Laughing Gravy - In the Cast

Charlie Hall is in the cast. Ubiquitous, diminutive, contrary, Charlie Hall was Stan Laurel's close friend and a fellow graduate of the Fred Karno troupe in England. His appearance was always a welcome addition to Hal Roach comedies.

There is a minor continuity gaffe concerning four flower pots on Charlie Hall's window sill in LAUGHING GRAVY. When Ollie takes cover behind a bush and pretends to yelp like a dog. Charlie throws one of these flower pots at him. Later the flower pot magically reappears at the window, then vanishes in another scene, only to materialize once more. This is quite curious and remains a subject of some interest among fans with too much time on their hands. Lois Laurel-Hawes called Charlie Hall "Uncle Charlie." Charley Chase called him "Little Charlie." Hal Roach called him "The Little Menace." although with great affection, characteristically well hidden. "The Little Menace" was the name that stuck to Charlie Hall throughout Hal Roach's "Lot of Fun."

As the loathesome landlord, 5'3" Charlie Hall made it clear in LAUGHING GRAVY that he hated dogs. As was the intention of his line, "Get away from here you little mutt!" He made us believe his seething contempt for little canines. Proving that Charlie Hall was not only a pretty good heavy and comedian, he was also a good actor.

The truth was, Charlie Hall loved dogs. Charlie and his wife, Wilda, never had any children together. In Ray Andrew's book, ON THE TRAIL OF CHARLIE HALL, we learn they did have a dog. They called him "River," because the dog "left streams everywhere!"

River's mother was LAUGHING GRAVY.

-- by Richard W. Bann --