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
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".