When author Craig Calman was a mere teenager, he drew a pencil sketch of Laurel and Hardy. Little could he have imagined that a few years later he would actually meet Hal Roach, their boss, that genial purveyor of joy and laughter. Even less could he have imagined all the adventures and brodies that were yet to unspool.
Calman, a former fifteen-year-old comedy-crazed kid from San Diego, made a Laurel and Hardy-style comedy on 8mm film. In 1973, when he was twenty and an undergraduate of the UCLA Motion Picture/Television Department, he first met Hal and interviewed him extensively for his term paper on American Film Comedy. Years later, ninety-six-year-old Hal invited Calman to stay in his home and help prepare the script for his “comeback comedy.”
This book contains personal anecdotes of Calman’s friendship with this pioneer producer Hal Roach, and presents a complete and detailed overview of his career, from the adventurous youth’s arrival in Hollywood in 1912 during the earliest days of moviemaking to the creation of a studio dedicated to the production of worldwide popular film comedies.