'Little Rascals' then and now -- Original star Jackie Cooper and new Alfalfa Bug Hall find common ground in the classic show

By Frank Lovece
Updated August 19, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

They’ve been getting themselves into trouble since 1922, when Our Gang debuted in silent movie shorts. We asked actor-director Jackie Cooper, 71, a Gang member from 1929 to 1931, and Bug Hall, who plays Alfalfa in the new feature, The Little Rascals, to compare notes.

Q: What do kids get from watching these comedies?
Cooper: That you could make it through the tough times if you had friends you could count on. And brother, those were tough times.
Hall: [That] the Rascals can have fun — and without hurting anyone.

Q: How do you see the Little Rascals characters as eventual grown-ups?
Cooper: In those days, in that time, if a camera were to have stayed on them another 10 years, they’d have been boy heroes out of World War II. Not all of them would have come home alive. [After] World War II, they would somehow earn their way through college and become somebody. Darla — if she hadn’t become a Rosie the Riveter — would’ve gone into the service as a WAC or WAVE.
Hall: They’re all gonna have a good career and they’re gonna be very smart from their Rascal mistakes. They’ll probably go to college and stuff like that.