Hal Roach was famous in the Golden Era of Hollywood for making shorts, series and occasional feature films.

In his honor, we’ll have two quizzes this week. The first is on the successful series the Roach studios produced in the 20s and 30s.

Just a few comments first on how important a figure Roach was to the film and tv industries. He began his career in 1912 as a bit player in silent movies. He later became something of a show biz polymath as a producer. director and writer. He was a true entrepreneur.

His immense success led to formation of his own production studio which afforded creators both time and money to create the kinds of titles they envisioned. Late in his career Roach produced under his own banner a number of successful tv series, working almost until his death (at just shy of 101) in 1992.

Ok, let’s get to the first of our Hal Roach Quizzes. (Answers tomorrow.)

Question 1) In the late teens and early 1920’s, Roach parlayed the considerable comedic skills of which one of the following into a series of hugely successful pictures. a) Charlie Chaplin; b) Charley Chase; c) Edgar Kennedy; or d) Harold Lloyd.

Question 2) By the 1920’s Roach was considered Hollywood’s “King of Comedy.” Who had had previously held that title? a) Charlie Chaplin; b) Mack Sennett; c) Fatty Arbuckle; or d) Groucho Marx.

Question 3) Those pictured directly above are the participants in one of many versions of the Our Gang comedy series Roach created. What was his inspiration? a) Observation of his own children; b) Watching a group of kids playing in a vacant lot near his office; c) Repeated readings of Mark Twain; d) None of the above.

Question 4) How many child actors in total played at various times roles in the Our Gang series over its lifetime from 1922 to 1944? a) 15; b) 21; c) 34 or d) 41.

Big Business (no 18) | Wonders in the Dark

Question 5) Laurel and Hardy signed with Hal Roach in 1927, and remained with him until 1940. (They had previously worked separately.) Their comedies are now considered Roach’s most successful series. a) True; or b) False.

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