December 3, 1927 – Putting Pants on Philip, the first Laurel & Hardy film, is released.
Laurel and Hardy were a comedy double act during the early Classical Hollywood era of American Cinema. The team was composed of thin Englishman Stan Laurel (1890–1965) and heavyset American Oliver Hardy (1892–1957). They became well known during the late 1920s through the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy, with Laurel playing the clumsy and childlike friend of the pompous Hardy. The duo’s signature tune is known variously as “The Cuckoo Song”, “Ku-Ku”, or “The Dance of the Cuckoos”. It was played over the opening credits of their films and has become as emblematic of the duo as their bowler hats.
Prior to their being teamed up, both actors had well-established film careers. Laurel had appeared in over 50 films while Hardy had been in more than 250 productions. The two comedians had previously worked together as cast members on the film The Lucky Dog in 1921. However, they were not a comedy team at that time and it was not until 1926 that they appeared in a movie short together, when both separately signed contracts with the Hal Roach film studio. Laurel and Hardy officially became a team in 1927 when they appeared together in the silent short film Putting Pants on Philip. They remained with the Roach studio until 1940 and then appeared in eight “B movie” comedies for 20th Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from 1941 to 1945. After finishing their movie commitments at the end of 1944, they concentrated on performing in stage shows and embarked on a music hall tour of England, Ireland and Scotland. In 1950, before retiring from the screen, they made their last film, a French/Italian co-production called Atoll K. (Wikipedia)
A number of countries have printed stamps commemorating Laurel & Hardy. The first shown here was a 29-cent booklet stamp (Scott No. 2562) issued by the United States in 1991:
Also in 1991, Guyana issued a $150 stamp featuring a poster for the comic duo’s film “Bacon Grabbers”:
And this 150-Lek stamp (Michel AL3291) from a set of 3 stamps issued by Albania on October 16, 2009, features their full birth names – Arthur Stanley Jefferson (Laurel) and Norvell Hardy – and a scene from the film “Smokings”: