I love both Laurel and Hardy, but Oliver Hardy—he has a special place in my heart. His asides to the camera, his delicate, courtly mannerisms—the tie twiddle, the flourish, the imperious gesture—are endearing. Not sure what it says about me that I identify with his painstaking attempts to appear dignified and genteel (and how he often foils himself). This clip of the boys dancing is from Way Out West—Hardy’s expressions alone are priceless (the good stuff starts about a minute and a half in):
If you’ve never seen a Laurel & Hardy movie, and I’m always surprised at the number of people who haven’t, Sons of the Desert is a great place to start (often regarded as their best). Nothing But Trouble is pretty good—Buster Keaton punched up many of the gags—as well as the aforementioned Way Out West. I wish the films weren’t so hard to come by; I’d really like to see Pack Up Your Troubles, along with a bunch of their other movies and shorts I’ve missed.
Hardy is interred at Valhalla Memorial Park, Los Angeles. We happened to be there a couple of years ago, visiting family gravesites. Below are a couple of pics from that trip. As you can see it’s quite lovely, plus who wouldn’t want a final resting place called Valhalla:
Laurel & Hardy photos in public domain
posted by Rachel