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HARDY'S LAW | 2002-01-26

We all still know about the great 1920s comedy team Laurel and Hardy. Oliver Hardy was the fat one, the boss of the moronic duo.

The real Oliver Hardy was born and raised in Augusta, Georgia. He got his background on how people act while being reared in his mother's boarding house with all the guests and characters there. Hardy was a wise old Southerner at an early age.

It took real art to make the Oliver Hardy character one you could laugh at and actually like. After all, it would have been very easy to play him as just a big, mindless bully pushing little Stan Laurel around.

But Hardy made his character funny instead of boorish. He told a reporter the big secret of why Oliver Hardy was so laughable. You see, Laurel always freely admitted he was dumb and always asked Hardy to be his leader. Hardy actually thought he was smart enough to know what they should do.

So the real Oliver Hardy stated the wisdom that made his character so hilarious. He said,

"NOBODY IS AS FUNNY AS A DUMB MAN WHO THINKS HE'S SMART."

And that is exactly what I mean when I capitalize the word "Shrewd."