April 17: Party Over, Whoops — Select a movie from 1999.
Larry Harmon, one of the writers of this movie, is better known as Bozo the Clown. He was also smart, buying the rights to Bozo from Capitol Records and franchising local Bozo shows in nearly every major U.S. market and in other countries. In 1961, he went even bigger and bought the merchandising rights to the likenesses of Laurel and Hardy, making a cartoon with Hanna -Barbera and performing Stan’s voice (Jim MacGeorge, who played Stan on Get Smart, ended up being Hardy. Yes, that’s kind of weird). He held the rights so long that he was able to make this movie 38 years later.
The co-director and co-writer with Harmon was John R. Cherry III, the former advertising man who created Ernest P. Worrell and directed all of his films. When Jim Varney got too sick to make movies, he decided to make this, a film with the aim of reintroducing Laurel and Hardy to the new millennium.
To play Oliver Hardt, Gailard Sartain (who was in the Cherry-discovered comedy team of Chuck and Bobby with Bill Byrge; they’re also in the Ernest movies). And for Stan Laurel, why not Bronson Pinchot, who was a long way from Beverly Hills Cop by 1999. To be fair — I’m a big fan of Pinchot and see him as someone who never got the opportunity to how what he could do. Just watch True Romance to see him in action.
Somehow, the comedy team is in modern day Florida where they protect Leslie Covington (Susan Danford) from a mummy who wants to destroy her father, archeologist Henry Covington (F. Murray Abraham, who in 1999 was a long way from Amadeus).
Harmon also appears as the owner of Bozoworld, getting all his media into the movie.
Supposedly, the answer to why they are in 1999 is that the characters are the great-nephews of the legendary comedians. Yet why do they sound and act exactly like them? Why do they dress as if they came from a hundred years ago? Do people know who Laurel and Hardy are in this universe? Are they not mindblown that two non-brain addled — well, maybe — adults are dressing and acting like their uncles? Do they have too explain all the time that they are the great-nephews of Laurel and Hardy? Did Laurel and Hardy make love to their mothers in some act of family shame to ensure that the genes would keep passing through the holy bloodline? Are they legacy characters like The Phantom and Starman?
Who is this movie for? Anyone still alive that cared about the characters would be upset that someone else is doing a deep fake of them in real life. And anyone else would have no idea who they are. Does anyone else know that in a short called “Sons of the Desert” Laurel and Hardy were in a fraternity called the Brotherhood of the Nile and that totally means they should encounter a mummy at some point?
This was made in Cape Town, South Africa. This seems like the right place, I guess.
You can watch this on YouTube.