Watch LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING in the link above
Don't know how many of you guys are fans of the show FRIENDS. I can tolerate it, but my brother is a huge fan. Anyway, the Laurel and Hardy poster on that show, pictured above, is from this short. Considering the popularity of FRIENDS, I think it's safe to say that poster is most seen image of Laurel and Hardy over the past twenty years.
My overall opinion of LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING is pretty simple. It's an overall good short, but every idea in it was done better in later Laurel and Hardy films. The idea of Ollie taking care of an ailing Stan overnight and getting a lack of sleep? Developed much better in THEY GO BOOM. The idea of extended laughter between Stan and Ollie? Works better with sound in BLOTTO. A crazy multi car traffic stopping slapstick incident? Done better in TWO TARS. The reciprocal slapstick done with Charlie Hall? Too many better examples to mention. It's not that anything is done badly here, it's just a feeling this a warm up for better things to come.
From a Stooge perspective, some interesting similarities with I CAN HARDLY WAIT. Before we get to those, let it be known, surprise, surprise, that Clyde Bruckman was involved in both shorts! We do get some tooth pulling gags similar between both films, and once they're in the dentist's office, the first dentist struggles with Stan, the actual patient. When the exhausted dentist leaves to get another dentist to handle this case, Oliver sits in the chair and shows Stan how easy it is to relax. The new dentist comes in, sees Oliver in the chair and thinking he is the patient, pulls Oliver's tooth out. Sound familiar? Replace Stan as Curly and Oliver as Moe.
One thing that strikes me is how wonderful the close-ups of Stan and Ollie are here. Those comically pained expressions on Stan's face whenever his cheek gets touched with the aching tooth are priceless as are the close-ups of Oliver as he is lying in bed thinking Stan is wetting the bed like a child on him. Those faces and their expressiveness are one of the several things that make Stan and Ollie stand out from average comedians.
I also want to mention once Stan and Ollie are reduced to nothing but laughter, it is Edgar Kennedy and his angry reactions that stand out. Stan and Ollie are playing one note of laughter at this point, it is Edgar who slowly burns up into anger, getting his pants down in the middle of the street while directing traffic. Oh, and those classic Hal Roach mud puddles I mentioned in PUTTING PANTS ON PHILIP? Another great one ends this short.