Laurel and Hardy

Laurel and Hardy flicks put laughs back on track

San Francisco’s Laurel & Hardy fan club is showing several vintage films tomorrow evening featuring the sultans of slapstick.

“We need humor now more than ever,” spokeswoman Rebecca Gray said. “Laurel and Hardy helped people cope with the Great Depression and the World War, and their films still have us laughing.”

Gray works for Imaginon, an Internet firm in San Carlos, but she’s also the grand sheik — no joke — of the Call of the Cuckoos, the San Francisco “tent” or branch of the Sons of the Desert, an international appreciation society.

Stan Laurel, a befuddled Englishman, and the portly, prissy Oliver Hardy, an American born in Georgia, made 105 movies together, beginning in 1925 in the silent-film era and winding up in 1951 with their last feature, “Utopia.”

In a 1992 interview with former Chronicle columnist John Stanley, Lois Laurel said her father, a Lancashire man brought up in the music-hall world of British vaudeville, “was always the writer and creator behind the team. He oversaw the editing and took care of their business affairs.

“While Dad would be writing or planning, Oliver would be off playing golf. But when they came together in front of the camera, something magical happened.”

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