Think you lack a sense of humor? Or maybe you are good at not laughing? If so, you can put your skills to the test this Sunday as the Hollywood Theater in Dormont presents a special challenge; watch a series of Laurel and Hardy silent films without laughing and win a ticket refund and large popcorn.
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were a comedy duo from the “Golden Age” of cinema. The two made hundreds of films together and were talented enough to make the transition from silent to sound films where other comedians had failed.
Comedy expert Dan Kamin, who put the event together and selected the films, says the idea of not laughing at one of the duo’s films impossible “unless you’re dead.” Kamin will be presenting the movies and leading a post-show discussion along with actor David Newell, best known for portraying Mr. McFeely on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
“[Laurel and Hardy] made everybody laugh,” Newell said on the pair’s popularity. “They came down to the common denominator, I think.”
Indeed, the pair’s films were not often popular with critics, according to Kamin. However, audiences kept coming back, enough for the two to make over 400 films. While Laurel and Hardy had already become stars before being paired together, their chemistry launched them into new heights of popularity, Newell said.
“They immediately clicked. Everyone realized, especially Stan and Ollie, that they were onto something,” he said.
The event will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont. Tickets are $8 for adults and fully refundable if anyone manages to not laugh. Although, Kamin says anyone claiming such is “going to have to lie through their teeth.”
More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.