Sons of the Desert FAQs

Laurel & Hardy

What is the main purpose of the Sons of the Desert organization?

What is a typical Sons meeting like?

Do you guys really throw pies at each other and have cocktails all night long?

How often do Sons tents have meetings?

If I can’t attend a Sons meeting, can I still participate as an individual?

Does Sons of the Desert publish any kind of newsletter?

Do the Sons from different cities ever get together?

What is the film documentary about Sons of the Desert?

Where can I find Laurel & Hardy on home video?

There’s a Laurel & Hardy movie that I like, but I don’t know the title. How can I identify it?

How many movies did Laurel & Hardy appear in?


What is the main purpose of the Sons of the Desert organization?

The Sons have been involved with various charitable and archival causes over the years. The main purpose, however, is best described in Article XI of the Sons constitution, written by John McCabe:
    Article XI: It is hoped, and seriously, that the Sons of the Desert, in the strong desire to perpetuate the spirit and genius of Laurel and Hardy, will conduct activities ultimately and always devoted to the preservation of their films and the encouragement of their showing everywhere.


What is a typical Sons meeting like?

There is no such thing as a "typical Sons meeting," since there is so much diversity among the membership. Some tents hold their meetings in local restaurants, where dinner is included with the film program. Some folks meet in a tavern and enjoy the movies on big-screen video. At least one tent devotes its activities exclusively to the movies, and sets up projectors in a meeting hall for a "theatrical" atmosphere. A few tents have held gatherings at local colleges, and some tents bring the joy of Laurel & Hardy to children's hospitals and nursing homes. And other "tent" meetings are informal get-togethers in private homes, where friends pass around the popcorn (or pizza) and watch Laurel & Hardy movies taped from TV.
    Whatever the format, the meetings are focused on the Laurel & Hardy films.


Do you guys really throw pies at each other and have cocktails all night long?

No. Our mock-serious constitution frequently mentions “cocktails” as part of the official procedure, but in reality each tent conducts itself according to its own location. (Cocktails are not served in a church hall, for example!) Same with the pies -- we prefer watching Laurel & Hardy to throwing pies!


How often do Sons tents have meetings?

It depends on the tent. Click here to find the one nearest you.


If I can’t attend a Sons meeting, can I still participate as an individual?

Sure. You can enroll in Sons of the Desert as a member of the Utopia tent. This tent is reserved for our hundreds of "delegates at large." Please click here for more information.


Does Sons of the Desert publish any kind of newsletter?

The Sons organization publishes a quarterly, The Intra-Tent Journal, which is available to Sons members through their own tents or by direct-mail subscription. The Journal regularly features news from other chapters, rare photographs, film and video information, and special feature stories about Laurel & Hardy. In addition, many tents publish their own local newsletters.
    The Journal is available to members only. If you can't get the Journal through your local tent, a one-year subscription fee is $20 US, £14 UK, €18 [euros] Europe.

Please make your check or money order payable to our treasurer, ROGER L. GORDON.

Send your subscription request and fee to:

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


Do the Sons from different cities ever get together?

Yes. The Sons often hold regional functions (picnics, banquets, etc.) which are attended by representatives of several local tents. Since 1978 the Sons have held international conventions every two years, where members from around the world get together to enjoy films, memorabilia, and social events.


What is the film documentary about Sons of the Desert?

Revenge of the Sons of the Desert is an Emmy-winning featurette produced by Alexander Marshall. The film shows a Sons convention with delegates from around the world, guest appearances by Sons founder John McCabe, Stan Laurel’s daughter Lois Laurel Hawes, and actors and technicians who worked with Laurel & Hardy. Many Laurel & Hardy film clips are included. It is available on DVD as part of Twentieth Century-Fox’s Laurel and Hardy Collection, Vol. 1 boxed set.


Where can I find Laurel & Hardy on home video?

Leading mail-order sources for Laurel & Hardy videos are:

    Amazon.com (www.amazon.com) and its affiliates around the world
    Movies Unlimited (www.moviesunlimited.com)
    Critic's Choice Video (http://www.ccvideo.com/)
    A-1 Video (www.a-1video.com)


Here's information for some Laurel & Hardy DVD sets that are currently available:

The Laurel and Hardy Collection, Volume Two contains the Twentieth Century-Fox films A-Haunting We Will Go, The Dancing Masters, and The Bullfighters, plus extras: trailers, a mini-documentary, a rare complete print of the color short The Tree in a Test Tube, and audio commentaries for the three feature films by Scott MacGillivray.

Click here to see more information on Amazon.com.

Click here to read a comprehensive review of the DVD set--- including screen shots--- at dvdbeaver.com.

The Laurel and Hardy Collection, Volume One contains the Twentieth Century-Fox films Great Guns, The Big Noise, and Jitterbugs, plus extras: trailers, audio commentaries by Randy Skretvedt, and the award-winning 1986 documentary Revenge of the Sons of the Desert (which chronicles the 1986 international Sons of the Desert convention).

Click here to see more information or to order on Amazon.com.

TCM Archives' Laurel and Hardy Collection contains the Hal Roach features The Devil's Brother (a.k.a. Fra Diavolo) and Bonnie Scotland, including extras: audio commentaries by Leonard Maltin and Richard W. Bann, excerpts from L&H guest appearances in other M-G-M film releases, trailers, and more.

Click here to see more information or to order on Amazon.com.


There’s a Laurel & Hardy movie that I like, but I don’t know the title. How can I identify it?

The Way Out West tent offers a complete online filmography (www.wayoutwest.org/films/), with a synopsis and photograph of each Laurel & Hardy film. Many books about Laurel & Hardy also discuss the individual films in more detail.


How many movies did Laurel & Hardy appear in?

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy appeared in 106 films together, including feature films, featurettes, short subjects, and cameo appearances, between 1927 and 1950. There are dozens more “Laurel or Hardy” pictures, with the comedians as solo performers, before they were teamed.



Back to Home Page