Laurel and Oliver Hardy are no great pianists but we can see them
meet up with several pianos in different films.
Stan Laurel is actually called Arthur Stanley Jefferson
and was born on the 16th of June of the year 1890 in Ulverston
He was the son of a theatre artist and was raised in the English
He probably got acquainted with pianos there although he did not
play them. In 1910 he visits the United States as a member of
the ‘Fred Karno Musical-comedy troupe’.
Charlie Chaplin was in that company too.
Laurel stayed in the States, travelled and performed in films.
He died on the 23th of February in 1965 and is buried in the Burbank
Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetery.
Hardy studied Law, was destined to join the Army, but started
a cinema instead, in Milledgeville in Georgia. Later he found
work as an actor in the Lubin Film Company.
Hardy moved to Hollywood and in the Twenties he worked as an actor
playing all kinds of parts at the Hal Roach studios.
Oliver’s first name was Norvell. He was born on the 18th of January
in 1892 in Harlem in Georgia and died on the 7th of August in
Hardy are well known for their many short silent films which were
converted into ‘talkies’ later. When they became world famous,
they started making complete feature films.
In the film ‘The Music Box’ Laurel and Hardy take a lot
of trouble carrying a piano up, seemingly endless steps, leading
to a house on the top of a hill.
When they finally arrive, wiping their faces, the spectator watches
the piano slowly descending the stairs again, behind their backs.
First you hear the sound of the piano hitting the ground followed
by a series of wild piano tones slowly fading out. All this time,
the two faces of Laurel and Hardy are the only thing to be seen…
It was the longest close up in film history. They earned an Oscar
for ‘The Music box’ in 1932
Hardy definitely show a musical talent, especially when they literally
poke each others eyes with it!
of humour and seriousness, humour and tragedy even, explains the
fascination of Dutch poet K.Schippers for someone like
Stan Laurel, for the clown in general.
Piano is five meters from stool
Pull the piano towards the stool
Such an event
is both tragic and comic.