Letter: Messing about with Laurel and Hardy

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The Independent Online
Sir: After reading the article concerning the Laurel & Hardy Museum ('That's another fine mess you've got me into', 5 January) there are certain points I would like to clarify.

First, the headline repeats the often used catch-phrase 'Another fine mess' when, in fact, Ollie's exasperated utterance is invariably, 'Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into.' Given the title of the 1930 short Another Fine Mess, it would appear the duo inexplicably misquote themselves, so this headline is understandable, although inaccurate.

Also, Stan Jefferson did not become Stan Laurel 'because he felt his own surname was unlucky'. The more complete explanation is that Stan noticed his name contained 13 letters and felt that this could be construed as being unlucky. He adopted the surname Laurel when his common-law wife spotted an illustration of a Roman general wearing a wreath of laurel.

Finally, the claim that Oliver Hardy was an alcoholic is not substantiated in any of the available literature regarding the pair.

Yours faithfully,



(Photograph omitted)