In lieu of back wages, the defunct circus that Stanley and Oliver have been working for pay them off with a flea circus and a trained chimpanzee named "Ethel." Unfortunately, that's also the name of their landlord's wife, and after the boys sneak the ape into their room, the jealous man draws some unfortunate conclusions when he overhears Oliver ordering Ethel to "come to bed." Written by
Paul Penna <email@example.com>
Sub-standard circus short from Hal Roach and Laurel and Hardy...
Only true Laurel and Hardy addicts will appreciate this sub-standard short that has the boys doing their best to demolish a circus tent with explosive gun powder, after which STAN LAUREL is given a flea circus for a parting gift, and OLIVER HARDY, a chimp called Ethyl.
Naturally, when they decide to look for lodgings they get a hard time from landlord BILLY GILBERT who refuses to have them under his roof when he spies the chimp. Gilbert is already in a dither because his wife hasn't come home yet--his dear Ethyl.
The rest of the short has the boys getting into one sticky situation after another, but the laughs are meager and the obvious use of a man inside an ape costume takes a lot away from the gags. Funniest line has Stan sighting a loose lion on the prowl and Oliver asking him what's the matter. "I've seen MGM," is his straight answer.
But the slapstick happenings are not on par with the duo's best comedy shorts. This is strictly an early Laurel and Hardy featurette from Hal Roach that needed a much better script. At least BILLY GILBERT gets to do his customary energetic job as the irate husband who overhears Hardy telling the chimp, "Come to bed, Ethyl."
Good potential material, but it should have been a lot funnier.
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