Meet The Laurel and Hardy Fan

Name: Danny Bacher

Country: USA

Local tent : "Another Fine Mess", New Jersey

Favourite silent short?: "Big Business" Hands down one of the funniest silent films in existence!

Favourite sound short?: That is a tough one, but if I was to pick only one I would have to say "Towed in a Hole". This short is Stan and Ollie at their best! A simple situation that couldn't be made more impossible by the boys'. It is the perfect combination of length,pantomime,story, and conflict resolution. (not to sound to anyltical)

Favourite co star: Mae Busch

Favourite talkie feature? "Sons of the Desert" A perfect feature for Laurel and Hardy! Mainly because it does just that; Feature Laurel and Hardy!

.Favourite piece of memorabilia: I have a lot of them, but I would have to say there is a three-way tie. My costume bowtie worn by Stan. My original "Sons of the Desert" Screen-worn Fez. And a Trademark costume suit Worn By Ollie.

How did the attraction to L/H start?: When I was born in 1978, My cousin Sally bought my Brother Josh and I a set of L&H Dakin dolls, with which shortly after receiving this great gift, my brother broke the bodies into a million plastic pieces. Rather than throw out the rubber heads my parents let me keep them, and thus they became my favorite toys! Mom and Dad saw the love that both Josh and I had for these little heads, so they in turn began renting 16mm L&H silent films from the local library for us to view. We took to L&H films like candy to a baby! From that point on, I have loved, and collected, Laurel and Hardy ever since. They have even influenced our lifes choice in employment. In addition to being a professional Jazz musician, both Josh and I are professional actors, as well as being an award winning comedy team!

Have you met any of their co-stars ? I have met several of the younger co-stars, and "Our-gang" members, as well as Lois Laurel Hawes, and her late husband Tony. I also had the pleasure of meeting John McCabe @ the New York convention '94.

Name...Charlie Lewis

Country (Bonnie ) Scotland

Local Tent Blockheads #103

Favourite silent short? You're Darn Tootin'. The scene where the boys come back to the Guest House and young Sturgeon lets slip that they were sacked from the band. The brawl at the end with the shin kicking and trouser ripping has me in stitches every time.

Favourite sound short? This was a difficult one because there are so many to pick from, Another Fine Mess, Them Thar Hills, Helpmates, Towed in a Hole etc..but I'll go for "Chickens Come Home" . Here we have Mae Busch at her vampish best, Ollie is "still the same old apple cheeked boy" to both Mae and his wife played by Thelma Todd. Stan is under the thumb as always in his relationship, not forgetting James Finlayson as the wily butler, blackmailing Ollie and receiving a kick in the shin for his troubles. I always crack up when Ollie starts singing "Somebody's coming to my house….." Admittedly, the ending is slightly disappointing but what goes before makes up for it.

Favourite co star? That has to be James Finlayson. He always gives a great performance whichever role he is given.I still find it hard to believe that he only appeared in 33 of the Boys' films.

Favourite talkie feature? A Chump At Oxford possibly just sneaks it for me. When Stan takes on the persona of learned toff, I go into stitches. I love it when Ollie takes offence at the double chin jibe and Stan/Lord Paddington responds "You're a jolly old stick in the mud, aren't you!!"

Favourite piece of memorabilia ? I don't have a great deal of memorabilia but my favourite is a framed, signed photo of Stan which I picked up at the UK Convention in Southend Convention a few years back. It has pride of place in my room.

How did the attraction to L/H start ?:- I first saw Laurel and Hardy on TV when I was about 6 or 7 years old, possibly earlier and I always remember asking who they were. My late father told me "Sit down and watch this. You'll love it." He was absolutely right. I've been a fan from that day onwards. I just find the humour is timeless. Modern day comics come and go, that's not to say that there aren't comics with good material around but if comedy was a steeplechase, a lot of them would fall at the first fence. It was in 1990/91 that I started collecting the films on video became aware of the Sons of the Desert Organisation and joined up with Helpmates. For some strange reason I decided I'd go down to Kent for one of their weekend meetings and I met up with a lad from Penrith by the name of Stephen Neale, I wonder what became of him? I then discovered that there was a Tent in Edinburgh and things took off from there. I started attending meetings in Edinburgh in mid 1991 and in April 1996, I was installed as Grand Sheik of the Blockheads Tent.

Have you met any of their co-stars ?My first Convention was at Carlisle in 1991 and this was followed by the International Convention in Las Vegas in 1992 and I attended every International Convention up to Nashville in 2002. I was fortunate enough to meet up with Jacqui Lynn who played "Eddie's baby" in Pardon Us. She was a really warm individual. I think she was really surprised by the love and affection that the Sons displayed towards her through her connection with Stan and Ollie.

Gino Dercola

Name: Gino Dercola

Country: USA

Local Tent: Any Old Port, Oasis 212, Baltimore, Maryland

Favorite Silent Short: Big Business. The Boys are so natural in developing the story-line and seem to be at their acting best--superb. Film excellently edited so that the comedy lines and views work well. Fin is great as the foil, as the Boys destroy his house and Fin destroys their car.

Favorite Sound Short: Them Thar Hills. Great acting and funny story, and great supporting actors: Mae Busch (at her best), Charlie Hall, Billy Gilbert, and others.

Favorite Co-Star: "Fin" (James Finlayson). I even laugh when I hear his name and picture him. Just to see him appear in any of their films makes me laugh right away. A very unique and funny actor.

Favorite Talkie Feature: Way Out West. Film has outstanding, interesting and funny story-line, unique to any of their films. Funny lines, great songs, funny/nice dancing. Editing of film is outstanding. In my opinion, more laughs than in any other L&H film; even after seeing it about 30 times, I still roar with laughter.

Favorite piece of memorabilia: L&H autographs. I have several of Ollie's and over a dozen of Stan's. It's a wonderful feeling knowing that these items were once in the hands of each of these great comedians. I have thousands of L&H collectibles in my collection (that's a LOT of smiles!).

How did attraction to L&H start: I had been a fan of their movies since being a kid. In 1988, I was looking for a new hobby and thought it would be nice to collect things that reminded me of them. Every item I get makes me smile, as it reminds me of these funny and talented geniuses. You can't beat that for enjoying a hobby.

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