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The Oceanic

On the 2nd Of October 1912 the Stan Jefferson sailed from Southampton as an actor in the Fred Karno touring company. Karno was a well known theatre impresario of the time, his theatre groups travelling the whole of the U.K. with a unique form of chaotic, slapstic pantomime which was hugely popular. Stan had previously toured America with the Karno company in 1910 but had left the troupe due to a dispute over pay and had found little success until he re-joined the group as understudy to another famous comedian of the time, Mr Charles Chaplin.

This voyage must have seemed like a great luxury compared to their last boat, which had been a converted cattle boat. This ship was The RMS Oceanic, on the White Star Line (and you know all about another White Star ship which had sailed in 1912).

The tour was a great success and Chaplin was spotted by Mack Sennett in 1913, left the company and began making movies. In no time at all Chaplin became the worlds biggest movie star.

Stan took a little bit longer to get going. In fact it was over ten years later that Stan Jefferson, by now performing under the name Laurel began appearing regularly with Oliver Hardy.

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