|Laurel & Hardy in A Chump at Oxford (1940)|
A Photoplay reporter, Jack Wade, brought up this Chump at Oxford scene in an article entitled "We Cover the Studios." He wrote, "Done up in Eton jackets and collars, [Laurel and Hardy are] practicing a screaming comedy gag which [screenwriter] Harry Langdon informs us is known as the old vaudeville 'ghost in the pawnshop' routine. It consists of Stan sitting on a bench in front of a hedge and puffing a calabash pipe. Meanwhile, through the hedge an arm steals, and mixes him all up with a cigar, matches, and what not. It takes a long time for Stan to realize he has three arms, but meanwhile everyone else is howling." The "Ghost in a Pawnshop" routine was, as Langdon said, a "screaming comedy gag" in various vaudeville environs. The routine was based on a Commedia dell'arte routine called "Lazzi of Fear."
Photoplay, Volume LIII., No. 7, July 1939.