It's Great to be Crazy (1918)

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It's probably no loss that this early Stan Laurel two-reeler no longer exists. Reviews of the day indicate it was average at best, and Laurel himself neglected to mention it when he put together a filmography. There are reports that this was one of a series of comedies featuring Laurel as a character named Hickory Hiram, but this is not true. Here, he is known as Sam Squirrel, a man who goes to an employment firm in search of work. It turns out that the director of an insane asylum is in desperate need of a supervisor when the last one let all the inmates escape. Sam accepts the position and proceeds to trick each and every last inmate back into his cell. He hopes this will win him favor with the director's daughter, but she wants to be as far away from the asylum as possible. A broken-hearted Sam locks himself up in one of the cells and tosses away the key. Although Universal films featuring Stan Laurel appeared all throughout 1918, in actuality, he only worked for the studio for a couple of months in the fall of 1917. He was laid off in November and returned to vaudeville for the next six months, until he received an offer from Hal Roach.