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Radio Bugs (1944)

 -  Comedy | Family | Short  -  1 April 1944 (USA)
4.1
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Ratings: 4.1/10 from 31 users  
Reviews: 2 user

When Froggy discovers the fabulous salaries paid to radio stars, he gets the idea that the gang should be in on the action. But success in radio requires a sponsor. They audition comedy ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Cyril Endfield)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play)
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Title: Radio Bugs (1944)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Our Gang ...
Children
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Storyline

When Froggy discovers the fabulous salaries paid to radio stars, he gets the idea that the gang should be in on the action. But success in radio requires a sponsor. They audition comedy skits at the dentist's office, and Shakespeare at the mortuary. Their efforts to snag a sponsor are without success until . . . Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Family | Short

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Details

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Release Date:

1 April 1944 (USA)  »

Box Office

Budget:

$22,121 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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The movie lost $4,759 during it's initial release. See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting story idea, though the Gang just isn't up to it (spoilers)
2 October 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

The idea of the Gang imitating radio actors is a wonderful idea. In fact, today the Museum of TV and Radio has special workshops where kids get to read radio scripts "on the air."

But I digress.

Radio Bugs has the Our Gang kids "auditioning" as radio comedians in (of all places) a dentists' waiting room (where patients are in excruciating pain! Ouch!). They tell jokes like "What time is it?" "It's 2:30." "I know your tooth's hurting, or you wouldn't be at the dentist!" Silly jokes like this would be amusing except for one problem: the kids just aren't skilled enough to deliver these jokes in a polished fashion. So the whole comedy routine sadly comes off as forced.

Later, they try a different approach: radio drama. They try out their radio-adapted rendition of Hamlet at a mortuary (makes perfect sense, right?). Something unexpected happens though: the morticians burst out laughing! I'll say this much: the writers of this short have a good sense of irony. Unfortunately, the kids' skill at doing drama is no better than their skill at comedy. Once again, their dialogue delivered in a forceful (and contrived) manner. Even Buckwheat, the only remaining veteran from the Hal Roach era, comes off looking stilted.

There is one bright spot in this film: the kids meet an elderly (and hammy) Shakespearean actor who holds Buckwheat's chin as he delivers the classic "poor Yorick, I knew him well..." soliloquy. THAT was funny1

Otherwise, this is a case where a good story idea fell flat due to an incapable young cast.


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