Laurel and Hardy Society Sons of the Desert Way Out West Tent Los Angeles
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This page contains frequently asked questions (and their answers) about Laurel & Hardy, the Sons of the Desert, and the Way Out West Tent. If your question is not answered here, you may contact us by e-mail.


Who were Laurel & Hardy?
What was the name of that film?
Where can I get a list of all their films?
What is the Sons of the Desert?
What is the Way Out West Tent?
What does our tent do?
What are our meetings like?
What are our banquets like?
When is our next meeting?
Where do we meet?
How do I join?

Where's the tent closest to me?
What if there is no tent near me?
When is the next Int'l Convention?
Where were our past conventions?
What was Hollywood '80?
What's the Brushwood Gulch Gazette?
What is the Intra-Tent Journal?
What was Pratfall?
Where can I buy L&H videos?
Where can I buy L&H books?
Where can I send a virtual card?


Who were Laurel & Hardy?

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were comedians who found fame after being teamed together in short films at the Hal Roach Studios during Hollywood's silent era (circa 1927). Known as "Laurel & Hardy," the team's popularity continued to grow with the advent of sound films. Eventually, they became stars of their own feature films. There were a total of 106 films in which Laurel and Hardy both appear. Stan Laurel was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson in Ulverston, England, on June 16, 1890. He died February 23, 1965, in Santa Monica, California. Oliver Norvell Hardy was born January 18, 1892, in Harlem, Georgia. On screen he was often referred to as "Ollie," but his real nickname was "Babe." He died August 7, 1957, in North Hollywood, California. For more information, we recommend you pick up a copy of one of the many books on the subject.

Click here for a list of great Laurel and Hardy books.


What was the name of the film where they...?

We maintain a complete listing of all of Laurel and Hardy's work, including a photo from and a synopsis of each film. Please look here first, if you are trying to figure out the name of a particular film. This listing also indicates if the film is available for sale.

Click here for descriptions of Laurel and Hardy films.


Where can I get a list of all their films?

For descriptions of each film, please see the previous question. If you just want a simple list of all 106 film titles to download and print, click on the link below. You will download an Adobe PDF document that can be opened and printed on your computer (Adobe Acrobat required)

Click here for a list of Laurel and Hardy film titles.


What is the Sons of the Desert?

The Sons of the Desert is an international fraternal organization devoted to memory of the persons and films of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. The organization is named for the Laurel and Hardy film of the same name. It was founded in 1964 in New York City, by Orson Bean, Al Kilgore, John McCabe, Chuck McCann, and John Municino. Since then, many local chapters have been founded around the world. These chapters are known as "tents" and are named after a Laurel and Hardy film. Each tent also receives an oasis number, which corresponds to the order in which they are admitted to the organization.


What is the Way Out West Tent?

The Way Out West Tent is the Los Angeles chapter of the Sons of the Desert, founded April 7, 1967 and named after the 1937 classic film. We are oasis #5. Sons of the Desert founder John McCabe presented his Founder's Award to the Way Out West Tent July 31, 1982, at the Third International Sons of the Desert Convention in Detroit. Representatives from our tent have been present at all International Conventions.


What does our tent do?

The Way Out West tent meets about every other month, and has a yearly special event. The special event may be a bus tours of the L&H film locations around Los Angeles, which includes a walk up the Music Box stairs, a first hand look at the Big Business house, as well as a visit to the grave sites of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Or it may just be a special theme meeting or banquet. We have also taken part in such things as a Laurel and Hardy scholarship fund for promising comedians, helping erect a commemorative plaque at Ollie's grave, and creating a small park named for Hal Roach at the site of the studio, in Culver City. Part of our membership dues also provide flowers to the graves of the boys and other celebrities who are no longer with us.


What are our meetings like?

Because of our proximity to the stars, many past meetings often included celebrity guests who worked with the boys on screen or behind the scenes. Because most of them are no longer with us, we also honor many of the spouses, children, and grandchildren of those celebrities who have passed away. Meetings typically consist of a none-too-serious business meeting, guest speakers, and maybe even a door prize raffle. And, of course, no meeting would be complete without the films. Laurel & Hardy are always the focus of our film program. On occasion we may also show a Charley Chase, Our Gang, or other comedy from the Hal Roach Studios, when it is relevant to the program. We always have a no-host bar and hot dogs on sale.

Click here for our current meeting schedule.


What are our banquets like?

For many years, our annual banquet was the high point of our year. Due to the rising cost of holding these events, we no longer have banquets annually. In the past they were formal events, held in the month of October. We honored Hal Roach, T. Marvin Hatley, Anita Garvin, Billy Gilbert, Mantan Moreland, Darla Hood, Ray Bradbury, and many others. Stan's daughter, Lois Laurel Hawes, frequently attended banquets. Both Stan and Babe's widows also attended banquets, before their deaths. We have had hundreds of celebrity members in attendance, over the years; click here for a complete list.


When is our next meeting?

Our current meeting schedule can always be found on the Membership page.

Click here to go to the meeting schedule.


Where do we meet?

We normally meet at the Mayflower Club, located at 11110 Victory Boulevard (west of Vineland Avenue), in North Hollywood, California. At the Mayflower Club, we always have a no-host bar and hot dogs on sale. Occasionally we meet someplace else, so be sure to check our current newsletter for information on our next meeting.

Click here for a map to the Mayflower Club.


How do I join?

The easiest way to join is to come to our next meeting. You can join at the door. There are no special membership requirements; anyone may join.


I don't live in Los Angeles. Where's the tent closest to me?

There are over 100 active tents worldwide. Every tent is independently operated, so you will have to contact them for more about their dues, rules, and meeting schedules.

Click here to view our online database of Sons of the Desert Tents.


What if there is no tent near me?

There are many people who do not have a tent nearby, but wish to be a member of the Sons of the Desert. The Utopia tent is reserved for such "delegates at large," who are unable to attend club meetings. There are currently about 200 Utopia members. You can apply for membership by paying dues of $20 (USA), £14 (UK), €18 (Europe). You will receive a one-year membership in the Utopia tent, a one-year subscription to the Intra-Tent Journal, and be listed in the listed in the world-wide Utopian Log. Utopia membership is strictly reserved for individuals who cannot otherwise join a local tent. To join, please contact:

Roger L. Gordon
2230 Country Club Drive
Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006


When is the next international convention?

The 20th International Convention will be held July 2016 in the Lake District of England, near Stan Laurel's birthplace of Ulverston. The convention is being hosted by the Bacon Grabbers Tent (Oasis 113).


Where were our past conventions?

International Conventions are held every two years.

 
 1  1978     Chicago, Illinois            Bacon Grabbers Tent (Oasis 10)
 2  1980     Los Angeles, California      Way Out West Tent (Oasis 5)
 3  1982     Detroit, Michigan            Dancing Cuckoos Tent (Oasis 2)
 4  1984     London, England              Helpmates Tent (25) & Berth Marks Tent (24)
 5  1986     Philadelphia, Pennsylvania   Two Tars Tent (Oasis 14)
 6  1988     Saint Paul, Minnesota        Blockheads Tent (Oasis 3)
 7  1990     Clearwater, Florida          Boobs in the Woods Tent (Oasis 59)
 8  1992     Las Vegas, Nevada            Jitterbugs Tent (Oasis 76)
 9  1994     Terrytown, New York          Sons of the Desert Founding Tent (Oasis 1)
10  1996     At Sea, in the Caribbean     Tree in a Test Tube Tent (Oasis 32)
11  1998     Birmingham, England          Laughing Gravy Tent (Oasis 167)
12  2000     Tacoma, Washington           Beau Hunks Tent (Oasis 87)
13  2002     Nashville, Tennessee         Scram Tent (Oasis 97)
14  2004     Columbus, Ohio               Perfect Day Tent (Oasis 42)
15  2006     Augusta, Georgia             Berth Marks Tent (Oasis 238)
16  2008     Amsterdam, The Netherlands   Perfect Day Tent (Oasis 13)
17  2010     Sacramento, California       Another Fine Mess Tent (Oasis 49)
18  2012     Manchester, New Hampshire    On the Loose Tent (Oasis 206)
19  2014     Hollywood, California        45 Minutes From Hollywood Tent (Oasis 73)

What was Hollywood '80?

The Way Out West tent hosted the Sons of the Desert 2nd International Convention in the summer of 1980. This convention was known as Hollywood '80. The highlights of the convention were the numerous L&H celebrity guests. But maybe more importantly was the effort made by several of our members to locate many of the film locations. The convention offered a bus tour of these sites, including a walk up the Music Box stairs and a first hand look at the house from Big Business. Since then some additional sites have been found, while others have been lost to "progress" (like parking lots and apartment buildings). Another one of the highlights of this convention was the restaging of the pie fight from Battle of the Century. For a complete recount of this convention, see the excerpt from Pratfall.


What is the Brushwood Gulch Gazette?

This is the name of our newsletter. Brushwood Gulch is the name of the western town in which Way Out West was set.To receive the printed version in the mail, you must be a dues paying member.

Click here to read the online version of our most recent newsletter.


What is the Intra-Tent Journal?

The INTRA-TENT JOURNAL, or ITJ for short, is the official publication of the Sons of the Desert. It is published four times a year and is a great way to find out what other member of the Sons are doing all around the world.


What was Pratfall?

Pratfall was a publication produced by the Way Out West Tent between 1968-1985. There were 17 regular issues published during that time, plus the quadruple-length final issue. Back issues are no longer available on this web site, at the request of one of our members.


Where can I buy Laurel & Hardy videos?

We maintain a complete listing of Laurel and Hardy video cassettes, laser discs, and DVDs in our video database. Our listings includes new videos which are currently available, as well as those that were distributed in the past. This should be helpful if you are looking for used tapes or don't want to order online. Movies Unlimited and Amazon.com both sell videos in the NTSC standard, used in North America. If you live in a part of the world where the PAL standard is used, we recommend looking at Amazon.co.uk to purchase videos online. Both retailers sell VHS cassettes as well as DVDs.

Click here for a list of videos available for sale.


Where can I buy Laurel & Hardy books?

New releases can usually be found at your local bookstore. Our books page contains the names of just about every L&H book we've ever seen, along with their ISBN number (which is useful if you want to special order a book from your favorite bookstore). If you wish to order online, we have provided links to relevant books available from Amazon.com in the United States and Amazon.co.uk in the United Kingdom.

Click here for a list of books available for sale.


How do I send a virtual greeting card?

Virtual greeting cards are special webpages which you can use to send a message to anyone with e-mail. Our cards include one of several color photos of the boys, room for your personal message, as well as other options that you may use to personalize each card. The card itself is NOT e-mailed to the recipient; rather, a message is sent to that person telling them where to visit in order to view (and optionally print) the card. The process is entirely free and may be used as many times as you wish.

Click here to create your own card.