Laurel & Hardy Locations Tour Saturday, October 24th
Our members have been asking for another locations tour since our big anniversary weekend in 2007. So we're taking what people they told us they liked best about our last tours, and making a one day event that will cover locations from about 20 different films. The tour will start in Culver City and will include all of the most recently discovered locations as well as many of the longtime popular locations discovered in the '70s and '80s. Tours are a great deal of work to organize, so we usually don't offer them more than every few years. Seats are $35, and a printed photo guide and lunch are included. Don't miss your chance to attend. Space is limited, and we won't add additional buses unless we can fill them. So sign up today, and don't get stuck on a waiting list!
Blanche Payson "Isn't She Sweet" Night on Tuesday, August 11th
Probably no one but the most ardent Laurel & Hardy fan is familiar with the name Blanche Payson. But if you come to our next meeting on the evening of Tuesday, August 11th, you will quickly learn about Blanche and her acting work with Stan, Babe, and others. At the meeting, we will screen all three shorts that featured her with Laurel & Hardy, and one short from the forties that she made with comedian Andy Clyde. Also, to tie up unfinished business from our June 2008 meeting, we will screen the Laurel & Hardy film that we ran out of time to show.
Blanche's first work with Stan and Babe was Below Zero (1930). In the film, The Boys are street musicians who on a cold, snowy day are trying to earn money for food. With their organ and bass in hand, they play music door to door. In typical Laurel & Hardy fashion, it isn't going too well for them, but after Blanche's character destroys their instruments they find a wallet full of money and their luck turns.
Stan helps Ollie elope with his girlfriend Dulcy (Babe London) in Our Wife (1931). Dulcy's father (James Finlayson) has let it be known that he is against the marriage. After they manage to escape Dulcy's father, Ollie, Dulcy, and Stan find a Justice of the Peace (Ben Turpin) and his wife (Blanche).
In Helpmates (1932), the final film that Blanche appeared in with Stan and Babe, Ollie has to quickly clean up his house after a wild party before his wife (Blanche) returns from vacation. Ollie calls on his best friend Stan to help him to clean the house. After seeing a photo of Ollie's wife, Stan remarks, "Isn't she sweet?"
After Blanche left The Hal Roach Studios, she made a film with Andy Clyde at Colombia Pictures. In the film, A Bundle of Bliss (1940), Andy yearns to be a father, but his wife has other ideas. Through a series of misunderstandings, Andy finds himself being pursued by a policeman (Fred Kelsey) who thinks that Andy has kidnapped a baby. Blanche plays a nurse at the orphanage. Although Andy Clyde is probably most famous for being Hopalong Cassidy's sidekick California, his films were second only to The Three Stooges in terms of the longest running comedy series at Columbia.
The film that we ran out of time to screen last June was The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case (1930). In the film, Stan and Ollie travel on a stormy night to a scary house for the reading of the will of Stan's recently deceased uncle. The police inspector (Fred Kelsey) and his men posted in the house suspect that Stan's uncle was murdered.
The Mayflower Club is located at 11110 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood. We will open the doors at 6:30 PM. Our meeting will start at 7:15 PM. Fisher Franks (hot dogs) and your choice of chips will be sold at the Mayflower Kitchen. The Mayflower Bar will sell drinks of your choice. Cake will be served at our second break. Join us Tuesday, August 11th!
Bob Duncan & Stan Taffel On Internet Radio
On Saturday August 22nd, our Vice Sheik Bob Duncan and our Keeper of the Celluloid Stan Taffel will join WOW members, father Terry DuFoe and daughter Tiffany DuFoe, on their Cult Radio A Go-Go internet show. From 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, the live four hour show will be all about Laurel & Hardy. Internet listeners can call the show at (661) 349-7879. For more information, go to the Cult Radio A Go-Go web site at www.cultradioagogo.com
Silent Film Program September 19
On Saturday afternoon at 1:00 PM, September 19, 2009, John Duff's Early to Bed Tent and the Los Angeles Organ Society will host their Third Annual Silent Movie Program at the South Pasadena High School Auditorium. Silent comedies of Laurel & Hardy, Charley Chase, and Edgar Kennedy will be screened. Dean Mora will accompany the films on a Wurlitzer Organ and Joe Rinaudo will hand crank his special projector. For the price and more information go www.earlytobedtent.com
Notes From Our June Meeting
Present to help Jimmy Wiley with the toasts and sing The Sons of the Desert Song were Stan Taffel, Jayne Barnhart, Chris Spicher, Alan Barasorda, Ken Runyan, Ron Young, and Bob Duncan. To join us in celebrating the birthday of Stan Laurel, we were again honored to have present Stan's daughter Lois, his great granddaughter Cassidy, and his great-great grandchildren Tommy and Lucy. We also had two pairs of guests join us from England; artist Lucy Southward and her mother Lindsey Southward, and Paul and Prema Bickerdyke. Our films for the evening were: Towed in a Hole, One Good Turn, and Block-Heads. Before we screened One Good Turn, Lois told our members that the film's ending of Stan getting the best of Babe was made to help young Lois get over her idea that Babe was mean to her father. Before we served a birthday cake in honor of Stan, we all sang Happy Birthday.
From The Grand Sheik
When I first told people about my idea to have a Blanche Payson Night, I got some strange looks and funny comments. Some people thought I was joking. The facts are that the three L&H shorts that Blanche appeared in are all popular Laurel and Hardy comedies, and Blanche plays very pivotal roles in each of the films. Without Blanche Payson, the films would obviously be different, but more importantly, they wouldn't be as good. Who else in the world of Laurel & Hardy could have played her roles so well? When you watch the films, think about it.
Recently when I talked on the telephone with Dorothy de Borba, who played Blanche's stepdaughter in Dogs is Dogs, I asked Dorothy about Blanche. It came as no surprise to me that Dorothy said that Blanche was very caring and kind to her. Blanche in person was nothing like her film role as Dorothy's "stepmother from hell." I'm sure that Blanche was the same way with Wheezer, Stymie, and Spud, the other kids in the film. Is it possible that each of the kids in the film at one time or another said of the real Blanche Payson isn't she sweet?
Registration forms for the 2010 Sons of the Desert International Convention are now available online. The convention will take place next year from June 17-20 in Sacramento. This will be the first International Convention on the West Coast in 10 years, so don't miss out! Please visit: www.afmoasis49.com