This compilation of material from early programs of the Nutty Nut News Network is an 18 minute presentation, half of which contains rare audio from the Sons of the Desert's First International Convention held in 1978. The clips from this event include presentations by Grand Sheik Hal Stanton of the Night Owls Tent of the Connecticut Valley, Laurel and Hardy author and Boston Brats Grand Sheik Scott MacGillivray, Philadelphia's Two Tars Tent and a cleverly performed skit by the Bacon Grabbers of Chicago. This is all hosted by the late Al Kilgore, cartoonist, filmmaker and a founding Sons member who famously drew the Sons' crest.
The compilation opens with audio clips from the Connecticut-based From Soup to Nuts Tent at one of their 1983 meetings and a picnic with Grand Sheik and Nutty Nut News Network Show creator Guido Cipriani. Due to the primitive nature of the recording equipment at the time, our voices occasionally sound higher than normal, very much in keeping with the style of our tent's hi-jinks.
Interspersed among the usual silliness is a greeting from Graham McKenna, Grand Sheik of the UK's Laughing Gravy Tent of Tingley. There's also two expressions of appreciation for both The Nutty Nut News Network Show and the then new release of LeRoy Shields' "The Moon and You" by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, these coming from Dwain Smith of the New York Founding Tent and Grand Sheik Leon Smith of California's Do Detectives Think Tent.
This is followed by the 9 minutes of historical audio from that first Sons convention in Chicago.
We are happy to make available another exclusive presentation from The Nutty Nut News Network website, celebrating the audio series which provided intra-tent communications in the early days of the Sons of the Desert.
Three of the Sons of the Desert founding fathers Al Kilgore, Chuck McCann and John McCabe
Born on 19th of December 1927 in Bloomfield, New Jersey, Al Kilgore was an American artist who worked as a cartoonist and filmmaker.
Kilgore attended Andrew Jackson High School where he played basketball with a young Bob Cousy who went on to play point guard with the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Boston Celtics from 1951 to 1963. He also met Dolores Preusch at this time, who he went on to marry in 1958. During World War II, he served in the United States Army Air Forces.
Al was an artist on the short-lived Rocky and Bullwinkle comic strip.
He appeared as an actor in Louis McMahon's serial parody Captain Celluloid vs. the Film Pirates. This four-part, semi-professional production paid homage to Republic Pictures and its adventure serials, while kidding the antique-movie subculture of the 1960s.
He was awarded the National Cartoonist Society Special Features Award for 1983 for his Elvis the Paper Doll Book. He drew the escutcheon for The Sons of the Desert that can be seen to your left.
Al Kilgore sadly passed away in 1983 from an embolism.
Sons of the Desert Constitution
The Sons of the Desert is an organization with scholarly overtones and heavily social undertones devoted to the loving study of the persons and films of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
The founding members are Orson Bean, Al Kilgore, John McCabe, Chuck McCann, and John Municino.
The Sons of the Desert shall have the following officers and board members who will be elected at an annual meeting:
* Grand Sheik
* Vice-Sheik (Sheik in charge of vice)
* Sub-Vice-Vizier (Sheik-Treasurer, and in charge of sub-vice)
* Grand Vizier (Corresponding Secretary)
* Board Members-at-Large (This number should not exceed 812)
All officers and Board Members-at-Large shall sit at an exalted place at the annual banquet table.
The officers and Board Members-at-Large shall have absolutely no authority whatever.
Despite his absolute lack of authority, the Grand Sheik or his deputy shall act as chairman at all meetings, and will follow the standard parliamentary procedure in conducting same. At the meetings, it is hoped that the innate dignity, sensitivity, and good taste of the members assembled will permit activities to be conducted with a lively sense of deportment and good order.
Article VI is ridiculous.
The Annual Meeting shall be conducted in the following sequence:
2. Business meeting and cocktails.
3. Dinner (with cocktails).
4. After-dinner speeches and cocktails.
6. Coffee and Cocktails.
7. Showing of Laurel and Hardy film.
8. After-film critique and cocktails.
9. After-after-film critique and cocktails.
10. Stan has suggested this period. In his words: "All members are requested to park their camels and hire a taxi; then return for One for the desert!"
Section "4" above shall consist in part of the following toasts:
* "To Stan"
* "To Babe"
* "To Fin"
* "To Mae Busch and Charlie Hall - who are eternally ever-popular."
Section "8" above shall include the reading of scholarly papers on Laurel and Hardy. Any member going over an 8 1/2 minute time limit will have his cocktails limited to fourteen.
Hopefully, and seriously, 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.
There shall be member societies in other cities called "Tents," each of which shall derive its name from one of the films.
Stan has suggested that members might wear a fez or blazer patch with an appropriate motto. He says: "I hope that the motto can be blue and grey, showing two derbies with these words superimposed: 'Two minds without a single thought'." These words have duly been set into the delightful escutcheon created for The Sons of the Desert by Al Kilgore. They have been rendered into Latin in the spirit of Stan's dictum that our organization should have, to use his words, "a half-assed dignity" about it. We shall strive to maintain precisely that kind of dignity at all costs - at all times.