Famous duos and why they work

The Sherlock Holmes statue outside Baker Street tube station in London.

Sometimes the best work is a result of teamwork, and at some stage in every freelancer’s career they’re required to work alongside a partner (or a group of partners) to get a project done.

We look at the world’s favourite duos and see what makes a great pairing.

1. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson
Holmes and Watson are perhaps the ultimate duo, and certainly one of the most famous pairs in the world. Their relationship seems to surpass business partners or best friends – they’re almost like two pieces of a puzzle that fit perfectly together.

Sherlock Holmes, as we all know, is a British detective who excels in logical reasoning and observation, and never fails to crack the case. Watson is his associate, who records and publishes Holmes’ best cases when he is not running his medical practice.

We love how the duo play their parts so effortlessly to get their jobs done – Holmes is cold, cynical, ruthless and lightning-swift. Watson, on the other hand, is more sensitive, patient and cautious. Between the two, they present many of the skills and traits we think are essential for a perfect pairing!

2. Laurel and Hardy
This beloved comedy duo was at its height in the 1920s through to the ‘40s – a little before most of our time, though many of us are familiar with their slapstick humour and comedic, unlikely friendship.

The gangly Stan Laurel acts as the childish, silly, eager-to-please friend to the more pompous and bossy Oliver Hardy. The pair specialised in ‘tit-for-tat’ petty fights against adversaries, including neighbours, authority figures, or even their wives – and their very characters would often make getting a job done properly a humorously strenuous task.

Comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in the documentary film When Comedy Was King 1960.

Whilst on paper, this duo may seem somewhat less productive than we’d like to be ourselves, we love how well they bounce off each other and how tight-knit they are, despite the clear differences in their respective personalities. Sometimes the best teammates are total opposites!

3. Scooby-Doo and Mystery Inc.
From time to time a project needs a whole team with varying talents and personalities to get it done well. Just like crime-fighting, ghost-busting team Mystery Inc., made up of highly differing members Velma, Fred, Daphne, Shaggy and, of course, Scooby-Doo!

Each member in the team has a specific role: Velma is the brains behind the group and approaches cases with caution and careful planning, while Daphne, the other female member of the team, jumps in with enthusiasm and follows her intuition (sometimes leading her into danger). Fred is the stereotypical brave and heroic leader figure.

Shaggy, a comical coward, and Scooby-Doo, his talking canine companion, are the focal point of the crew due to providing the humour and because they often end up solving the mysteries by making some comical mistake.

The Mystery Inc. members show traits which are identifiable in most of us… Can you recognize any of these characters’ traits in yourself in your approach to projects?

4. Lorelai and Rory Gilmore
This specific duo isn’t just a pair of friends or partners in crime – they’re also mother and daughter, adding a new dimension to their partnership.

Rory is an ambitious and competitive young woman who is mature beyond her years. Lorelai is her independent, humorous and affectionate mother, though their closeness in age allows them to act as close friends as well as mother and daughter.

The best thing about Rory and Lorelai Gilmore is the way they portray how a team should constantly be able to learn from each other as well as rely on each other for support. When working in collaboration with someone, it’s great to pool talents to make something brilliant, but it’s a bonus to learn something new in the process.

And, of course, it’s important to feel you can wholeheartedly depend on your work partner to play their part.

5. Bert and Ernie
This childhood duo taught children about friendship and partnership for decades. Their differences are immediately noticeable, with Bert’s yellow, pointy head and serious-looking furrowed brow, and Ernie’s orange, rounded, cheery face.

Jim Henson, who created the Muppets, filled his show with memorable duos – Miss Piggy and Kermit, Big Bird and Mister Snuffleupagus, and Statler and Waldorf. But Bert and Ernie, the contrasting and comical roommates, are Henson’s perfect yin-and-yang pairing.

It takes all sorts to make a great team, as these famous groups and duos have shown. In fact, often the most unlikely of pairings help make the best projects.

So make like these examples, get collaborating, and create something to be proud of!


Posted by The Secret Businessman