The great Buckwheat hoax


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/25/the-great-buckwheat-hoax.html


#2

uh. Is someone at BB a Little Rascals fan? Was there some Little Rascals anniversary recently?

WTF IS WITH THE LITTLE RASCALS POSTS?!?


#3

Maybe it’s because the White House is now The He-Man Woman-Hater’s Club.


#4

SOME PEOPLE GREW UP WATCHING THE LITTLE RASCALS


#5

utter nonsense.


#6

The last Little Rascals short came out in 1944, in an age where shorts were performing worse and worse in the box office.

Television pretty much killed the short film industry after that.

I’ve watched Little Rascals shorts growing up, but they were an artifact from another time, and not really something I can say I grew up with. The people who actually grew up with the Little Rascals must be at least 80 years old at this point.


#7

It revitalised “The Little Rascals,” though. The shorts were packaged up for syndication and became a cheap staple for the weekend morning kids’ TV ghetto in the late '70s and 1980s. So many people who are now age 40+ did grow up with them, ancient artifacts though they are.


#8

I’m 48 and The Little Rascals were a constant thing on TV in two parts of the US when I was a kid.


#9

Yeah, they take up valuable bytes that could otherwise be consumed by bidet and banana posts!


#10

They weren’t new shorts though. The new releases were what I was referring to.

This is also what I meant when I said I grew up having seen Little Rascals shorts, but they were not really something I grew up with. The old shorts were on TV during my childhood, as part of the “kids’ TV ghetto” as you call it, but I just saw these shows as antiquated and not relevant to me at that time. They were in my childhood, just not part of my childhood, if that makes any sense.


#11

There are other places on the internet you could go to.


#12

I found them entertaining, probably due to a lack of other options in a 5-channel world. There was also a certain earthiness you didn’t get from 1970s vintage cartoons. Yes, I also knew they were problematic and outdated artifacts of the past, but watching those repackaged shorts was the reason I got Hal Roach’s autograph when I was lucky enough to meet him as a teenager.


#13

They were on TV, but there weren’t new shorts in theaters.

They were already old by the time they got passed down to you, and were most likely passed down to you by TV executives who did grow up with the Little Rascals.


#14

That’s pretty sad story.


#15

5 channels? Dang, we only had 4.


#16

Yup. They ran in the 1960s too. Including episodes that would never pass muster today. Some of the racist stuff could be edited out and you’d hardly notice; I’m talking about the Wild Man of Borneo episode, maybe others

Although, FWIW, Our Gang / The Little Rascals did show black and white kids playing together, eating at the same table, going to the bat for each other.

I don’t remember when exactly, late 80s I guess, when I was a teen, one of the local stations ran the MGM Our Gang episodes. These never aired when I was a kid. They were made much later, when Spanky and Alfalfa and so on were young teenagers playing little kids. There were a few new characters, like “Froggy.” These were cleaned-up and wholesome compared to the anarchic Hal Roach shorts. They had song-and-dance episodes pitching war bonds, episodes about traffic safety, and so on.


#17

I’m 50 and they were on German TV, too. But I’m in line with @LearnedCoward here, even though my experience probably differs a bit more. Even as a kid, it was clear that Little Rascals and “western von gestern”, where they recycled old black and white western shows, and those old Stan and sketches, were windows into the past of TV and film, unlike Bonanza, Star Trek, Flipper, and a bunch of German-Japanese coproductions.

Entertaining yes, but less “real” than the current stuff and thus less relevant. You’d probably have to jog a German of my generation memory to even rerember Little Rascals, 10 years younger they probably only know about them because they are a reference in The Three Investigators audio plays.


#18

A Current Affair was one of my guilty pleasures for most of the late 80s and 90s. Trashy, but I loved the “Gotcha” moments.


#19

Add me to the roll of 48 year olds who “grew up with” the Little Rascals. From the time I was four or five years old well into my teens, there was always a station that were showing the syndicated shorts, in half-hour to hour blocks. Even though they were from another time, as a kid that wrinkle never registered, and they felt as contemporary as anything else on TV. I was, and still am, a huge fan, though now it’s the earlier ones – more Jackie/Farina/Mary/Wheezer than Spanky/Alfalfa/Buckwheat/Darla – that I like best.


#20

They’re still on Saturday mornings in METV.