Strange tale


Just discovered  that early next year The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel is doing a short tour. Check the title on the web, also the production company Told By an Idiot. 


Below is the plot synopsis and known dates


Tony Hillman

In 1910 the unknown Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel set sail for New York as part of Fred Karno's famous music hall troupe. On this journey, Charlie and Stan shared a cabin and then spent two years together touring North America, with Stan as Charlie’s understudy. Stan returned home, later finding success with his soulmate Oliver Hardy. Charlie developed his Little Tramp character and within five years became one of the most famous figures in the world..

In Charlie Chaplin’s highly detailed autobiography Stan Laurel is never mentioned. Stan talked about Charlie all his life. Playing fast and loose with the facts and with an original piano score composed by Mercury Award Nominee Zoe Rahman played live each night, The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel is no nostalgic bio-drama, but a hilarious and deeply moving homage to two men who changed the world of comedy forever. 

14 - 18 January        Wilton's Music Hall as part of London International Mime Festival

21 - 25 January        Minerva Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre

4 - 8 February          HOME, Manchester

11 - 15 February     Northern Stage, Newcastle

18 - 22 February     Unity Theatre, Liverpool

25 - 29 February     Birmingham Repertory Theatre

3 - 7 March             Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

10 - 21 March          Royal & Derngate, Northampton

24 - 29 March          Exeter Northcott


The site for the Northern Stage is https://www.northernstage.co.uk/event/the-strange-tale-of-charlie-chaplin-and-stan-laurel

Stan and Babe in Stockholm


Awesome picture of the Boys as themselves… Warms me to see this… taken from Facebook.

Glynne MacDonald

1978 interviews


In August of 1978, several fellow Block-Heads and I had the privilege of joining nearly 500 other Laurel and Hardy buffs for the first International Convention of the Sons of the Desert in Chicago. A radio broadcaster from Bloomington, IL, attended the conclave and brought his recording equipment along. That gentleman was Ken Behrens, who would become a Charter Member of the soon-to-be-founded Tree in a Test Tube Tent in the Chicago area. (The Bacon Grabbers, Oasis number 10, were the local hosts of the international event.)


I got to know Ken through his tent co-founderers and our mutual friends, Lee and Dee McBeath. Ken has pulled his never-before-released recordings out of moth balls and put together a WONDERFUL audio delight on You Tube with plenty of accompanying photos. The 46-minute long presentation features Ken’s very professional discussions with Sons of the Desert founder John McCabe, along with Stan and Babe's co-stars: silent and sound short's Anita Garvin, Rosina Lawrence (Mary Roberts in WAY OUT WEST), Our Gang's Darla Hood (THE BOHEMIAN GIRL), and SWISS MISS's Della Lind. Stan's daughter Lois is included, and Babe's widow Lucille Hardy Price, with Sons' co-founder Al Kilgore wrapping-up the discussion! It's a wonderful look back at the way Stan and Babe worked and played.


Here's the link to the presentation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=94HFcJJN-TE&fbclid=IwAR2W57_ Qb6htXb7yNBilXjwaKEST- VQ60sp64YQ1dgm2_bD__i-zOwEz6_I   

I'm saddened to report that Ken Behrens is suffering from cancer. He wanted to share his interviews from 1978 to help remind us all of the great joy Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy brought to the world. If you enjoy listening to Ken's recordings, please drop him a note of thanks for sharing them! His address is as follows;

Ken Behrens

2015 Fallen Oak Road


IL 61704-7240



I hope you enjoy listening to Ken's interviews… it brought back many happy memories of that long weekend 41 years ago, the first time the Sons of the Desert united to share our common bond!


Tracy Tolzmann



In the context of the Brexit situation in the UK, this llnk has been trending all over Europe. It was brought to our attention by Michael Schmitz in Germany.



Mike Jones comments, “The sequence is funny anyway, but in this context it is just hilarious ... the burst tyre really is a metaphor of the UK's current plight.”

Statue for Fin


We have  signed the petition "Falkirk Town Council: Erect A Statue Of James Finlayson in Falkirk Town Centre" and want you to help by adding your name.


The goal is to reach 1,000 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:



Weekend Magazine – December 13th 1967


I've just uploaded a blog item - Weekend Magazine - December 13th 1967 - which is very interesting indeed; another great find from original Chump, Gary Dent.




Another great donation to the tent by Ray and Stuart Hall, this old UK paper which was priced at 6d / sixpence / six old pence, had a three-page feature discussing Stan and Babe’s marital woes, especially those of Stan.

Mike Jones

Blockheads Tent of Edinburgh


Our next meeting will now be our Xmas meeting on Sunday 8th December.


So double up on the raffle prizes and let’s make it an afternoon to remember.


A buffet will be supplied free to members and £10 to non-members. 


Charlie Lewis

And finally..

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