A Little Bit of Links
Yes, it's wonderful what a little bit of kindness will do. And the following links were kindly compiled to take you a looong way into cyberspace. They are bound to reward you with a wealth of knowledge and information about the Boys, their times, and their fans.
(B.S. Please be so kind as to report any dead links to email@example.com .)
"The Silents Majority"
Neil Evans, webmaster of several Laurel and Hardy sites, including that of the Ulverston Museum, has informed me that "The Silents Majority" seems to be no longer in existence. And he is unfortunately correct. I am, however, leaving this link here for a short time in the hopes that it is floating around somewhere in cyberspace and shall miraculously reappear. If anyone knows of the fate of that marvelous site, a treasure trove of information and photos dedicated to silent film stars, please drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org .
You'll find the answers to many of your Laurel and Hardy questions at this fun site. The creative webmasters even anticipated the following query: Is the site's official name "Laurel and Hardy Central" or is it "Hard-Boiled Eggs and Nuts"? Their response is a simple one in true Stan and Ollie fashion: "Neither do I too." The site is chock full of great essays about the Boys, tidbits about their co-stars, pictures, downloads, a virtual museum, and more. Whatever the official name is, don't miss a chance to visit this link today.
Stan and Ollie don't seem to be televised as much as we would like, but at least we can now know when they are. Check the listings at the beginning of each month, keep your fingers crossed, and have a blank video tape handy.
The Boys' British Connections
Our British counterpart, The Laurel and Hardy Museum is located in Ulverston, Cumbria, England (the birthplace of Arthur Stanley Jefferson) and claims fame to being the first museum ever devoted to it's native son and his long-time partner from Harlem, Georgia, U.S.A. . So, if - and when - you find yourself near the Lake District, make it a point to pay homage to the Boys at this marvelous museum.
You remember Ethel the gorilla who danced with the Boys (and tormented Ollie) in 'The Chimp", don't you? Or the ape in 'Swiss Miss' who chased them across the suspension bridge? Both simian characters were played by Charlie Gemora. Be sure to read this short article, "Hats Off to Charles Gemora Hollywood's Favorite Ape" ... but, mind the monkey.
"Jean Darling's Homepage"
"Greek and Roman Comedy and Satire" is the title... What? Are we still talking Laurel and Hardy? Of course. Roman New Comedy, as did our beloved Boys, aimed at 'human folly in general' and slapstick was king - or shall I say emperor? Follow this link for a fun history lesson.
"Laurel & Hardy vs The Censors" Any loyal fan of Laurel and Hardy will comment on the innocence of the characters and on how 'wholesome' the duo's films were. Hmmm, judging by this interesting piece, the Motion Picture Production Code Administration did not seem to hold them in such high esteem.
"Through a Glass Darkly: Reflections on Mr. Hardy's Camera Look", written by Peter Larsen, is a personal favorite of 'scholarly papers' on Laurel and Hardy. In it, Larsen 'tried to describe the impact of the look, the subtle ways in which it affects the relations between film and spectator.' Mr. Hardy's camera look touches each of us for each of us has seen it looking back at us from our own mirrors. We seem to understand him as only we can understand our selves.
Looking for L&H Films, L&H Books, and, well, L&H Anything?
The four above links are rather self-explanatory. A click on the first three will take you to a search for Laurel and Hardy products in all venues. A click on the Barnes & Noble banner will take you only to the main page of their site. As far as favorites, Half.com has my vote; it usually has a wide variety of merchandise at prices that can't be beat. If you're a collector, however, head straight for ebay.com.
This site which will help you find "books you thought you'd never find" is a treasure. But just make sure you know specifically for which book you're looking.
Stan and Ollie threw quite a lot of things - hats, pies, anniversary cake, bricks, shoes, a clutch, building blocks, baked potatoes, a potted flower, dishes, buckets, sandwiches,... You name it, they more than likely threw it. And there were consequences to pay for their actions - usually paid in full by our long-suffering Ollie. So, have a care if you decide to be like them and throw things. Instead, try something safe like throwing your voice with these marvelous ventriloquist puppets (the Laurel and Hardy ones, naturally).
"One of mankind's most universally loved companions is the rubber duck." And one of mankind's most universally loved comedy teams is Laurel and Hardy. Put the two together and you have one fun, fun bathtime whatever your age. Follow this link and find out how you can order a pair. Other celebrity ducks available are Mae West, Carmen Miranda, Groucho Marx ("Wanna buy a duck?"), William Shakespeare, and more.
Sites Related in One Way or Another to Laurel and Hardy
The Costumer's Manifesto is the absolute dernier cri when it comes to fashions of the Twenties, Thirties, Forties, and every other era. In fact, "as far as cris go, it's about as dernier as you can get"! Not only will you find the fashions worn by Laurel and Hardy's co-starring ladies (and some worn in drag by Stan and Ollie themselves), you will also discover menswear, haberdashers, shoes, and even glimpses into clothing catalogues of their day. Visiting this tantalizing site is rather like eating a rich dessert, so perk a fresh pot of steaming coffee and savor the experience unhurriedly. Magnifique!
Living Retro: The Age of Cool... "Had enough of being a square? RUN... Don't walk!!! Find out how you can live retro!!!" Outta my way! I'm running! I'm running! Right to this fantastically hep site. If you are a devout fan of Laurel and Hardy and desire to learn more about their times, this cyber guide to vintage living is surely an ideal place to begin. There is information about the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s ranging from hair styles to automobiles, home decor to wartime rationing (I wonder if the lion at the zoo in "Nothing But Trouble" ever used the ration card Stan left him...), pin-up girls to recipes (delicious - but not a sign of 'Steak a la Oliver' anywhere!) to more. It's all about "preserving the past but it's also about remembering a simpler time with a twist".
It's a bit wacky. It's a lot groovy. And that hat is oh-so-cool. Let's face it, ever since our earliest recollection of seeing Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, and Charley Chase donning fezzes in "Sons of the Desert" - not to mention Boris Karloff in "The Mummy", Sydney Greenstreet in "Casablanca", Vinnie the P in "The Raven", or even the organ grinder's monkey in the 1937 version of "Heidi" - we just had to one day have a fez of our very own. You'll just have to see this wild site for yourselves. Look in Celebrity Fezzers for a picture of the Boys at the big convention.
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