Biography

A true Hollywood professional, comic bit part player and stunt performer Al Thompson seems to have worked with every purveyor of physical humor, from Larry Semon in the silent era to the Three Stooges in the 1950s. The versatile Thompson stood in for Semon in some of that slapstick comic's more impossible stunts and was later one of The Sons of the Desert (1933) opposite Laurel & Hardy. Thompson signed with the Columbia Pictures short subject department in the mid-'30s as a stunt double for veteran comedian Andy Clyde. He was soon doubling for and playing bit parts opposite all the department's funnymen and -women, all for the reported sum of 55 dollars a day. Thompson made himself look enough like Clyde to be convincing as the hayseed comedian's twin brother in Trouble Finds Andy Clyde (1939) and with a bit of makeup, could pass for either Larry Fine or Moe Howard in long shots. He continued to appear opposite Clyde and the Stooges well into the 1950s, if not always in new scenes then via stock footage, a Columbia cost-cutting specialty. Thompson's final credited appearance came in the last Andy Clyde two-reeler Pardon My Nightshirt (1956). ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi