Kennedy the Cop Night at the Mayflower Club August 4th
In two and a half years, actor Edgar Kennedy played a cop in five Laurel & Hardy films and six Our Gang films. On Tuesday evening, August 4th, we will screen four Laurel & Hardy films and one Our Gang film to honor those performances. In addition to screening films, we also plan to have an Edgar Kennedy Slow Burn Contest, where our members can volunteer to imitate Edgar's famous "Slow Burn" look at the camera that he made whenever his character got frustrated.
Our first short for the evening will be Leave 'em Laughing (1928). This silent was also Edgar's first Laurel & Hardy film. In the film, after a rough night in their boarding house, Ollie has to take Stan to the dentist to have Stan's bad tooth pulled. At the dentist's office, everything goes wrong, Stan doesn't get his tooth pulled and the Boys end up leaving the dentist's office high on laughing gas. On the drive home, the Boys encounter Kennedy the Traffic Cop! Charlie Hall plays Laurel & Hardy's landlord.
Our next film for the evening is Unaccustomed As We Are (1929), which was also a milestone for Laurel & Hardy as it was their first sound film. Even though some of the film's dialog sounds a little forced and repetitious at times, it's still a funny film and was well received by Laurel & Hardy's fans in 1929. With a cast of Laurel & Hardy, Mae Busch (Hardy's wife), Edgar Kennedy (a jealous police officer), and Thelma Todd (Kennedy's wife), how could the film not be a success? If the plot of the film, where the Boys innocently get involved with a jealous husband's wife seems familiar, it's because it's very similar to the last part of Laurel & Hardy's 1938 feature, Block-Heads.
In Our Gang's short When the Wind Blows (1930), Jackie Cooper gets locked out of his house on a cold windy night. During the time that he is locked out, Jackie accidentally manages to scare or disrupt almost all of his friends and family in the neighborhood and he even effects the cop on the beat, Kennedy the Cop. Jackie's friends include: Allen "Farina" Hoskins, Mary Ann Jackson, and Norman "Chubby" Chaney. Jackie's family includes: Jackie's brother Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins, Jackie's mother and father, and Jackie's dog Pete. When a real prowler is reported in the neighborhood, while Jackie is still wandering around in the neighborhood, will Kennedy still get his man?
Our final two films for the evening are Night Owls (1930) and Ladones (1930), screening in that order. While Ladones is the Spanish version of Night Owls, the two films are not exactly alike. Ladones is fifteen minutes longer than the Night Owls short, and Ladones has a lot of subtle differences and a totally different ending than Night Owls. In both films, Officer Kennedy is warned by his Chief that unless Kennedy starts to make arrests to stop their city's increased outbreak of burglaries that Kennedy will be fired. When Officer Kennedy finds vagrants Stan and Ollie sleeping in the park, Kennedy decides to make the Boys stage a fake burglary or face serious jail time for vagrancy. Officer Kennedy's plan is for Stan and Ollie to attempt to burglarize the Chief's home and get caught in the act by Kennedy. Officer Kennedy will then become a hero and Kennedy will "somehow" get the Boys released after they're caught. Without having much of a choice, Stan and Ollie begrudgingly agree to go along with Kennedy's plan. I won't even give you a hint as to how each version ends. James Finlayson is the Chief's butler in both films. Ladones has complete English subtitles.
The Mayflower Club is located at 11110 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Our meeting starts at 7:15 p.m. "Fisher Franks" (100% beef hot dogs) with your choice of chips will be sold at The Mayflower Club Kitchen. Refreshments will be sold at The Mayflower Club Bar. Free cake will be served on our second break. Don't miss out on a lot of fun, see you Tuesday night, August 4th.
A Heads Up For Our Saturday October Meeting
I hope that all of you have noticed, from reading our meeting schedule, that our October meeting will be on Saturday night, October 3rd. Admission for all our current members will be free, just as it is at any of our Tuesday night meetings. Admission for non-members will be $5.00 per person, just for this October meeting. Our feature for the evening will be A Chump At Oxford. Our theme for the evening will be Anything and Everything English. We will also have a special raffle of Laurel & Hardy memorabilia during the meeting, with all the proceeds going to the UCLA Laurel & Hardy (Film) Preservation Fund. Our board is currently working on the details and charges for an optional pre-meeting meal of Fish & Chips and on other films and activities for the meeting. We will mail out information about the our Saturday meeting three weeks before the meeting to all our members and also post the information on this website.
Missing Reel of L&H Film Has Been Found
Several sources have recently announced that a complete second reel of Laurel & Hardy's The Battle of the Century has been found. Until the discovery was made, most of the second reel of the film had been lost for years. What is ironic about the discovery is that the discovered reel was once in Robert Youngston's film collection. Yes, that Robert Youngston who in the 60's released several excellent film compilations of silent movie comedians, notably for us, Laurel & Hardy. It is now estimated that at least 90% of the entire film has been located. The best news is that it looks like, in the near future, all of the present available footage of The Battle of the Century will be re-released to the public for sale on DVD.
Notes From Our May Meeting
To celebrate Stan Laurel's 125th birthday, our films for the evening were: Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride, Duck Soup, Another Fine Mess, and Pardon Us. Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride seemed to get the best reaction from our members for the evening, but Pardon Us was a close second.
Our first celebrity guest for the evening was Margaret Kerry Willcox. Before, I introduced her, we screened a clip from Walt Disney's Peter Pan. As most of our longtime members know, Margaret was Disney's live-action model for Tinker Bell and also began her lifelong long career as a voice-over artist doing the voice of the "red haired" mermaid in Peter Pan. Later in the evening, we all sang Happy Birthday to Margaret, in honer of her recent birthday. Margaret also collected $50.00 for pictures that she brought and autographed for our members during our breaks and gave the money to our Tent. We in turn gave the money to the UCLA Laurel & Hardy Preservation Fund. Thank you again Margaret for your generosity.
Veteran stand-up comic and voice-over artist, Jim McGeorge was our second celebrity guest for the evening. Jim, a "founding father" of our Way Out West Tent attended our Tent's first meeting, way back in 1967. At that time, Jim was a writer for Jay Ward Productions, then the home for Rocky and His Friends and Fractured Flickers. Just some of Jim's voice-over characters were: Beany and Cecil (as Beany and Captain Huffenpuff), and various voices in Scooby Doo, Where Are You!, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and The Smufs, just to name a few. For our May meeting, Jim did a short version of his stand-up act and quickly had all of our members "in the palm of his hand."
Thanks to Dave Greim, Isiah McCollum, Nathan McCollum, Ken Runyan, Bob Brauer, Jayne Barnhart, Victor D'Agostino, and Bob Duncan for helping me with the toasts and singing "The Sons of Desert Song." Also thanks to everyone who came to our May meeting. You were a great audience as usual.
In Memoriam To Bart Williams
I'm sad to report that longtime Way Out West member, Bart Williams passed away on June 28th in Arizona. For those of you who knew Bart, I'm sure that you also found Bart to be a very kind person, a great story teller, and a very talented actor with a great sense of humor. Bart especially impressed my family with all the kindness he always gave to Eleanor Keaton (Buster Keaton's widow) and to Lois Laurel Hawes and her family (Cassie, Tommy, and Lucy). It always seemed that when any of them needed to be chauffeured around, Bart was there. Even when Bart moved to Arizona, he still always seemed to be available to help the Laurel family. Rest in peace Bart.
In Memoriam To Eric Caidin
Longtime Way Out West member Eric Caidin passed away suddenly from an aneurysm on May 18th, while attending a film convention in Palm Springs. Eric's Hollywood Book and Poster Company, at various locations but always on or near Hollywood Boulevard, was a mecca for movie fans and movie celebrities for nearly 40 years. Eric was also a fixture at movie fan conventions. He will be missed.