Ask Grandma is a sweet and hilarious "Our Gang" short
This Hal Roach comedy short, Ask Grandma, is the thirty-eighth entry in the "Our Gang/Little Rascals" series. Mickey is depressed because his mom wants him to be a "hothouse flower" when he'd prefer to be a weed. In other words, he'd rather be with the other boys and ride the two-plane merry-go-round outside instead of going out for ballet lessons. The only family member he can confide in is Grandma as she loves to do backflips and they play catch and spar together. When he sees bully Johnny pick on little chubby Joe, he confronts him. Then he sees the note his mom gave him with "No Fighting" listed and backs off with Johnny teasing him. There's also a girl, Mary, that both Mickey and Johnny are smitten with and as his rival manages to get her to ride the two-plane ride, Mickey gets jealous and tells his grandma of his feelings for Mary. Grandma encourages those feelings and after Johnny once again teases Mickey, tells him to "keep on slammin'". He does just that and is encouraged by nearly everyone, even Mary who's seen Johnny's brutal side and happens to think Mickey's "cute between the freckles", except at first by his mother. Then she is reminded by Grandma of her tomboyish ways (provided in flashback with Mickey playing her as a child) and eventually promises to let her son be a "regular boy" from now on...This was one of the sweetest and hilarious "Our Gang" episodes ever with Grandma coming off best in terms of excitement and personality. It's too bad that neither IMDb nor the definitive book on "Our Gang", "The Little Rsacals: The Life and Times of Our Gang" by Leonard Maltin and Richard W. Bann, has the actress that played her in the cast list. Her scenes with Mickey are so full of joy that you wish you knew someone like her in your life. Mary is at her most alluring here and the way she kisses Mickey and his reaction is one of the most priceless I'm seen of their shorts so far. The fight at the end with Mickey almost defeated by Johnny and his father before Grandma socks the father was the short's highlight and reminded me of a similar ending for the later "Little Rascals" talkie, The First Seven Years with Jackie Cooper that I was charmed by as a child. So as with many of these other silent "Our Gang" shorts I've discovered on YouTube, I highly recommend Ask Grandma. P.S. Once again, I've got to give props to the poster who added the LeRoy Shield music from the "Little Rascals" shorts as performed by the Beau Hunks Band.
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