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A Century of Comedy Duos

Updated on October 31, 2013

Laurel and Hardy

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy made up one of the greatest comedy Duos of all time.
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy made up one of the greatest comedy Duos of all time. | Source

Hal Roach

Many early comedians owe their fame to the Hal Roach Studios. Roach employed such notables as Harold Lloyd, Jackie Cooper and Spanky McFarland both of the "Our Gang" comedies, Laurel and Hardy signed separately but came together as a famous comedy duo. Roach lived to be 100 years old, once at the Academy Awards, he did not have a microphone, so when nobody heard him Billy Crystal quipped "It's ok he started off in silent films."

Laurel And Hardy

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy first starred together in the 1921 film "The Lucky Dog," however they were not a team until 5 years later. Both actors had quite a few short films to their credit prior to teaming up. Laurel said "Of all the questions we are asked, the most frequent is how did we come together? I always explain that we came together naturally." They made over 100 films together, with the majority being short 2 reel films. Even after 62 years since their final film, Laurel and Hardy remain one of the greatest comedy teams in history. Their catch phrase "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!" remains an icon in pop culture.

Bob Hope And Bing Crosby

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On the Road with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby

"Thanks For the Memory" Over their career, Bop Hope and Bing Crosby brought us seven Road Movies, including "The Road to Zanzibar." In all, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby made nine movies together. Bing Crosby also had bit parts and cameos in 5 other Bob Hope movies including Son of Pale Face where he played an uncredited driver. They met in 1932 and remained friends for the next 45 years when Bing Crosby died on October 14th 1977. Prior to his death, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope planned one last "Road" picture with Dorothy Lamour "The Road to The Fountain of Youth. "There's nothing I wouldn't do for Bing, and there is nothing he wouldn't do for me. And That's how we go through life-doing nothing for each other" Bob hope

Abbott and Costello

Abbott and Costello
Abbott and Costello | Source

Who's on first?

"When the first base man picks up his check, who gets the money? Of course he does, he earned it." Who's on first is quite possibly, the most famous skit in Abbott and Costello's entire career. Over their career, Abbott and Costello made 36 movies including Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein in 1948. Between 1941 and 1951 the pair were in the top 10 ranking stars in the U.S. nine times, only dipping below 4th place on 3 occasions.

Who's on first

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Trading Places starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddy Murphy, had originally been written for Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, however because of Richard Pryor's accident in which he burned himself,Dan Aykroyd and Eddy Murphy were cast instead. Richard Pryor starred in 45 movies, four of them co-starring Gene Wilder. Pryor is also credited with writing "Blazing Saddles" which is listed as #6 on AFI's list of 100 greatest comedies. Gene Wilder played Jim "the Waco Kid" in Blazing Saddles. Gene's first big role in a feature was the 1968 Mel Brooks movie "The Producers," which is #11 on the AFI list, 100 years, 100 Laughs.

Dynamic Comedy Duos

Who is you favorite comedy duo

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Dynamic Duos

American Comedy has made us laugh for over a century. Great teams like Laurel and Hardy and Bob Hope and Bing Crosby paved the way for future generations Such as Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. Trying to put a century of comedy into a list is too difficult. Can you really say that Cheech and Chong are #1 while The Smothers Brothers rank at #10? Top ten list are subject to opinion. My intention with this hub was to just list my favorite comedy teams in no particular order.

Jake and Elwood Blues

Dan Aykroyd And John Belushi

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1980 was a great year for comedies, Airplane with the late Leslie Nielsen, Caddyshack, Stir Crazy, and The Blues Brothers. Jake and Elwood Blues (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) are on a mission from God. After Jake's release from Joliet Prison, the duo visit their old boarding home and discover that the Archdiocese will no longer support the house. They soon discover that $5000 is needed to save the house. The boys go on a mission to put the band back together and put on one last gig to raise the $5000.

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Groovy Baby

When Mike Myers received his star on Hollywood Boulevard, a certain somebody who will remain nameless, heckled a line from Shreck "Onions have layers," after the second attempt Mike Myers replied "yes they do." I am a big fan of Mike Myers, and to have him acknowledge me was just icing on the cake. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey are rumored to have had a long standing feud, both comedians have denied the allegations but agreed to bury the hatchet in public on April 23rd 2013.

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One of these days Alice

The Honeymooners, pairing comics Jackie Gleason and Art Carney, was an immediate success, becoming the #2 show in the U.S. its first year. Unfortunately its success did not last long due to stiff competition and only lasted 39 episodes. Art Carney and Jackie Gleason each had successful solo careers. Notable roles for Jackie Gleason were "Minnesota Fats" in the 1961 film "The Hustler" and as "Sheriff Buford T Justice" in "Smokey and the Bandit" 1977. Art Carney has 99 credits as an actor, in 1979 he teamed up with Don Ameche and George Burns in the move "Going in Style."

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis

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Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin starred in 17 movies together, beginning with "My friend Irma" in 1949. When they first debuted together at a club in New York in 1946 they were not received well. The owner even threatened to fire them if they did not do better in the second act. They threw out all their pre-scripted gags and decided to ad-lib. After the second act the audience was rolling in laughter and the rest was history.

Yogi and Boo boo

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William Hanna and Joseph Barbera

Hanna Barbera introduced us to a modern stone age family (The Flintstones), a tie wearing grizzly (Yogi Bear) who was smarter than the average bear, and a guitar playing hound (Huckleberry Hound) who sang "My darling Clementine". For baby boomers like me who grew up in the Seventies, Saturday mornings meant Scooby Doo, Josey and the Pussycats, Tom and Jerry, Huckleberry Hound, and countless other Hanna Barbera cartoons.

The American Film Institute's Top 5 Comedies

Some Like It Hot
Tootsie
Dr Strangelove
Annie Hall
Duck Soup
Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon
Dustin Hoffman
Peter Sellers
Woody Allen and Diane Keaton
The Marx Brothers
1959
1982
1964
1977
1933
 
 
http://www.afi.com/100years/laughs.aspx
 
 

AFI's Top Comedies


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Final Thought

What makes a great comedy, Timing, gags, observations of life? From the Marx Brothers to Jeff Daniels and Jim Carey, comedy acts have done more than make us laugh. They have made us look at who we are as people, they have sacrificed themselves to make our day just a little better. In the words of Bob Hope "Thanks for the memory."

© Robert Burroughs 2013

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great list...I got a kick out of the inclusion of Yogi and Boo Boo...good call. :)

    • rtburroughs2 profile image
      Author

      Robert Burroughs 3 years ago

      Thank you Bill, I put a lot of time and effort into this article. I had a lot of fun doing research. I remember being sad when we lost Bob Hope in 2003. I am currently working on an article about nutrition.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Fun, fun hub. I loved so many of these and still watch reruns of them. Thank you for the walk down memory lane. Shared and voted up

    • rtburroughs2 profile image
      Author

      Robert Burroughs 3 years ago

      I liked so many of these that I did not want to put them in any kind of top 10 list. Of course there were some I forgot to list like Chris Farley and David Spade or John Candy and Steve Martin. There have been so many great comedy teams over the years, I especially loved The Marx Brothers movies like "A Night at the Opera" and "Duck Soup".

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 3 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      What a great trip down memory lane. I enjoyed this so much!! And I learned a few things, too. I didn't know the Honeymooners was so short-lived. There's a whole lot in this hub that I never knew. I'm going to watch some Abbott and Costello in the next month or so. I had never seen them -- I'd only heard of them. They can act! Thanks for putting up the video of them. Voting up, awesome, interesting and Sharing.

    • rtburroughs2 profile image
      Author

      Robert Burroughs 3 years ago

      I have had renewed interest in Hub-pages so I have been spending a lot of time in the learning center. One of the tools I read was about creating better hubs. I spent a lot more time on this hub than I usually do. Part of making a better hub is writing something that you are very passionate about. I love comedy, I have been watching comedy for almost 40 years. I have watched movies starring each artist that I picked for this hub. I think of all my choices here I would have to pick Bob Hope and Bing Crosby as my favorite duo. I really loved the road pictures, I wish they were able to make the one they planned before Bing's death in 1977. It was to be called "The Road to the fountain of Youth." Considering that both actors were in their early 70's I assume they would have used stock footage from their earlier films.

    • brblog profile image

      Bruce 3 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      It is interesting how the cartoons followed the same formula . . . Scooby and Shaggy, Fred and Barney, Tom and Jerry, Bugs and Daffy just no name a few . . . they had the funny guy and the and the straight man. Good Hub, very well done . . .

    • rtburroughs2 profile image
      Author

      Robert Burroughs 3 years ago

      Thank you guys for making this hub an Editors Choice. This was probably my most enjoyable hub to date. I loved going down memory lane. I still watch all the old comedies every chance I get. " Thanks for the Memory of rainy afternoons, swinging Harlem tunes...how lovely it was." Bob Hope

    • AvineshP profile image

      Avinesh Prahladi 3 years ago from Chandigarh

      I am a big fan of comedy movies and television shows. Me and my brother grew up watching Laurel and Hardy and I really like watching both of them together. Even after so many years, I still watch along with my daughter, trust me it really proves to be a stress buster every time I watch them. I also liked 'Three Stooges' which is missing in the list. The voting also goes to prove their popularity.

      A hub that is worth appreciating, thanks for posting.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Irwin 3 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Great hub! I voted for wilder and prior, but would have voted for Bing Crosby if he had been paired with Danny Kaye. Loved them in White Christmas and I am not a Bob Hope fan. I think there's some good recent ones to but can't think of them in particular as far as pairs. Great hub!

    • rtburroughs2 profile image
      Author

      Robert Burroughs 3 years ago

      I'm ready for part two, I have a few ideas of the direction I want to go in.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      Could anyone have been better than Crosby and Hope. Delightful hub!

    • rtburroughs2 profile image
      Author

      Robert Burroughs 3 years ago

      I love great comedy. In part 2 I have included a great video of Danny Kaye from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. One of the highlights of my childhood was meeting the late comedian Red Skelton.

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