Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hal Roach tribute

TCM is honoring producer Hal Roach this month by showing lots and lots and lots of his work this month. The salute starts off tonight at 8:00 PM ET with a 24-hour salute to Our Gang.

When I was growing up my exposure to Hal Roach was the Little Rascals shorts that had been culled from Our Gang for TV syndication, with Spanky, Buckwheat, Alfalfa, and the rest. However, they didn't come until relatively late into the series. Spanky, for example, first showed up in 1932 in a short called Free Eats, which is airing at 10:00 PM ET tonight. Alfalfa didn't show up until a few years later, and is in only a few of the shorts TCM is showing. Buckwheat actually started under a different name, "Billie", as you can see at 2:00 AM in The First Round-Up. Much of the day Wednesday will be taken with the older silent shorts and, to be honest, I have little familiarity with them, so they'll be just as much a revelation to me as they will be to some of you.

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