Oliver Hardy Birthday Party at The Mayflower Club on January 12th
Ready or not the new year is here, and the first thing on our tent's to-do list for the year is to celebrate Babe Hardy's birthday. As most of you know, Oliver Norvell Hardy was born in Harlem, Georgia on January 18, 1892. In honor of Babe's 124th birthday, all of the evening's five films are examples of what happens to Ollie when he accepts advice or help from Stan. Join all your friends at the Way Out West Tent on Tuesday, January 12th for films, laughs, and birthday cake!
Our film program begins with the Boys silent short, The Finishing Touch (1928). In the film, Stan & Ollie promote themselves as experts in putting the finishing touches on new houses. When they are offered $500.00 by a house owner to finish his house in one week, they eagerly accept his offer. Only a spunky nurse (Dorothy Coburn), a determined policeman (Edgar Kennedy), and the Boys themselves stand in the way.
In their short Helpmates (1932), Ollie makes a big mistake when he asks Stan to clean up the mess from a wild party that Ollie had while his wife was out of town. Blanche Payson makes a brief appearance in the film as Ollie's "lovely" wife.
As door-to-door fish salesmen in their short Towed in a Hole (1932), Stan and Ollie decide they should start catching their own fish. By cutting out the middleman, they figure that they can make more money for themselves. When they buy an old rundown boat from a local junk owner (Billy Gilbert), all their troubles begin.
In their three reeler Chickens Come Home (1931), Ollie's life seems to be going great. He is partners with Stan in a successful business and is also a candidate for mayor. Then a women from his "past" (Mae Busch) pays Ollie a visit. Thelma Todd (Ollie's wife) and James Finlayson (Ollie's butler) also co-star in the film. As an extra attraction, after Chickens Come Home, we will screen the infamous Hadji Ali and his "regurgitation act" from Politiquerias (the Spanish version of Chickens Come Home). If you haven't seen Hadji's act before, you're in for a big surprise. If you have seen his act before, it's well worth another look.
Our film program closes with Dirty Work, a 1933 short. As chimney sweeps, Stan and Ollie unknowingly go to a mad scientist's house to clean his chimney and soon find out about his latest experiment firsthand. Professor Noodle is played by Lucien Littlefield and his butler Jessup is played by "scene stealer" Sam Adams.
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 birthday cake will be served on our second break. Don't miss Babe's birthday party. See you Tuesday, January 12th.
Don't Forget To Pay Your 2016 Dues
The annual dues for Way Out West Tent Memberships are due each January. We need your dues to be paid on time, so we can cover continuing expenses such as renting The Mayflower Club and the cost of copying and mailing our newsletter.
For the first time since the 1980's, we will raise dues by $2 per year to cover the ever increasing cost of postage for our newsletters. Our dues for single memberships are now $30, for couple memberships $45, and family memberships $50. There have been no other changes made to our memberships. We will still have six regular meetings and one Special Event meeting in 2016.
Please continue to make your checks out to "Way Out West Tent" and mail your checks to Lori McCaffery, 4313 Woodland Avenue, Burbank, CA 91505 or bring your checks to our January meeting. Anyone who has already paid their 2016 dues need not worry about the 2016 increases. Just consider that you received a bonus for paying your dues early. Thanks for your continued support of our Tent.
Notes From Our December Meeting
At our December meeting, I tried to get everyone into the Christmas Season by screening Big Business, Below Zero, Our Gang's Bedtime Worries, and The Bohemian Girl. Big Business is a legitimate Christmas film, the snowy night in Below Zero has a Christmas feeling, and Spanky believing that the burglar in his house is Santa Claus gets his film on the list. The Bohemian Girl is a stretch. There is snow in the last part of the film and in a lot of places it snows on Christmas...so let's just go with that!
Also at our December meeting, we had a drawing and gave away free door prizes to show our members our appreciation for their great support in 2015. Duke Molner received a gift card for a free hot dog and chips for every 2016 regular meeting he attends, Ann Tyszka received a restored DVD copy of The Flying Deuces. Frank Painter received a DVD copy of The Devil's Brother and Bonnie Scotland. Right before our second break, we sang "Happy Birthday" to honor Lois Laurel Hawes for her December 10th birthday. It was also great to see Jim MacGeorge at our December meeting.
Thanks to Jayne Barnhart, Alan Cowen, Stephen Winkler, Laura Reuthner, and Bob Duncan for helping me with the toasts and singing "The Sons of the Desert Song." Additional thanks to Alan Cowen for telling us in detail about his meeting with Stan Laurel at Stan's apartment in Santa Monica and for showing us his Laurel & Hardy tattoo.
Congratulations To Randy Skretvedt
I'm happy to announce that Randy Skretvedt has successfully raised enough money, through Kickstarter, to make his new book Laurel & Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies-Special Edition a reality. The new hard cover edition of his beloved book is 632 pages, 8.5 by 11 inches in size, has over 1,000 pictures, and will be published by Bonaventure Press. The target date for release of the Special Edition is April 2016. A paperback (the 3rd Edition) hopefully will follow later in 2016. Thanks Randy for all the long hours that you worked on your book. I can't wait to have it in my hands.
Maud Booth Thanks Our Members
Thank you to all members that contributed canned goods or made monetary donations for the Maud Booth Family Center at our December meeting. For many decades, our tent has collected donations at the holidays for this worthy group, located near our meeting place in North Hollywood. Your generosity gives back to the local community and is always greatly appreciated by people helped by the Center.