Birthday Party and Anniversary Celebrations At The Mayflower Club
How time flies! It's January again. Time for us to celebrate Oliver Norvell Hardy's birthday. Born in Harlem, Georgia on January 18, 1892, Babe's birthday was 125 years ago! Also, as I hope most of you know, 2017 is the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of our Way Out West Tent. As part of the anniversary year, we also plan to screen and honor some of Laurel & Hardy's films that have milestone anniversary years during 2017. I'm talking 75 years old, 80 years old, 85 years old, and even one almost 90 years old! Join us at The Mayflower Club on Tuesday night, January 10th to celebrate Babe's birthday and to kick off a year of fun reminiscing about our Tent and Laurel & Hardy films.
Our opening film for the evening, Duck Soup, was released in March 1927. Yes, that is almost 90 years ago! In this silent short film the Boys don't look like the "Laurel & Hardy" that we see in their later films, but if you look closely they do start to act a little bit like the characters that we've come to love. In the film, vagrants (Stan & Ollie) take refuge in a vacant mansion and do okay, until they try to rent out the house. If the plot of the film seems a little bit familiar, that's because the Boys' used this same idea in their later film, Another Fine Mess (1930).
In their short, Hog Wild (1930), Ollie once again lets Stan help him. This time the job is to put up a radio antenna on the roof of the Hardy home. In typical Laurel & Hardy fashion, almost everything that could go wrong, goes wrong. It's also interesting to see how Laurel & Hardy changed so much in just a little over three years after Duck Soup.
Ollie's first mistake was to have a wild party, while his wife was out of town. In the Boys' classic short, Helpmates (1932), Ollie's second mistake was to call Stan for help to clean up the mess. Helpmates is a delight to watch from Ollie's first scene, where he talks to himself in the mirror, until the bitter end of the film. Helpmates was released on January 23, 1932, and will be just a couple of weeks short of 85 years at our January 10th meeting. It's an amazing film that is timeless.
Our feature for the evening will be The Flying Deuces (1939). While traveling in France with Stan, Ollie falls deeply in love with an innkeeper's daughter, Georgette (Jean Parker). When Georgette rejects Ollie, Ollie is so distraught that he decides "to end it all"...and take Stan with him. In the nick of time, the Boys are talked out of suicide by an officer of the Foreign Legion (Reginald Gardner). When the Boys decide to join the Legion "all the fun" begins. Charles Middleton is the Commandant and James Finlayson is the jailor.
The Mayflower Club is located in North Hollywood at 11110 Victory Boulevard. Our doors open at 6:30 p.m., and our meeting starts at 7:15 p.m. "Fisher Franks" (100% beef hot dogs) and your choice of chips will be sold from The Mayflower Kitchen. Refreshments will be sold from The Mayflower Bar. Free birthday cake will be served on our second break. Don't miss the start of the 2017 Way Out West celebration. See you Tuesday, January 10th!
Our annual dues for Way Out West Tent Memberships are due each January. We need your dues to be paid on time, so we can continue to cover our expenses for renting The Mayflower Club, purchasing hot dogs and condiments, cakes, paper, envelopes, and postage to mail our newsletters. Our dues for a single membership is $30, for couple memberships $45, and for family memberships $50. In 2017, we will have five regular meetings and one Special Event meeting. Your dues will cover admission to all five regular meetings and you will receive a membership discount for our Special Event meeting, a meeting that will include a full meal and entertainment.
Please continue to make your checks out to "Way Out West Tent" and mail those checks to Lori McCaffery, 4313 Woodland Avenue, Burbank, CA 91505 or bring your checks to our January meeting. Mailing your check is preferred,so we can avoid long check-in lines at our January meeting. Thanks for your continued support of our Tent.
Canned Goods For Maud Booth Family Center
Thank you for the continued generosity that you showed in December for the Maud Booth Family Center of North Hollywood. They want you to know that your donations are greatly appreciated.
Notes From Our December Meeting
At our December meeting we screened The Fixer Uppers, Les Carottiers, and Babes in Toyland. The Fixer Uppers and Babes in Toyland went over really well with our members. Les Carottiers, the French version of Laughing Gravy, not as well. The French ending seemed to drag on and on and just wasn't in character with the Stan and Ollie that we've learned to love over the years. I understand why the Roach Studios wanted to combine Be Big and Laughing Gravy into a French feature film, but I think that the ending of Les Carottiers was a misfire.
After our first break, Jim MacGeorge again entertained us with his standup jokes and received another standing ovation. Good job Jim. Before our second break, we sang Happy Birthday to Lois Laurel Hawes. During our second break, Evans and Rogers sang for us. Thanks again Sharon and Rick.
Thanks to Bob Brauer, Dave Greim, Ken Runyan, J.T. Tropper, Victor D'Agostino, Bob Duncan, and Jayne Barnhart for helping me with the toasts and song. A big thanks to Frank Salzberg for his generous donation of four rolls of postage stamps! Finally, thanks to all our members for your continued support.
All Star Festival At Old Town Music Hall
On the weekend of January 20th, 21st, and 22nd, the Old Town Music Hall will do an All Star Comedy Festival, featuring Laurel & Hardy. The Old Town Music Hall is located at 140 Richmond Street, El Segundo (310-322-2592). Their evening programs begin at 8:15 on Friday and Saturday. Their matinee programs begin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission to the theater is $10 per person or $8 for people 62 or older. Each program begins with a Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ audience sing-along. For information about other film programs at the Old Town Music Hall, go to: http://www.oldtownmusichall.org/films.html