The Sultans of Slapstick, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
  • The Sultans of Slapstick, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
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Hear, ye! Hear, ye! Attention Laurel and Hardy enthusiasts and all the saps at sea! The next gathering of the San Diego chapter of the Sons of the Desert will be held on Saturday night, March 31 at 7 p.m.

Billed as “Comic Calamities Night,” the show kicks off as always with a classic cartoon followed by a trio of comedies starring the slapstick virtuosos along with the all-around undervalued, Charley Chase.

Going Bye-Bye! (1934) opens with the boys successfully testifying against Butch (Walter Long), a criminal so deranged that he attends the proceedings clad in a strait-jacket. Found guilty, Butch spends the rest of the short trying to make good on his promise to break the squealers’ legs and wrap them around their neck!

Charley Chase acts as the meat in the Stan and Ollie sandwich in the The Pip From Pittsburgh (1931). Charley does his best to ugly himself up for a blind date only to discover his companion for the night is the lovely Thelma Todd. The short was produced by Hal Roach and directed by Laurel and Hardy regular (and Chase’s older brother), James Parrott.

Trade ad ballyhooing Hal Roach's lineup of Laurel & Hardy and Charley Chase shorts for 1931. Motion Picture Herald, July 13, 1931.

Rounding out the program is one of the team's most enduring entries, the short-feature, Block-Heads. Hilarity ensues when Ollie rescues Stanley from his World War I outpost twenty years after the conflict had ended. San Diegans will recognize local legend and former Our Gang player, Tommy Bond, as the bully with the football.

The screening will be held at the Williams Hall at Trinity Church, 3902 Kenwood Drive in Spring Valley. By way of clarification, festival organizer and your grandest of sheiks, John Field, asked that I inform newcomers that the presentation is held, “at the Meeting Hall about 500 ft. to the right of the Church. We only list our location as being the church as a landmark.”

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Colonna March 29, 2018 @ 3:27 p.m.

Laurel and Hardy's first and only American television appearance took place on December 1, 1954, when they were surprised and interviewed by Ralph Edwards on his live TV program 'This Is Your Life'. Stan Laurel was apparently angered by being "tricked" into making the appearance.


Scott Marks March 30, 2018 @ 5:07 p.m.

I've seen this many times. They both look a little fermished. Must be Ralph's cologne.


dwbat March 30, 2018 @ 6:05 p.m.

I heard that Johnny Carson had helped out Stan Laurel financially in his last years, as he wasn't well off . Carson considered Laurel one of the great comics, and reportedly learned a lot by watching the master over the years.


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