back  fillernext

Three days after completing principal photography on their two-reel comedy TWICE TWO (1933), Laurel & Hardy participated in a Christmas fund benefit staged December 18, 1932 at one of the movie palaces on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. Following their performance before a packed house, the boys posed backstage with popular singer Helen Kane, the original “boop-boop-a-doop” girl whose cutie-pie voice and persona was the inspiration for Max Fleischer’s flirtatious and iconic cartoon character “Betty Boop.” Before entering movies at Paramount Pictures, Kane performed with the Marx Brothers in vaudeville and on Broadway in Manhattan. Her life was portrayed by Debbie Reynolds in the screen biography THREE LITTLE WORDS (1950). The saucy pre-Code Betty Boop cartoons gave rise to another legendary Fleischer series starring “Popeye the Sailor.” The voice of both his girl friend, Olive Oyl (who was patterned after Hal Roach star Zasu Pitts), as well as the voice of Betty Boop, were provided by Mae Questel, who loved Laurel & Hardy and for years was a welcome fixture at SONS OF THE DESERT gatherings sponsored by the founding tent in New York City. Perhaps it was coincidental that Laurel’s dame masquerade role as “Mrs. Hardy” in TWICE TWO was dubbed using the similar-sounding trick voice of actress Carole Tevis.