Well, whaddya ya know? You loin sometin new every day. (Bad attempt at New Yoik accent.)

Naomi said...

You certainly do Fran! I think Stan Laurel was one of our best exports to the US film industry!