The photograph left, taken in 1956 is the last publicity shot ever taken of Laurel and Hardy; arguably the greatest comedy team the world has ever known. Oliver had been suffering from ill health for some time and a forced diet had seen him shed 150ibs, which was the equivalent of Stan's weight.
picture evokes mixed emotions - on one hand it's great to see the guys
together, firm friends in old age. But on the other hand it is sad to
see the team, ever youthful on celluloid, bitten by the ravages of age.
Hardy died a year later in 1957 and Stan would finally leave this world
in 1965. And although the due were finally separated by death they will
always be remembered in life as the greatest comedy duo the world has
love these guys and no matter how often I see their films I'm still
reduced to tears of laughter - there's something these guys had that no
other duo before or since have been able to replicate.
favourites with generations of comedians - there's a story Ernie Wise
tells of his partner Eric Morcambe not liking the thought of them being
in bed together for their comedy sketches. He refused to do it until
someone pointed out that Laurel and Hardy often appeared in bed
together. After that Eric was more than willing to go along and Morcambe
and Wise went on to become Britain's all time most successful and well
loved comedy acts.
Back to Stan and Ollie though - they were different, neither of them played the straight man and although it is Stan who is mostly seen as the clown of the duo, it must be remembered that Ollie could do a lot of clowning himself. Their comedy was mostly slapstick but this often hid the subtle cleverness of the team. And even now in the age of digital magic, Laurel and Hardy are still as entertaining as they ever were.
The world is still laughing
God Bless you both.