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Spanky, Grandma Tilbury, Alfalfa

Production Notes

Length: Two Reel
Producer: Hal Roach
Director: Gus Meins
Photography: Francis Corby
Editor: Louis McManus
Writer: Hal Roach
Released: April 11, 1936
Studio: M-G-M

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

The Short

Plot: It's the sixty-fifth birthday for reclusive crotchety hypochondriac Greenpoint resident Grandma Tilbury, but it's all about how far her servants can take her cantankerous complaining as they try to sedate her temperament with her medicine. Her mood is not ready when a toy airplane suddenly takes course through a window into her parlor and shatters a vase in its path. Behind it on the street, the Rascals are wondering where it went, and Spanky is the logical choice to face the old lady to get the plane back, slyly pretending he doesn't see the broken vase as he tries to head out. His impudence over the price of the damage is a bit of a shock to the butler, but the old lady finds it to be a welcome change. She wants the Rascals to pay for the damages, but without any money, Spanky is more than willing to drag the gang in on helping him work it off by doing yard work. Before long, the old lady is doing the work for them to show them how to do it, but as Alfalfa watches, he lets go with a few chords of "Oh Susannah." The old lady wants to show him how to sing the song right at the piano, but when Spanky's slingshot gets caught on the piano bench and snaps back on her, she becomes fascinated by it, using to to destroy her pill bottles with glee. Grandma is soon reliving her childhood playing on their roller skates, terrorizing her servants and bonding with the gang as they discover the fountain in the garden and dive in, realizing that one is only as young as they feel.

  • "For twenty years I've wondered what that thing was for!" - Grandma Tilbury
  • "Yes, she's taking care of this, Hobson." - Spanky


  • This is the last episode directed by Gus Meins.
  • Zeffie Tilbury as Grandma Tilbury was actually eight years older than her sixty-five year old character and lived to be eighty-three.
  • Leonard Maltin revealed that Zeffie was actually blind and guided by a maid behind the scenes.
  • William Thomas Jr. was reportedly initially terrified of Zeffie Tilbury during the production of this short.
  • This and four other shorts were later remade by King World in clay animation form, using the original soundtracks from the films.
  • This was the last episode where Darla appears with blonde hair, which had been changed from her original brunette hair for her role in "The Bohemian Girl" with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.