Isn't Life Terrible (1925)

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One of Charley Chase's co-stars in this comic short is Oliver Hardy. The two comedians knew each other from other studios, and Chase brought him to Hal Roach. He also is responsible for Stan Laurel coming to Roach, too. While it is likely that Laurel and Hardy would have wound up at the studio anyhow -- it was the best comedy studio at the time -- it is interesting to note that Chase had a hand in their fate. Chase plays a beleaguered husband who is in desperate need of a vacation. He wants to go camping, but his wife (Katherine Grant) wants to go on a cruise -- so does her lazy mooch of a brother, Remington (Hardy). It turns out that there is a contest, in which whoever sells the most fountain pens wins a cruise, so Charley decides to give it a try. At first he fails miserably; he climbs a huge flight of stairs (the same used in the Laurel and Hardy 1932 short The Music Box), only to be turned away by a housewife (Fay Wray) and attacked by an extremely small dog. But, somehow, Charley manages to win the cruise and he and his family are off -- except they accidentally leave their little girl behind. More disasters and mishaps happen on board the dilapidated ship (Charley mistakes a dinner bell for an alarm and thinks the boat is sinking, for example). Remington's presence also threatens to ruin the trip. But all ends well -- the ship makes it to port, and the couple's daughter has beaten them there. Best of all, the ship's steward (Lon Poff) informs Charley that Remington broke his leg and had to be shot.