Updated June 28th, 2018

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for the picture gallery of the month for July, 2018

On Sale Now!

Paperback: 536 pages
Publisher: BearManor Media (23 Jun. 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1629333352
ISBN-13: 978-1629333359
Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.1 x 22.9 cm


Hollywood Victory Caravan -

A Star Spangled Show

The "HOLLYWOOD VICTORY CARAVAN" DVD project will help preserve and make available a "rediscovered" filmed record of Hollywood's contribution to the war effort.

The "Star Spangled Show - Hollywood Victory Caravan" DVD will contain the full two reel home movie of the performances but will also have a new-to-DVD Hollywood Victory Caravan documentary telling the story of the Caravan's tour from beginning to end. Bonus features will include two additional shorts made to contribute to the war effort, and a 1953 television comedy that contains a bit of the Hal Roach Studios, which was a major producer of WWII training films.

For information on the project



Registration forms and information about costs and the convention program  www.laurelandhardyconvention.nl




It is with sadness that we report the passing of Chuck McCann one of the founding members of The Sons of the Desert.  Everyone here at The Nutty Nut News Network would like to offer our heartfelt sympathies to Chuck's family and friends at this time, this ambassador for Laurel and Hardy and the Sons of the Desert will be missed greatly.

Edited from www.chuckmccann.net:

A 3rd generation performer, Chuck McCann has conquered every medium of the entertainment industry – starring in film, television, recordings, stage, and as a man of close to 1,000 voices in the world of animation and commercials (or so it seems).

Those fortunate enough to live in New York in the 1960’s were able to watch Chuck’s amazing children’s programs and sketch comedy shows. The Puppet Hotel, Let's Have Fun, The Great Bombo’s Magic Cartoon Circus, Chuck McCann’s Laurel & Hardy Show, and The Chuck McCann Show, (to name a few) graced the B&W sets in the Tri-State area.

During that time commercials and animated shows also beckoned for his talent and Chuck became most of the villains to meet their match in Bob Kane’s Cool McCool series (a parody of James Bond films now on DVD). He was “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs” when he created the character of Sonny the Cuckoo Bird and Gramps for General Mills and, of course, seen as the “Hi Guy” neighbor in the famous series of Right Guard antiperspirant commercials. Chuck's commercials have won 5 Cleo Awards, and he even beat out Michael Jackson's Pepsi commercial - as the Hunchback of Notre Dame in a Dr. Pepper Commercial.

In 1968, Chuck did his first feature film, playing a deaf mute in, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter starring Alan Arkin. Following that, Chuck starred in The Projectionist, a film he co-produced in New York, about a tender movie theater projectionist who escapes his lonely life through his imaginary adventures as a super hero.

When the commute back and forth from LA to New York became a little much, Chuck moved to LA and was a guest star on basically everything on television at the time, from The Bob Newhart Show to Bonanza! But Chuck’s most noticeable role at the time was for those watching Saturday morning sit-coms, as Barney in Far Out Space Nuts, with Bob Denver (Gilligan’s Island).

Chuck’s television credits continued, and still do. From Knots Landing to Sabrina The Teenage Witch, to playing a judge on Boston Legal for ABC in this season's finale episode. Chuck can also be heard in all kinds of animated shows on the air now (Fantastic Four, Power Puff Girls, Ducktales, etc). He was also a part of the 2005 acclaimed documentary The Aristocrats, produced by Penn Gillette and Paul Provenza. The film has many a noted comic tell the same joke…which we can’t tell you here, but you can rent the movie. Rated R.

Our roving reporter, Steve Wichrowski, Jr., conducts an entertaining interview with comic actor and voice artist Chuck McCann and his "Stan" partner, Jim MacGeorge.

The main image above is from the 2012 Sons of the Desert international convention to read Mike David's memories and experiences of that convention.

Three of the Sons of the Desert founding fathers Al Kilgore, Chuck McCann and John McCabe.





"My dad knew I was going to be a comedian. When I was a baby, he said, 'Is this a joke?'"

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Sir Ken Dodd.  Ken was a master of comedy (and very talented singer) who brought joy and happiness to the world he loved. 

'In life, we all try to do the right things. Sometimes, we get it right and sometimes we don't get it quite right. But I'd like to think I've done some good'

for our coverage of Sir Ken unveiling the Laurel and Hardy statue in Ulverston, 2009.


Below is a press statement sent to us by Syds Wiersma, supervisor Frisian Film Archive.

Frisian Film Archive [Fries Film Archief – Leeuwarden, the Netherlands] discovers rare missing fragments from Stan Laurel film 'Detained' (1924)

Supposedly lost film scene emerges in Leeuwarden

2018, the year in which Leeuwarden/Fryslân is the European capital of culture, has only just started and the cultural world is already being presented with a unique discovery. The fact is that the Frisian Film Archive recently discovered film fragments of Stan Laurel which were thought to have been lost. In the Dutch copy of the Stan Laurel film Detained, which the Frisian Film Archive has in its possession, a scene with special effects has been discovered which is missing in other copies. This scene came to light during the stocktaking of old nitrate films for a large digitisation project which the film archive is involved in. Detained is a solo film by Stan Laurel dating from 1924.

Film scene considered lost

Jurjen Enzing, an employee at the Frisian Film Archive, recognised the famous actor Stan Laurel while stocktaking nitrate film material. Enzing decided to investigate which film it exactly was. After searching the Internet he discovered that it was a solo film by Stan Laurel. In the book written by Laurel and Hardy experts, Ted Okuda and James L. Neibaur, entitled 'Stan Without Ollie: The Stan Laurel Solo Films, 1917 – 1927', Enzing then read that it had to be the film Detained which dates from 1924. The missing scene was described in that same book. Neibaur and Okuda stated that it had apparently been lost. However, Enzing realised that he had discovered the missing scene in the copy at the Frisian Film Archive. It was quite a moment!


In the scene, which was thought to be lost, Stan Laurel plays a prisoner who ends up on the gallows. His neck gets stretched out of all proportion and that leads to a humorous escape. The absurd scene is typical of Stan Laurel. The reason why this scene was missing from most international copies is that, in the Nineteen Thirties, films like this used to be shortened. All 'superfluous' scenes and fragments were cut out of the film for the new release. As far as we are now aware the copy discovered by the Frisian Film Archive is the only existing copy in the world to include the gallows scene. The print also contains a number of other missing fragments, for example from a scene in which Laurel and a fellow prisoner dig an escape tunnel.

Confirmation from Paris

Following this discovery the Frisian Film Archive came into contact, via the Eye Film Institute, with Lobster Films in Paris. Lobster Films is a commercial film archive which specialises in restoration and digitisation. Among other things Lobster is famous for its collection of Laurel & Hardy films. Several years ago Lobster published a complete Laurel & Hardy DVD box set. Detained is included in it, but without the recently discovered fragments.

Lobster Films confirmed the value of the discovery by the Frisian Film Archive. The French even have a film print of Detained in their collection. A digitally restored version can also be found online. Lobster Films was extremely enthusiastic about the missing scenes and had a negative made at Haghe Film of the copy in the Frisian Film Archive, after which it was scanned in Paris. A digital copy of the entire film, including the missing fragments, has since been made available to the Frisian Film Archive.

How did the film end up in the Frisian Film Archive?

The nitrate copy of Detained ended up in the Frisian Film Archive in 2007 when amateur historian and investigator, Dirk Swierstra, who was born and bred in Leeuwarden, brought in a collection of commercially published nitrate films. These films had come from the cellar of the former photography shop 'Foto Vaka' (Van Kampen) in Leeuwarden. The Van Kampen family confirmed that Hendrik van Kampen had purchased a batch of films for 100 guilders shortly after the war with a view to renting them out and/or showing them. The collection probably included 35mm nitrate films which then ended up in the Van Kampen storeroom.

You can find the missing scenes at www.friesfilmarchief.nl. The complete film, including the newly discovered fragment and the new soundtrack by Arjan Kiel, can be viewed via the link: https://youtu.be/QNrCZRl3j-0


Dwain Smith RIP

We are saddened to report the passing of Dwain Smith, an icon in the Sons of the Desert and member of the founding tent in New York. Dwain was an outgoing, friendly soul and a joy to speak with and we will miss his wonderful energy. We remember his efficient and hilarious performance as emcee at many events including the Parade of Tents at the 1986 Sons convention at Valley Forge which can be found in the Audio section.

To Listen to the 1986 International Convention



Arthur Jefferson. Man of the Theatre and Father of Stan Laurel

(Brewin Books Ltd)
Danny Lawrence

Arthur Jefferson. Man of the Theatre and Father of Stan Laurel is a genuinely ground-breaking, first-ever biography of a flamboyant, multi-talented theatrical figure. Inevitably, his own contribution to the world of entertainment has been over-shadowed by the international stature of his son, Stan Laurel, the creative member of the hugely successful film partnership of Laurel and Hardy. The book tells a powerful human-interest story, set against the background of the major changes in the entertainment industry over a hundred-year period.

Arthur was a fine comic actor in his own right as well as a major influence on his son Stan - just as he in turn has been a major influence on successive generations of comic performers. But acting was just one of Arthur Jefferson’s prodigious talents. He was also a successful dramatist and his plays toured the UK and abroad to packed houses for many years. Remarkably, the first film in which the Laurel and Hardy partnership emerged fully formed in 1927 was based on a comedy sketch which Arthur had written for the theatre in 1906. Stan had played a role in it as a teenager and it was Stan himself who wrote the screenplay for that crucial early Laurel and Hardy film, released as Duck Soup. In addition, in Arthur, we have an excellent example of the provincial theatre lessees who provided Victorians and Edwardians with their main source of entertainment. In the days before radio, cinema or television, that was more than enough to make Arthur a local celebrity but he added to his reputation with his flair for advertising and marketing, and numerous contributions to the life of the local community.

The book describes the many ups and sometimes tragic downs in Arthur’s life, including his unusual family background; his acting career; the reception given to his plays and sketches; his many years as a theatre lessee; his brief sortie into film-making, and his time as a theatrical agent. It also discusses his two marriages, and the lives of his four children, all of whom followed him into show business. In addition to the accumulation of rich, previously unpublished material, and the dispelling of myths about Arthur, the book contains much that is new about the whole Jefferson family.

Arthur was born and raised in the West Midlands, and then the North-West. His unusual upbringing is described in fascinating detail. His family life and circumstances are so extraordinary that they would make a wonderful subject for the TV programme Who Do You Think You Are. His early life reveals just how different it was to be born in Victorian England. In his case, he was both a victim and a beneficiary of the double standards characteristic of some many outwardly upstanding men. Nevertheless, however unorthodox an upbringing, Arthur went on to become a conspicuous success in his chosen ‘line of business’ and mixed comfortably with people who, unlike him, had enjoyed every advantage whilst growing up.

Arthur began his theatrical life as a touring actor. After 8 years on the road, and still touring for much of the time but now with his own plays, he leased the Theatre Royal in Bishop Auckland. After 6 years he moved to the Blyth and Tyne area where over, 12 twelve years, he built up a little empire of 6 drama theatres. Then, dogged by bad luck, his empire collapsed and he moved to Glasgow and ran its Metropole theatre until 1922, although for the last 10 years from London. It was also from London that he ran his theatrical agency. Had fate not taken a hand he would also have ended his days there. Sadly, his second wife died in January 1941 and Arthur sought refuge in the home of his daughter in rural Lincolnshire.

When still a theatre lessee, Arthur had to confront the huge challenges to local, live, intimate theatre from global, silent and then sound cinema. Ironically, it was the very success of films like those of Laurel and Hardy which all but destroyed the network of provincial drama theatres which Arthur loved so much.

By the time that Arthur died, in obscurity, in 1949, show business had moved on in ways that would have seemed unimaginable to him in his prime. He had once rubbed shoulders with the likes of Charles Dickens, Sir Henry Irving, Bram Stoker and Mrs Patrick Campbell but, sadly, by living so long, his passing went unnoticed by the theatrical world of the day.

Publication date Thursday 19 October 1917.  ISBN: 978-1-85858-576-5; £16.95; 320 pp. (incl. 87 B&W images); size 240mm x170mm.  Danny is also the author of The Making of Stan Laurel. Echoes of a British Boyhood (McFarland, 2011).  The book can be bought via Amazon or bookshops but signed copies are available directly from Danny for £15 +£2.80 p&p   to contact Danny.

Dean McKeown writes:

I've only had a few days and not much time to fully appreciate this book but what I do know is that I cannot wait to sit down and read it cover to cover.  From what little has been written up until now I've always thought Arthur Jefferson sounded like a real showman.  A truly inspirational character whose exploits in the theatre industry deserved to be documented; well now they have thanks to Danny.  Yet more than that Danny has succeeded in casting a light on AJ's life as a whole, his influence on his son and his approach to comedy, writing and performance.  Laurel and Hardy fans around the world owe Arthur Jefferson a debt of gratitude for the work ethic he passed on to his son, we also own Danny Lawrence many pludits for producing this fine piece of work that sheds light onto the wider life of Arthur Jefferson.




It is with great sadness that we report the news of the passing of Lois Laurel Hawes.

Over the years Lois worked hard to protect and preserve the memory and work of Laurel and Hardy, making herself available to fans and groups around the world. Lois was a friend to thousands but more importantly she was a mother, a grand mother and a great grandmother; while we all share in this loss our thoughts are with her family at this difficult time.

Tyler St Mark who is in direct touch with the family released this statement on their behalf:

It is with great sadness the family of Lois Laurel Hawes announces that she passed away at 11:42 today [28th July] at Holy Cross Hospital in Granada Hills, CA.

Our most beloved "GG" went peacefully and smiling with family at her side after a lengthy illness.

Lois, who would have turned 90 in December, was the only daughter of comedy legend, Stan Laurel, and was previously married to film actor Rand Brooks and writer/actor, Tony Hawes.

Lois was born in Beverly Hills in 1927 and, like her celebrated father, enjoyed boating and fishing. As a child, she frequently visited the film sets of her father and his comedy partner, "Uncle Babe" Hardy, and dedicated much of her spare time after their passing to preserving their comedy legacy. She was often an honored guest at the numerous celebrations by the Sons of the Deserts, a worldwide club dedicated to the memory of Laurel & Hardy.

Additionally, with her husband, Rand, Lois co-founded a private ambulance company in Glendale, California, which served the community for two decades.

In her last years, Lois lived happily with her adoring grand daughter, Cassidy, and great-grandchildren, Tommy and Lucy, greatly relishing in their numerous scholastic and artistic accomplishments.

She is survived by a large family, among them a daughter, five grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Arrangements for a Celebration of Life are pending and will occur on the occasion of her upcoming birthday in December.

Lois Laurel Hawes: A Personal Reflection
by Dean McKeown

One evening in 2006 I was sitting busying myself with nothing of any importance, here in Scotland we call it 'doing hee-haw', when the telephone rang upon answering I was greeted by Lois Laurel Hawes. I had written Lois a letter and sent her a theatre program and she was calling to thank me.  Initially I admit to being 'star-struck' but within minutes Lois and I were chatting like we'd known each other for years. Over the next several years we spoke hundreds of times and in 2010 I was lucky enough to meet her in person at the Culver Hotel in Culver City a few minutes walk from the site where her father and uncle Babe made their most popular films.

Getting a call from or making a call to Lois was an absolute delight but the topic of conversation was, at times, very unpredictable!  We didn't always speak about Stan, Ollie, Charlie Hall or James Finlayson in fact most conversations quickly went off on a tangent that would mostly result in lots of laughter and by the end of the call we'd have forgotten what we started talking about or indeed why we even called. The truth is you don't need a reason to pick up a phone and speak to someone and it is maybe something we should all remember because no one knows what tomorrow will bring.

We talked about various things from 'quackless' ducks which I said I had never heard of and Lois said 'That's because they don't make a noise!' to a money tree that Stan made for her, he hung dollar bills to the branches of a tree in the garden, he done this a short while after telling her 'money doesn't grow on trees' as most parents say to a child at some point.  She told me how she treated Wilda Hall in a nursing home without realising at the time that it was the same Wilda Hall she had previously known in the 1930s when Charlie Hall visited. Lois spoke extensively about her family as most people do, she was proud of them all and frequently mentioned Cassidy and her great grand children.  Lois told me how Stan was colour-blind and how she had to tell him that his bright yellow coloured stationary was outlandish and so he changed to the blue paper with the navy blue border.  I put Ken Dodd in touch with her after he unveiled the statue of Stan and Ollie in Ulverston and she excitedly called me afterwards to give me a full run down of what he said. She had previously met Ken when she and Tony went backstage at one of his shows and found him in his dressing room watching Laurel and Hardy, she was surprised and touched by this as he didn't know they were coming.

Sometimes it was the little one liners that raised the biggest laugh, we were talking once in 2009 about her late husband Tony Hawes and Larry Grayson and their work on the Generation Game and I mentioned previous host Bruce Forsyth and what he was doing now on TV, there was a long pause and Lois said 'Is he still alive?' I replied 'Well I hope so I seen him dancing on BBC1 last week! In fact I think he's a bit younger than you' in a heart beat Lois quipped 'He must be really old!'.

The one conversation that will forever stick in my mind most vividly came shortly before midnight one Sunday after I had just done a thirteen hour shift at work, I arrived home at around 11pm and was sitting in the living room in silence feeling totally exhausted when the phone rang. At this time of night when a phone rings your heart usually ends up in your mouth as you think something is wrong but within seconds of answering I could tell from her voice that Lois had something hilarious to tell me. Earlier that day she and Cassidy were googling the name 'Lois Laurel' to see what was on the internet about her. They discovered another person who was using the name and this other person happened to be an 'adult' entertainment star. For the next ten minutes in between various fits of giggles Lois told me about this woman and the contents of her website and encouraged me to google her (which I should add I never did do). It was the most surreal conversation I have had with anyone let alone someone only four years younger than my own grandmother but it lifted my spirits that night and does show how laughter and friendship has no barriers.

It wasn't always laughter and frivolity, Lois had a serious side and quite rightly would express opinions about a book, author, play, personality or TV production related to Laurel and Hardy. I never heard her being rude or disrespectful but when she seen something she didn't agree with she, more than anyone, had a right to express her opinion. Lois dedicated a large part of her life to preserving and promoting the work and legacy of her father and uncle Babe. She kept abreast of new technologies and the way in which Laurel and Hardy was reaching their many fans, old and new. She was very supportive of and involved with the Sons of the Desert.

Lois was supportive and complimentary of The Nutty Nut News Network and was always at the end of the line if I had to ask about an image or news story, she spoke frequently about our own Steve Wichrowski, Jr. She was delighted with my efforts with The Charlie Hall Picture Archive. She gave me so much advice prior to our visit to America in 2010 of places to visit and how to get around the city of Los Angles. When Maria and I were engaged she insisted I send images of the engagement ring and it was one of the first things she wanted to see when we met in 2010.

Lois leaves the world a far richer place just for her having been here and touching the lives of so many people. Often words cannot express how you feel when you experience loss but laughter can lift your spirits from bereavement and Lois left us with a lot of laughter, love and happy memories. She will be missed, I will always remember her and smile.  Rest in peace.

Lois in 2014 at the July Laurel and Hardywood Convention, photo from www.laurelandhardywood.com

Tony and Lois Laurel Hawes discuss L&H on TV, colourization and the police car from “Midnight Patrol”; Brief remarks from Big Business Tent; David Oyston of the UK’s County Hospital Tent and Graham McKenna’s of the Laughing Gravy Tent comment on the convention.  To listen


Laurel & Hardy Sondayz

May 18 & 19, 2018.

(More events may be added to the program)

SATURDAY May 18th 11.00 A.M. : Doors open / registration & Goodie bags - Hello’s at the bar (bar talks)!  12.30 P.M. : Opening with Cocktail & Toast.  1.00 P.M.: Short movie.  1.30 P.M.: “Bar Talks”

2.00 P.M. : The weakest Link “part 1”.  2. 30 P.M. : short movie.  3.00 P.M. : A tribute to Bill Cubin.  3.25 P.M.: Bar Talks.  3.50 P.M. : The Weakest link “part 2”.  4.20 P.M. : One Good Turn Deserves Another Award..  4.40 P.M. : Wrong Again “What went wrong movie show”.  5.00 P.M. : Bar Talks.  5:30 P.M.: Parade “towards Restaurant de watertuinen ± 10 minutes walk”. 6:00 P.M.: Diner at the Watertuinen “here you can choose from a lots of varieties of dishes, from Sushi, Pizza’s Steaks, Fish, dishes from the far east , salads etc deserts, etc all you can eat, drinks are free (beers, special beers, red or white wine, soda’s and water).  8.15 P.M.: Return to the Kroon for evening program, those who need to chance for the evening program get a chance to do so at their hotel or venue.  9:15 P.M.: Short entertainment movie.  10:00P.M. : Sons entertainment “we invite you to be part of the evening program and entertain the Sons , we will do our best to do ! So please do too ! Be the stand-up comedian, the musician, singer, magician, clown , imitator etc. Be part of the show!  MIDNIGHT: Bar talks till late, but remember the next day you have to be fit for the Olympics!

SUNDAY May 19th 11:00 A.M. : Put on your lederhosen or Dirndl as we start the Laurel & Hardy Olympics at the city park Kijk in de Pot. We’ll pick you up at the hotel and bring you to the park (± 5 minutes walk). After this warming up it’s time to show us your Swiss Athletics Skills!  12:30 P.M. : A 5 minutes walk brings us back to the Kroon where we will have a lunch, Swiss Style, with music from the Alps!  1:30 P.M. : Short movie.  2:00 P.M. : Bar Talks.  2:30 P.M. : Hey Rosie! Warming up for Swiss Miss with Schulplatter, Music and more!  3:30 P.M.: Swiss Miss.  5:00 P.M.: Start Swiss Style BBQ.  7:30 P.M.: Act.  8:30 P.M.: Raffle, announcing winner L&H Olympics 2018.  9.15 P.M. : Bar talks.  9:45 P.M.: Sing-a-Longs and acts.  10:30 P.M.: “TBA”.  11:45 P.M.: Goodbye’s but bar stays open for bar talks!

NOTE: Both days : During bar talks there is a special film show edited by Graham and Memorabilia sale! Those who like to sell can sign up for a table (for free). Total price of two days event excl hotel : € 130. Hotel price ± 50-60 Euros p.p. (5 minutes walk to venue).  Payments can be made by Pay Pal or Bank. We will book your hotel room, Just what you’ve got to do is send us an e-mail at: sondayz.2018@gmail.com and we’ll get in touch with you for arrangements.

for further information


Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies

An important announcement to Laurel and Hardy admirers in the UK! Until now, it has been difficult to get copies of my book, “Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies” to you from the USA, as the postage cost was around $75.00 USD per book, almost as much as the book itself. Happily, you may now order the book from Amazon UK, and the postage will cost only about £5.23, or about 6.98 in USD. (The postage to Ireland is now about 18 Euros, previously 80!)

With this massive reduction of postage costs, I hope you might consider purchasing a copy. Yes, it still costs a considerable sum, but it is beautifully crafted in every way. I’m happy to say that it has gotten many rave reviews. It is greatly revised and expanded from the original book of 30 years ago, with double the text, four times as many rare and previously unpublished photos, and a wealth of new information. There are only a few hundred copies left of the hardcover, and there will not be a second printing. Here’s where you can order it: http://tinyurl.com/Amazon-UK-L-H-Book

US Sons and fans can still order the book through Amazon.com, or from the publisher at http://www.bonaventurepress.com

Fraternally yours – Randy Skretvedt


UK Convention 2018

A message from Roger Robinson:

Hello Folks

You may not of heard that the UK Laurel and Hardy Convention in 2018 will be
hosted by the Saps At Sea (Oh no, not them again!). It will be based in
Norwich in Norfolk. It will be limited to 140 and we now have over 60 people
who have booked in just over three weeks. All single rooms are taken but we
do have twin and double rooms available.

Norwich is easy to get by train and there is an airport there with flights
from some European destinations, including Amsterdam.

I have attached booking form and information, but if you would like to have
further information please contact me. Please also pass on to anyone that I
may have not included in the e-mail. I will be Ghent in August.

The cost is £249 if paid in full in November else £255. Details and booking form can be found at www.saps-at-sea.co.uk



Laurel & Hardy: Spot On!

(Book & CD)
by Michael Ehret

An Audiovisual Account of Laurel and Hardy's 1952 British Tour with CD containing a complete recording of their sketch 'On The Spot'!

To All Laurel & Hardy Fans: Spot This!
Filled with many rare and previously unpublished full-page photographs, Spot On! recounts Laurel and Hardy’s 1952 British stage tour step by step using original letters, photographs, press releases, and much, much more.

Featuring new essays written by well-known Laurel and Hardy scholars and collectors.

Furthermore, this book reproduces, for the very first time, all surviving script versions of their 1952 stage sketch On the Spot, including extracts from Oliver Hardy’s own copies. These allow the reader to discover the many changes Stan Laurel made in the course of the tour.

The icing on the cake is the world premiere of the only known audio recording of Laurel and Hardy performing On the Spot live, illustrated with pictures showing the boys onstage and backstage! Needless to say that this book fills an important gap in Laurel and Hardy history.

The book has been written, the recording has been restored.  For more information please


The BBC is to make a new film drama about comedy legends Laurel and Hardy.

The biopic will be written by Jeff Pope, who created the TV dramas Mrs Biggs and Appropriate Adult and co-wrote Philomena.  Stan and Ollie will chronicle the pair's 1953 tour of Britain.

Casting details, a filming schedule and a date for the film's transmission have yet to be announced.

To read the full story


Laurel and Hardy movie to hit screens in 2018

'Inspired by actual events, Stan and Ollie is billed as an emotional tribute to two of the funniest men in movie history,' read a statement from Larry Harmon Pictures. Larry Harmon Pictures has licensed the Laurel and Hardy feature film rights to Faye Warde's Fable Pictures, Jeff Pope's Sonesta Films and BBC Films.

Together the trio will be producing a Stan and Ollie original movie, based on one of the world's most loved comedy duos. The film is slated to begin production in March this year in the UK with an international release slated for early 2018.

Robert Hutchins (17.01.17.), Licensing.biz website


The following is a message from Gino Dercola:

The World of Laurel and Hardy

Around 2005, I began to send out periodic emails to Sons about items regarding Laurel and Hardy that I thought might be of interest to Sons.  I slowly began to accumulate many names of Sons who requested being on my L&H mailing list.  On May 1, 2009, I began to send out almost-daily (weekdays) emails regarding L&H information.  I eventually labelled my group THE WORLD OF LAUREL AND HARDY—I thought that name was so appropriate, since I was finding SO many facts and things of interest all over the world about L&H.  Between that date and now, I have sent out over 3100 emails to my group—I’m sure that after these emails got to the “regular” members and they passed it around, each of these emails get seen by probably several hundred Sons. One of the most rewarding things I have experienced while sending out these emails are the many thank-you’s I got from Sons, and in doing that, I made MANY new friends in the Sons of the Desert. For those of you who stayed in touch with me, you have my greatest appreciation.

Now, I have decided to stop sending out my L&H emails on my “The World of Laurel and Hardy” site.  My last emails will be on January 31st of this month.  I hope to stay in touch with many Sons in the future and I look forward to you emailing me with a HELLO once in a while.

Best wishes,

Gino Dercola
Any Old Port Tent– Oasis 212
Baltimore, Maryland

Being a recipient of Gino's informative and entertaining emails, some of which found their way onto The Nutty Nut News Network's pages, I for one will miss them and would like to thank Gino for all his hard work, friendship and dedication to Laurel and Hardy and the Sons of the Desert.  I am sure we all wish him well in his future endeavours.

Dean McKeown


Intra-Tent Journal

New Website


Irv Hyatt writes 'Thanks Nutty Nut News Network for all of your past support. This follow-up to the "Laurel and Hardy: The Lobby Cards" color book has just come out today. "Hal Roach's Rascals: The Our Gang Comedies" contains lobby cards, posters, trade ads and much more color material from this classic series from the Hal Roach Studios.'

for further information on all of Irv's books.


Rick Helley a regular and much valued contributor on The Nutty Nut News Networks Facebook page shared the above and below images. Rick adds that the above is a 'Vintage 1962 postcard from the Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park, California. Opened in 1962, the Museum closed in 2005.' In response Randy Skretvedt stated 'I believe the L&H figures are in another wax museum, owned by the last folks who owned Movieland, on Pier 39 in San Francisco.' René Riva and Philip Hutchinson note that Stan looks more like Ken Dodd  or Joe Pesci!



By Antony Mitchell-Waite, Joanne Mitchell-Waite


This is a chronological scrapbook guide to the cinema released films made between 1957 and 1974, mainly by Robert Youngson that brought silent cinema back to the public. It details worldwide release dates and titles, news cuttings and reviews and details poster comparisons.

Price: £18.00 (excl. VAT) to order

Product Details
ISBN: 9781326722913
Copyright: Antony Mitchell-Waite (Standard Copyright Licence)
Edition: First
Publisher: Midnight Patrol Books
Published: 27 June 2016
Language: English
Pages: 564
Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior: Ink Black & white
Weight: 1.11 kg
Dimensions (centimetres): 18.9 wide x 24.59 tall

This is a companion piece to our mammoth book on the cinematic revival of silent comedy between the 1950's and 1970's, called Stanthology. This contains the best posters collected for that book and presents them in full colour.

Price: £19.99 (excl. VAT) to order

Product Details

Copyright: Antony Mitchell-Waite (Standard Copyright Licence)
Edition: First
Publisher: Midnight Patrol Books
Published: 27 June 2016
Language: English
Pages: 96
Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink: Full colour
Weight: 0.31 kg
Dimensions (centimetres): 18.9 wide x 24.59 tall



The winners of Best Performance at Birmingham Fest 2015, Lucky Dog Theatre Productions, return this year with the full length version of "Hats Off To Laurel & Hardy" at A.E. Harris (Stan's Cafe Theatre) on Sunday 24th July at 2pm. This fantastic show is the story of the comedy legends and a must for fans. For further details, dates and venues see:



Nancy Wardell


Sad news has reached us today via Rob Lewis at The Laurel and Hardy Magazine that Nancy Wardell (Stan's cousin) passed away peacefully yesterday morning after a short illness. 

Roger Robinson from the Saps at Sea Tent adds 'Nancy Wardell, Stan's second cousin, has died. She was a lovely lady, a good ambassador for the Sons of the Desert, proud of her family and administered the Laurel and Hardy Charity Fund and in doing so raised a lot of money for worthy causes....I am sure she will be in our thoughts with our toasts to ‘absent friends’ at our Tent meetings and at the International Convention.'

Everyone here at The Nutty Nut News Network would like to extend our sympathies to the family and friends of this wonderful woman at this sad time.


Happy Birthday Stan, born June 16th, 1890.


Rand Brooks, Jr.

A message from Tracy Tolzmann via Gino Dercola

The internet spreads news so fast!  Block-Heads' Grand Sheik Emeritus Dick Bann forwarded the following message: "From Rob Word comes sad news that Rand Brooks, Jr., only son of Lois Laurel and only grandson of Stan Laurel, was killed on his motorcycle Saturday night by a drunken, hit and run driver, now apprehended.  Condolences to the family. RIP Rand Brooks, Jr."

Everyone here at The Nutty Nut News Network would like to pass on our heartfelt condolences to Lois and her wider family at this tragic time.


Thanks to Chris Coffey for forwarding us the above information.

The Magic Behind the Movies

by Randy Skretvedt

Author Randy Skretvedt has been in touch with the following:

Fellow Laurel and Hardy admirers, I hope you won't mind my indulging in some shameless self-promotion here. Back in 1987 my book, "Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies" was first published. It ran to 464 pages in a 6x9 format. In 1994 and again in 1996 we brought out a second edition, with 32 more pages.

Now, an almost entirely revised and greatly expanded edition is about to be published. The new version is 8.5x11, 632 pages, has twice the text and four times as many photographs as the original edition -- over 1,000. There are more quotes from producer Hal Roach, directors George Marshall and George Stevens, actresses Anita Garvin and Dorothy Granger, musical director Marvin Hatley, special effects expert Roy Seawright, film editors Richard Currier and Bert Jordan, and many more of the team's associates -- more than 60 in all. Excerpts from original scripts provide hilarious scenes which were never included in the films. The photographs show the team at work on the set and on location with the crew, and also provide a glimpse into scenes which were filmed but not released. More information about the book can be found here. It has been beautifully designed and I know you will be delighted with it.

for ordering details.

Please know that you are not making a donation – you will get a book and other extras in return, you’re just paying for the book before it is published. (If the video starts playing, click on the "KS" logo at the bottom right corner of the screen.)

Best wishes--
Randy Skretvedt


To listen to Randy's 1989 interview for the Nutty Nut News Network   in the interview Randy talks with roving reporter Steve Wichrowski. Randy discusses how he worked on his very popular book "Laurel and Hardy - The Magic Behind the Movies" and reveals the contents of a letter he received from Exhausted Ruler Jack McCabe.

You can also hear about some of the interviews Randy conducted for his book including one which he found fascinating and provided much valuable detail.

to hear a 2009 interview with Randy. 

This presentation by Steve Wichrowski is filled with background information on how Randy interviewed scores of Laurel and Hardy related celebrities for his very popular book "Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies".

We hear how he began doing interviews in the early 1970s and in particular about his successful encounters with studio boss Hal Roach. Randy also reveals which celebrity he was the closest to and with whom he produced a record album. (Randy gives details on how to order a CD copy of this.) The commentary on the 20th Century Fox DVD release of "The Big Noise" is discussed and Randy reappraises his evaluation of that film.

This interview is loaded with behind the scenes information and fascinating details concerning a number of Laurel and Hardy co-stars, including Bob Bailey ("Jitterbugs", "The Dancing Masters"). In addition, Randy tells us how he came to acquire personal snapshots and written material belonging to Babe Hardy.

And finally, we hear from Randy about some new projects including an upcoming revised and expanded version of his book. This 20 minute plus interview is accompanied with a photo of Randy holding the sizeable Hardy scrapbook album.


Dale E. Walter

Mike David writes: Dale and Dennis attended many events and used their talents and charm to bring enjoyment to so many.  We are saddened by Dale's passing and hope that Dennis will be inspired by his memories of Dale and continue to perform.

Our sympathies go out to all of Dale's family and friends.




We report the sad news that child actress and Our Gang member Jean Darling sadly passed away on September 4th, 2015 after a short illness.  Everyone here at The Nutty Nut News Network would like to pass our condolences to Jean's family and friends.  Rest in Peace.

An interview with Jean Darling (Babe's in Toyland). In this fascinating interview with Jean Darling she recounts her interesting and amusing experiences during the filming of the 1928 Our Gang film "Barnum and Ringling, Inc." She also describes antics on the set of "Babes In Toyland" (1934) including an amicable disagreement between Stan and Babe concerning her dress.  Jean reveals the cast member on whom she had a crush and fondly remembers actress Marie Wilson.

To listen

Jean Darling holding Steve's tape recorder.




Stan Laurel's Glasgow

Stan at The Clutha

Recently The Clutha bar in Glasgow added an artwork mural on the outside walls showing the history of the pub including some of the people who drank and played there.  The artwork by Glasgow-based Art Pistol forms part of the work to re-open the Clutha following the tragic Police Scotland helicopter crash on November 29, 2013, that resulted in ten people sadly dying.  Just to the side of the main door our very own Stan Laurel features prominently.

Stan at The Panopticon

Shortly before last nights meeting of the Call of the Cuckoo Tent meeting at The Panopticon several of us were invited onto the newly restored stage.  Work was started earlier this year as part of the ongoing project to preserve and restore the building to its former glory.  Below is The Nutty Nut News Networks very own Dean McKeown standing on 'Stan's Stage'.

Pictures by Dean and Maria McKeown, July 1st, 2015.




It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we report that Bart Williams has passed away. 

Tyler St. Mark writes this beautiful tribute:

'It is with profound sadness that I inform you that our very beloved friend, actor, filmmaker, and show business colleague, Bart Williams, has passed away quietly today at his home in Bullhead City, Arizona.

Bart had courageously battled lung and liver cancer for almost a year and it was his desire to bid farewell to family and intimate friends without fuss during these last few weeks and then to make his transition with simple grace and the utmost dignity. This last role Bart performed as impeccably as he did with all of his endeavors both in and outside the entertainment industry.

Bart spent most of his sixty-six years passionately dedicated to the performing arts; theatre, radio, film, and television. He was a veteran actor whose film credits included "The Doomsday Clock," "Short Circuit 2," "Hello Dolly," and "An Enemy of the People." His TV credits included "MAD-TV," "Weird Science," "Jerry Seinfeld," "Totally Hidden Video," and "General Hospital."

Bart also appeared in countless Equity musical productions nationwide; often in major character roles he performed repeatedly over the years and become particularly celebrated for such as Cap'n Andy in "Show Boat," Major General Stanley in "The Pirates of the Penzance," and The Wizard in "The Wizard of Oz." The latter would be Bart's final acting role which he brilliantly performed to stellar reviews and sold-out audiences at the Tuacahn Amphitheatre in St. George, Utah.

Bart also was a successful writer, director, and producer, having garnered numerous festival awards recently for his film documentary, "The Last First Comic," which chronicles the history of burlesque comedy through the life and career of the only surviving burlesque comedy headliner.

As many of you know, Bart's production accomplishments were only exceeded by his love and devotion for over a half century to the history of show business. His vast knowledge of and insights into theatre, radio, film, television, and the people who personified these industries was nearly matchless. Among his close friends were many Hollywood luminaries spanning the last century – too many to name here.

Most importantly, Bart was an extraordinary friend; caring, compassionate, considerate, comical, and more often than not, delightfully naughty. Many of you have known and loved Bart since his childhood, and that kind of mileage says much about a person. I adored Bart Williams and so many of you did too!

At an early age, Bart would read all about his favorite entertainers and then set out to meet them. One of them was his childhood idol, Buster Keaton. Eleanor Keaton, Buster's wife, often told of the day she answered the door and a young boy of nine or ten was standing there. "May I help you?"Mrs. Keaton asked. The boy looked at her nervously for a moment before replying, "Can Buster come out and play?" That boy was Bart Williams who did indeed, for a time, became a playmate of The Great Stone Face and, later in life, a cherished friend and confidant to Buster's widow.

A celebration of the life and career of "The Wonderful Wizard of Ahhhs" is already in the planning stage and further information will be posted in the future on Bart William's Facebook page.

It was Barty's last request that I advise his cherished friends and colleagues to hold precious every hour, try something different and daring each day, and to remember that he will be watching us all from the "third balcony."


Bart was a very special man, Maria and I spent a day with him and Tyler St. Mark in 2010 and I am still laughing at the fond memories.  He was so funny, warm and delightful.  My heart goes out to his family and friends.  Rest in Peace my friend.

Dean McKeown



As a present there are reports that the  Second reel of Laurel and Hardy’s The Battle of the Century has been recovered for further information.


From Soup to Nuts Tent at

1983 Night Owls Picnic

Mike David writes:  I recently found in our Nutty Nut News Network archive a short super 8mm film I made in 1983 as part of an inter-tent communications project. Several Sons of the Desert tents around the globe exchanged 8mm films of their activities. Without the internet as we know it today, this was the only compatible visual method for us to share.

The film covers our "trip" to the annual picnic of the Night Owls of the Connecticut Valley and includes rare appearances on sound film of two Grand Sheiks: Guido Cipriani, creator of the Nutty Nut News Network, and the popular and renowned Hal Stanton.

Interspersed among the footage is the usual "nuttiness" from some of the "lower elements" for which we can make no excuse.

Our trip and the scenes at the Night Owls' picnic, which have not been seen in over 30 years, will give you an idea of what our tents were like back in the day.




It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Dick Jones who appeared in some of the Our Gang films at Hal Roach Studios and was well known as the voice of Pinocchio.  Everyone here at The Nutty Nut News Network would like to pass on our sympathy to Dick's family and friends.

Our roving reporter, Steve Wichrowski, Jr., conducts a brief but entertaining interview with Dick Jones who appeared in March of the Wooden Soldiers and provided the voice of Pinocchio.

To listen

Our Gang star Dick Jones squeezed in a few minutes to sit down with Mike David and roving reporter Steve Wichrowski at the recent Williamsburg Film Festival in March 2009.  In this interview you'll hear him talk about a specific scene in the Our Gang short "The Pigskin Palooka" which was filmed from September 18 - 25, 1937. He also tells us about going to school with the other Our Gang members at the Roach Studio.  The timing of this new interview was significant since it occurred during the week when Walt Disney released the 70th Anniversary DVD edition of the 1940 classic "Pinocchio", and it was a youthful Dick Jones who provided the voice for the title character.

To listen



  Billy Benedict and Frank Coghlan, Jr

Interviews 1990

to listen to our very own roving reporter Steve Wichrowski, Jr. conduct entertaining and informative interviews with Billy Benedict who appeared with Stan and Ollie in Great Guns and prolific actor Frank Coghlan, Jr. who starred in some of the early Our Gang films.  

Mike David writes:  We recently found in our archives a two part celebrity audio interview not available for over 20 years. It involves two character actors from the classic film era of the '30s and '40s.

The first audio is a brief talk with William "Billy" Benedict, best remembered for his juvenile roles in the Little Tough Guys Series and the Bowery Boys films. He also appeared briefly with the Boys in "Great Guns".

The second interview is an extensive and fascinating discussion with Frank "Junior Coghlan" who appeared in 3 early Our Gang films. He recounts his appearance in the renowned "Public Enemy" (1931) as a youthful James Cagney and also recalls his work with a young Shirley Temple. 

Billy is best remembered as Billy Batson ("Shazam!") in "The Adventures of Captain Marvel" (1941) and he describes one of the scenes from that film.

These exclusive interviews were recorded by our Roving Reporter Steve Wichrowski, Jr., at the 1990 Way Out West Annual Banquet in Los Angeles.


Diosa Costello


Sad news. Diosa Costello who starred as "Conchita" in 1945s "The Bullfighters" has passed away.

She gave an energetic and humorous audio interview to The Nutty Nut News Network back in 1992 when she spoke about her dancing in that film and how she witnessed the working and improvisational methods used by Stan and Babe.

Diosa Costello Interview 1992

by Scott MacGillivray

Diosa Costello, a Laurel and Hardy co-star in 1945s "The Bullfighters", gives a lively and humorous audio interview recorded in 1992 at the Sons 8th International Convention in Las Vegas.

After talking about how she got her start in show business, Diosa explains what she witnessed as the working and improvisational methods used by Stan and Babe during the film's production.

She also discusses the story behind her exaggerated accent and how she had to be careful with her fiery dance moves.

This is an interesting talk with a fascinating entertainer, wonderfully conducted by L&H author and Boston Brats Grand Sheik Scott MacGillivray.

To Listen


Another fine mess? Unravelling Laurel and Hardy's Scottish links

to read an article from the BBC examining Stan and Ollie's Scottish links.


This project aims to show you the shooting locations of many of the films on the Hal Roach lot, using a numbered-labelled grid to correspond with the screenshot. So, if you have ever wondered which building Stan and Ollie were standing in front of when they are attacked by Blanche Payson in "Below Zero", or which street corner Stan paints Dorothy Coburn's bum in "The Second Hundred Years" - all this and much, much more will all be revealed. Through over 700 stills from dozens of Roach-produced films, this two-year project from Jim and Robert will throw up a few surprises, and maybe just a few familiar-looking buildings?

To take the tour


Stan Laurel's Valet - The Jimmy Murphy Story

I. Joseph Hyatt has informed us of his new book "Stan Laurel's Valet - The Jimmy Murphy Story".  To order the book

'Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are classic icons of film comedy. Jimmy Murphy was Stan Laurel's valet and close friend. With meticulous research, miles of traveling tour routes and places from Murphy's childhood and conversations with the man himself, his life is now finally documented in "Stan Laurel's Valet - The Jimmy Murphy Story" Having worked for Morton Downey, Tom Mix, Al Steele (Joan Crawford's husband), Burt Wheeler (of Wheeler and Woolsey) and Stan Laurel, Jimmy's life reads like a Hollywood publicity tale. His friends included President Ronald Reagan and King Edward VIII, and many other politicians, royalty, and stars. Photos from archives and other private collections, including Jimmy's own, are used throughout the book. Special attention has been paid to the two American theater tours of Laurel and Hardy. For the first time, all the dates and locations visited are complete. Included are interviews with cast, crewmembers, and Jimmy Murphy himself, who accompanied the team. Jimmy Murphy considered his relationship with Stan Laurel as the best time of his life'

Paperback: 194 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 20, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1484164474
ISBN-13: 978-1484164471
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches


Jimmy Murphy Interview Ulverston 1984

Here we present a very brief but revealing audio interview with Jimmy Murphy, Stan Laurel's valet. Jimmy recalls his time with actress Joan Crawford and reveals the "gift" she received from her then husband Alfred Steele.


Thanks to Roger Westerbeek for sharing this wonderful picture of Stan and Eda Laurel.


This rare signed image is currently for sale at auction in the UK. Estimate £200-£300, why not visit our Gallery of the month to see a larger version?



Willie McIntyre informs us that Bill Crouch has been researching Stan Laurel's early days and has made some intriguing discoveries including:

Stan Laurel could not have lived at Craigmillar Road, Glasgow, in 1906 nor in early 1907.

No records have survived for 1905-1908 for Stonelaw High School. There is no record of Stan in the Queens Park School Term Report Book 1901-1910.

Mystery also surrounds the schooling in Glasgow of Teddy, Stan's younger brother.

In 1905 the Jeffersons lived at 57 (not 42) Buchanan Drive, Rutherglen.

185 Stonelaw Road, Rutherglen remains an enigma.

To read the full article please visit Bowler Dessert Online by clicking below




With over thirty images to read Mike David's memories and experiences of the recent Sons of the Desert International Convention.


Oliver Hardy Festival

Dennis Moriarty and Mike David (wearing a tie and behaving, which is rare!)

The Nutty Nut News Networks very own Mike David writes: I had a wonderful talk with Dennis Moriarty at the recent international convention. Dennis is a pleasant, talented fellow with a keen resemblance to Stan. He asked me to let everyone know that the annual Oliver Hardy Festival will be held on Saturday, October 6, 2012, and he will be there with his Look-A-Likes Ollie partner, Dale Walter, Sr. I saw Dennis out of costume before I left and he said: "I look different out of my clothes, don't I?"

to read Gino Dercola's 2012 Oliver Hardy Festival memories



On Location with Laurel and Hardy, March 1928

The above footage recently appeared on Youtube with the following description 'On location with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy during the making of "Should Married Men Go Home." George Mann of the comedic dance act Barto and Mann shot the film or handed his camera to someone else to shoot.'



Jacquie Lyn Interview 1992

by Scott MacGillivray

Jacquie Lyn, the child co-star with L&H in 1932's, "Pack Up Your Troubles", talks with Laurel and Hardy author Scott MacGillivray at the Sons 1992 Las Vegas Convention.  This is one of our favorite audio interviews because of the very charming story that Jacquie tells about what Stan Laurel did for her on the set of the Boys' second feature film.

Jacquie discusses her connection with Lois Laurel. She also explains how she gradually lost her English accent, about her work in a couple Our Gang films and about why they had to use glycerine tears for her crying scene in "Pack Up Your Troubles".

Finally, Jacquie gives her reaction to the "craziness" and "high spiritedness" of the Sons convention.

To Listen


Bill Cubin Interview 1990

by Steve Wichrowski, Jr.

Renowned Grand Sheik and founder of the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Ulverston, England, Bill Cubin, talks with Nutty Nut News Network reporter, Steve Wichrowski, Jr.

This interview begins with a hilarious gaffe by Steve who is gently corrected by Bill. (It's an outtake which we purposely left in.)

Bill explains why he missed the previous Sons convention in 1988 and also tells about how he contacted Frank Hall, Charlie Hall's younger brother.

The then current mayor of Harlem, Georgia, James Lewis, talks briefly about his involvement in organizing a celebration earlier that year for Oliver Hardy's birthday.

Recorded at the Sons 7th International Convention held at Clearwater, Florida.

To Listen


Trudy Marshall Interview 1990

by Scott MacGillivray

Actress Trudy Marshall, the leading lady in Laurel and Hardy's 1943 effort, "The Dancing Masters", talks with Laurel and Hardy author Scott MacGillivray about how she got her start in films and how her work as a photographic model led to film roles.

Finally, Scott amusingly describes his surprise first meeting with Miss Marshall.

Recorded at the Sons 1990 International Convention in Clearwater, Florida.

To listen


When the Wicked Witch of the West Met the Sons of the Desert

By Mike David

In May 1982, famous character actress Margaret Hamilton spoke at a Sons of the Desert meeting in Connecticut. The program was organized by the Night Owls Tent of the Connecticut Valley under the direction of the very popular Grand Sheik, Hal Stanton. They had previously invited a number of film celebrities to their meetings including Mae Questel, Rosina Lawrence, and some of the Our Gang cast. 

This was a very special event so I decided to film a bit of it with my Super 8 sound movie camera. At the time I could only afford one reel of film and, this being a home movie, some of the footage is a bit dark and grainy. But it does give us a good sense of what it was like to experience this memorable gathering.  Sons convened from all over the region to hear Miss Hamilton talk about her famous role as the Wicked of the West in 1939's "The Wizard of Oz". Members of the Night Owls Tent collected 16mm film clips from many of her movies and they were shown to the audience.

Meanwhile, Miss Hamilton spent much of the time generously signing autographs. She was a very kind and gentle woman, nothing like many of the film characters she portrayed for so many years.  While she was signing an autograph for me, I was telling her about the article in the book I had brought for her to sign. And she gently put her hand on mine and said: "Michael, dear, you may not want to talk to me while I'm writing because I may end up writing down what you're saying to me." And we both laughed. Then, as she signed a photo to give to my young niece, she said to be certain to tell her that Margaret Hamilton is actually a nice grandmother and not really a wicked witch.  Later that evening, she charmed the audience with her recollections of the Oz film, some of which I managed to briefly capture in my home movie.

This footage hasn't been seen in over 25 years and after having it transferred to digital video, I wanted to make it available for everyone to see.  It brings back the memories we have of attending those wonderful Night Owls meetings and is evidence that the Sons of the Desert organization has a long history of honoring classic films and the celebrities associated with them.


Dorothy DeBorba 1990 Interview

Our gang star Dorothy DeBorba talks with L&H author and Boston Brats Grand Sheik Scott MacGillivray at the 1990 Sons of the Desert Convention.

In this interview she explains about her early start in films and mentions some of the famous movie stars with whom she worked.

Dorothy also discusses her connection with California's Way Out West Tent and her reaction when the Our Gang comedies were first shown on TV in the 1950's.

To listen



*excluding postage if applicable.

FREE or REDUCED postage rates.  Free UK postage. Europe £13 including reduced postage (Airmail Printed Paper), Rest of world £17.50 including reduced postage (Airmail Printed Paper).

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Charlie Hall Postcard Set

Laurel and Hardy by Tom McGrath

The book is softback, slightly smaller than A4 (292x205mm), has 178 pages in total, close to 17,000 words and features over two hundred and ten images, many of which have never before been published. The book was written by Dean McKeown and edited by Maria Cairney, the foreword was written by Willie McIntyre.

Click the banner below for further information.




Rosina Lawrence Interviews

Rosina Lawrence 1983 Interview.  In the very first interview done for the Nutty Nut News Network, Hal Stanton, Grand Sheik of the Night Owls Tent of the Connecticut Valley, briefly chats with Laurel and Hardy co-star Rosina Lawrence. They discuss her appearance in the Charley Chase short "On the Wrong Trek" and her career as a dancer. Finally, Rosina talks about her falsetto singing for Stan in the 1937 classic "Way Out West".

Rosina Lawrence 1984 Interview with Steve Wichrowski, Jr.  In a brief interview recorded at the Sons 1984 International Convention in the UK, Rosina describes what she has enjoyed most about that convention.

Henry Brandon Interview 1984

Graham McKenna, Grand Sheik of the UK's Laughing Gravy Tent, conducts a noisy but interesting interview with Henry Brandon who relates an anecdote about Stan Laurel's input and direction on the set of 1934's "Babes in Toyland".  This interview was conducted at the 1984 Sons International Convention held in the UK.

The above interviews were all painstakingly digitally restored by Mike David.


Gary Gold wrote on the Laurel and Hardy Archive Facebook group ‘I like to think of it as Stan and Babes core philosophy; no matter what problems or calamities lie ahead; never lose your optimism; determination and sense of humor! Nuff said!


Stan Laurel’s Favorite Book On Comedy Found!
-by Tyler St. Mark

Following on from his successful Laurel and Hardy: The Hat Facts parts one and two, Tyler St. Mark has written a piece about Stan Laurel’s favourite book, Clowns and Pantomimes, which he personally signed in 1930 and presented to his favorite cameraman, fellow sportsman, and close friend, George Stevens (1904-1975).  This book and hence tale has been 'lost' for years until it found its way to Tyler who through his fathers friendship with George Stevens knew of this books existence.  In the article he writes:

"I have said before that we do not so much find these memorabilia treasures as they find us. It may take days, months, or years until we have gained the knowledge and insights necessary to recognize these extraordinary items when they may finally cross our path."

  to read Tyler's article.  Once again everyone here at The Nutty Nut News Network would like to thank Tyler for his outstanding work, effort and research which he provides freely for our enjoyment. 


“I didn’t know that comedy could be graceful and beautiful until I met Laurel & Hardy,  I didn’t know comedy was humane. I looked at these two men and I realized that these guys understood human nature. By some artistic instinct they had this wonderful business of being in touch with the human condition.”

George Stevens


By Tyler St. Mark

for the second part of Tyler St. Mark's paper about Stan and Ollie’s iconic headwear.

for part one of Tyler St. Mark's excellent paper concerning Stan and Ollie’s iconic headwear.


Laurel and Hardy in New York 1932



The enduring appeal of Laurel and Hardy

 In March and April of this year Scotland on Sunday reporter Peter Ross interviewed several Sons in Scotland including Willie McIntyre Grand Sheik of the Call of the Cuckoo Tent and the Nutty Nut News Networks very own Dean McKeown about the continued popularity of Stan and Ollie. to read the article.


“Why don’t you do something to help me?”

By Richard W. Bann

In 1914 Hal Roach began his career as an independent producer, specializing in comedy. Memorable series were built around star names Harold Lloyd, Our Gang, Charley Chase, Will Rogers, Thelma Todd, Harry Langdon, and Laurel & Hardy. Anyone who has seen their work is likely to agree on the importance of preserving these threatened movies for future generations to discover, study and enjoy.

Threatened? How could movies like these, so widely seen for so long, be at risk of disappearing forever in first-class quality copies? Because they were too popular. Too many prints and negatives wore out, is the simple answer. Also, unfortunately, the surviving original nitrate elements have suffered decades of benign neglect.

to continue reading this essay and learn, among other things, about the last sighting of HATS OFF, and why it will never be found on 16mm; what happened when the fire department came to Stan Laurel's house; who really conceived and orchestrated the whole Buster Keaton revival; what Richard Currier had to do with saving the Laurel & Hardy films; who "The Master Duper" is; and why all the Hal Roach Studios camera negatives were quietly parked by the side of the road in the Nevada dessert.

Frustrated fans who know and care about saving and sharing the films have long asked how they can aid in this effort to restore and preserve the battered remaining nitrate, recently deposited at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Now there is a way everyone can get involved, by donating funds, at any level of participation.

Here is the link to UCLA’s new website which explains how you can be involved in the grassroots international fundraising effort: www.cinema.ucla.edu.


'One of the ironies of film preservation is that it's often the most popular titles that are most in need of restoration, and this is certainly true of the work of the universally beloved comic duo, Laurel & Hardy, whose films have been used, reused and overused to the point of severe attrition.

UCLA Film & Television Archive is kicking off a major preservation effort to restore all of its surviving negatives of Laurel & Hardy. Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Jeff Joseph, a major lead gift has already been pledged for the project.

Often our preservation efforts are funded by public agencies and charitable foundations, but we thought we'd try something different with Laurel & Hardy, allowing the general public to contribute directly to the restoration of the Boys' timeless classics......and know that you are contributing to the preservation of their work for generations to come.'




We have good news for all our regular visitors after some requests we have created a Nutty Nut News Network group on the popular social networking site Facebook.  By joining the group you will be alerted to any new audio material or major news added to the site, you can also use the group to leave messages or Laurel and Hardy/Tent related news of your own.  To find us log into Facebook and simply type The Nutty Nut News Network into your search bar.


We have to stress that you should not directly link to any file on this website.  All Nutty Nut News Network Show audios and interviews are the exclusive right of The Nutty Nut News Network and must not be used, copied, or duplicated  in any manner without prior permission.  All archive material presented here on a non-profit basis is presented as originally compiled. All interviews are copyright Mike David. Additional material is either believed to be public domain or used under the terms of copyright fair use.  If you believe your copyright has been violated by this website please get in touch with the webmasters and we will be happy to discuss your concerns.





The Nutty Nut News Network celebrating



The Nutty Nut News Network brings to you the best of YouTube.


Film comedy legend Stan Laurel's daughter joins fight to save Midland theatre.

to read the full story.


The Nutty Nut News Networks own Dean McKeown recently helped STV Productions with some material for a programme they produce for the BBC.  The new series of Antiques Road Trip will mention Laurel and Hardy and their stay at The Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow.


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The above prices include postage and packaging costs for further details.


Laurel and Hardy by Tom McGrath

The above prices include postage and packaging costs for further details.


Frank Muni has been in touch to tell us about his new website, Frank's World of Laurel and Hardy.  To visit the site


Nutty Nut News regular John Bogie has been in touch with the following two items of interest to Laurel and Hardy fans: 'Thursday 11th August on BBC 4 at 10PM "Paul Merton's Weird and Wonderful World of Early Cinema" about the early days of comedy in Silent Cinema.  Also next Friday 19th August in "My Favourite Joke" on BBC 1 at 11.05PM features The Boys 1932 short "County Hospital"


By Tyler St. Mark


Martha Sleeper Bio

Our friend and fellow Son Bob Duncan has been in touch with the following:

Just wanted to let you know there’s an updated Martha Sleeper bio posted on “SilentHollywood.com”. The link is below. Hope you find it interesting.




Stan Taffel writes:

Help - Any Sons with information about the employees at the Hal Roach Studio:

I am in touch with an individual who tells me his grandfather was the head of the film lab. Does anybody know of a listing of employees at the studio to verify this?

Please help me confirm. His name was Charles (Charlie) Levin.  Thanks in advance.

To contact Stan


Due to popular demand we have now added the 1959 interview The Life and Times of Stan Laurel by Tony Thomas to the Audio section of this site


Richard Bann Reviews The Charlie Hall Picture Archive

'Laurel and Hardy fans will devour and enjoy The Charlie Hall Picture Archive. It is the next best thing to having known the diminutive chap from Birmingham, England, the one who advertised himself in casting directories as "(Little) Charles Hall." He did so in order to distinguish himself from the similarly British-born art director and production designer Charles D Hall. Evidently the two men were even born the same year.

Besides the illustrations in Dean McKeown's book, and Charlie Hall's own captions for them, I enjoyed the text. I learned some things I did not know, giving a better sense of who this man really was.

And right when so many of us believe there are no more Laurel and Hardy still photos yet to be unearthed, more surface. It seems there are always more to discover - a good thing!'

Richard Bann on the Official Laurel and Hardy Website read the whole review HERE


The Little Nemesis Charlie Hall

The Nutty Nut News Networks own Dean McKeown (author of The Charlie Hall Picture Archive) has founded a Facebook group dedicated to Charlie Hall.  The group can be found but entering 'The Little Nemesis Charlie Hall' into the search bar on Facebook.



to read how you can help the departed people we love on screen not be forgotten in life


In Stan's words

"You have to learn what the public laughs at and get in tune with it," he said in an interview. "A young comic has to know the repertory very well, change parts, assume several roles. You can get a lot of ideas studying the reactions of different audiences. Some people will laugh at a scene and others won't. When you understand why, you've earned your diploma."



Recently on ebay a seller (ID grey_accountant) listed giant aerial pictures of Hal Roach Studios.  If you see these listed in the future then do not bid.  The Nutty Nut News Networks Dean McKeown, won one of these auctions and the seller refused to sell the image informing Dean and ebay that he sold it offline.  The real reason might be something to do with the picture only reaching the sum of 99p.  The seller has been reported and Ebay are currently investigating him for potential breaches to their rules and regulations.