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Offline metaldams

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Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
« Reply #100 on: November 08, 2011, 09:05:07 AM »
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  • The whole point of Laurel and Hardy is not how many gags one can cram into a film, it is about milking a single gag for a while and their character reactions.  I think even Moe Howard admitted in an interview later in life the main difference between The Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy is the rhythm, The Stooges are obviously much quicker paced.

    To me, "Towed In a Hole" is one of the great Laurel and Hardy films while "Booby Dupes" is a very average Three Stooges short, there's almost no comparison.  But if you're going to appreciate Laurel and Hardy, you definitely have to go in with a different mind set than The Three Stooges.  It's not about gags per minute.

    Yikes, i didn't even see false's post until AFTER I responded to you, X.  Looks like there's footage of Moe talking about the difference after all.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #101 on: November 08, 2011, 09:10:26 AM »
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  • As someone who likes L&H, my only real gripe with them is that (at times) they can be TOO slow for me. L&H sometimes waste too much time mugging for the camera and what not - maybe that was done for audience reaction back in the day, but it just isn't effective for people today. The Stooges shorts are paced much more modernly than many of the L&H shorts and that's one reason why the Stooges have had a more enduring legacy. I think it'd be a lot easier to sell a kid today on the Stooges than Laurel and Hardy. The language in some of the L&Hs also has a more dated tone to it.

    Some food for thought.  Some people, I being one of them, like the slow pace of Laurel and Hardy as well as the fast pace of The Three Stooges, there's room for both in today's world as back then.  Reaction shots are not a waste of time at all.  I like Stan and Ollie, therefore I like seeing their reactions, I'm invested in their characters.

    About The Stooges playing more modernly, consider this, on these boards, 99.9% of posters are American.  In Europe, Laurel and Hardy are way more popular and The Three Stooges may as well be Clark and McCullough.  Perhaps the teams translate differently in different cultures.

    xraffle

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #102 on: November 08, 2011, 09:38:10 AM »
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  • The whole point of Laurel and Hardy is not how many gags one can cram into a film, it is about milking a single gag for a while and their character reactions.  I think even Moe Howard admitted in an interview later in life the main difference between The Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy is the rhythm, The Stooges are obviously much quicker paced.

    To me, "Towed In a Hole" is one of the great Laurel and Hardy films while "Booby Dupes" is a very average Three Stooges short, there's almost no comparison.  But if you're going to appreciate Laurel and Hardy, you definitely have to go in with a different mind set than The Three Stooges.  It's not about gags per minute.

    Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed watching "Towed In A Hole" and "The Music Box." I enjoyed "The Music Box" a lot more, I admit and I even found myself laughing during a few parts. But like I said, their style is very different. The pacing is a lot slower and therefore, it lacks the same energy that the stooges had. This is something I need to get used to. They have a unique style that I've never seen before and because of that, I can't instantly become a fan like I did with the stooges, A&C and The Marx Bros. Like I said, I will keep watching more films. I'm sure they will grow on me at some point. Some of my favorite movies and TV shows took some time before I became hooked. So, there's a good chance I'll become a big fan after watching more films.

    I promise, I'll give them a chance. Overall, they're very funny. It was mainly the slow pacing that disappointed me.

    And actually, "Booby Dupes" is one of my favorites. It's considered by many to be their weaker short, but I liked it.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #103 on: November 08, 2011, 12:50:14 PM »
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  • The first L&H book I bought was the Louvish book, and I don't really like it that much.

    I took the Louvish book out of the library recently and had a very difficult time getting through it.  I guess I'm old school, as I remember liking the John McCabe book the best. though it's been years!

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #104 on: November 08, 2011, 12:52:52 PM »
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  • I promise, I'll give them a chance. Overall, they're very funny. It was mainly the slow pacing that disappointed me.

    If you like fast pacing, I wonder what you'd think of some of the old Mack Sennett silent comedies.  Sometimes the pacing of those are so fast they almost seem like a blur, at least with the older ones.

    Offline falsealarms

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #105 on: November 08, 2011, 05:08:34 PM »
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  • Any chance of a Metaldams L&H talkie shorts tournament?

    Offline ThumpTheShoes

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #106 on: November 08, 2011, 06:00:56 PM »
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  • Any chance of a Metaldams L&H talkie shorts tournament?

    Oh, now that would be fun, wouldn't it?!
    A jerk with a quirk may do the work. Or, a turk with a dirk may stick a clerk! Gut gesagt?

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #107 on: November 08, 2011, 06:29:47 PM »
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  • Hmmmmm, may just have to consider it if enough people want to participate.  There are still two shorts I have yet to see, but that will be remedied soon.  Maybe we'll kick off 2012 with a L & H tourney if there's enough interest.  I guess we'll just do 40 talkies, or should we throw in the silents as well?  I guess there's time to think about it.

    Offline falsealarms

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #108 on: November 08, 2011, 07:16:34 PM »
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  • I don't know about anyone else, but I've only seen two silents. My vote would be the talkies.

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #109 on: November 10, 2011, 06:53:33 AM »
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  • Watched the first three shorts last night, and I can tell it's gonna be fun ride.  Based on its reputation, I was prepared to enjoy Unaccustomed As We Are as more of a historical curio than for its qualities as a comedy short, but I enjoyed the boys' performances so much that I didn't mind the technical limitations and rigid staging.  It was fun seeing Thelma Todd and Edgar Kennedy in something other than a Marx Brother's movie.  And I have to admit the scene where Kennedy is calling Stan out to the hall to receive his ass-whipping evoked long-forgotten terrors involving me, my brothers, our Dad, and a paddle.

    The titular berth scene in Berth Marks pretty much stopped that short dead, but the final scene when they realize they left their instrument on the train was a delight.

    Men 'o War was easily the best of the three.  The climactic boat scene threatened to be this short's "berth" scene, but everything up to that point was fantastic - the boys' coy flirtations, the undies-gloves confusion, the soda shop scene.  What really makes these shorts isn't so much the gags (some of which have been done to death since, so they've lost some impact), but the beautiful performances, especially by Hardy.  I can see Laurel's simpering starting to wear on me at some point, but Ollie is so much fun to watch.


    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #110 on: November 10, 2011, 10:36:55 AM »
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  • Watched the first three shorts last night, and I can tell it's gonna be fun ride.  Based on its reputation, I was prepared to enjoy Unaccustomed As We Are as more of a historical curio than for its qualities as a comedy short, but I enjoyed the boys' performances so much that I didn't mind the technical limitations and rigid staging.  It was fun seeing Thelma Todd and Edgar Kennedy in something other than a Marx Brother's movie.  And I have to admit the scene where Kennedy is calling Stan out to the hall to receive his ass-whipping evoked long-forgotten terrors involving me, my brothers, our Dad, and a paddle.

    The titular berth scene in Berth Marks pretty much stopped that short dead, but the final scene when they realize they left their instrument on the train was a delight.

    Men 'o War was easily the best of the three.  The climactic boat scene threatened to be this short's "berth" scene, but everything up to that point was fantastic - the boys' coy flirtations, the undies-gloves confusion, the soda shop scene.  What really makes these shorts isn't so much the gags (some of which have been done to death since, so they've lost some impact), but the beautiful performances, especially by Hardy.  I can see Laurel's simpering starting to wear on me at some point, but Ollie is so much fun to watch.

    You're going to be seeing a lot more Edgar Kennedy and Thelma Todd, I assure you.  Like The Three Stooges and Columbia, Laurel and Hardy and Hal Roach have their regulars as well, and Thelma Todd and Edgar Kennedy are amongst them.  One of the other regular supporting players, James Finlayson, actually was the inspiration to Homer Simpson's, "Doh!"  The creators of The Simpsons admitted as much.

    If you liked those three shorts, the series gets even better.

    Offline BeAStooge

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #111 on: November 10, 2011, 02:18:23 PM »
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  • You're going to be seeing a lot more Edgar Kennedy and Thelma Todd, I assure you.  Like The Three Stooges and Columbia, Laurel and Hardy and Hal Roach have their regulars as well, and Thelma Todd and Edgar Kennedy are amongst them.  One of the other regular supporting players, James Finlayson, actually was the inspiration to Homer Simpson's, "Doh!"  The creators of The Simpsons admitted as much.

    If you liked those three shorts, the series gets even better.

    Edgar disappears fairly soon, leaving Roach in 1931, while Thelma became busy starring in her own Roach shorts series with Zasu Pitts [and later, Patsy Kelly].

    Yes, Hal Roach Studios supplied L&H with some of the best comedy character actors in the business, and the quality of these comedies owes a great deal to them too.

    From 1932 to 1934 Charlie Hall and Mae Busch settle in, alongside Finlayson, as the boys' most frequent costars.  Plus, memorable supporting appearances by Billy Gilbert, Anita Garvin, James C. Morton, Walter Long, Daphne Pollard and others.  A tradition at Sons of the Desert meetings, is to open the events with toasts to Stan, Babe, and costars Finlayson, and Mae & Charlie (as well as SOD co-founder Al Kilgore, creator of the organization's escutcheon).

    It's also fun to see faces from the Stooges' Columbia shorts... the above-mentioned Gilbert, Morton and Long, plus Gladys Gale, Bobby Burns, Fred Kelsey, Stanley Blystone, Charles Dorety, Sam Lufkin, others.  Daphne Pollard is a very funny 'Mrs. Hardy' in THICKER THAN WATER (1935) and OUR RELATIONS (1936), with her Stooges connection having been Shemp's costar in several Vitaphone shorts, e.g., A PEACH OF A PAIR (1934), SMOKED HAMS (1934), etc..

    Offline falsealarms

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #112 on: November 10, 2011, 04:49:54 PM »
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  • Their first talkie short was a good one with a great cast. The script is way too talkie at the start (all those Mrs. Kennedy's, Mr. Hardy's) but the short turns out well. A highlight for me was the bit where the wife is complaining and music is drowning her out, making her look like a band leader.

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #113 on: November 10, 2011, 05:03:16 PM »
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  • For me the first two talkies ended on comedy high notes that surpassed the rest of the respective shorts.  Stan giving Ollie the impression that he clobbered Eddie Kennedy, then swaggering his way to a prat-fall down the stairs in Unaccustomed was a great climax.  Berth Marks didn't really have much going for it except the ending.  Loved the range of emotions that pass over Stan's face after Ollie asks sarcastically where their missing fiddle got to.  Processing...processing...confusion...dim recollection...then bursts into a smile when he finally gets the answer that it's still on the departing train...which promptly turns to a look of fear as Ollie starts rolling up his sleeves.

    Offline falsealarms

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #114 on: November 10, 2011, 05:45:45 PM »
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  • Ah, yeah, Stan was great at the end of UNACCUSTOMED. BERTH MARKS was better than I remembered it. But I'm a sucker for classic comedies set on trains. PERFECT DAY was better than I remembered it as well. NIGHT OWLS was worse than I remembered it... a little too slow and not much really goes on for me.

    I wouldn't go as far as annoying, but LH Central had it right on OWLS: "While the idea of Laurel and Hardy trying to break into a house sounds like it could be loaded with laughs, the execution of that idea is frustratingly slow to the point of being annoying."

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #115 on: November 10, 2011, 05:46:52 PM »
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  • For me the first two talkies ended on comedy high notes that surpassed the rest of the respective shorts.  Stan giving Ollie the impression that he clobbered Eddie Kennedy, then swaggering his way to a prat-fall down the stairs in Unaccustomed was a great climax.  Berth Marks didn't really have much going for it except the ending.  Loved the range of emotions that pass over Stan's face after Ollie asks sarcastically where their missing fiddle got to.  Processing...processing...confusion...dim recollection...then bursts into a smile when he finally gets the answer that it's still on the departing train...which promptly turns to a look of fear as Ollie starts rolling up his sleeves.

    You're definitely a Laurel and Hardy fan.  Just by reading your posts and descriptions, I can tell you get it.  The reactions are a huge part of the charm.

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #116 on: November 10, 2011, 06:42:52 PM »
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  • But I'm a sucker for classic comedies set on trains.

    Yeah, actually, while I was watching Berth Marks I was thinking how fascinating it is watching old films from the '20s and '30 set on trains.  Heightens the historical interest and the nostalgia factor, seeing modes of transportation and ways of life that used to be commonplace but aren't around anymore.  These films are like little living museums.

    Offline BeAStooge

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #117 on: November 10, 2011, 06:43:24 PM »
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  • The reactions are a huge part of the charm.

    Another charm is how the jokes are often layered, piece by piece, building to a payoff.  Not rushed, but calmly and surely.  Case in point, one of my favorites, TOWED IN A HOLE (1932)...

    [Warning --- spoiler alert!]
    Ollie on the ladder, painting the top of the mast.  We have a good idea how this will end, and there's humor in waiting for the method.  Now we see Stan, sentenced to the hold of the boat for past misdeeds; that itself is funny.  And, he's sitting next to the base of the mast.  OK, we're getting there.  What's this, a saw?  More answers, and the humor builds for the inevitible gag that tells us why Stan will saw the mast.  Back-and-forth cuts from Stan's actions, to Ollie's reactions, and then the payoff.  The whole gag takes a couple minutes, and is funny throughout.


    Going back to an earlier comment, a few years ago at The Three Stooges Fan Club Meeting, the Saturday night film program was "L&H and the Stooges, Original and Rework"... PARDON US (1932) and BEER BARREL POLECATS (1946), TOWED IN A HOLE (1932) and BOOBY DUPES (1945), HOG WILD (1931) and GOOF ON THE ROOF (1953).  Unfortunately due to a time restriction, more were not screened, i.e., THE LAUREL-HARDY MURDER CASE (1930) and IF A BODY MEETS A BODY (1945), OUR RELATIONS (1936) and A MERRY MIX-UP (1957).  The Laurel & Hardy films went over great!  Maybe it was because the Stooge-crowd was more familiar with the Stooges shorts, and the L&H material seemed fresher, so in my opinion, the L&H films went over better in the comparison.

    Offline falsealarms

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #118 on: November 10, 2011, 07:21:24 PM »
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  • Personally:

    I'd favor TOWED over DUPES. That's an easy one.

    I'd take IF A BODY over MURDER CASE. MURDER CASE might be the second weakest L&H talkie (behind TWICE TWO).

    I'd take OUR RELATIONS over MERRY MIX UP but enjoy both.

    HOG WILD vs GOOF ON A ROOF is very tough. One of my favorite L&Hs vs one of my favorite Stooge shorts - but I'd lean ever so slightly towards HOG WILD. I love those exterior shots.

    I haven't seen PARDON US yet, but it doesn't need to be that good to beat POLECATS, one of the weakest Curly's.

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #119 on: November 10, 2011, 09:56:10 PM »
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  • I loved Laurel and Hardy when I was a kid in the 60s and recall renting 8mm movies from the library as my Dad had a projector. I'd play them on my bedroom wall (no sound) and when I saw the films on TV, I thought that their voices fit them perfectly.

    In later years, I learned that Stan was the "brains" of the team behind the camera, but it was Oliver's reactions and breaking the fourth wall that made me really laugh. Stan's crying and  taking too long with his fidgeting would get annoying to me at times.

    The worst shorts for me are Twice Two, L&H Murder Case and The Chimp. The best are Busy Bodies, Dirty Work (the butler character had to have been a model for John Gielgud's in Arthur), Towed In A Hole and their last short Thicker Than Water. Many of the shorts are good (with a few scenes that go on too long and are hurt by slow pacing). The slower pacing versus the fast action of the Stooges never bothered me--I liked the contrast.

    As far as the features go, they were better in two reelers. Pardon Us is good, but it has several dragging parts and the continuity is spotty. I didn't like that they never showed them getting pinched for selling the beer but they spent so much time on all of the gospel singing scenes.

    I didn't like Swiss Miss or Bohemian Girl--boring and dull. Too much song and sugary romance and not enough of The Boys.

    James Finlayson and Mae Busch are my favorite character players. Mae was to L&H as Christine McIntyre was to the Stooges. Fin was L&H's Vernon Dent. I do like Charlie Hall when he's on the receiving end.

    Overall, I like the set and after reading how poorly the Roach library had been kept (or is that unkept), the prints look decent.

    xraffle

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #120 on: November 11, 2011, 12:17:34 AM »
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  • HOG WILD vs GOOF ON A ROOF is very tough. One of my favorite L&Hs vs one of my favorite Stooge shorts - but I'd lean ever so slightly towards HOG WILD. I love those exterior shots.

    I'm going to see if I can watch "Hog Wild" over the weekend if I have time. The fact that you're comparing it with "Goof On The Roof" makes me tempted to see it.

    xraffle

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #121 on: November 12, 2011, 11:12:37 PM »
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  • I just watched Hog Wild and I have to say, it was very good. I actually enjoyed it a lot more than Towed In A Hole and The Music Box. It's rather shocking to say this since Towed and Music Box are more popular. Either I'm starting to get used to their style of comedy or I just happen to find Hog Wild more enjoyable. It's hard to say, but something in that short just appealed to me more. I'm definitely going to have to give L&H a shot.

    Offline falsealarms

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #122 on: November 13, 2011, 02:41:11 AM »
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  • If you liked HOG WILD, check out BUSY BODIES, HELPMATES, and DIRTY WORK.

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #123 on: November 14, 2011, 01:45:21 PM »
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  • "You tell her!  Hahaha!"

    "Hahaha!  No, YOU tell her!  Hahahaha!!!!!"

    "Hahahaha!!!!  Show her the bottle!  HAHAHAHA!!!"

    "HAHAHAHAHA!!!!"
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    "WE DRANK YOUR LIQUOR!!!!!"

     :D

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection
    « Reply #124 on: November 14, 2011, 01:55:58 PM »
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  • "You tell her!  Hahaha!"

    "Hahaha!  No, YOU tell her!  Hahahaha!!!!!"

    "Hahahaha!!!!  Show her the bottle!  HAHAHAHA!!!"

    "HAHAHAHAHA!!!!"
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    "WE DRANK YOUR LIQUOR!!!!!"

     :D

    It's been awhile, but I wanna say BLOTTO?  I remember that being a great short, Anita Garvin was awesome in it in addition to the boys.  She gives Thelma Todd and Christine McIntyre a run for their money in the "hot and funny" female department.

     


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