Nickname of Billy “Buckwheat” Thomas, black child actor who starred in a series of Hal Roach Our Gang comedies in the 1930s.


In the 1980s, comedian Eddie Murphy resurrected the Buckwheat character in a series of spoofs performed on NBC’s late night comedy SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.


Buckwheat, now fully grown, was a superstar who overindulged in sex, drugs and rock and roll. He was killed in a comedy skit (a la John Lennon) by a lone gunman but later resurfaced in a skit about a visit to his childhood friend, Alfalfa. Buckwheat’s catchphrase is “O-Tay!”

In 1990, George “Spanky” McFarland, Buckwheat’s costar in the Our Gang films exposed an impostor who had fooled the magazine-of-the-air 20/20. The real Buckwheat Thomas had died 10 years earlier.

Note: William Russ who played Roger LoCoco on the crime drama WISEGUY/CBS/1987-90 referred to everyone he met as “Buckwheat” (in the same way Don Johnson who played detective Nash Bridges called everyone “Bubba” on the police drama NASH BRIDGES/CBS/1996-2001.)


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Showbiz Nicknames, TV & Movie Industry

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