Discussion:
Howard Caine from "Hogan's Heroes": Another phoney Our Gang-er
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That Derek
2013-01-14 19:40:19 UTC
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Pursuant to the on-going discussion of "Our Gang" wanna-bes like George "Freckles" Wendelken, I am reminded of actor Howard Caine (1928-1993), who essayed the recurring role of "Major Hochstetter" on TV's "Hogan's Heroes" (also memorable for his catch-phrase "Mr. President, New York abstains ... courteously," when he played Congressional delegate Lewis Morris in the film version of "1776").

While giving cast biographies in her book "Hogan's Heroes: Behind the Scenes at Stalag 13" (Renaissance Books, 1998), author Brenda Scott Royce, on pages 124-125, writes:

"HOWARD CAINE as Major Wolfgang Hochstetter.
"Most people are surprised to learn that Howard Caine, the ruthless Msjor Hochstetter, was a Southern born Jew. Born Howard Cohen on January 2, 1928 in Nashville, Tennessee, Caine began his show business career at the tender age of two, when Hal and Jack Roach filmed the original 'Our Gang' silent films in Nashville. His older brothers and sister heard about the audition and dressed Howard up in one of his doll's clothes and brought him to the theater. Howard was cast as Wheezer and performed in a few of the films. The Roach brothers wanted Howard's parents to move the family to California so that Howard could perform in more 'Our Gang' shorts. Howard's parents refused to uproot the family, and the toddler's career in show business was put on hold. Bobby Hutchins took the part of Wheezer in the rest of the 'Our Gang' films."

Caine's filmography (page 128)gives his time as "Wheezer" as having occurred in 1929 -- before he even turned two! The 1929 book "A Day with Our Gamg" [alternate title: "A Story of Our Gang: Romping Through the Hal Roach Comedies"] (Whitman Publishing Company, Racine, Wisconsin) by Eleanor Lewis Packer clearly depicts Bobby Hutchins, Also, Leonard Maltin's book states that Hutchins made his "Wheezer" debut in 1927.

Most fans of "Our Gang"/"The Little Rascals" can immediately pick out all the historical inaccuracies published in the "Hogan" book. The Maltin book clearly spells out that the series was always filmed in California and how Bobby Hutchins was, indeed, the series' only "Wheezer." If Hal Roach did have a brother named Jack working at the studio, I really do not remember him as being much of a player.

Maltin explains in his "Our Gang" book the way it usually worked. A small-town character concocts a interesting back-story and tells all his friends how he used to play "Freckles" or "Stinky" or some other nonexistent Gang member. When said "big shot" dies, somebody in his orbit (friends, family, etc.) reports this legend to the local press and it then gets picked up by the national press, and ... you get the picture.

Something similar happened a few years ago. Some guy named Paul Vander-something died and his widow reported to the press that he had had a former music career as "Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" songwriter Paul Vance many years preceding their marriage. Problem was the REAL Paul Vance was still alive and the widow had been led to believe she had been married to somebody famous. If I remember correctly, she seemed to be resentful when the legitimate Paul Vance came forward and effectively took this mythos away from her.

Whether it's the Grand Duchess Anastasia, a phoney songwriter, or a "Buckwheat" bagging groceries in Tempe, Arizona, don't you hate it when folks stick to totally de-bunked claims?

Contrary to popular belief, Buckwheat never converted to Islam and changed his name to "Kareem of Wheat."
R H Draney
2013-01-14 20:42:09 UTC
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Maltin explains in his "Our Gang" book the way it usually worked. A small-t=
own character concocts a interesting back-story and tells all his friends h=
ow he used to play "Freckles" or "Stinky" or some other nonexistent Gang me=
mber. When said "big shot" dies, somebody in his orbit (friends, family, et=
c.) reports this legend to the local press and it then gets picked up by th=
e national press, and ... you get the picture.
In the years since the Maltin book came out, did anyone ever learn anything
about "Little Pleurisy", Farina's baby sister who appeared in only one short,
1929's "Election Day"?...r
--
Me? Sarcastic?
Yeah, right.
e***@sbcglobal.net
2014-09-16 07:09:22 UTC
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Being his son I can vouch for this fact and, if necessary, scan a publicity photo I have. He was in the ORIGINAL Our Gang Comedy, which predates the better known classic line-up. The story as it was told to me was that his sister dressed him up in her dolls clothes and took him down to the audition which he passed. ....so beginning his illustrious career.

My father had a very solid head on his shoulders and an extremely impressive memory. I distinctly remember when the book was being written Brenda Scott Royce coming to our house and interviewing him extensively. So it was my father himself who provided her with this information which is in fact absolutely, completely and unequivocally true. In fact having come upon her online and inquiring about her meeting with my dad she said the following: "I remember meeting you the day I interviewed your dad. I was so impressed by his memory and entertained by the stories he told. Most of the other cast members would say, 'Gee that was so long ago, I can't remember it very well,' but Howard would say, 'That was on a Tuesday afternoon, and then the following Thursday...' He was very helpful to me, and what a kind and charming person!"
Diner
2014-09-16 13:24:46 UTC
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Post by e***@sbcglobal.net
Being his son I can vouch for this fact and, if necessary, scan a publicity photo I have. He was in the ORIGINAL Our Gang Comedy, which predates the better known classic line-up. The story as it was told to me was that his sister dressed him up in her dolls clothes and took him down to the audition which he passed. ....so beginning his illustrious career.
=====

Sorry, but no. As Derek stated in his original post, there were never any Our Gang films made in Nashville, or anywhere outside California for that matter. And again, as Derek stated, Bobby Hutchins was the only actor to play Wheezer.

Scan a photo if you like, but it won't prove anything. Please read the Maltin/Bann book and tell us which films your father appeared in. Better yet, contact Mr. Maltin or Mr. Bann. I'm sure they'll put you straight.

-Tim
e***@sbcglobal.net
2014-09-18 16:21:52 UTC
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Post by Diner
Post by e***@sbcglobal.net
Being his son I can vouch for this fact and, if necessary, scan a publicity photo I have. He was in the ORIGINAL Our Gang Comedy, which predates the better known classic line-up. The story as it was told to me was that his sister dressed him up in her dolls clothes and took him down to the audition which he passed. ....so beginning his illustrious career.
=====
Sorry, but no. As Derek stated in his original post, there were never any Our Gang films made in Nashville, or anywhere outside California for that matter. And again, as Derek stated, Bobby Hutchins was the only actor to play Wheezer.
Scan a photo if you like, but it won't prove anything. Please read the Maltin/Bann book and tell us which films your father appeared in. Better yet, contact Mr. Maltin or Mr. Bann. I'm sure they'll put you straight.
-Tim
I am surprised to discover that this was ever in question as it is something I have known to be true my entire life.
Louis Epstein
2014-09-19 15:47:07 UTC
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Post by e***@sbcglobal.net
Post by Diner
Post by e***@sbcglobal.net
Being his son I can vouch for this fact and, if necessary, scan a publicity photo I have. He was in the ORIGINAL Our Gang Comedy, which predates the better known classic line-up. The story as it was told to me was that his sister dressed him up in her dolls clothes and took him down to the audition which he passed. ....so beginning his illustrious career.
=====
Sorry, but no. As Derek stated in his original post, there were never any Our Gang films made in Nashville, or anywhere outside California for that matter. And again, as Derek stated, Bobby Hutchins was the only actor to play Wheezer.
Scan a photo if you like, but it won't prove anything. Please read the Maltin/Bann book and tell us which films your father appeared in. Better yet, contact Mr. Maltin or Mr. Bann. I'm sure they'll put you straight.
-Tim
I am surprised to discover that this was ever in question as it is
something I have known to be true my entire life.
Something you were told in childhood and never thought to question or
investigate?

-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
e***@sbcglobal.net
2014-09-21 22:15:37 UTC
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Post by Louis Epstein
Post by e***@sbcglobal.net
Post by Diner
Post by e***@sbcglobal.net
Being his son I can vouch for this fact and, if necessary, scan a publicity photo I have. He was in the ORIGINAL Our Gang Comedy, which predates the better known classic line-up. The story as it was told to me was that his sister dressed him up in her dolls clothes and took him down to the audition which he passed. ....so beginning his illustrious career.
=====
Sorry, but no. As Derek stated in his original post, there were never any Our Gang films made in Nashville, or anywhere outside California for that matter. And again, as Derek stated, Bobby Hutchins was the only actor to play Wheezer.
Scan a photo if you like, but it won't prove anything. Please read the Maltin/Bann book and tell us which films your father appeared in. Better yet, contact Mr. Maltin or Mr. Bann. I'm sure they'll put you straight.
-Tim
I am surprised to discover that this was ever in question as it is
something I have known to be true my entire life.
Something you were told in childhood and never thought to question or
investigate?
-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
Again, had I known that many years later I would have to defend his legacy to a bunch of arm chair academicians I would have been more inquisitive.
j***@att.net
2020-02-07 04:11:16 UTC
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Well I have seen the photo and I would go with it being an alternative gang, possibly for a screen test. All the kids were lookalikes to the final cast that was appearing in theaters at the time. They had a girl with freckles and page boy haircut, obviously playing Mary Ann. There is the fat kid who is supposed to be Chubby, the black kid who is supposed to be Farina, another boy who is supposed to be a Harry Spear lookalike, a little girl who is supposed to be a Dorothy DeBorba lookalike and another girl who is supposed to be a Jean Darling type. Then there is little Wheezer who you can absolutely tell is Howard Caine. He looks frickin adorable in his overalls and little straw hat. It said above he was 2 years old when he was cast. I would say he looked to be nearing his third birthday. So he was born in January 1926, which would date the photo very late in 1928 almost 1929. That fits with the very 1920’s clothing one of the girls is wearing. Now the one thing that stands out about this photo is that Hal Roach himself is in the photo! So that to me says it’s not just a fake. This was around the time that they were transitioning from the silent to the talkies. Now Bobby Hutchins, who played Wheezer, already started the role in 1927 during the silent era and continued into the sound era until 1933. The our gang silent films ended in 1929, and the sound ones began in the second half of 1929. Hutchins was born a year before Caine. Caine would have been only 1 year old when the films with Wheezer in them began appearing. Now this promo photo was signed by Caine in 1960, and he wrote Wheezer right on it. I would be curious to know if he filmed a silent or sound film. It’s a possibility that Hal Roach was looking for an alternative cast to start the sound era and take over for the silent era cast, since they were definitely doubles for the silent cast at the time. That final silent era cast did end up in the early talkies after all. Why they were looking in Tennessee is beyond me as they always filmed in California. Especially because they would have southern accents. An accent is something they were trying to avoid during the early talkies era. It’s quite the puzzle, but I think my theory is pretty good. I sense no deception on Howard Caine’s part. Since he was such a young child, he relied on his parents to fill in the information about what was happening at the time. So I’m going with screen test with alternative actors playing the same characters to make the transition from silents to talkies.
That Derek
2014-09-16 18:49:28 UTC
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It's Derek again and I never thought something I posted 20 months ago in January 2013 would catch the eye and raise the ire of the subject's son. Before addressing Mr. Caine-fils, I'd like to voice my appreciation to Diner/Tim for backing up my original posting.

I still stand by my original posting which, I feel IMHO, effectively pointed out the overwhelming facts courtesy of Messrs. Maltin and Bann's "Little Rascals"/"Our Gang" books and the contradictions contained within Howard Caine's biography in the "Hogan's Heroes" book. But unlike my defender, I am going to decline taking a "put up or shut up" stance.

In spite of contrarian facts and inconsistencies, I do admire the young Mr. Caine for his loyalty to his father, his father's memories, and his father's "illustrious career."

Years ago, I hung out at a tavern also habituated by a gentleman named "Thomas Anderson." One of the more popular songs on the jukebox was Lynn Anderson's "Rose Garden." Whenever that song was played, the elder Mr. Anderson would brag about the singer being his daughter. Even though I saw through this canard and could bring in reference books (in the pre-Internet age) that would have totally de-bunk this familial claim, I declined to do so. Naturally, I could have called him out on it by quoting the first line of the song "I beg your pardon ..."

All this Anderson fellow was doing was making friends with the song "Rose Garden" serving as an ice-breaker in hopes of getting some free drinks. Now, if he would say "Hey, Lynn Anderson's my daughter ... Hey, have I got a real estate deal for you! ..." then I would have had a problem with it.

If Mr. Caine's family wishes to perpetuate the "Wheezer" myth, they can go ahead -- just as long as nobody is getting hurt.

As Sgt. Schultz might say, "I see nothing!"
Scott Brady
2014-09-16 22:03:10 UTC
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Post by That Derek
Years ago, I hung out at a tavern also habituated by a gentleman named "Thomas Anderson." One of the more popular songs on the jukebox was Lynn Anderson's "Rose Garden." Whenever that song was played, the elder Mr. Anderson would brag about the singer being his daughter. Even though I saw through this canard and could bring in reference books (in the pre-Internet age) that would have totally de-bunk this familial claim, I declined to do so. Naturally, I could have called him out on it by quoting the first line of the song "I beg your pardon ..."
A couple years ago my brother met a local musician purporting to have written "Smokin' in the Boys Room," but had given up the rights to it for some reason, yet still claimed it for promotional purposes. He also said he'd been in a band with our uncle, which is plausible, but I'm starting to have doubts about that, as well.
t***@wvup.edu
2014-09-18 12:20:07 UTC
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Post by Scott Brady
Post by That Derek
Years ago, I hung out at a tavern also habituated by a gentleman named "Thomas Anderson." One of the more popular songs on the jukebox was Lynn Anderson's "Rose Garden." Whenever that song was played, the elder Mr. Anderson would brag about the singer being his daughter. Even though I saw through this canard and could bring in reference books (in the pre-Internet age) that would have totally de-bunk this familial claim, I declined to do so. Naturally, I could have called him out on it by quoting the first line of the song "I beg your pardon ..."
A couple years ago my brother met a local musician purporting to have written "Smokin' in the Boys Room," but had given up the rights to it for some reason, yet still claimed it for promotional purposes. He also said he'd been in a band with our uncle, which is plausible, but I'm starting to have doubts about that, as well.
I think what really happened is that Roach studios were making screen tests for new members around the country and sending the film back to the Roach studios in Culver City and Mr. Caine didn't remember it correctly. Caine likely was filmed doing a "bit" and nothing more, a screen test.

Tommie Hicks
Travoltron
2014-09-18 16:40:00 UTC
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Gang#Imitators.2C_followers.2C_and_frauds

There is evidence that Our Gang-style productions were filmed in small
towns and cities around the country using local children actors in the
1920s and 1930s. These productions did not appear to be affiliated with
Hal Roach, but often used storylines from the shorts of the period, and
sometimes went so far as to identify themselves as being Our Gang
productions.

Streible, Dan. (2003) Itinerant Filmmakers and Amateur Casts: A Homemade
Our Gang, 1926, Film History, An International Journal, Vol. 15, No. 2,
pp. 177–92.
e***@sbcglobal.net
2014-09-18 16:40:57 UTC
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Post by t***@wvup.edu
Post by Scott Brady
Post by That Derek
Years ago, I hung out at a tavern also habituated by a gentleman named "Thomas Anderson." One of the more popular songs on the jukebox was Lynn Anderson's "Rose Garden." Whenever that song was played, the elder Mr. Anderson would brag about the singer being his daughter. Even though I saw through this canard and could bring in reference books (in the pre-Internet age) that would have totally de-bunk this familial claim, I declined to do so. Naturally, I could have called him out on it by quoting the first line of the song "I beg your pardon ..."
A couple years ago my brother met a local musician purporting to have written "Smokin' in the Boys Room," but had given up the rights to it for some reason, yet still claimed it for promotional purposes. He also said he'd been in a band with our uncle, which is plausible, but I'm starting to have doubts about that, as well.
I think what really happened is that Roach studios were making screen tests for new members around the country and sending the film back to the Roach studios in Culver City and Mr. Caine didn't remember it correctly. Caine likely was filmed doing a "bit" and nothing more, a screen test.
Tommie Hicks
Now that's plausible and one of the only decent things uttered here.
Travoltron
2014-09-16 22:42:11 UTC
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Post by That Derek
I never thought something I posted 20 months ago in January 2013
would catch the eye and raise the ire of the subject's son.
I doubt it's really his son. It's probably the usual "Irate family
member of a dead person from an old thread" troll.
Michael OConnor
2014-09-16 23:40:23 UTC
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I remember a couple years ago some very obscure football player died and it said he played for a certain team on a certain season, his only season in the NFL. I checked on it because I was not familiar with the name, and mentioned in this forum that he didn't show up in the databases and I wasn't certain he played pro football. About six months later I got a nasty email from somebody saying she was the widow of this guy and that he was injured in training camp and was on injured reserve the entire season and then retired and I was a horrible person for stating that he never played in the NFL.
e***@aol.com
2014-09-17 18:00:32 UTC
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Post by Travoltron
Post by That Derek
I never thought something I posted 20 months ago in January 2013
would catch the eye and raise the ire of the subject's son.
I doubt it's really his son. It's probably the usual "Irate family
member of a dead person from an old thread" troll.
Howard Caine had two sons, neither of whom was named "Evan"

"Howard is survived by: his wife, Afton; sons, Bruce (Robin) Moore and Roger (Melissa) Moore; daughters, Pamela Miller and Tina (Larry) Perkins;..."
c***@gmail.com
2014-09-17 18:50:51 UTC
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Oh well. A pretender talking about a pretender😳
e***@sbcglobal.net
2014-09-18 16:39:55 UTC
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Post by c***@gmail.com
Oh well. A pretender talking about a pretender😳
Wow, tough room. You are certainly an unpleasant lot.
j***@msn.com
2014-09-19 15:40:20 UTC
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Wow, these people are HARSH. I think Howard Caines son shoul bop 'em in the eye.

I can't believe old farts in internet land, get off on preachin' about the little rascals. If Petey we're here, he'd bite you all in the ass!

I'm sure if his son stands by it, that Howard was in the gangs all here.
e***@sbcglobal.net
2014-09-18 16:39:21 UTC
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Post by e***@aol.com
Post by Travoltron
Post by That Derek
I never thought something I posted 20 months ago in January 2013
would catch the eye and raise the ire of the subject's son.
I doubt it's really his son. It's probably the usual "Irate family
member of a dead person from an old thread" troll.
Howard Caine had two sons, neither of whom was named "Evan"
"Howard is survived by: his wife, Afton; sons, Bruce (Robin) Moore and Roger (Melissa) Moore; daughters, Pamela Miller and Tina (Larry) Perkins;..."
Cute.
z***@gmail.com
2014-09-23 00:52:02 UTC
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Post by e***@aol.com
Post by Travoltron
Post by That Derek
I never thought something I posted 20 months ago in January 2013
would catch the eye and raise the ire of the subject's son.
I doubt it's really his son. It's probably the usual "Irate family
member of a dead person from an old thread" troll.
Howard Caine had two sons, neither of whom was named "Evan"
"Howard is survived by: his wife, Afton; sons, Bruce (Robin) Moore and Roger (Melissa) Moore; daughters, Pamela Miller and Tina (Larry) Perkins;..."
I don't know where you came up with this information but, you have the incorrect Mr. Caine's information here.
e***@sbcglobal.net
2014-09-18 16:27:31 UTC
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Post by Travoltron
Post by That Derek
I never thought something I posted 20 months ago in January 2013
would catch the eye and raise the ire of the subject's son.
I doubt it's really his son. It's probably the usual "Irate family
member of a dead person from an old thread" troll.
You're right. How silly of me.
Louis Epstein
2014-09-17 00:20:35 UTC
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Post by That Derek
It's Derek again and I never thought something I posted 20 months ago in January 2013 would catch the eye and raise the ire of the subject's son. Before addressing Mr. Caine-fils, I'd like to voice my appreciation to Diner/Tim for backing up my original posting.
I still stand by my original posting which, I feel IMHO, effectively pointed out the overwhelming facts courtesy of Messrs. Maltin and Bann's "Little Rascals"/"Our Gang" books and the contradictions contained within Howard Caine's biography in the "Hogan's Heroes" book. But unlike my defender, I am going to decline taking a "put up or shut up" stance.
In spite of contrarian facts and inconsistencies, I do admire the young Mr. Caine for his loyalty to his father, his father's memories, and his father's "illustrious career."
Years ago, I hung out at a tavern also habituated by a gentleman named "Thomas Anderson." One of the more popular songs on the jukebox was Lynn Anderson's "Rose Garden." Whenever that song was played, the elder Mr. Anderson would brag about the singer being his daughter. Even though I saw through this canard and could bring in reference books (in the pre-Internet age) that would have totally de-bunk this familial claim, I declined to do so. Naturally, I could have called him out on it by quoting the first line of the song "I beg your pardon ..."
All this Anderson fellow was doing was making friends with the song "Rose Garden" serving as an ice-breaker in hopes of getting some free drinks. Now, if he would say "Hey, Lynn Anderson's my daughter ... Hey, have I got a real estate deal for you! ..." then I would have had a problem with it.
If Mr. Caine's family wishes to perpetuate the "Wheezer" myth, they can
go ahead -- just as long as nobody is getting hurt.
The truth is hurt whenever lies go uncorrected.
Post by That Derek
As Sgt. Schultz might say, "I see nothing!"
Get your eyes checked.

-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
R
2014-09-17 15:15:30 UTC
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I wanted to it's nice to Howard's son here. It is shame that your father passed away so young. He always gave a great performance.


Is there any other stuff that might interest this group?

thank you
e***@sbcglobal.net
2014-09-18 16:37:23 UTC
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Post by R
I wanted to it's nice to Howard's son here. It is shame that your father passed away so young. He always gave a great performance.
Is there any other stuff that might interest this group?
thank you
Thank you for your gracious, kind and thoughtful welcome. I can tell you this. Were this to be untrue he would hardly have had to make up something so irrelevant in the grand scheme of his overall career. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0128995/ Also, he played traditional Appalachian style banjo and blues guitar. https://banjonews.com/2010-05/howard_caine_%28major_hochstetter%29.html
Travoltron
2014-09-18 16:49:23 UTC
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Post by e***@sbcglobal.net
Thank you for your gracious, kind and thoughtful welcome.
You can read the link I posted earlier to see why people have reacted
the way they did. Many, many people have falsely claimed to be in Our Gang.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Gang#Imitators.2C_followers.2C_and_frauds
e***@sbcglobal.net
2014-09-18 16:15:51 UTC
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Post by That Derek
It's Derek again and I never thought something I posted 20 months ago in January 2013 would catch the eye and raise the ire of the subject's son. Before addressing Mr. Caine-fils, I'd like to voice my appreciation to Diner/Tim for backing up my original posting.
I still stand by my original posting which, I feel IMHO, effectively pointed out the overwhelming facts courtesy of Messrs. Maltin and Bann's "Little Rascals"/"Our Gang" books and the contradictions contained within Howard Caine's biography in the "Hogan's Heroes" book. But unlike my defender, I am going to decline taking a "put up or shut up" stance.
In spite of contrarian facts and inconsistencies, I do admire the young Mr. Caine for his loyalty to his father, his father's memories, and his father's "illustrious career."
Years ago, I hung out at a tavern also habituated by a gentleman named "Thomas Anderson." One of the more popular songs on the jukebox was Lynn Anderson's "Rose Garden." Whenever that song was played, the elder Mr. Anderson would brag about the singer being his daughter. Even though I saw through this canard and could bring in reference books (in the pre-Internet age) that would have totally de-bunk this familial claim, I declined to do so. Naturally, I could have called him out on it by quoting the first line of the song "I beg your pardon ..."
All this Anderson fellow was doing was making friends with the song "Rose Garden" serving as an ice-breaker in hopes of getting some free drinks. Now, if he would say "Hey, Lynn Anderson's my daughter ... Hey, have I got a real estate deal for you! ..." then I would have had a problem with it.
If Mr. Caine's family wishes to perpetuate the "Wheezer" myth, they can go ahead -- just as long as nobody is getting hurt.
As Sgt. Schultz might say, "I see nothing!"
I said nothing specifically about his playing the role of Wheezer. I know nothing about this claim. I have no knowledge of any specific character that he is credited with playing.
David Carson
2014-09-18 17:19:24 UTC
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Post by e***@sbcglobal.net
I said nothing specifically about his playing the role of Wheezer. I know nothing about this claim. I have no knowledge of any specific character that he is credited with playing.
It's too bad that when your father with the excellent memory for
detail and no reason to lie was telling all of those stories about
being in Our Gang, he never told you which films he was in, or which
characters he played.

David Carson
e***@sbcglobal.net
2014-09-18 18:26:30 UTC
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Post by David Carson
Post by e***@sbcglobal.net
I said nothing specifically about his playing the role of Wheezer. I know nothing about this claim. I have no knowledge of any specific character that he is credited with playing.
It's too bad that when your father with the excellent memory for
detail and no reason to lie was telling all of those stories about
being in Our Gang, he never told you which films he was in, or which
characters he played.
David Carson
Had I known that many years later I would have to defend his legacy to a bunch of arm chair academicians I would have been more inquisitive.
j***@msn.com
2014-09-19 15:41:58 UTC
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These people sound like they need some prune juice and bran. Don't sweat the petty stuff, my friend, and don't pet the sweaty stuff. xoxo
e***@sbcglobal.net
2014-09-18 16:26:44 UTC
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Post by That Derek
It's Derek again and I never thought something I posted 20 months ago in January 2013 would catch the eye and raise the ire of the subject's son. Before addressing Mr. Caine-fils, I'd like to voice my appreciation to Diner/Tim for backing up my original posting.
I still stand by my original posting which, I feel IMHO, effectively pointed out the overwhelming facts courtesy of Messrs. Maltin and Bann's "Little Rascals"/"Our Gang" books and the contradictions contained within Howard Caine's biography in the "Hogan's Heroes" book. But unlike my defender, I am going to decline taking a "put up or shut up" stance.
In spite of contrarian facts and inconsistencies, I do admire the young Mr. Caine for his loyalty to his father, his father's memories, and his father's "illustrious career."
Years ago, I hung out at a tavern also habituated by a gentleman named "Thomas Anderson." One of the more popular songs on the jukebox was Lynn Anderson's "Rose Garden." Whenever that song was played, the elder Mr. Anderson would brag about the singer being his daughter. Even though I saw through this canard and could bring in reference books (in the pre-Internet age) that would have totally de-bunk this familial claim, I declined to do so. Naturally, I could have called him out on it by quoting the first line of the song "I beg your pardon ..."
All this Anderson fellow was doing was making friends with the song "Rose Garden" serving as an ice-breaker in hopes of getting some free drinks. Now, if he would say "Hey, Lynn Anderson's my daughter ... Hey, have I got a real estate deal for you! ..." then I would have had a problem with it.
If Mr. Caine's family wishes to perpetuate the "Wheezer" myth, they can go ahead -- just as long as nobody is getting hurt.
As Sgt. Schultz might say, "I see nothing!"
Not so young anymore, and the reference to his "illustrious career" was meant in jest. Although I would say he did alright for himself.
e***@sbcglobal.net
2020-05-13 20:39:00 UTC
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Post by That Derek
Pursuant to the on-going discussion of "Our Gang" wanna-bes like George "Freckles" Wendelken, I am reminded of actor Howard Caine (1928-1993), who essayed the recurring role of "Major Hochstetter" on TV's "Hogan's Heroes" (also memorable for his catch-phrase "Mr. President, New York abstains ... courteously," when he played Congressional delegate Lewis Morris in the film version of "1776").
"HOWARD CAINE as Major Wolfgang Hochstetter.
"Most people are surprised to learn that Howard Caine, the ruthless Msjor Hochstetter, was a Southern born Jew. Born Howard Cohen on January 2, 1928 in Nashville, Tennessee, Caine began his show business career at the tender age of two, when Hal and Jack Roach filmed the original 'Our Gang' silent films in Nashville. His older brothers and sister heard about the audition and dressed Howard up in one of his doll's clothes and brought him to the theater. Howard was cast as Wheezer and performed in a few of the films. The Roach brothers wanted Howard's parents to move the family to California so that Howard could perform in more 'Our Gang' shorts. Howard's parents refused to uproot the family, and the toddler's career in show business was put on hold. Bobby Hutchins took the part of Wheezer in the rest of the 'Our Gang' films."
Caine's filmography (page 128)gives his time as "Wheezer" as having occurred in 1929 -- before he even turned two! The 1929 book "A Day with Our Gamg" [alternate title: "A Story of Our Gang: Romping Through the Hal Roach Comedies"] (Whitman Publishing Company, Racine, Wisconsin) by Eleanor Lewis Packer clearly depicts Bobby Hutchins, Also, Leonard Maltin's book states that Hutchins made his "Wheezer" debut in 1927.
Most fans of "Our Gang"/"The Little Rascals" can immediately pick out all the historical inaccuracies published in the "Hogan" book. The Maltin book clearly spells out that the series was always filmed in California and how Bobby Hutchins was, indeed, the series' only "Wheezer." If Hal Roach did have a brother named Jack working at the studio, I really do not remember him as being much of a player.
Maltin explains in his "Our Gang" book the way it usually worked. A small-town character concocts a interesting back-story and tells all his friends how he used to play "Freckles" or "Stinky" or some other nonexistent Gang member. When said "big shot" dies, somebody in his orbit (friends, family, etc.) reports this legend to the local press and it then gets picked up by the national press, and ... you get the picture.
Something similar happened a few years ago. Some guy named Paul Vander-something died and his widow reported to the press that he had had a former music career as "Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" songwriter Paul Vance many years preceding their marriage. Problem was the REAL Paul Vance was still alive and the widow had been led to believe she had been married to somebody famous. If I remember correctly, she seemed to be resentful when the legitimate Paul Vance came forward and effectively took this mythos away from her.
Whether it's the Grand Duchess Anastasia, a phoney songwriter, or a "Buckwheat" bagging groceries in Tempe, Arizona, don't you hate it when folks stick to totally de-bunked claims?
Contrary to popular belief, Buckwheat never converted to Islam and changed his name to "Kareem of Wheat."
I have no way of posting it here that I can find but please go to the facebook page I have created and see for yourself. He is the one on the far right. Thank you. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2600074953564376/?multi_permalinks=2610319442539927&notif_id=1589400449836022&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic
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