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A Year: Day to Day Men: 3rd of January, Solar Year 2018

A Spread on the Wood Floor

On January 3, 1927, the first Laurel and Hardy film, “Putting Pants on Philip”, is released.

The team was composed of the English thin man, Stan Laurel, and the American fat man, Oliver Hardy. Laurel played the clumsy and childlike friend of the pompous bully Hardy in their slapstick comedy routines, well known during the late 1920’s through the mid- 1940’s.

Prior to emerging as a team, both actors had well-established film careers. Laurel had appeared in over 50 films while Hardy had been in more than 250 productions. They were not a comedy team during 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. Laurel and Hardy officially became a team in 1927 when they appeared together in their first silent short film “Putting Pants on Philip”.

They appeared as a team in 107 films, starring in 32 short silent films, 40 short sound films, and 23 full-length feature films. They also made 12 guest or cameo appearances that included the “Galaxy of Stars” promotional film of 1936. Since the 1930s, the works of Laurel and Hardy have been released in numerous theatrical reissues, television revivals, 8-mm and 16-mm home movies, feature-film compilations, and home videos.

In 2005, they were voted the seventh-greatest comedy act of all time by a UK poll of fellow comedians. The official Laurel and Hardy appreciation society is known as ‘Sons of the Desert’ which was named after a fictitious fraternal society featured in the Laurel and Hardy film of the same name.

While much of their comedy remained visual, various lines of humorous dialogue appeared in Laurel and Hardy’s talking films. Some examples include:

“You can lead a horse to water but a pencil must be led.” (Laurel, “Brats”, 1930)
“I was dreaming I was awake but I woke up and found meself asleep.” (Laurel, “Oliver the Eighth”, 1934)
“A lot of weather we’ve been having lately.” (Hardy, “Way Out West”, 1937)

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