I just finished watching Stan & Ollie (2018), the biofilm starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as Laurel and Hardy. In the film, Laurel and Hardy are on a stage tour of England when Hardy falls ill. Their manager suggests replacing him with a comedian named Nobby Cook, played in the film by John Henshaw.

In the film, Stan Laurel experiences a last minute change of heart, and instead of taking the stage with Cook, he has the theatre manager announce to a stunned audience that the show has been canceled.

This seemed out of character for a consummate professional like Stan Laurel, who chronically insisted on giving his fans a show even when he wasn't being paid for it. So I started hunting around to determine how accurate the scene was. I was surprised to find I could find no mention of Nobby Cook other than this film.

Was the Nobby Cook character a fabrication for this film, or was he a real, albeit obscure, British comedian in the 1950s?


1 Answer 1


By all accounts, there was never a Nobby Cook or anyone with whom Stan would have continued the tour. Some of the facts in these types of films are always changed a bit, 2 that come immediately to mind are that they did three tours of the UK and this film combined them into one, and Ollie had a heart attack after a performance, not while judging a beauty contest.

After performing a single night at the Palace Theatre in Plymouth, Hardy had a mild heart attack, forcing the duo to cancel their run in the city and the rest of the tour.

Hardy stayed at a local hotel to recover, while Laurel visited the theatre every night to support other acts, Hutchinson said.

The Nobby Cook ruse was just meant to show you how dedicated Stan was to Ollie and add a layer of tension with the possibility of Stan continuing with a new partner.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .