Golliwogg.co.uk - An independent guide to Golliwogs


An independent guide to golliwogs, including golliwog history, golliwog books/stories, golliwog dolls and golliwog collectables

By Golly, Stanley...

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy made their first appearance together in 1917 in the comedy short "Lucky Dog", but it was another ten years before they truly become a team as "Laurel and Hardy". After that they worked with each other until 1950 making over one hundred films and hundreds of thousands of people laugh.

But Stan Laurel had been entertaining people for many years before he first worked with Oliver Hardy - and got his first big-break (and public recognition) playing a golliwogg!

Stan Laurel: originally billed as "Stan Jefferson - He of The Funny Ways "

Having originally worked with his father and the family act, at the age of 16 Stan Laurel appeared in his first outside show in 1907 - for the grand salary of one pound a week! It was a production of the pantomime "Sleeping beauty" by the "Levy and Cardwell Juvenile Pantomime Company".

The production opened with a scene in a nursery. Comedian Wee Georgie Wood, a twelve year old, took the part of a small boy who was sitting up in bed, surrounded by several mechanical toys. He was being read the story "Sleeping Beauty" by his nurse. As the small boy fell asleep he dreams that the toys come to life.

Stan Laurel, under his real name of (Arthur) Stanley Jefferson, played a golliwog - or more precisely, "Golliwog Number Two"!

As the show progressed round the theatres Stan slowly progressed up the pantomime ladder rivalling Wee Georgie Wood's comedy routines with his own little spots.

When the show appeared at His Majesty's theatre, Carlisle, "The Stage" newspaper wrote the following review of Stan Laurel's act:

"Jack Adamson and Stanley Jefferson caused considerable laughter as the two Golliwogs 'Julius Caesar' and Ebeneezer'."

Actress Trixie Wyatt, who was also in the cast, added "Stan was as daft off stage as on".

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