John Siguard "Ole" Olsen (November 6, 1892–January 26, 1963) was a Vaudeville comedian. Born in Peru, Indiana, he graduated from Northwestern University in 1912 with a degree in music and hit the Vaudeville circuit. In 1914 he met Chic Johnson, who was advertising himself as the "Greatest Ragtime Pianist in the Midwest."
The pair met when they were hired as musicians in the same band. When the band broke up "Ole" Olsen and "Chic" Johnson formed a comedy team. They really did not have a set act but found themselves booked into a small Chicago nightclub as part of "Mike Fritzol’s Frolics." When it came time for their turn in the show, unannounced and not particularly welcome, the brave pair pushed a piano onstage. Johnson seated himself at the keyboard and began to plunk out a ragtime tune. Olsen joined in with his violin and started singing, making up comical lyrics as he went along. The pair began to exchange "patter," mostly insults and the soon-to-be-famous "Olsen and Johnson" team emerged.
They struggled for 24 years in Vaudeville before hitting the "big time" in 1938 with the Broadway show and movie, "Hellzapoppin."
Ole's ambition was to make people laugh. He is remembered for the quote, "May you live as long as you laugh, and laugh as long as you live." Those words are engraved on his headstone.
Ole Olsen died at the age of 71, a year after the death of his long time partner and friend, Chic Johnson. He was buried in Las Vegas, Nevada.