Laurel and Hardy were one of the most popular and critically acclaimed comedy double acts of the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema. Composed of thin EnglishmanStan Laurel (1890–1965) and fat American Oliver Hardy (1892–1957), they became well known during the late 1920s to the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy, with Laurel playing the clumsy and childlike friend of the pompous Hardy. They made over 100 films together, initially two-reelers (short films) before expanding into feature length films in the 1930s. Their films include Sons of the Desert (1933), the Academy Award winning short film The Music Box (1932), Babes in Toyland (1934), and Way Out West (1937). Hardy's catchphrase "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!" is still widely recognized.
When Lt. Hans-Ulrich Ridel was awarded the Knight's Cross for proposing and testing 37mm anti-panzer cannons on Stukas, he was mobbed by his fellow pilots and ground crews. The crowd then expanded to include his tail gunner Sgt. Albert Dieselhorst who had just exited Col. Stienbrenner's tent where he had been presented the Iron Cross, first class. When the two met in the middle of the crowd, Dieselhorst said to Ridel "Well, sir, here's another fine mess you got me into". Ridel recognized it as coming from a Laurel and Hardy movie and responded "As long as we keep getting out of them".