Austin man displays love for classic comedy team

AUSTIN, Texas — Mark Louis doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to his favorite hobbies. Banging out a tune on his Beatles drum set is just part of it. He also owns a collection of Beatles memorabilia, pointing to some special autographs.

“John Lennon autographed that along with Jimmy Nicol,” said Louis.  He’s also a fan of George and Ringo. But, in Louis’s living room it’s all about Stan and Ollie. The two guys who’ve made him laugh for nearly 60 years are on the big screen.

“My mom would get up in the morning and have breakfast. She’d put on the TV. There’d be a Laurel and Hardy short film. So, we’d watch that, then it was off to school! I just fell in love with them as far as being one of the greatest comedy teams the world has ever known,” said Louis.

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy made comedies way before television. Their antics are as well known as the names they go by. People refer to them as Laurel and Hardy, Stan and Ollie, the big one and the skinny one.

“And the great classic line, you know, that Stan would goof things up and Oliver would just look at Stan and go, ‘Here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!'” said Louis.

Just down the wall from Louis’s Beatles display he points to his Laurel and Hardy posters, books, hats, figurines, and autographs.

“This is an original Stan Laurel letter that he wrote in the early ’60s. I framed it with a photograph of him in front of his typewriter,” said Louis.

Laurel and Hardy made their last movie together more than 70 years ago. But newer generations are discovering the team through DVDs and downloads. Louis says he’ll never be too old for some classic comedy.