Thursday, 24 March 2011


Preparing to give a talk on English comedy (they're not laughing now...) End up watching a South Bank Special in honour of Stan Laurel. I'd forgotten how funny he was - when I was six I'd howl and roll about. Later in life you respond to rather more than the slapstick - one of the funniest scenes is in Beau Hunks when they've joined the French Foreign Legion. Stan asks the commandant if he and Ollie may be excused and "go home". They've had enough. But this clip is the very best. It overturns all that nonsense about not acting with animals - if you're good enough, then you can.

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