Today is the anniversary of the release of the Laurel and Hardy comedy Another Fine Mess (1930), directed by James Parrott. The film is essentially a sound remake of the team’s earlier silent short Duck Soup. In this version, the pair (wanted for vagrancy) escape from cops and fortuitously jump into mansion just as the people who live there are leaving (the owner, Jimmy Finlayson is going on an extended trip on safari.) Hardy masquerades as the the owner of the house and Laurel, as both the butler and the maid. They are forced into this subterfuge when visitors arrive to rent the house themselves. In the end, Finlayson return, they get found out and escape on a tandem bicycle covered in a bearskin, one of the more memorable images in all their films.
For more on silent and slapstick comedy please see my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc
To find out more about show business past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.