Abbott & Costello or Laurel & Hardy

Which one do you think was the funniest?

Physical versus verbal comedy is an apples to oranges question. Which I prefer depends on my mood at the time.

I can’t pick between the two. L&H was usually unsatisfying due to their slooooooow pacing, while A&C could be plain dumb. A&C have the one really good movie to their name – The Time of Their Lives (which probably worked because A&C hated each other at the time). L&H features are just plain tedious.

If forced to choose, I suppose I’d pick L&H, who never were as bad as A&C were at their worst. But I’d group them both as second tier comedians of the era.

One really good movie? How about Hold that Ghost? Or Naughty Nineties, with the almost-complete “Who’s on First?” routine. Or A and C meet Frankenstein (less impressive now that I’m an adult, but I loved it as a kid).

I love Time of their Lives, but it’s a very atypical A and C film.Abbott loved it because he got to do more physical comedy. (If you liked movies they made while fighting, have you seen Little Giant? Worth a look)

I agree with the above posts:

  • the two duos had different styles of comedy. It’s a bit like comparing the Marx Brothers with the Three Stooges.

  • A&C were uneven. Some of their stuff is brilliant, some has not aged well, and some was stupid at the time. I’m less familiar with L&H’s overall body of work to make the same judgment though.

  • I voted A&C because they are a sentimental favorite of mine. The local UHF station when I was a kid would show A&C movies quite often, and for a while also showed their half-hour TV show (in reruns - I’m not *that *old!). So I have fond memories of sitting on my couch watching with my dad or my kid brother.

I went with about the same. They are different, but equally enjoyable to me.

Which we’ve actually done, at least a couple of times.

I voted A&C, based on a very limited exposure to both of them. The last time I saw anything by Laurel & Hardy, I, like RealityChuck, was frustrated by the slow pacing. I haven’t seen any Abbott & Costello in a long time, but every once in awhile I’ll listen to one of their old radio shows and find it at least mildly funny.

I prefer A & C because of the Tweety Bird cartoon “A Tale of Two Kitties”. Babbitt says “Give me the bird!!” and Catstello mutters “If the Hays office would only let me, I’d give him the bird alright”.

Yeah, I voted A&C out of nostalgia, not out of any in depth analysis. For some reason, L&H didn’t get as much air time on the local TV channels when I was growing up.

Really a toss-up but I sided with A&C mostly because I saw their things at the movies, while L&H came later on TV. Without that to sway me, I would rank them almost the same. Both were funnier than Martin & Lewis, if that matters.

Narrow vote for L&H, though neither team’s work has aged particularly well. Give me W.C. Fields over them any day.

Abbott and Costello have the immortal Who’s on First? routine, so that makes them winners in my book.

Abbott and Costello never won an Oscar. Case closed.

Also, although this is no reflection on the quality of their work, Costello was by all accounts a very unpleasant man, and he and Abbott were not friends offstage. A stark contrast to Stan and Ollie, who were gentlemen in their private lives and unfailingly pleasant to their fans, and remained great friends till Ollie’s death.

Also, I think there can be no dispute that Laurel and Hardy, whose active career spanned three decades and scores of shorts (although only about half as many features as A&C), were vastly more popular worldwide than Abbott and Costello. This could in part be because A&C’s verbal humor, typified by Who’s on First (which I grant is one of the classic comedy routines), didn’t translate as well overseas as L&H’s more physical comedy.

But that doesn’t explain all of the difference. Stan and Ollie’s characters had greater depth and humanity, IMHO, and therefore more universal appeal. Although I’m more familiar with L&H’s work than A&C’s, I also believe the former were far more innovative and creative in their comedy than the latter.

I agreee with some here who say that Laurel and Hardy’s features drag a little for today’s viewers. The shorts are definitely their best work. Watch The Music Box, Big Business, or Brats (where they play themselves and their own kids in oversized sets).

There’s nothing wrong with Laurel and Hardy’s pacing. I’d much rather watch their shorts, where the jokes were allowed to build slowly, than any of the piss-poor sitcoms nowadays that try to ram as many lame “jokes” down the viewers’ throats as their allotted 18 to 22 minutes permit.

IMHO, L&H were funnier than A&C.

Well, Abbot & Costello started making films together in 1940, by which time Laurel & Hardy had been making films (shorts & features) for over 13 years. According to their relative filmographies, A&C didn’t really make any shorts, only features, while Laurel & Hardy dozens of shorts (in late 1920s thru mid- 1930s Los Angeles, an era which LA looks really cool IMO), as well as features (of somewhat uneven quality).
Decades later, upon viewing the L&H shorts on YouTube etc, yes L&H were often funnier than A&C in comparable scenarios.

A&C were on in the NY Tri-state area on (I believe) WPIX, Sunday morning, and as a little kid in the 1970s I watched them somewhat religiously (they were on after that drab stop-motion David & Goliath show, which I did NOT watch religiously, on the last few minutes waiting for the song “Hot Butter” to come on, signaling the start of the A&C feature). Their TV show reruns, eh, I didn’t watch too much as lots of the show was clips from the movies I already knew by heart. Laurel & Hardy were much harder to find on NY television in the 1970s (as stated above).

In the obligatory World War II “raw recruits” in boot-camp/win-the-military-wargame-exercise movie, A&C’s “Buck Privates” definitely outshines L&H’s “Great Guns” IMO.

The stairs where they filmed The Music Box is just up the street from me! I walk by it almost every day. And, when so motivated, up it.

When I was much younger, I enjoyed Abbott & Costello more, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found I like the comedy and pacing of Laurel & Hardy more. That’s not a comment on the maturity level of the comedy or anything; just a change of taste. I do still like Abbott & Costello as well.

I never could get into Laurel & Hardy as a team, though I did like some of Stan Laurel’s solo work from the silent era. This one goes to Abbot and Costello, even though I was never more than middling fond of their work, either.

Depends on my mood so I went with about the same.

Their comedy styles are so very different from each other that I wouldn’t normally compare them. A&C were very loud and brash. L&H tended to be a bit more gentle and sublte, up to the point where everything falls apart and then, yeah they could be pretty loud and destructive too. But A&C were pretty much going to town and tearing the place up from the start.

No question for me. Abbot and that other guy are simply annoying.