WAITING FOR YOUR DOUGH
a comedy in one reel
Laurel & Hardy enter onto a bordello set under musica commedia
Laurel: Boy that was close!
Hardy: (annoyed) You can say that again.
Laurel: What do you suppose made them so angry?
Hardy: You’ve got a lot of nerve asking a stupid question like that!
Laurel:(holding back tears) Well, Ollie, I was only trying to help.
Hardy: Help?! You could have gotten us killed.
Laurel: (indignant) Yeah, well I didn’t…so…so there!
Hardy: That’s not the point now, is it?
Laurel: Oh, and I suppose you know what is?
Hardy: (incredulous) Offering to hold the bag while those crooks robbed the bank. Have you lost what brains you have. Indeed! I have half a mind to leave you to your own devises. Then (poking him with each word) you-will-see-what-happens!
Laurel: Well, Ollie, you don’t have to be nasty about it. She was an old woman who looked like she was going to fall down. What was I supposed to do? Uh? How was I supposed to know that she was leaning forward to get her gun out.
Hardy: (exasperated) Ohhh, will you…just forget it! (pushes him back)
Laurel: (recovers and brushes off his clothes) Anyway, I made a profit. And boy do we need it!
Hardy: You WHAT?
Laurel: She gave me a dollar and told me if I played my cards right there is more where that came from.
Hardy: (deadly) Give me That. It’s just lucky for you I know how to keep my head. I don’t know hat you were standing in line for anyway. You haven’t go any money in the bank.
Laurel: Do too!
Hardy: (meticulously) NO(pokes his chest)you don’t!
Laurel: Do too, Ollie. I mean it. I’ve got 22 dollars and 78 cents left in interest on my father’s chicken feed stock.
Hardy: (excited) Well, where is it. You know I handle all finances.
Laurel: (hedging) I don’t have it. (starts to cry)
Hardy: (pause) Well…why ever not?
Laurel: They didn’t give it to me.
Hardy: What’s that.
Laurel: (looks around)
Hardy: Why’s that Stan?
Laurel: They didn’t have it either.
Hardy: Well..who does?
Laurel: (looking at his feet) Nobuddy.
Hardy: Wellll…what happened?
Laurel: (weepy) They told me I lost all of my interest in teh crash of ’29.
Hardy: You mean to tell me you didn’t realize this before now. You IMBECILE. You half-wit. You…you…Dooouuul
Laurel: (dignified) Well, that’s not a very nice thing to say Ollie. It’s not my fault I haven’t had time to keep up on all of the economic news (smiles and scratches his head).
Hardy: (deadly) All the economic news!? (pushes him down) InDEED!
Laurel: (gets up & brushes off, like his body & memory has been jogged)
Nothing to be done.
Hardy: (fussy) What now.
Laurel: There’s nothing to be done about it now.
Hardy: You can say that again.
Laurel: There’s nothing to be done about it now.
Hardy: (harshly talking over him) Will you shut up. (prissily) I heard you, you don’t have to repeat it.
Laurel: Well, I know but, you never know when someone says what you said.
Hardy: I know what I said. It was merely a figure of speech. Forget it. Anyway, we’ve got more important things to worry about now. I wonder where they could be?
(aside) I wish I were alone. Was, I wish I was alone.
Laurel: I wish you was too Ollie.
Laurel: What did you say Ollie?
Hardy: I said. I wish I had a loan. I mean…I wish somebody would lend me the money.
Laurel: So Do I.
Hardy: Now, what in the world would YOU do with money?
Laurel: Well, I would start a business.
Hardy: (mocking) A business? Well, what kind of business?
Laurel: A chicken feed business. My father always said there was a fortune to be made in chicken feed. (backs away) Feed.
Hardy: Oh, he did, did he. Well you don’t, so there isn’t!
Laurel: (resolute) Well, I can still dream, can’t I!
Hardy: Now now. Not now. We’ve got other matters to attend to. I hope we’re not here early. Perhaps we should have come yesterday.
Laurel: You still haven’t told me what we’re doing here. Are we waiting for someone?
Hardy: (pause, annoyed) Do you mind not talking for the rest of the day?
Laurel: Not in the least.
L & H begin to move around the room. Ollie with a curious authority, Stan swkwardly following until Ollie stares him away. Stan paces and goes to a closet to investigate he takes a robe out, puts it on and sits in a chair where he finds a pipe which he lights. He reaches under the chair and gets a book and starts to read. Ollie has been watching him and mugging. He goes to him, rips the pipe out of his mouth, slams the book to the floor and bops the hat off of his head. Stan is passive at this assault and ends up in tears, but recovers with a scratch of his hair. They stare at each other until there is an eerie child’s piano heard.
Laurel: Ollie, do you know where we are?
Hardy: Why, Stanley, of course I do.
Laurel: Ah, where, then?
Hardy: Are you insinuating that we’ve come to the wrong place?
Laurel: Well, it’s not like it hasn’t happened before.
Hardy: There a nerve. You are alive because I’ve brought you this far or have you forgotten.
Laurel: How could I forget. Anyway, you said this was going to be a cat house.
Hardy: Well, if you’d look around you would see that it is.
Laurel: Well, where are they then?
Hardy: Where are what?
Laurel: (loud) THE CATS?
Hardy: (explodes) Will you keep your voice down. They’re here. I told you, so they are and that’s it.
Laurel: Well. I don’t see them.
Hardy: Well you are not supposed to see them yet.
Laurel: When then.
Hardy: When then what?
Laurel: Are we supposed to see them?
Hardy: After we’ve been introduced, naturally. They happen to be a very special breed. Seen you appointment only. They are extremely rare and …permanently busy. And since this is your (pokes him) time, you only get to watch. I’ve met them, YOU haven’t..So.
Laurel: So what?
Hardy: So there.
Laurel: Watch what?
Hardy: Us conversing of course. Talking conversing. You stand over there and just watch like a statue. Remain perfectly still until I introduce you.
Laurel: Oh goody.
Laurel: I’ve never met talking cats before. How big are they?
Hardy: Oh, I’d say…How big are what?
Laurel: The cats, that’s what. Seems like they’d be pretty big to have a place like this.
Hardy: (exasperated) Now what difference does that make?
Laurel: Well, when we’re introduced should I be standing or should I get on the ground? First impressions are very important, they come in handy later on, you know. Maybe I should just bow low.
Hardy: (done in) You don’t say or do anything. Now one word. Got it! Just stand there like a statue, and do not make a move. (Grand) I will do all the talking for both of us. Understand! (waves his finger about) And that is the end of that! (All this time Stan is nodding his head and they finish that together).
Hardy: What now?
Laurel: Is it all right if I just purr? Then at least they would know that I am friendly.
Hardy: (furious & distracted now) Will you keep quiet! How much money have we got?
Laurel takes out old style billfold that is stuffed with paper, he starts pulling out all of his pocket linings and checks under the rim of his bowler. At some point, he drops his hat and he and Ollie both go for it and bump heads. Ollie takes charge and brushes Stan’s front and grabs the billfold out of his hands. He shoves his hands in all of his pockets and counts the money.
Laurel: Six dollars and twelve cents.
Hardy: Six dollars and twelve cents? That’s impossible.
Laurel: Is not. Not, it’s not.. All right.
Hardy: (distressed) All right. Now, when you see a lady come out from behind that curtain, I want youu to pretend that you are my valet and that you have stupidly forgotten to bring my pocketbook with you.
Laurel: (lost) What’s a val- let?
Hardy: A servant. A man. You will be my man.
Laurel: I didn’t know you felt this way Ollie.
Hardy: A MAN! Not my man. You’ll be ..A man.
Laurel: (proudly) But I am a man Ollie.
Hardy: Not that kind of man!
Laurel: Well, what kind of man then?
Hardy: The kind of man who keeps his mouth shut! A man that is paid to do his duty quiety, without comment!
Laurel: Duty? Oh, so I get paid. I didn’t know I was going to get paid.
A prostitute in a satin robe that flaps open passes through the room. Stan looks at her with curiosity; Ollie plays with his floppy tie.
Lucky: Zo you aer zee von? Huh, vell, you bedder cam vish me.
Ollie moves toward her, but Lucky shakes her head vehemently
Lucky: NIEN, Nnet, Not YOU. Not on your life baby. Schtand Baeck!
Stan whispers to Ollie-
Laurel: Is she one of the cat lovers?
Hardy: Good evening Madam, we were just…
Lucky: I’m not madame, vu verb. Madame isk Calico. I am Lucky. YOU come vish me, no? Over here first. Let me look at vu. Turn around. Valk. Look back. Turn. Halt! Think. Good! You come vish me, no?
Laurel: (goes past Ollie with a snooty flourish) So there!
Hardy: (dodges around stage, finally flops on chair and fiddles with a lighter until he burns himself) Now where is that idiot? You can’t trust him to do anything right. One simple thing I ask him to do and it turns into disaster.
Laurel enters in a flapper dress with no make-up except for a painted on beauty mark. He is befuddled, but not embarrassed.
Hardy: WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW? WHY HAVE YOU GOT THAT DRESS ON? WHY DO YOU LOOK LIKE THAT TO ME?
Laurel: Well, she did say I wouldn’t look good in the pink and that this would make my gams look shorter.
Hardy: Do you realize you’re going to get us both arrested . Who told you to put that get up on? (explodes) What are you trying to do to me?
Laurel: (crying) I was only trying to do what I was told. That’s all I ever try to do and it’s never the right thing. I don’t know why…I…bother. They told to put this on and to wait outside with the other girls and to not to speak ‘till I’m spoken to and to get rid of the fat one in the parlor, if I know what’s good for me.
Hardy: Well!…I never.
Laurel: Well, Ollie, neither have I.
Hardy: The nerve of some people. You might think that I wasn’t a paying customer.
Laurel: That’s what I said!
Laurel: That’s what I said. That you we’re a paying customer.
Hardy: (distressd) Now why would you go and say something like that?
Laurel: Fate, I would guess. Me to do. I don’t know. What do you expect after all of this time waiting?
Hardy: (looks offstage) Stan, what are they doing with those weapons?
Lucky: (enters) Oh, I bedder teull vu, you ain’t goin’ noplaze. You can’t leaf anyway out. You stuck heres baby. No escapee. Dis shows got no intermission…because you that no madder who vu are, or what you don’t know..you better realize the fa tal compliat. They are waiting for your dough.
Laurel & Hardy jump in the air-
-One of the first productions of Samuel Beckett’s existential drama ‘Waiting for Godot’ was performed by actors impersonating Laurel & Hardy.
-In their films, Laurel occasionally ended up in deadpan drag.