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Fishy Tales
Fishy Tales (1937)
  • Director:
    Gordon Douglas
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Jack Jevne
  • Cast:
    Eugene 'Porky' Lee,George 'Spanky' McFarland,Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer
  • Time:
  • Year:
While playing William Tell, Alfalfa accidently shoots Butch in the nose with a rubber dart. Butch threatens Alfalfa, telling him that he will return to settle the score. But at the appointed hour Alfalfa feigns sickness to avoid a licking, alas, without success.
Credited cast:
Eugene 'Porky' Lee Eugene 'Porky' Lee - Porky (as Our Gang)
George 'Spanky' McFarland George 'Spanky' McFarland - Spanky (as Our Gang)
Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer - Alfalfa (as Our Gang)
Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas - Buckwheat (as Our Gang)
Gary Jasgur Gary Jasgur - Junior (as Our Gang)
Tommy Bond Tommy Bond - Butch (as Our Gang)
Sidney Kibrick Sidney Kibrick - Woim (as Our Gang)
Darla Hood Darla Hood - Darla (as Our Gang)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John 'Uh huh' Collum John 'Uh huh' Collum - Audience member
Richard DeNeut Richard DeNeut - Audience member (as Dickie De Nuet)
Barbara Goodrich Barbara Goodrich - Audience member
Dorian Johnston Dorian Johnston - Audience member
Darwood Kaye Darwood Kaye - Audience member
Tommy McFarland Tommy McFarland - Audience member
Billy Mindy Billy Mindy - Audience member (as Billy Minderhout)

Fishy Tales (1937)
During an exhibition of his shooting abilities, Alfalfa accidentally shoots Butch with a suction cup dart. Butch, of course, wants to fight, so to get out of it Alfalfa fakes a leg injury. A newly caught fish, courtesy of Buckwheat, is used to simulate the bum leg. 'Fishy Tales' has some good situations for comedy, but they are delivered too quickly. The humor never has much of a chance to develop. Alfalfa still provides a few good laughs during the scene in which Butch examines the bum leg, though.
This Hal Roach comedy short, Fishy Tales, is the one hundred fifty-eighth entry in the "Our Gang/Little Rascals" series and the seventieth talkie. Buckwheat has just gone fishing when he arrives at the clubhouse in time to replace Porky (because of his eating the target) in the William Tell exhibition in which Alfalfa shoots a dart on the apple on Bucky's head. Unfortunately, one of those darts hits Butch who gets plenty angry especially when a second hits him courtesy of Junior but he doesn't know that as he still wants to beat Alf. Spanky has his pal pretend to have a broken leg with Bucky's fish in a stocking being that particular leg. When Butch comes to see it, he seems convinced until...This was quite a funny short what with what I just described as well as some cats and a few other creatures that I don't want to reveal here. So that's a high recommendation of Fishy Tales.
. . . for an arm, leg, or tail from time to time? If "anthropomorphism" is the art of attributing animal characteristics to criminals, certainly the term "Zoolaunderlimericks" can be used to denote "Alfalfa's" mistaking a fish for his shin (an anagram of "Nish," which brings to mind "knish," the more popular of which are filled with fish) during the "Our Gang" episode FISHY TALES. Noted Real Life shrink "Oliver Baggy" will tell you that Alfalfa's strange misperception during FISHY TALES is not as bad as mistaking your wife for a hatpin. At least you can eat a fish. (Purists might argue that this would constitute cannibalism, but who's counting?) Within a few years of FISHY TALES' release, "Dr. Seuss" would break into the entertainment industry by writing rhyming narrations for U.S. Army boot camp "training"propaganda cartoons. This arrangement, funded by U.S. taxpayers and War Bonds (not to be confused with "Ward Bond") , was NOT a "match made in Heaven." Bradley, Patton, MacArthur & Co. would have been better off if "Spanky" heard a "Who," not Hitler. FISHY TALES may have inspired the Good Doctor's "Private Snafu," but "Run, Alfalfa, run!!" does not sound like a winning War Cry.
FISHY TALES is an amusing short from the OUR GANG crowd. Alfalfa is in this one and takes part in the film's funniest scene in which he pretends to have damaged legs much to the amazement over the other kids. Otherwise the story is about a competition in which the kids shoot arrows with rubber suction caps on the end, only to fall foul of a bully when a shot goes awry.

At just eleven minutes this is a very short comedy in which the gags barely have time to register. I think perhaps too much was crammed into the running time so the pacing appears to be a little too fast for the humour to really register. It would have been better for the team to just focus on a single set-piece rather than trying to do too much. Still, it's worth it just to see the kids in action once more.
An OUR GANG Comedy Short.

Bully Butch has threatened great bodily harm to Alfalfa. Now it's up to Spanky's FISHY TALES to convince Butch that Alfalfa is in bed with a dislocated leg & is unable to fight...

A humorous little film. Highlights include the `William Tell' episode -with Buckwheat as the target - and the cats ‘n' crabs.
The show begins with something every kid does--shoots apples off their friend's head with a rubber dart gun. However, the Alfalfinator accidentally hits Butch and Butch isn't about to let it slide. Alfalfa pretends to faint and before Butch can pound him, his mother calls him home. Butch promises to beat up Alfalfa later. In the meantime, Spanky gets some ideas to try to save Alfalfa's life. They pretend that Alfalfa dislocated his leg and cannot fight! Butch has a hard time believing that. What will happen next? Well, it involves cats...other than that, you'll just have to see it for yourself.

This is a decent episode simply because it has no singing nor dancing--severe problems with many of these later shorts. Instead, the focus is on comedy--and I must admit that I laughed a lot at this one! Cute and well done--and one of the better late Our Gang films.