Sundays With Snyder Number 28 - Our Gang's Spanky McFarland

After 27 consecutive weekly Sundays presenting Tom Snyder’s The Radio Show, Isn’t Life Terrible ran out of raw material (i.e., no more cassettes in the collection) and it appeared we had reached the end of the road.

But turn, if you would, toward St. Paul, Minnesota and tip your hat, send good karma, and make a toast with your very next Colortini to Bryan Olson, a Video Producer at Real Life Video who also saved tapes of Tom Snyder’s Radio Show. Bryan kindly offered to share his programs with us, and he’s put time and effort into getting them here in the proper format.

Bryan, speaking for all of us who appreciate good radio, great interviews, and the unique perspective and presence of Tom Snyder… we’re in your debt.

The first program from Bryan’s collection dates from May 30th, 1989, when Tom welcomed George “Spanky” McFarland, star of the Hal Roach (and later, MGM) Our Gang Comedies. (At right, a sad Spanky sports his signature chapeau in the company of fellow Hal Roach star Charley Chase). Spanky started his movie career at age three and appears in many of the Gang’s best shorts as well as its only feature, General Spanky.

Bryan removed the commercials from the hour-long segment. It’s priceless.

Listen or download.

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Spanky McFarland Complains About Michael Jackson’s "Unctuous Whine"

Spanky McFarland with the man who made “Isn’t Life Terrible,” Charley Chase.

Spanky McFarland met Michael Jackson in 1984. Here’s what Michael H. Price, the man who arranged the meeting, claims that Spanky said following the meet-up:

Well, y’know, what Michael Jackson went yammering on and on about, was how I’d ‘inspired’ him, or so he said in that unctuous whine of his, to get up there and be a showman. Said that he’d watch us Our Gang kids on television, day after day, actin’ like the whole world was our stage — and maybe it was, at that — and got the performing bug right then and there. ’Course, I guess it helped him to have a musically inclined family. And that noise they call rock ’n’ roll was about all there was to play, I guess, by the time he’d’ve been comin’ up.

So anyhow, I guess I’d never’ve thought of our Little Rascals or Our Gang — or whatever-the-hell you want to call ’em — pictures as being any kind of an influence on this rock ’n’ roll business.

Nonetheless, according to Mr. Price, Spanky once sued the music group Spanky and Our Gang and wasn’t too sure about The Young Rascals, either.

Link to Price’s article, And now for something entirely Spanky.

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