Stan and OllieOn the 11th of January, 2019, Entertainment One and BBC Films will be releasing a brand new biopic focused on the life and times of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. It’s been directed by Jon S. Baird, and star's Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, two men who really know their comedy. So, to keep you up to date on all things Stan and Ollie, I thought it would be a jolly good idea to introduce you to some of the people who’ve worked with them in the past. After all, sometimes you can get to know someone slightly better by understanding who they associate with.

Mae Busch
Mae Busch
"Not so fast, tough guy"

Mae Busch was born in Victoria, Australia, on the 18th of June, 1891. Her parents were both members of a vaudevillian stage troupe who made their way to the United States when she was only five years old. Then when she turned twelve, they helped her hone her acting talents until she eventually caught the attention of Mack Sennett, the manager of Keystone Studios. However, after a few years a scandal broke out between the two, Mack and Mae, and so she quickly turned to his rival, Hal Roach, who gave her a job appearing in the Laurel and Hardy films. Overall Mae appeared in thirteen of their films, and she was often depicted as a volatile wife, a shrewish gold-digger, or...

James Finlayson
James Finlayson 

James Finlayson was born in Stirlingshire, Scotland, on the 27th of August, 1887. After the death of his parents, he decided to move to America and get involved with the film business, which he did, first with Keystone Studios, under the tutelage of Mack Sennett, and then, like Mae, with Hal Roach Studios, alongside Laurel and Hardy. James worked with them thirty-three times in total, and even starred with Stan nineteen times and Oliver five times before the two of them even got together. He’s usually known for his fake mustache, his bald head, and his trademark comedic mannerisms, such as his famous squint or his outraged expressions. Having said that, though, some people may know him slightly better as being the man who originated the phrase, ‘D’Oh’, which years later was transposed onto a bald, yellow, animated character named Homer Simpson.

Billy Gilbert
Billy Gilbert
"When everyone is somebody, then no one's anybody"

Billy Gilbert was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on the 12th of September, 1894. Despite his parents being experienced singers with the Metropolitan Opera Company, Billy decided to carve out a career for himself in vaudeville, and by 1929, he became a very popular performer. So much so, in fact, that Stan Laurel went out of his way to introduce him to Hal Roach, who then hired him to write gags, appear in films, and occasionally direct them. Gilbert is generally known for his broad frame and his gruff voice, without forgetting his usual turn at playing a comedic villain. Although, to be fair, Billy doesn’t always play villains. Sometimes he plays doctors too, such as…

Charley Chase
James Parrott and Charley Chase
"They look like a couple of horse thieves"

James Parrott and Charley Chase were two brothers from Baltimore, Maryland. While James was born on the 2nd of August, 1897, Charley was born on the 20th of October, 1893, and together, the two of them were generally known as a couple of comedians who wrote scripts, starred in films, and even directed a handful featuring Laurel and Hardy. Or to be more specific about it, Charley wrote some of their scripts and once famously played Oliver’s brother-in-law in the now classic 1933 film, 'Sons of the Desert', whereas James is best known for playing a comedy foil and directing them in…

Laurel and Hardy
"Here's another fine mess you've gotten us into"

Now I could go on and tell you about some of the other people who’ve been associated with Laurel and Hardy, including Hal Roach, Thelma Todd, Jean Harlow, Bronco Billy Anderson, Leo McCarey, Harry Langdon, James Wesley Horne, and some guy named Chaplin. But no, I’d rather not, as I generally prefer to dance instead. Don’t you?

For any more information about the Stan and Ollie film, please don’t hesitate to check out their Website, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

SAY 'HI' TO THE STAN AND OLLIE PLAYERS SAY 'HI' TO THE STAN AND OLLIE PLAYERS Reviewed by David Andrews on November 20, 2018 Rating: 5

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