I just finished watching Stan & Ollie, the 2018 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?

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