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Joining us on this special bonus edition of The Laurel & Hardy Blogcast is a man who has had a number of guises in his life, including as an actor, singer, and playwright, and to that list, he can now add the title author. In 2021, he published an extensive biography of music hall impresario, Fred Karno, entitled Fred Karno: The Legend Behind the Laughter.
No discussion of Stan Laurel, Laurel and Hardy – or comedy in its wider sense can be complete without recognising the impact of Fred Karno, and so it is with great pleasure that we welcome on to Episode 23, author, David Crump.
On the show, Patrick chats to David about his own background before discussing the life and career of Fred Karno, with a specific focus on Karno’s involvement with Stan Laurel and later, about his brief spell working at the Hal Roach Studios.
As part of the show, we also hear a couple of extracts from two interviews with Stan Laurel, held in the late 1950s, in which Stan talks about joining the Karno troupe and his tour of the vaudeville circuits of the USA.
Episode 23 also sees the welcome return of the infamous ‘Atoll Question – but which items will David choose to take with him onto his desert island?
The interviews sampled in this episode are:
1) Stan Laurel interviewed by Arthur B. Freidman in 1957
2) Stan Laurel interviewed by Tony Thomas in 1959
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