As the bug-eyed Sach Jones to Leo Gorcey’s wiseacre Slip Mahoney, Huntz Hall was the epitome of the slacker goofball in the ’40s and ’50s. Now 73, he reminisces about paving the way for future degenerations.
EW: Were the Bowery Boys cool?
Hall: We were the hippest kids there were. We were the first kids to come to Hollywood who wouldn’t let anyone put us down. The Bowery Boys were the original hippies, showing people that a 15- or 16-year-old kid had a right to say something.
EW: Why was Sach such a popular character?
Hall: People liked the cuteness of the guy. He was the underdog: Leo was hitting him; everybody was blaming him for things. Everyone thought he was the f—up — but he wasn’t. Without Slip, though, Sach wouldn’t have made it. Leo and I had a chemistry that was great. I didn’t have it with anyone else. We really loved one another.
EW: How much of Huntz Hall is there in Sach?
Hall: My psychiatrist says that Sach was the part of me that I didn’t like, the happy guy. Sach was the dreamer. He was the good Huntz Hall.
EW: What do you mean? Were you a troublemaker like Sach?
Hall: I was nuts. [My parents] wanted to lock me up. There were 16 kids in my family and I was the 14th, so I had to get some recognition. Actually, I got into worse trouble than Sach. I was locked up plenty of times, once for marijuana, but I got out of it. The cops would say to me, “We don’t want to lock you up, Huntz. You lock yourself up.” I’m lucky that I made it this far.
EW: Do Wayne and Garth remind you at all of Sach and Slip?
Hall: I don’t know — Wayne and Garth is not “the thing” to me. But I think Mike Myers is one of the funniest kids around. Yessiree. Myers breaks me up. Man, I scream.
EW: Are there any other slackers today like Sach?
Hall: Nope. This might sound like I’m an egomaniac, but I think Sach is one of a kind.