Laurel & Hardy
Back in 1962, producer Leonard Stern created one of the few true witty, physical situation comedies in I'm Dickens He's Fenster. Like its comic antecedents, the show followed classic comedy principals such as situational escalation, where a small item, situation, or incident expands exponentially to the point of mass chaos.
This fact caught the attention of one particular classic comedy legend: Stan Laurel of Laurel & Hardy fame. Gratified that I'm Dickens He's Fenster was one of the few TV comedies following in the tradition of Laurel & Hardy, Stan became a loyal fan of the show and started writing letters of appreciation to Leonard Stern.
However, Stern couldn't believe the comedy icon Stan Laurel was actually a fan of his show and thought the letters were fakes, most likely perpetrated by his good friend Steve Allen. Finally, one day while Leonard and Steve were having lunch, Steve Allen asked Leonard, 'have you received any letters from Stan Laurel?' Leonard was now convinced it was Steve behind this practical joke and said to him, 'how would YOU know I was receiving letters from Stan Laurel, unless YOU were writing them?' Steve answered simply, 'Well, Stan contacted me and was wondering why you haven't answered any of his letters!'
Ultimately, Leonard Stern and Stan Laurel began a friendship. Stan would call Leonard every week to critique the latest episode; give him tips, and suggest new gags.
After that, Leonard Stern was just a little more careful when it came to reading his fan mail-especially when it was signed, "Stan."
As any fan of Laurel and Hardy or silent comedies can tell you, a picture is worth a thousand words. In the following video montage, we present examples of some of the funniest physical gags featured on I'm Dickens He's Fenster-soon to be released on DVD-following in the best tradition of classic slapstick comedy.