20 September 2014 | tavm
The Champeen was another hilarious outing of the early Our Gang comedies
This Hal Roach comedy short, The Champeen, is the ninth in the "Our Gang/Little Rascals" series. It's also the first one involving a rivalry for a girl's affection, in this case the girl is Mary Kornman and the boys are Mickey Daniels and Jack Davis. It's hilarious watching them take turns trying to get soda pop for her running back and forth. Ernie Morrison is called Sammy here for the first time in the series. He's been stealing fruit from the nearby stand and when he gets caught, he's told by the cop that unless he pays the owner a dollar, he'll go to jail for the rest of his life. So Sammy decides to promote a fight between Mickey and Jack, both of whom agree thinking they'll each take a dive in the second round...This is the first time in the series that the leading lady's fickleness is explored which culminated years later in Darla's having to choose between Alfalfa, Butch, and Waldo which I remember enjoying quite a bit when watching the '30s shorts on TV during the late '70s. Plenty of great sight gags abound and I was wonderfully surprised seeing Jack biting into Mickey's ear at one point. Good thing he didn't chew it off like Mike Tyson did a couple of decades ago! So on that point, I highly recommend The Champeen. P.S. Besides Ernie and Allen "Farina" Hoskins, there's another African-American player featured here, Dorothy Morrison, Ernie's sister. This was her first appearance in an Our Gang film.