County Hospital Sept 1, 2014 12:45:16 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Sept 1, 2014 12:45:16 GMT -5
County Hospital (1932)
Directed by: James Parrot
Directed by: James Parrot
Oliver Hardy in County Hospital.
There is a scene in James Parrot's short County Hospital, which stars Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, where, upon visiting his best friend Hardy in the hospital, Laurel sits idly, salting a hard-boiled egg and eating it. There's no joke, there's no real punchline, and there's no real purpose; it's about as literal as a scene could get. If only there was a way to tell the late writer H.M. Walker along with Parrot and Laurel that they may have fundamentally erected the popular idea/concept of anti-humor all the way back in 1932.
Although it does feature crisp sound and dialog, County Hospital is still so much a Laurel and Hardy short because of the fact it is more about situational humor than dialog-driven humor. Some readers of mine may mistake the idea that I have a disdain for situational humor, although, when I see the humor done smoothly and humorously, that couldn't be further from the truth. Laurel and Hardy knew what they wanted to accomplish and that was the concept of slapstick, silly humor. The wise-cracking, satirical humor that could make you laugh and ponder was left to Charlie Chaplin and the Marx brothers, which could arguably be why their films come to mind quicker than most Laurel and Hardy films do, on the topic of classic comedy films.
The short concerns Laurel arriving to the hospital to comfort Hardy after he received a broken leg, which already feels like the sequel to another one of their shorts gone awry. He brings hard-boiled eggs and nuts - to which Hardy replies with the sole line that essentially sums up the characters in each of their shorts - but Hardy realizes that while Laurel means well, he consistently causes trouble for the both of them. Hardy cannot remember the last time he endured such a restful experience, with two more months in a hospital bed to go, but Laurel ruins all of that with his well-meaning but trouble-causing actions.
County Hospital's only burden is its atrociously fake scene involving a sleepy Laurel trying to drive a vehicle with Hardy in the backseat, a scene that is understandable given the thought of the technological limitations of the early 1930's along with the short's budgetary issues. It's little bother; the film that was made instead was a fun piece of work, with self-referential gags and questionably pioneering ones as well.
Starring: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Directed by: James Parrot.