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Slapstick comedy kings Laurel and Hardy reeled out their funny double act in over 100 films and their progression from silent movies to ‘talkies’ brought about many funny and somewhat confusing conversations between them. Ollie played the overweight rhetorical ‘brains’ of the lovable pair, and Stanley the bumbling and ham-handed soul whose ideas often got them into ‘another fine mess’.

Does classic comedy grow old and stale as time passes by? I’ll let you make up your own mind on that one by reading my select choice of quotes from some of Stanley Laurel and Oliver Hardy’s best films.

Laurel and Hardy Movie Quotes

In One Good Turn the boys have an interesting conversation over who should chop up some wood.

laurel and hardyStan: Well, I don’t know anything about cutting wood.
Ollie: Well, you ought to. You once told me your father was in the lumber business.
Stan: Well, I know he was but it was only in a small way.
Ollie: What do you mean small way ?
Stan: Well, he ….. he used to sell toothpicks.

This sketch from Sons of the Desert is one of my favourite Laurel and Hardy routines. Oliver is in bed feeling a touch sick but luckily his good friend Stanley is around to help.

Ollie: You’d better take my temperature….. get that thermometer.
Stan: The what?
Ollie: Thermometer! You’ll find it on the shelf.
(Stan places the thermometer into Ollie’s mouth and starts to take his pulse)
Ollie: What does it say?
Stan: Wet and windy.

The two friends have been known to sing a tune or two in their time together but their efforts in trying to raise money by singing on the city streets in Below Zero didn’t impress one lady.

Lady: About how much money do you boys average a street ?
Ollie: I would say about fifty cents a street.
Woman: There’s a dollar. Move down a couple of streets.

In Another Fine Mess, Stan and Ollie prove that old jokes are sometimes the best ones. Although back in 1930 when the comedy film was shot, this was probably an original slice of humour. Ollie is in need of a taxi.

Ollie: Call me a cab.
Stan: You’re a cab.

This next piece is from the film The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case and centres around one of Stan’s relations who had met an unfortunate death.

Ollie: Didn’t you once tell me that you had an uncle?
Stan: Sure, I’ve got an uncle. Why?
Ollie: Now we’re getting somewhere. Is he living?
Stan: No. He fell through a trap door and broke his neck.
Ollie: Was he building a house?
Stan: No, they were hanging him.

In A Chump at Oxford, Laurel and Hardy find themselves in the most unlikely of places. The pair are enrolled at Oxford University.

Student: Pardon me but haven’t you come to the wrong college?
Ollie: Well, this is Oxford isn’t it ?
Student: Yes but you’re dressed for Eton.
Stan: Well, that’s swell…. we haven’t eaten since breakfast.

Best of Laurel & Hardy [DVD] [Import] – Eleven hours of Classic Comedy

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