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Alfalfa and Spanky

Production Notes

Length: Two Reel
Producer: Hal Roach
Director: Fred Newmeyer
Photography: Milton Krasner
Editor: Bert Jordan
Titles: None
Writer: Unrevealed
Released: May 2, 1936
Studio: M-G-M

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

The Short

Plot: Two little people from the circus escape for a day off disguised as children, but get picked up by Mr. Smithers, the truant officer, who carts them off to school. The two midgets go along in order to not bust their cover and end up sitting through a Arbor Day Pageant with the regular kids begrudgingly going through the routines. Spanky follows through the tree-planting ceremony, and Buckwheat struggles through his line with coaching from his mother. Spanky plays a woodsman about to chop down a tree as an intro to Alfalfa straining his way through Joyce Kilmer's "Trees." Smithers starts dozing off even as Miss Argyle weeps with joy through the performance. The whole act is an excruciating torment for the two seasoned and experienced little people and they volunteer to follow up with an act of their own which starts out innocent at first and builds to a decadent Vaudeville number too improper for the kids and thankfully too intelligible to understand at all. Their disguises revealed, they are overheard by Murphy, their boss, looking for them who has heard their number and carries them off back to the circus. Principal Cass, the principal, fires Smithers over the embarrassment.

  • "Come and see a good show sometime!" - George's parting shot to Principal Cass (as he and Olive are being carried off by Murphy)
  • "Bye, Sherlock!" - Olive's parting shot to Mr. Smithers (as she and George are being carried off by Murphy)


  • This was the first short that Darla sported her traditional darker locks of hair.
  • This is the second Our Gang appearance for George and Olive Brasno; they previously played adults turned into kids in Shrimps For A Day. They reportedly earned $1500 for their appearance in this short. Olive would later lend her voice in Framing Youth.
  • Hattie McDaniel reprises her role as Buckwheat's mom from Anniversary Trouble.
  • This is the first appearance of Rosina Lawrence in the series; here she plays the piano for the children's orchestra, and she would return as the gang's teacher, Miss Jones.
  • Leonard Maltin mentioned in his book that this script was possibly cribbed from an actual grade school performance.
  • Arbor Day is celebrated on a different day from state to state, the determining date based on the climate of the varying sections of the country. In some states, it is a legal holiday with a fixed date in the month.