Filmed March 8 to 25, 1926. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.
Copyrighted May 26, 1926, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU22775. Since the copyright was not renewed,
this film is now in the public domain.
Released July 4, 1926. This is according to both Rob Stone's Laurel Or Hardy and Richard Lewis Ward's
A History Of The Hal Roach Studios. Maltin & Bann list July 18th. It was the 51st film in the series to be
Probable opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Thundering
Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1046, "The Flea Circus," copyrighted Sep.
1, 1960, with registration number LP17351.
A five second clip was used in the Glenn Tryon comedy "45 Minutes From Hollywood" that derived from the
rushes for this film, and is very similar to the version of the scene that made the final cut.
According to Rob Stone's book. McGowan was later credited as Anthony Mack. He was being credited in
the payroll summaries as the Our Gang assistant director during this period, but Oelze was still being listed as a prop
Supporting role. He appears in most of the scenes, and pairs up with Johnny on their search for fleas,
but isn't given too much of his own to do. This was his last appearance in the series, barring reunion appearances.
Jay R. Smith
Supporting role. He pairs up with Joe to search for fleas.
Bobby "Bonedust" Young as "Bonedust"
Small part. He's shown in the kiddie wedding scene providing the music.
Small part. She appears as Scooter's little sister.
Small part. She appears in the opening kiddie wedding scene.
Lassie Lou Ahern
Small part. She's the flower girl at the adult wedding.
Small part and extras. There are at least two more girls at the adult wedding.
Buster as "Magnolia"
Featured role. This is Farina's dog, and the one with the fleas.
Bit part. Appears briefly as Clements extracts a flea from his fur. Not listed by Maltin &
Bit part. The parrot owned by Scooter's family, and presumably the same one seen in previous
Bit part. The dog that Joe and Jay extract fleas from looks like the dog from "One Terrible
Day" (no. 4).
Bit part. Presumably the same white mule seen in "Commencement Day" (no. 26). He pulls
Scooter's family's wagon.
(1.) The dog that meets up with Magnolia.
(2.) The goat from which Mickey and Johnny extract fleas. Possibly the same goat as seen in "Uncle Tom's
Uncle". (no. 50).
(3.) The rooster riding on the cart with Mildred.
(4.) The goldfish in the bowl that Farina drops. It isn't clear whether any of them are actually real.
At least a couple of the bugs in Clements' flea circus are real, but most of them are animated,
including the animated star of the film, "Garfield."
George B. French as "Prof. Clements"
Supporting role. He runs the flea circus and sends the gang off to find Garfield.
James Finlayson as the justice of the peace
Supporting role. He finds it difficult to conduct the wedding once the fleas are unleashed.
Jerry Mandy as "Sheldon," the groom
Supporting role. Every time he tries to say "I do," he goes into an itching frenzy.
Martha Sleeper as the bride
Supporting role. The fleas eventually take her over as well, but in the end, she decides to use
Mary's kiddie setup for the real thing.
Oliver Hardy as the police officer
Supporting role. He gets infested with fleas and loses his pants in the process.
Charley Chase as one of the wedding guests
Small part. He's the one with the flea in his moustache.
Vera White as one of the wedding guests
Small part. She's standing just to the left of Finlayson during the wedding, and later asks somebody to scratch
her back. Shortly after that, she finds a flea on her nose.
Grace Wood as Skooter's mom
Bit part. Previously seen in "Circus Fever" (no. 35) and later in "Spanky"
Charlie Hall as one of the musicians
Bit part. He's playing the sax.
Alex Finlayson as one of the musicians
Bit part. I don't know what he looks like, but he's probably the violin player.
Harry Bowen as one of the flea circus spectators
Bit part. He's standing to the left of Clements, and is still there when most of the others have
Charley Lloyd as one of the flea circus spectators
Bit part. He's standing to the right of Clements, and is still there when most of the others have
left. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Charley Young.
Chris Lynton as the father of the bride
Bit part. He's shown walking the bride to the altar. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Allen Cavan.
Lyle Tayo as the pedestrian
Bit part. Identified by Maltin & Bann. It looks like her, but we never really get a good look in this
Helen Gilmore as a pedestrian
Bit part. She's the woman who briefly speaks to Hardy from the other side of the fence.
Clara Guiol as the maid of honor
Bit part. She's best seen to the right of the screen as Sleeper notices the kids' wedding setup.
Dick Gilbert as Skooter's dad
Bit part. He's not seen for more than a few seconds.
Sammy Brooks as one of the flea circus spectators
Bit part. This is presumably the really short guy.
Sam Lufkin as one of the wedding guests
Extra. As Lynton walks Sleeper to the altar, Lufkin can seen right behind Jerry Mandy.
Ham Kinsey as one of the wedding guests
Extra. He's seen to the far right in the shots of Martha Sleeper scratching herself.
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) The sleeping man whose beard is caught afire by Farina and Scooter's magnifying glass.
(2.) The man playing the statue that goes into spasms.
(3.) The man playing the ukulele.
(4.) The woman playing the piano.
(5.) The man that seems to be Scooter's grandfather.
(6.) The painter who shoos Magnolia away from the statue.
(7.) Perhaps twenty more guests at the wedding.
(8.) Three additional pedestrians watching Clements' flea circus.
(9.) Two women walking down the sidewalk while Hardy is pantsless.
the music (sort of):
"Here Comes The Bride" by Richard Wagner
Music written in 1841 as the "Bridal Chorus" from "Lohengrin." Sung by Bonedust
during the kiddie wedding.
"Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!" by George F. Root
Written in the early 1860s. H. M. Walker makes reference to this Civil War song: " - Scratch
- scratch - scratch - The fleas are marching - ". This song later appeared on the soundtrack of
"The First Round-Up" (no. 128)
According to Rob Stone's list, footage was shot in Palms on March 8th and 20th. It appears that all
of the exterior footage was shot there, so perhaps it should read 'March 8th TO 20th.'
Motor Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
When Joe chases Farina, they run diagonally across the vacant lot on the northwest corner of Motor and
Woodbine. Seen in the background is the house at 3359 Motor which was later featured in "The Old Wallop"
(no. 68), and part of the Palms Hardware Co. at 3351 Motor. Right after this Farina is running north on the
east side of the 3300 block of Motor. Seen to the left is the yard of the Mitholithic Mfg. Co. It appears that the
flea circus takes place at the narrow space between the Sanitary Market and the next building to the north on the
west side of this block. After Farina takes a look at this, he crosses the street and sits on the curb in front of the
north end of the Mitholithic building. This is where he's sitting as Scooter walks by, and is also where we later see
Joe and Jay looking at the fleas they've caught. When we first see Scooter's family riding along the street,
they're traveling south along the 3500 block of Motor. As Farina and Scooter walk along, they're initially back on
the 3300 block, with the grocery store shown to the right of the shot. In the next shot, they're on the 3400
block, with the Shoe Repairing shop at 3406 Motor shown to the right. When the fish get loose, they're in front
of the Palms Chamber of Commerce at 3438 Motor. There are also views of the houses on the opposite side of the
street during this scene. When the kids first see French searching for his fleas, they're standing in front of the
south edge of the Chamber of Commerce, and then proceed to cross the street. However, when they reach French, they're
in front of the north edge of the same building. When Hardy loses his pants, he's right next to the Shoe Repairing
shop. The fence has been added to the location for this scene and isn't normally there. Later, as he's searching
for his pants, he walks in front of the Chamber of Commerce, and then chases Farina past the Park & Dedrick Real
Estate office at 3454 Motor and the Home Made Bakery at 3466 Motor, before catching up to him between the bakery
and the corner of Motor and Stilson (now Palms Boulevard). In the scene where Farina asks the woman if she has any
fleas, he and Scooter are sitting on the curb at the southeast corner of Motor and Woodbine in front of the Masonic
Hall at 3402 Motor. When the boys find the bearded man sleeping on the park bench, they're in front of the
Woodbine side of the People's Water Co. at 3392 Motor. The 'United Builders' park bench isn't
normally seen at this location. Later, the two of them emerge from the space between the Palms Hardware Co. and the
Arthur Boetsch Barber Shop at 3347 Motor.
Mentone Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
The opening kiddie wedding takes place in the back yard of a house on Mentone Avenue near the
intersection with Woodbine Street. The back door of the house itself is where the wedding party emerges after the
National Boulevard, Palms district, Los Angeles
The 'City Dog Pound' sign was placed over the back fence of the Palms Garage at 3304
Motor. The fence itself was on National Boulevard to the left of the building. This same sign was later used at the
opposite side of the yard, facing Motor, in "Love My Dog" (no. 59). The back of the building later
occupied by the Master Mfg. Co. at 3316 Motor can be seen in one shot. In a reversal shot, we see a building of the
Palms Lumber Co. behind Jackie.
Scooter's new home also served as Farina's house in "Your Own Back Yard" (no.
44) and "Monkey Business" (no. 48). Location information connected with "Bring Home The Turkey"
(no. 57) reveals that this house was on or around Motor Avenue.
The bearded man jumps off the same bridge seen in "The Ol' Gray Hoss" (no. 78).
16 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Four and a half weeks after shooting had finished for "Uncle
Tom's Uncle" (no. 50), the 'start' date arrived for "Thundering Fleas" on Mar. 8th.
Shooting continued until Mar. 25th, when it was considered 'finished.' No shooting took place on Mar. 7th, 14th,
and 21st, which were all Sundays. There was, however, information written in for the 14th which was crossed out. This
probably indicates that the person entering the information absent-mindedly forgot to skip the page for Sunday. After
shooting finished, two weeks passed before the Our Gang unit began to shoot "Shivering Spooks" (no.
There were 40 copies of this film printed for its initial release.
Released 1987, and reissued Feb. 1992, with an EP version released Sep. 1999. This copy is a home movie
print made by Exclusive Movie Studios, Inc., in Chicago. The picture quality is good. The print totals 27:02, with
26:54 of it original footage. Even though the length is largely due to a slower projection speed, almost all of the
original film is included.
Released 2004. This is a PAL DVD from the UK. The print totals 18:01, with 17:40 of it original
footage, but this includes freeze-frames of the inter-titles. The picture quality is good, but the very last bit
with the statue is cut short.
My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page: Rob Stone (for providing the production number, shooting dates, location info, and some of the crew
credits) Paul Mular (for pointing out the absence of this film on 'The Lost Films of Laurel & Hardy,' and
its presence on the Alpha DVD) Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information) Lord Heath (for putting a face to the name with Clara Guiol) Randy Jones (for providing more info in the Alpha DVD)