Laurel and Hardy: a Life in Comedy

Background to a talk given by Dave McCormack

By Neil Fortey

Dave McCormack (left) and Robin Stapleford making a defiant stand in Vic Martin's vintage Morris Minor, outside the Bull, during the 'living history' drama in 2008.
Dave McCormack (left) and Robin Stapleford making a defiant stand in Vic Martin's vintage Morris Minor, outside the Bull, during the 'living history' drama in 2008.

Laurel and Hardy, the famous comedians of yesteryear, stayed at the Bull Hotel in Bottesford while on tour in 1953. Stan Laurel’s sister, Olga Healey, was the landlady of the pub at the time. Their visit is commemorated by a plaque on the outside wall of the pub, and is remembered by villagers who were in their youth at the time.

Back in 2008, the Bottesford Community Heritage Project staged a ‘living history’ drama which included a scene enacted at the Bull in which the comedians were played by Dave McCormack (as Oliver Hardy) and Robin Stapleford (as Stan Laurel). Dave was invited back to give a talk for the Bottesford Local History Society entitled “Laurel and Hardy: a Life in Comedy”. The talk started at 7.30 on Thursday, May 9th, 2013 at the Fuller Room in Bottesford. The Fuller Room is part of the old school building on the centre of the village, and there is normally parking space outside or in the side room opposite.

In addition to his talk, Dave provided the following bibliography of books and films.

Laurel & Hardy – A select bibliography

Surprisingly, there are relatively few books on or about L&H, but here are a number which I consider to be invaluable to anyone interested in the lives, artistry and techniques of the duo.

Biography

Mr Laurel and Mr Hardy, John McCabe, Robinson Books, 1966, reprinted, 1976 ISBN 1-86105-606-0

The Comedy World of Stan Laurel, John McCabe, Robinson Books, 1974, reprinted, 1990 ISBN 0-940410-23-0

Babe: The Life of Oliver Hardy, John McCabe, Robinson Books, 1989

 ISBN 1-86105-781-4

Analyses, appreciations and encyclopaedia

The Laurel and Hardy Encyclopaedia, Glenn Mitchell, Batsford, 1995  ISBN 0-7134-7711-3

The Complete Films of Laurel and Hardy, William K Everson, Citadel Press, 1967, 1995  ISBN 0 8065 0146 4

Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies, Randy Skretvedt, Past Times Publishing, 1987, 1996 ISBN 0-940410-29-X

Quote Unquote: Laurel and Hardy, Neil Grant, Parragon (sic), 1994

ISBN 13: 9781858138411

Useful Websites

http://www.sotd.org/ Sons of the Desert.  The L&H international appreciation society, nearest “tent” Nottingham.

http://www.laurel-and-hardy.com/html/links.html  The Boy’s official website.

http://www.laurel-and-hardy.co.uk/stan_ollie.html   The Laurel and Hardy Museum, Ulverston, Cumbria.

Filmography

1917…

The Lucky Dog

1926…

Forty-Five Minutes From Hollywood

1927…

Duck Soup, Slipping Wives, Love ‘Em and Weep, Why Girls Love Sailors, With Love and Hisses, Sugar Daddies, Sailors Beware!, The second Hundred Years, Now I’ll Tell One, Call of the cuckoos, Hats Off, Do Detectives Think, Putting Pants On Phillip, The Battle of the Century

1928…

Leave ‘Em Laughing, Flying Elephants, The Finishing Touch, From Soup To Nuts, You’re Darn Tootin’, Their Purple Moment, Should Married Men Go Home?, Early to Bed, Two Tars, Habeas Corpus, We Faw Down

1929…

Liberty, Wrong Again, That’s My Wife, Big Buisness, Unaccustomed As We Are, Double Whoopee, Berth Marks, Men ‘O’ War, Perfect Day, They Go Boom, Bacon Grabbers, The Hoose-Gow, The Hollywood Review of 1929, Angora Love

1930…

Night Owls, Blotto, Brats, Below Zero, The Rouge Song, Hog Wild, The Laurel and Hardy Murder Case, Another Fine Mess

1931…

Be Big, Chickens Come Home, The Stolen Jools, Laughing Gravy, Our Wife, Pardon Us, Come Clean, One, Good Turn, Beau Hunks, On the Loose

1932…

Helpmates, Any Old Port, The Music Box, The Chimp, County Hospital, Scram!, Pack up Your Troubles, Towed in a Hole, Their First Mistake

1933…

Twice Two, Me and My Pal, Fra Diavolo, The Midnight Patrol, Busy Bodies, Wild Poses, Dirty Work, Sons of the Desert

1934…

Oliver the Eighth, Hollywood Party, Going Bye Bye, Them Thar Hills, Babes in Toyland, The Live Ghost

1935…

Tit for Tat, The Fixer Uppers, Thicker Than Water, Bonnie Scotland

1936…

The Bohemian Girl, On the Wrong Trek, Our Relations

1937…

Way Out West, Pick a Star

1938…

Swiss Miss, Block Heads

1939…

The Flying Deuces

1940…

A Chump at Oxford, Saps at Sea

1941…

Great Guns

1942…

A-Haunting we will Go

1943…

Tree in a Test Tube, Air raid Wardens, Jitterbugs, The Dancing Masters

1944…

The Big Noise

1945…

Nothing But Trouble, The Bullfighters

1951…

Atoll K

This page was added on 02/05/2013.

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