Norman "Chubby" Chaney

full name: Norman Myers Chaney
professional nickname: Chubby
born Oct. 18, 1914, in Cambridge, MA
died May 29, 1936, in Baltimore, MA, of myocarditis


Special note: It's long been published that Norman was born on Jan. 18, 1918, which would make him 11 years old when he joined Our Gang (despite the publicity at the time saying he was 9 years old). However, a member of thelittlerascals.net named "rhapsody" researched Norman's death certificate, which revealed that he was 21 years, 6 months, and 28 days old on the date of his death. This would mean that his birthdate was Nov. 1. 1914. The 1920 census states that he was 5 1/2 years old at the time, with a younger sister named Ruth. Interestingly, the 1930 census, taken after he joined Our Gang, states that he was only 11 years old with an OLDER sister named Ruth. I suspect that even the folks at Hal Roach Studios didn't know his actual age. After all, he was brought in to replace Joe Cobb, who was being aged out of the series. Norman was two years older than Joe, so being passed off as 11 would have made good sense. And indeed, his first contract states that he was 11 years old. The death certificate also gives his birthplace as Baltimore.

BUT WAIT!!! There's actually more to this story! As revealed at the Norman "Chubby" Chaney tumblr page, the death certificate, which was filled out by Norman's maternal uncle, had the information wrong! We now have Norman's birth certificate, which states that he was born on Oct. 18, 1914, in Cambridge - not Nov. 1, 1914, in Baltimore. Now, of course, it's easy to see why his birthyear would be changed, but why change the month and day to Jan. 18? Well, if the birth certificate has the correct date, then it's easy to see how a typo can turn 10/18 into 1/18. Certainly easier than changing 11/1 into 1/18.


1928


1929

90. Railroadin' (supporting role: Chubby aka Chub)
June 15, 1929 - Roach/MGM - talkie - 2 reels - prod. G-24 - Our Gang series
Filmed Apr. 17 to 25, 1929. ©Dec. 9, 1929.
92. Lazy Days (small part: Chub)
Aug. 24, 1929 - Roach/MGM - talkie - 2 reels - prod. G-26 - Our Gang series
Also listed for Aug. 15, 1929, and Oct. 24, 1929. Filmed June 10 to 20, 1929. ©Aug. 26, 1929.
91. Boxing Gloves (featured role: Chubby Chaney)
Sep. 9, 1929 - Roach/MGM - talkie - 2 reels - prod. G-25 - Our Gang series
Filmed May 13 to 25, 1929. ©Sep. 9, 1929.
93. Bouncing Babies (small part: Chubby)
Oct. 12, 1929 - Roach/MGM - talkie - 2 reels - prod. G-27 - Our Gang series
Filmed July 5 to 15, 1929. ©Sep. 23, 1929.
94. Moan & Groan, Inc. (supporting role: Chubby aka Chub)
Dec. 7, 1929 - Roach/MGM - talkie - 2 reels - prod. G-28 - Our Gang series
Filmed Sep. 3 to 14, 1929. ©Dec. 2, 1929.

1930

95. Shivering Shakespeare (featured role: Chubby aka Norman)
Jan. 25, 1930 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-29 - Our Gang series
Filmed Sep. 30 to Oct. 12, 1929. ©Dec. 17, 1929.
96. The First Seven Years (supporting role: Chubby)
Mar. 1, 1930 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-30 - Our Gang series
Filmed Oct. 28 to Nov. 16, 1929. ©Jan. 20, 1930. Also filmed in Spanish as Los pequeños papas.
97. When The Wind Blows (small part: Chubby)
Apr. 5, 1930 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-31 - Our Gang series
Filmed Nov. 29 to Dec. 10, 1929. ©Feb. 10, 1930. Also filmed in Spanish as Las fantasmas.
98. Bear Shooters (supporting role: Chubby)
May 17, 1930 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-32 - Our Gang series
Filmed Dec. 19, 1929, to Jan. 4, 1930, and Jan. 21, 1930. Also filmed in Spanish as Los cazadores de osos, as well as in French.
99. A Tough Winter (supporting role)
June 21, 1930 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-33 - Our Gang series
Filmed Jan. 27 to Feb. 15, 1930. ©Apr. 14, 1930. Also filmed in German as Winter Wetter and in French as Semps d'hiver.
100. Pups Is Pups (supporting role: Chubby aka Chub)
Aug. 30, 1930 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-34 - Our Gang series
Filmed Apr. 21 to May 9, 1930. ©July 2, 1930. Added to the National Film Registry on Dec. 28, 2004.
101. Teacher's Pet (supporting role: Chubby)
Oct. 11, 1930 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-35 - Our Gang series
Filmed May 21 to 29, 1930. ©Nov. 24, 1930. Also made as Spanish version entitled Comenzo la escuela, which used the English original with full-frame cut-in titles, but wasn't accepted by MGM for release in this format.
102. School's Out (featured role: Chubby Chaney)
Nov. 22, 1930 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-36 - Our Gang series
Filmed June 17 to 25, 1930.

1931

103. Helping Grandma (supporting role)
Jan. 3, 1931 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-37 - Our Gang series
Filmed July 28 to Aug. 6, 1930. ©Oct. 1, 1930.
104. Love Business (featured role: Chubby aka Norman aka Chubsy-Ubsy)
Feb. 14, 1931 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-38 - Our Gang series
Filmed Sep. 3 to 15, 1930, with retakes Sep. 20, 1930. ©Oct. 26, 1930.
105. Little Daddy (supporting role: Chubby)
Mar. 28, 1931 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-39 - Our Gang series
Filmed Oct. 30 to Nov. 13, 1930. ©Feb. 6, 1931. Chubby lip-synchs to "Asleep In The Deep" in this film.
The Stolen Jools (small part)
Apr. 4, 1931 - Masquers Club/National Variety Artists/Paramount - 2 reels
The Our Gang kids are among the multitude of stars featured in this short.
106. Bargain Day (supporting role: Chubby)
May 2, 1931 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-40 - Our Gang series
Filmed Dec. 14 to 23, 1930, with retakes Jan. 26 to Feb. 2, 1931. ©Mar. 23, 1931.
107. Fly My Kite (supporting role: Chubby)
May 30, 1931 - Roach/MGM - 2 reels - prod. G-41 - Our Gang series
Filmed Mar. 2 to 14, 1931. ©May 7, 1931.

1932

Mickey's Golden Rule (supporting role)
June 4, 1932 - Darmour/RKO - 2 reels - Mickey McGuire series
©June 1, 1932. It isn't entirely clear that Chubby appeared in this short, but he did appear in the 1939 reissue short "Mickey's Fair Play," which probably derived from this 1932 film.

1933


1935


1936


1938


1978

Rascal Dazzle (archival)
1978 - King World/Picture Scores - 93 min. - documentary feature
©1978. Seems to have debuted on TV, followed by a theatrical release in late 1979. Includes footage from "Shivering Shakespeare" and "Love Business."

1984

Our Gang: Inside The Clubhouse (archival)
May 8, 1984 - Lang/Camellia City Telecasters - 93 mins. - TV documentary
Includes footage from "Boxing Gloves," "Teacher's Pet," "School's Out," "Helping Grandma" and "Love Business."

1986

Classic Comedy Teams (archival)
1986 - Bergamn-Harris/Movietime/GoodTimes - video documentary
Includes footage from "School's Out" and "The Stolen Jools."

1994

Hal Roach: Hollywood's King Of Laughter (appearance)
Apr. 7, 1994 - RHI/Disney Channel - 49 min. - TV documentary
Includes footage from "Bear Shooters," "School's Out" and "Love Business."
The Our Gang Story (archival)
1994 - Film Shows/GoodTimes - 120 min. - video documentary
Includes footage from "The First Seven Years," "Bear Shooters," "School's Out," "The Stolen Jools," and "Fly My Kite."

2002

Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story (archival)
Feb. 5, 2002 - Jones/TCM - 89 min. - TV documentary
Includes footage from "School's Out" and "Love Business."
E! True Hollywood Story episode: Curse Of The Little Rascals (archival)
Nov. 24, 2002 - E! Entertainment Television - 60 min. - TV documentary

Chubby Chaney's payroll history

The following is a list of most of Chubby's history at the Roach studio, with the amounts he was making from week to week. The dates given are Saturdays, the last day of each week at the studio. The only exceptions would be Saturdays that were also holidays, in which case the Friday date is used for those weeks.

It was in March 1929 that we first encounter Chubby in the payroll ledgers.

Chubby did not receive any pay for the weeks ending August 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th.

During March, the Our Gang unit was between films, and Chubby wasn't issued any checks. He was, however, compensated for it near the end of July.

Much of the week ending Dec. 20th and the entirety of the week ending Dec. 27th are missing from the payroll ledger, but filming for Bargain Day took place during this period.

The studio was closed for four weeks during the spring, during which Chubby didn't receive any pay.


See anything that needs changing? Contact me at BtheW@aol.com.


© Robert Demoss.


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