Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Genius in the art of Comedy

Stanley Laurel Jefferson and Oliver Norville Hardy; or, Laurel and Hardy.
These two were able to vault from silent to sound movies with great success. Of the two, Stan Laurel was the artistic genius who created almost all of their classic films.
Oliver, known as "Babe" by his friends, came from the south.
Stan arrived here from London, and was an apprentice of Charlie Chaplin.
Babe was more inclined to play a round of golf, while Stan molded the classics pretty much on his own, with Babe, of course enhancing the overall comedic aura when they combined their gifts before and during the production of their works.
I liken Stan Laurel to a great composer, in that the composer often builds the music around a singular or dominant theme. Stan did much the same thing by focusing upon a singular item, and building the story around it, such as in "The Music Box."
This skit is constructed around a piano which refuses to be transported up a particularly long flight of stairs, or,
in "A Perfect Day", a car which refuses to move from its location until the very last seconds of the movie.
Laurel was a genius in building these comedies around a singular theme, and was truly a singular artist by way of his creative imagery.
Additionally, some of the most provocative statements in comedic form were created by Stan; for instance, in "Sons of the Desert", after a "deep" philosophical exchange with Babe, Stan looks directly into the camera with his vacant stare, and offers, with a sigh, " yes; life isn't short enough."
Incidentally, "The Music Box" was the first comedy short to be given an Oscar nomination.
My advice, for those of you not familiar with these two giants - make a point of looking for their films. They are truly singular works of art.



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