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Referenced By / Laurel and Hardy

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Laurel and Hardy have been the most universally popular comedians since the late 1920s. In the USA the fandom for The Three Stooges may be more fanatic and an obligatory Three Stooges Shout-Out very common. But the Laurel & Hardy cult is far more universal, resulting in countless homages, spoofs and caricatures depicting the two. We can practically speak of a Stock Parody in pop culture.

Typical elements spoofed are:

  1. "The Cuckoo Song" will be playing in the background as a Standard Snippet.
  2. Hat Shop: The duo's bowler hats are also often brought up, often in combination with Laurel & Hardy's typical shticks of confusing each other's hats or flipping them off their heads.
  3. The line "Here's/There's another fine/nice mess you've gotten me/us into" or "Why don't you do something to help me?"
  4. Laurel scratching his hair in confusion.
  5. Oliver's exasperated look into the camera after Laurel did something stupid that caused him to fall down or get hurt.
  6. A reference to one of their individual movies, usually The Music Box, in which they try to move a piano, or "Busy Bodies", in which they are working inside a house in painting overalls.
  7. Stanley blubbering whenever something bad happened to the duo or whenever Oliver hit him for doing something stupid.
  8. There's also a tendency to spoof Laurel & Hardy whenever a thin and an obese man are seen together. Especially political satirists enjoy to do this.


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  • The Laurel & Hardy tribute artists Jeffrey Briar and Bevis Faversham once did a Finnish TV commercial for "Tikkurila" paint, where they mimick Laurel & Hardy as painters. [1]
  • A U.S. television commercial for Anco windshield wiper blades references The Music Box.
  • A Duracell battery commercial from the 1980's features toys of Laurel and Hardy in a getaway motorcycle powered by the newer Duracell battery being chased by a police car powered by the older Duracell. The commercial is done entirely in black and white with dialogue cards in place of spoken dialogue (save for the Duracell logo at the end).

    Comic Books 
  • De Kiekeboes: Merho, creator of the comic strip, is a huge fan of the duo and has provided shout-outs to them many times.
    • In De Zwarte Zonnekoning ("The Black Sun King") the bodyguards of President Moïse Mombakka are black caricatures of Laurel and Hardy called "Stan Stan and Oelie". Oelie even hits off Stan Stan's bowler hat a few times, while Stan Stan just picks it up again not understanding why Oelie does this.
    • In Album 26 Kiekeboe's attractive girlfriend is called "Laura Hardy".
    • In Schiet Niet op de Pianist ("Don't Shoot at the Pianist") there is a very subtle homage. The tune the pianist plays is the Cuckoo Song.
  • Asterix: In the story "Obelix and Company", two Roman soldiers who are told to unload a carriage full with menhirs are caricatures of Stan and Ollie. Stan scratches his hair and takes off his Roman helmet in the manner of a bowler hat. As they unload the menhirs, the scene spoofs Stan and Ollie unloading the piano in The Music Box.
  • Droid Life: In one of P14's Future Shock submissions. The time traveller lines up a man with a little square moustache in his crosshairs and shoots him dead. It's Oliver Hardy.
  • Suske en Wiske: Laurel and Hardy have a cameo in the story "De Bangeschieters" [2]
  • Urbanus:
    • In "De Harem van Urbanus", Urbanus' girlfriend is seduced by Oliver Hardy's spirit in Heaven.
    • In the story "Teevee Hupsakee", Urbanus dresses up as Laurel and César as Hardy.
  • Nero: In "De Hoed van Geeraard de Duivel", Nero and Detective Van Zwam use an egg trick to shanghai sailors aboard above their ship. This is a straight homage to the Laurel & Hardy film "The Live Ghost" (1934).

    Comic Strips 
  • One Far Side panel depicts Laurel and Hardy running away from a nuclear mushroom cloud. The caption reads, "Now you've done it!"
  • In a Peanuts Sunday Strip, when Sally writes her book report on Tess of the d'Urbervilles, she credits the book's author as "Laurel N. Hardy" instead of Thomas Hardy.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 12 Angry Men, as the jurors are demonstrating how long it would take to for the woman to get across her hallway to the phone, Juror #7 whistles "The Cuckoo Song".
  • Peter Sellers based Chance the Gardener's voice in Being There on Stan Laurel, one of his comedy icons.
  • Blazing Saddles: A subtle reference occurs in the following line:
    ''"As chairman of the welcoming committee, it is my privilege to extend a laurel, and hardy handshake to our new..... *sees Bart* nigger."
  • While in Hollywood, Borat stumbles across Azamat dressed up as Oliver Hardy, who Borat thinks is actually dressed as Hitler. Azmat even says Hardy's famous catchphrase, "This is another fine mess you've gotten me into."
  • A Fine Mess takes its title from Oliver Hardy's Catchphrase and the piano delivery is a direct reference to The Music Box.
  • Federico Fellini's:
    • Prova d' Orchestra ("Orchestral Rehearsal"): In a scene where an obese lady enters the room the tuba player starts playing "The Cuckoo Song" to mock her.
    • La Città delle Donne ("City of Women"): Near the end when the protagonist has finished his slide ride (long story!) two women appear who are dressed up like Laurel & Hardy and also act like them.
  • Hardware Wars: One of the droids says: "Here's another fine mess you've gotten us into."
  • Slapstick of Another Kind: In this 1982 comedy we see lookalikes of Laurel and Hardy working as painters in a brief gag.


    Live-Action TV 
  • In an early 2000s episode of Alistair McGowan's Big Impression, soccer player David Beckham and his wife Posh Beckham are imitated. In one scene they are trying to fix something and start to behave in typical Laurel & Hardy fashion, complete with Beckham scratching his hair in confusion and Posh looking in the camera with an exasperated look about Beckham's stupidity.
  • The Benny Hill Show: Benny Hill sometimes has sketches in which he played Oliver Hardy and a female comedian portrayed Laurel.
  • Spitting Image: In an episode spoofing the building of the Chunnel between the UK and France two construction workers are puppets of Laurel and Hardy, engaging in typical shticks, like poking one another in the eye, Laurel scratching his hair and crying "I'm sorry, Ollie", Hardy's frustrated look into the camera and Laurel lighting Hardy's cigar by using his thumb as a lighter.
  • Once on Perfect Strangers Balki recalls an old Laurel and Hardy short, and most of the episode has Larry and Balki playing their roles.
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show: When the gang go on vacation to an inn owned by an old army buddy of Rob, and the hired entertainers don't show up, they put on their own show. Rob and his buddy dust off their old Laurel & Hardy routine with Rob playing Laurel.
  • Far Out Space Nuts has been described by co-creator Sid Krofft as "Laurel and Hardy [IN SPACE!]." The series chronicled the adventures of two bumbling NASA commissary workers who accidentally launch themselves into outer space, and crash land on a different alien planet each week while trying to return to earth.
  • Dutch comedian André Van Duin is a huge Laurel & Hardy fan. He was sang a homage to the duo, "Stan and Ollie", on stage. In 2011 he dressed up as them for charity. [3]
  • The episode "Another Fine Mess" of the anthology series Seven of One had Roy Castle and Ronnie Barker playing a pair of amateur Laurel and Hardy impersonators (named Sidney Jefferson and Harry Oliver, respectively). Intending to sneak away from Harry's wife to perform their impersonation in a talent show, they rapidly found themselves involved in escalating disasters.
  • On Dad's Army, the platoon would sometimes whistle "The Cuckoo Song" when Warden Hodges showed up.
  • Chespirito had several skits from the 80s onward parodying the duo, with Chespirito as Laurel and Edgar Vivar as Hardy. Before that, there were three skits in El Chapulín Colorado episodes, with the same cast.
  • In The Love Boat episode "The Secret Life of Burl Smith," Gopher and his Love Interest launch into a Laurel and Hardy routine when they realize that Gopher forgot to call a taxi.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Paranoia adventure Send in the Clones. At the climax of the third adventure "Entertainmentworld!", two Power Services members named Stanl-Y-LRL and Oll-Y-HRD appear. They act like Laurel and Hardy's characters, including being clueless and inept.

    Video Games 
  • In Ultima VII, there are two "engineers" in the mines of Minoc who pretty much play out a full Laurel & Hardy sketch if you talk to them, including the famous "another fine mess" line and the hat-swap routine (done with mining helmets).
  • The player character of Sweevo's World on the ZX Spectrum is modelled on Stan Laurel (mainly in the game's artwork rather than the game itself) and one of the four start points is called 'Lonesome Pine' (It contains a single giant pineapple.)
  • Laurel and Hardy appear in a cameo in the third Quest for Glory game. The game even asks, "Didn't those guys look familiar?" and plays a remix of the Cuckoo song.

    Western Animation 
  • Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: In Toyland Premiere Laurel and Hardy have a cameo among other Hollywood celebrities.
  • Classic Disney Shorts
    • The Pet Store: Beppo the gorilla sees an image of Stan Laurel in a movie magazine and imitates him, scratching his head and messing up his hair in a similar manner.
    • Mickey's Gala Premier: They are among the many Hollywood celebrities caricatured in the episode.
    • Mickey's Polo Team: Charlie Chaplin, Harpo Marx and Laurel and Hardy are among the comedians playing polo with Mickey and friends.
    • Mother Goose Goes Hollywood: Simple Simon and the Pieman are portrayed as Laurel and Hardy, doing typical pie throwing shticks while "The Cuckoo Song" plays.
  • Balloon Land:Two balloon men in this episode are caricatures of Laurel and Hardy.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In Bosko's Picture Show, a short on the theater program features a parody called Haurel & Lardy.
    • In Porky's Road Race Laurel and Hardy are seen on a see-saw, among many other Hollywood celebrities of that time making a cameo.
    • Near the end of The Timid Toreador, Porky mimics Oliver Hardy, complete with him twiddling his fingers, the Cuckoo Song playing and out of nowhere having a tiny toothbrush moustache. Porky would imitate Hardy again in You Ought to Be in Pictures.
    • Hollywood Steps Out: Oliver Hardy is seen dancing with two women at the same time.
  • In the prologue to the short, "A Night in Kokomo" from the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "New Class Day", Little Beeper and Calamity Coyote are seen dressed as Laurel and Hardy, respectively.
  • Who Killed Who?: The plot of this Tex Avery short has a very subtle allusion to Laurel & Hardy. The police inspector is lifted straight from the L&H short "The Laurel & Hardy Murder Case" (1930), which has a similar plot.
  • The New Scooby-Doo Movies: In one episode, the gang is joined by characters who are obviously Laurel and Hardy. [4]
  • The Simpsons:
    • Homer's "D'oh!" is a tribute to Laurel and Hardy actor James Finlayson's "D'oooooooooh!" cry.
    • In The Wandering Juvie, Bart and a girl escape from a juvenile delinquents' jail, but are chained to one another. As they look for a blacksmith to saw their chains through they notice a long line of people waiting to get in, among them Laurel and Hardy in striped prison outfits. This is likely a reference to either "The Second Hundred Years" or "Pardon Us", in which the duo escape from prison, too.
    • In A Midsummer's Nice Dream Mr. Burns attends a Cheech and Chong show, but gets so high from all the marihuana smoke that he thinks he is watching Laurel and Hardy.
  • Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension: In a montage the two Doofs appear as famous buddies, including Laurel and Hardy.
  • In the episode of Danger Mouse where DM is paired with a robot Penfold, after being trapped he tells the robot "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into", and the robot Penfold does a Stan Laurel whimper.
  • One episode of TaleSpin takes place in the setting's equivalent of Hollywood, where Baloo sees his favorite actors, Funny Animal versions of Laurel and Hardy.
  • Animaniacs: The intro for the Rita & Runt cartoons depicts them as various comic duos, one of them being Laurel & Hardy in a parody of The Music Box.


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