The Weak-End Party (1922)

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In the early '20s, when Gilbert M. Anderson produced and directed a series of two-reelers starring Stan Laurel, he asserted that the comic would become as popular as Charles Chaplin (who Anderson had worked with in the mid-1910s). Anderson was close -- while no one ever matched Chaplin's popularity at his height, Laurel's fame certainly endured once he teamed up with Oliver Hardy a few years later. This was the first of the series (Anderson had previously made Lucky Dog with Laurel), which served to fund the new group of pictures. An interesting note -- Lucky Dog featured Hardy as the "heavy," and it was the first time he and Laurel shared the screen. Smith (Harry Rattenburg) is throwing his daughter, Lily (Marion Aye), a weekend birthday party, and he hires a detective (Scott MacGregor) to protect his gift -- a valuable string of pearls. Lily is horrified to discover there are 13 guests, so Smith has the gardener (Laurel) round out the number. The necklace is stolen while the detective is sleeping, and the thief leaves it in a pair of pants. The gardener loses the buttons off his own pants during a game and changes into the pair containing the pearls. The necklace is found missing and the gardener realizes it's in the pants he's wearing, so he slips it to the next person before the detective can search him. Eventually, the necklace winds up in the pants of the real thief, who is carted away. The gardener goes back to work, and he winds up watering the partygoers instead of the lawn.