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Topic: R.I.P. ....Little Rascals "Butch" (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Brian Talley
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 9:33am | IP Logged | 1  

Tommy Bond, who played tough guy Butch in the Our Gang/ Little Rascals shorts as well as Jimmy Olsen in the Superman serials has passed at the age of 79 due to complications from heart disease.

I believe that leaves Robert Blake as the only surviving core member of the "Gang".

 

 



Edited by Brian Talley on 25 September 2005 at 9:48am
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 9:38am | IP Logged | 2  

As a big fan of both Superman and "Our Gang," I am particularly bummed by this news. May he rest in peace.

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 9:39am | IP Logged | 3  

Oh, Brian, I think Porky is still with us.

Edited to add: And Jackie Cooper is still alive, I believe. He was also Perry White in the "Superman" films with Christopher Reeve.



Edited by Matt Hawes on 25 September 2005 at 9:41am
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Brian Talley
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 9:43am | IP Logged | 4  

Ah...thanks Matt.

And by the way, what are the odds that two posts on the same off topic subject would be posted at the same time?

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 9:47am | IP Logged | 5  

I don't know, but something told me it was going to happen. ;-)
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Mark McConnell
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 11:56am | IP Logged | 6  

That's sad.

Gee, chief, I don't know what to say.
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Craig Markley
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 4:37pm | IP Logged | 7  

When I think of Our Gang Robert Blake hardly comes to mind.  He came along with the third/fourth wave of kids such as William Laughline (Froggy).  Once they swithed from Our Gang to Little Rascals they lost their sparkle.  Kinda like when Andy Griffith changed to color.  There are a handful of them still around and kicking.  Dorthy, Dickie and Jean Darling are all still with us also.  Their numbers are dwindling though.

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 4:59pm | IP Logged | 8  

Craig, the entire "Our Gang" movie series, which lasted from 1922 to about 1943, was always called "Our Gang." "The Little Rascals" is what the Hal Roach produced talkies (roughly 1929 through 1938) were called when put into syndication by Kings World way back when.

The series was great until MGM started producing the series (1938), instead of just distributing them. Robert Blake was in the MGM-produced shorts.

There's a great book by Leonard Maltin and Richard W. Bann that is available at most big booksellers (and, hopefully, some smaller ones), and online at www.amazon.com called "The Little Rascals: The Life and Times of Our Gang."

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0517583259/qid =1127688768/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2/102-3870693-7400924?v=gl ance&s=books

I read the book waaaay back in its' original 1978 edition around 1980, or so. That's where I first learned of the silent-era films. The current printing was updated around 1994, or so.

If you are remotely a fan of the series, you should want to try and track down the Cabin Fever VHS collection. It used prints from the Library of Congress that were uncut and unedited and puts those grainy, cut TV prints to shame. Hallmark now owns those prints, but has only put out a few compilations (still worth picking up to have on DVD). I wish they would do what Cabin Fever did and release the entire Hal Roach talkies catalog, plus some silents.

 

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Craig Markley
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 5:11pm | IP Logged | 9  

Your right Matt.  It was the MGM produced shorts that I was talking about.  Once Spanky, Alfalfa & Darla went from "one of the gang" to "leaders of the gang" it lost its cuteness.

I do have the book and all the Cabin Fever videos.  BTW, you know that Tom Griswald's (Bob & Tom) kids named their pet "Figs" after Alfalfa's rendition of
Barber of Seville don't you?  "Figaro, Figaro, Fiiiiiig-aro!!!"

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 5:42pm | IP Logged | 10  

Craig, I did not know that. Thanks for the info!

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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 6:29pm | IP Logged | 11  

I was a huge "Our Gang" fan when I was young(er).  Not only were the shorts funny, they were also the first time that Black and White kids played together as equals on television.

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Craig Markley
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 6:51pm | IP Logged | 12  

In the beginning Butch was just one of the other kids.  It wasn't until later he was cast as the heavy.

"Kid from Borneo" is my favorite.  Two phrases that I seem to say a lot come from this short:  "Yum Yum!!  Eat 'em up" and "Do you like wienies?"

Another phrase comes from (I can't remember off hand) a short where Stymie and Spanky are eating and a very young Spanky says, "I like chocolate clake (cake)!"

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James Wright
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 6:52pm | IP Logged | 13  

It might choke Arti, but it ain't gonna choke Stymie...

Edited by James Wright on 25 September 2005 at 6:53pm
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 8:07pm | IP Logged | 14  

One of my favorite scenes with Tommy Bond in "Our Gang" was when he was still playing "Tommy" and was a member of the gang. He's called up to the front of the class at the orphanage where he and the other kids live and sings "Just Friends," a song about two lovers on the outs. His rendition, and the fact that it was a very young child (he was about 6 or so at the time) singing such an adult song make the scene a riot.
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Brian Talley
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 8:21pm | IP Logged | 15  

Mark Evanier also mentions that Bond provided the voice of the little owl in the Merrie Melodies cartoon "I Love To Singa", with lyrics by Cab Calloway.

"I love to sing-a, about the moon-a and the June-a and the spring-a, I love to singa...about a sky of blue-a or a tea for two-a........."

 

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 8:26pm | IP Logged | 16  

That's something else I didn't know. Cool! I always liked that song!
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Yvonne Christian
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Posted: 25 September 2005 at 9:27pm | IP Logged | 17  

This is sad news.  I used to watch "Little Rascals" on TV when I was little.
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