Tuesday, June 2, 2009
When I was growing up the 5.35-6pm timeslot on BBC2 was reserved for old black and white classic short films. While I continue to feel a great deal of affection towards Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin, my favourites then and now were Laurel and Hardy. Stan and Ollie worked together so long and hard that it did not look like work any more. I am sure that Zach and Will worked hard on this too but mainly it looks like they had a good time. (A lot of Will's work seems to have been to keep from laughing.) The video reminds me of the films that filled the time between the end of the school day and dinner - and not just because Zach Galifianakis = 2 x Will Oldham. Laurel and Hardy's comedy was a deliberate comment on and tonic for the depression: the heroes were often down on their luck and faced hard times. The rural setting of this video, and much else besides, makes for a pointed commentary on the song. And it is very funny.