Some of the most well-known characters of the "Our Gang" television series, later known as "The Little Rascals," are Alfalfa, Spanky, Buckwheat and Pete. The series is a popular American comedy show about a group of poor children living during the Great Depression, and the cast of characters evolved or changed over the years. It was first developed in the early 1920s during the silent film era.
Alfalfa, played by Carl Switzer, was the most popular character of the series. Alfalfa was best known for his freckles, dark hair with a high cowlick, and off-key singing. Switzer struggled to find work after the series ended and was shot to death in 1959.
Spanky, played by George McFarland, was a chubby boy who was the mastermind behind many of the children's schemes. Spanky was often paired with Alfalfa during the series and was nearly as popular with audiences.
Buckwheat, played by Billie Thomas, was an African-American boy known for his crude English and tattered clothes held up by one suspender. Buckwheat remains a somewhat controversial character because of the stereotypes he embodies.
Pete, the children's most famous pet, joined the children in many of their antics. Pete was an American pit bull terrier with a distinctive black ring around his eye. Several dogs have portrayed Pete during the course of the series.