As a child, holidays meant my whole class trooping down to the lunchroom to watch ancient black-and-white comedy reels, a treat that also meant that our teachers got some downtime without screeching goobers in their faces.  My favorites were Laurel and Hardy, who reminded me of my favorite TV show, ‘Gilligan’s Island’, a reference that makes sense given Alan Hale’s Skipper intentionally echoing Oliver Hardy’s exasperated sidelong look to the camera.  Many of the other films of the 30s and 40s have no fascination for me, but Stan and Ollie (and Groucho and his brothers) are still hilarious to my 70s viewpoint, leading to today’s laugh-track query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) grew up with The Three Stooges as well, and finds even the least of their works pretty hilarious (even the Fake Shemps). asking: What funny stuff from before your time is still hilarious to you?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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13 Comments

  1. November 29, 2017 at 2:03 pm — Reply

    Charlie Chaplin. Genius and some of the funniest films I’ve ever seen.

  2. November 29, 2017 at 2:37 pm — Reply

    The bulk of my favorite comedy is from before my time, ranging from Charlie Chaplin, Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy to more relatively recent things like “Get Smart”, the original film version of “The Producers” and early Monty Python stuff (as I wasn’t born until 1979). And I can’t finish this very, very incomplete list without mentioning The Munsters and The Addams Family, two of my all-time favorites.

  3. Neal
    November 29, 2017 at 2:38 pm — Reply

    Don’t forget radio. I love (and still listen to) The Goons, Hancock, Round the Horn, et al.

  4. November 29, 2017 at 7:36 pm — Reply

    Well, since I saw Victor Borge once at a school assembly as a kid, I guess that puts him still in my time. So I would then pick Spike Jones and His City Slickers.

    And Myrna Loy!!

  5. Dan
    November 30, 2017 at 8:38 am — Reply

    i recently delved deep into Buster Keaton’s silent movies and shorts after watching a documentary on him a few months ago. amazing how vital and fresh the gags and especially the stunts were, and how they did most everything in-camera with a few splicing tricks here and there. fantastic stuff.

    also, the three stooges still has a special place in my heart, from all those sunday mornings up as a kid.

  6. Frank
    November 30, 2017 at 9:25 am — Reply

    They used to show the old B&W movies and serials where I grew up. On Saturdays, they showed the old serials back to back. A lot of them I have never seen since. Commando Cody.. The Cisco Kid.
    Good memories.

  7. November 30, 2017 at 9:43 am — Reply

    I’ve always found the Dick Van Dyke show downright hilarious.

    • November 30, 2017 at 11:02 am — Reply

      My favorite is either the one where Rob accuses Laura of snooping into his mail (with the inflatable boat) or the one where Laura and Millie spend the night alone in the house.

      What’s yours?

      Damn. Forgot about Alan’s toupee episode.

      • November 30, 2017 at 11:38 am — Reply

        I’m not sure if I have a favorite really, especially since it’s probably been 10-15 years since I last saw an episode. Maybe the one where Rob gets hypnotized to act drunk everytime a phone rings. Or the one where his brother sleepwalks and plays the banjo.

        I really need to watch the show again, tbh. I’ve probably forgotten about one of my favorites.

  8. ClubberLang6
    November 30, 2017 at 3:52 pm — Reply

    I like the Three Stooges

  9. December 1, 2017 at 8:45 am — Reply

    Abbott & Costello – specifically the Who’s on First? routine. I have sat watching it at the baseball hall of fame (it is on a continuous loop) for 30-40 minutes straight multiple times.

    • December 1, 2017 at 4:02 pm — Reply

      That bit never gets old.

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