Telling Whoppers

film no. 56


Rascals Silents Vol. 2 (VHS) from A-1 Video
A clip from this film lasting 2:54 appears as part of the hybrid Mischief Makers episode entitled "An Average Day.".

special note
In addition to the TV episode, I've been able to view some of this short in home movie form.

technical details:

Production K-14.

Filmed September 10 to 18, 1926. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted November 11, 1926, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU23326. Renewed November 12, 1954, with registration no. R140920. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2021.

Released December 19, 1926. It was the 55th film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

Probable opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Telling Whoppers".'

Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1047, "The Big Bully," copyrighted Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17352. Footage also went into episode no. 1072, "An Average Day," copyrighted Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17774.

the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Probably credited in the film as a presenter.

Supervised by F. Richard Jones
Probably credited in the film as supervising director.

Directed by Robert F. McGowan and Anthony Mack
This credit probably appears in the film, but without McGowan's middle initial. The F stands for Francis. Mack was his nephew, whose real name was Robert A. (for Anthony) McGowan. The 1926 studio datebook credits the uncle only. The nephew was listed in the payroll summaries as an assistant director during this period.

Edited by Richard Currier
This credit probably appears in the film.

Titles by H. M. Walker
This credit probably appears in the film.

Story by Hal E. Roach
This credit probably doesn't appear in the film.

Animal trainer: Tony Campanaro
He was Pal's trainer.

Teacher: Fern Carter
Released by Pathé Exchange, Inc.
Passed by the National Board of Review
Probably indicated in the film.

studio personnel
possible uncredited involvement

the kids:

Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Featured role. He and Joe have the responsibility of doing away with Toughy, and when the bully is thought dead, they make a run for it.

Joe Cobb as "Joe"
Featured role. He and Farina are basically the stars of the short.

Johnny Downs as "Tuffy" aka "Toughey" aka "the Thompson boy"
Featured role. He's the kid that systematically bullies the neighborhood. The signs he puts up spell his name "Tuffy," but the inter-titles spell it "Toughey."

Bobby "Bonedust" Young as "Bonedust"
Supporting role. He's made to bark like a dog. He has more trouble than the others standing on his head.

Jay R. Smith as "Jay R."
Supporting role. In the TV print, he's the first boy that's made to stand on his head.

Jackie Condon as "Jackie"
Supporting role. In the TV print, he's the first boy that's made to pay the kitty.

Elmer "Scooter" Lowry as "Skooter"
Supporting role. He and Bonedust are made to bark like dogs.

Billy Naylor
Small part. He's the boy that overhears Toughey's mother talking to the cop and reports back to the gang.

Peggy Eames
Small part. She tells Farina and Joe that Toughey has gone off to Chicago.

the animals:

Bit part. This is the Boston Bull Terrier that licks Jay's face as he stands on his head. The dog was owned by Doris Oelze, daughter of Our Gang assistant director Charles Oelze.

Bit part. He rings Johnny's bell, much to the dismay of Joe and Farina.

other animals
Bit part. The only remaining animal in the footage I've viewed is the cat that knocks over the bust of George Washington.

the adults:

Dorothy Vernon as Toughey's mom
Small part. She summons a cop to report that her boy has been murdered, and later wallops Toughey.

Gene Morgan as one of the cops
Small part. He talks to Toughey's mom, and later tells the boys to run along and quit killing people.

Charley Young as the man near the swimming hole
Bit part. He chases Toughey away from the swimming hole.

other adults
Small parts and bit parts.
(1.) There are at least 10 more cops. Maltin & Bann list Silas D. Wilcox and Charles McAvoy among them, but it's too hard to tell in the footage I've seen.
(2.) The butcher who hangs the noose-shaped sausages.
(3.) The woman that pours water on Bonedust and Scooter as they howl like dogs.
(4.) There's one more man present next to the lake while Toughey's mom talks to the cop.


8 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Nearly a week after shooting finished for "War Feathers" (no. 54), the 'start' date arrived for "Telling Whoppers" on Sep. 10th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of Sep. 18th. No shooting took place on Sep. 12th, which was a Sunday. Robert F. McGowan directed on every shooting date. A week and a half after the finish date, shooting started for "Bring Home The Turkey" (no. 57).

The one-reel home movie version is entitled "Telling Stories."

The gang's clubhouse is called "Our Shack."

The lake in the film is called Coogan Lake.

In addition to Jackie, Skooter, Jay R. and Bonedust, the names on Tuffy's "Kids I Have Licked" list are Pinky, Micky, Toad, Skinny, Perk, James, Chuck, Chink, Sam, Eb, Marty, Ted, Snow-Ball, Egebert and Percie. In addition to Joe and Farina, the names on Tuffy's "Kids I'm Gonna Lick" list are Spuky, Turtle, Tom, Jonesy, Lefty and Billy.

There were 39 copies of this film printed for its initial release.

©Feb. 27, 2005, by Robert Demoss.
2005 updates: 4/25, 8/11.
2006 updates: 1/9, 6/12.
2007 updates: 4/1, 10/22, 12/8.
2008 updates: 2/21, 2/26, 3/31, 4/25, 7/6, 11/26.
2009 updates: 6/2, 6/3, 6/6, 6/15, 6/20, 6/23, 7/23.

Thanks to Rob Stone, Joe Moore, Joe Blatterman, Doris Oelze and Nancy Thompson for assistance on this page.

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