As iconic a show as Friends became for all the 2000’s and before, a good number of set paraphernalia became familiar sights for TV-show audiences. Anyone could recognize a decoration in either Joey and Chandler’s, or Monica and Rachel’s apartments at a glance, with little to no effort at all!
Which brings me to the less-recognizable poster, though just as important, that remained a permanent part of Chandler and Joey’s place, no matter the marriages, houseguests, or how many times the lease changed hands (or added roommate editions). This would be the Laurel and Hardy poster from the back wall, a black and white photo still out of the 1928 movie Leave Them Laughing, one year after Laurel and Hardy became the iconic team they’re known as today.
But who were Laurel and Hardy? More than that, why this poster, of all posters?
I don’t think its any accident Laurel and Hardy, two male comedic pairs, found themselves the backdrop of Joey and Chandler’s lives…two more male comedic pairs.
The parallels don’t stop there. The Laurel and Hardy brand of comedy evoked slapstick humor, where Laurel was the more naïve relief to the pompous Hardy. Let’s picture that a second: who else do we know so naïve and perhaps a little slow, elbow-to-elbow with someone so sarcastic and quick to talk back?
What’s more, the two interacted on the silver screen a la “tit for tat,” or using equivalent retaliation, where one side matches another side’s action. AKA, when one person speaks, the other answers. When one person pulls a practical joke, the other responds in kind. Or, as good “friends” should, when one person needs a helping hand, word of advice (however contrived), or laugh, the other can be depended on just as easily.
Now I think that’s a comparison we can all easily recognize....