Step by Step with Stan and Ollie

Stan and Laurel at the bottom of the stepsThe comedy shorts of the 1920s and ’30s were a key part of our youth. You didn’t have to turn to TCM to watch movies of that era in those days (good thing, too—since cable TV wasn’t yet in existence). We spent hours viewing Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang comedies, simply because they were often just about the only things on a kid would care to watch.

So when Ms. Cladrite and I paid a visit to Los Angle-eez some years ago, a visit to the concrete steps featured in Stan and Ollie’s The Music Box was high on our list of things to do.

You remember The Music Box—it’s the classic short that finds our boys hired to deliver a piano, and when they arrive at the address, they are faced with an endless cement staircase standing between them and the Silverlake-area house that is the piano’s destination. (If you’ve never seen this short, you can rectify that here.)

Back in the day, the area around those steps was wide open, but it’s quite developed now—you could never achieve the camera angles necessary to shoot a remake of The Music Box. But the steps themselves are still there, and one enterprising soul has undertaken the task of creating a video comprising then-and-now photographs of this memorable location. We enjoyed the video (though it is, perhaps, thorough to a fault), and we think you will, tool