Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer

Biography: Carl Switzer was born in Paris, Illinois in 1927. He would later become known as "Alfalfa", a character he played on the Hal Roach produced television program, Our Gang. Carl died on January 21, 1959, the victim of a murderer's bullet as he and another man argued over a lost hunting dog.

In 1935 Carl was added to the already successful Our Gang comedies when he was only seven years old. Although he appeared in nearly 75 of the comedy shorts over the next five years he didn't receive a single dime from the show. At the time Our Gang was filmed, television was still in its infancy, and many considered it to be a temporary novelty. No one even considered the concept of royalties and syndication. As a result, everyone knew Switzer, but he never profited from his fame. Switzer was the tall, skinny, freckle-faced kid with the uncontrollable cow-lick and the equally uncontrollable singing voice. One of Alfalfa's most memorable Our Gang performances was his spectacularly off-key
Carl Switzer was born in Paris, Illinois in 1927. He would later become known as "Alfalfa", a character he played on the Hal Roach produced television program, Our Gang. Carl died on January 21, 1959, the victim of a murderer's bullet as he and another man argued over a lost hunting dog.

In 1935 Carl was added to the already successful Our Gang comedies when he was only seven years old. Although he appeared in nearly 75 of the comedy shorts over the next five years he didn't receive a single dime from the show. At the time Our Gang was filmed, television was still in its infancy, and many considered it to be a temporary novelty. No one even considered the concept of royalties and syndication. As a result, everyone knew Switzer, but he never profited from his fame.

Switzer was the tall, skinny, freckle-faced kid with the uncontrollable cow-lick and the equally uncontrollable singing voice. One of Alfalfa's most memorable Our Gang performances was his spectacularly off-key rendition of I'm in the Mood for Love which appeared in the episode The Pitch Singer in 1936.
As he grew older, he wound up in a series of odd jobs: tour guide, shoeshine boy, and bartender. He had to make a living while he stayed involved in Hollywood. After his Our Gang days ended in 1940, Switzer appeared in small, often uncredited parts in nearly sixty films, including My Favorite Blonde (1942), The Human Comedy (1943), Going My Way (1944), It's a Wonderful Life (1946), State of the Union (1948), Pat and Mike (1952). Switzer even played a slave in Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1956).

By 1958, at the age of 32, Switzer seemed to be back on the Hollywood fast track. He had landed a plum comic relief role in the Marlon Brando film, The Defiant Ones. But until its release, he still had to earn a living.

Switzer had several run-ins with the law during the 1950s. He was once arrested for cutting down trees in Sequoia National Forest and, in 1958, he was shot by an unknown assailant in front of a bar in the San Fernando Valley.

Between acting jobs, Switzer worked as a bartender, and although the pursuit never really worked out, he masterminded a part-time bear hunting scheme. His customers included, among others, Roy Rogers and Henry Fonda. Before one of his hunting expeditions, Switzer borrowed a hunting dog from a friend, Moses "Bud" Stiltz. The dog ran away, and Switzer offered a $50 reward for its return. A few days later, a man found the dog, and brought it to the bar where Switzer worked as a bartender. Switzer paid the man, along with giving him $15 worth of free drinks. Several days later, after a night of drinking, Switzer drunkenly decided that Stiltz owed him the $50 he had spent to get the dog back. So he went to Stiltz' home in Mission Hills to retrieve the money.

On January 21, 1959, a drunken Switzer and his pal Jack Piott headed over to Stiltz's home in Mission Hills to get his money. They banged on the front door. When the door opened, Switzer flashed a fake police badge and loudly yelled through the open door at Stiltz to let him in.

Once inside, Stiltz and Switzer got into a heated argument. Switzer informed Stiltz that he wanted his money. Stiltz told him he was crazy and to get the hell out of his house at which point all massive holy hell apparently broke loose. Stiltz claims Switzer then hit him over the head with a large lamp (some say it was clock), causing Stiltz to retreat to his room, battered and bleeding from a cut over the eye. Stiltz emerged with a pistol, which Switzer immediately grabbed out of Stiltz's hand. A shot was fired but neither man was hit. The gunshot caused Stiltz's fiancee and her three children (who were huddled with her in the bedroom) to flee to a neighbor's house. Switzer then forced Stiltz into a closet and shut the door. Even though Stiltz had gotten his hands on the gun, Switzer drew a hunting knife on Stiltz and yelled that he was going to kill his opponent. He charged the man and Stiltz fired, hitting Switzer in the abdomen. He died on the way to the hospital, at the age of 31. (During the trial it was revealed that the hunting knife was actually a jacknife and it was found under his body with no blade exposed by the crime scene investigators.)

Carl was buried at Hollywood Memorial Park. Other celebrities buried there are Mel Blanc, Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Rudolph Valentino. His marker bears his name, a profile drawing of Petey (the Our Gang dog), two Masonic symbols and the inscription "Beloved father, son and brother".
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Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer's Scores

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Title: Year: Credit: User score:
tbd Little Rascals: Season 22 Sep 18, 1943 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 21 Aug 22, 1942 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 20 Sep 27, 1941 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 19 Sep 7, 1940 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 18 Sep 9, 1939 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 17 Aug 6, 1938 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 16 Aug 28, 1937 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 15 Aug 20, 1936 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 14 Sep 21, 1935 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 13 Aug 25, 1934 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 12 Sep 9, 1933 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 11 Aug 27, 1932 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 10 Aug 29, 1931 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 9 Aug 30, 1930 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 8 Aug 15, 1929 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 7 Sep 22, 1928 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 6 Sep 11, 1927 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 5 Aug 8, 1926 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 4 Aug 23, 1925 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 3 Aug 24, 1924 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 2 Aug 26, 1923 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd
tbd Little Rascals: Season 1 Sep 10, 1922 Alfalfa (1935 To 1940) tbd