Laurel & Hardy in GOING BYE-BYE! (1934) – Killer comedy


Going Bye-Bye! starts off well for Stan and Ollie, as their evidence has helped to put a vicious criminal behind bars. However, as the killer is Walter Long (here known as “Butch”), this auspicious beginning can’t possibly last.

When Ollie decides he wants to go very far east to avoid Butch’s vengeance, he has Stan advertise in the paper for a traveling companion to share expenses. A comely woman (Mae Busch) answers the ad and asks The Boys if her “friend” can accompany them on the trip. No points for guessing who the friend is.

Rare is the Laurel & Hardy short whose dialogue is as good as the sight gags, but next to Helpmates, this is the one that L&H buffs are always quoting. I hate to spoil the fun for first-timers, so I’ll just give the set-ups: Stan egging Butch on in court (and Ollie doing a cynical re-play of Stan’s remark later); Ollie’s priceless first comment to Butch’s girlfriend on the telephone; Ollie’s incredulous reading-aloud of the ad Stan puts in the newspaper; and best of all, “It could happen.”

Marred only by one of Laurel’s strangely-beloved freak endings, Going Bye-Bye! ranks among L&H’s best short subjects. View it if you ever get the chance. P.S.: Those not interested, do not watch.

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