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To Stanley, On Your Birthday…


I wrote this today (and am also posting it here) because it’s Stan Laurel’s birthday and he legitimately did his best to answer every single fan letter he got. I had to put it in the form of a letter because of that.

Dearest Stanley,

So today’s your 123rd birthday. I really wish that I could wish you a happy birthday in person, but we’re on different planes of existence right now so this is the best I can do.

I was sitting in my room this morning getting ready to run out to work and it hit me just how much I miss you even though we’ve never met. I suppose it’s easy to miss someone who you look up to, of course. You’re an awfully inventive writer and I wish I had even just an ounce of that creativity you do. I often read the advice you gave to other comedians like Dick Van Dyke and Jerry Lewis and try my absolute best to take it to heart. It really does ring true even in 2013 and I’m so utterly disappointed that so many of today’s comedians miss the mark because they don’t take hints from their forefathers in the field.

I’m just completely touched by your humanity, too. I love how you do your very best to answer every fan who writes to you and how each letter you send back is so personal. I imagine that if I ever do succeed as a writer I’m going to make an effort to do the same – you’ve shown me that it’s a wonderful thing to do and I’d love to emulate you at least in this way. It just makes me a very happy person to know that were you still alive you’d have gotten back to me on this (and maybe even given me writing advice, because there’s no one I’d rather get it from than you).

Thank you, too, for reminding me to always try my level best to keep my head up during the rough times. It’s been a pretty stressful year for me, but watching you and Babe just keep plugging along no matter what disasters befall you two reminds me that I need to keep going, too, because I’ll eventually get to where I want to be. After all, you two did – we just didn’t see it on screen.

Basically, thank you for helping me to be a better person – you’ve taught me so much about that. Thank you for bringing double acts into the spotlight – it’s given me something to devote my scholarly efforts towards. And thank you for being you. You just make so many people happy even now and I figured you’d like a reminder.

With love,



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