Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Veteran character actress Margaret Mann makes the first of two memorable Our Gang appearances in Helping Grandma. The owner of a tiny general store, "Grandma" (Mann), loves to have the kids around, even if they pay for their penny candy with expired subway tokens and buttons. Local skinflint Mr. Pennypacker (Oscar Apfel) tries to purchase Grandma's store for a ridiculously low sum, while a pair of representatives from a chain store make a more generous offer. Thanks to the gang's well-meaning "assistance," the chain store men are very nearly scared away, while mean Mr. Pennypacker almost persuades Grandma to give up her store. Truth and decency prevail in the end, again largely thanks to the youngsters. A lengthy comedy segment, in which little Stymie Beard tries to purchase ten cents worth of "It," is often cut from TV prints due to its allegedly offensive content (which is offensive mainly to those who find offense in everything). Enhanced by a marvelous musical score by Marvin Hatley, Helping Grandma was originally released on January 3, 1931.