1990 Buckwheat Hoax

In October 1990 ABC aired an interview with a man who, so they believed, had played Buckwheat in the Our Gang series during the 1930s. I have a page about this case of mistaken identity in the hoaxes throughout history gallery:
Buckwheat was the wide-eyed, African-American character played for almost ten years by William Thomas. He was famous for his signature phrase, "O-Tay!" After leaving the show, Thomas dropped from the public eye. 20/20 claimed that it had tracked him down to Tempe, Arizona where he was working at a low-paying job as a grocery bagger. It aired an interview with him in which he talked about the cruel twists and turns his life had taken. Unfortunately for 20/20, the man they interviewed was not William Thomas... The man 20/20 interviewed was an impostor named Bill English who had been claiming to be Buckwheat for the past 30 years.
And I've just now discovered that YouTube has a video from 1990 of A Current Affair interviewing the Buckwheat imposter, after he was exposed. Even though it was clear no one was buying his story any more, the guy still insisted he was Buckwheat. Kind of sad and funny at the same time.


Posted on Tue Oct 10, 2006


What? Buckwheat was on Saturday Night Live a bunch of times in the mid-80s. But they're saying he died several years before that?


And that guy didn't even look like the Buckwheat from SNL so he was obviously an impostor.
Posted by Tah  in  Idaho (Yes, Idaho)  on  Tue Oct 10, 2006  at  11:27 PM
He can't be the real Buckwheat, cause I am! :lol:
Posted by Christopher  on  Wed Oct 11, 2006  at  05:19 AM
At least one other 'Buckwheat' was claimed to have died as a mercenary pilot in Biafra (a Nigerian province which rebelled in 1968).


I've also heard this fate attributed to Our Gang's other black character, Stymie Beard, but he died in 1980, an actor to the very end.
Posted by Phred22  on  Wed Oct 11, 2006  at  07:38 PM
One clarification...though Eddie Murphy popularized the "O-tay" catchphrase as 'buckwheat" on SNL, the originator of it was actually "Porky", (who passed away last year).
Posted by sid  on  Wed Oct 11, 2006  at  11:07 PM
Why are all the crazies always in AZ?

And speaking of crazies....there's actually a guy who has a career as an Our Gang Historian??
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Thu Oct 12, 2006  at  12:24 AM
This guy is lying 'cause *I* was Buckwheat. No, wait, I was Darla Hood.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Oct 12, 2006  at  02:24 AM
Posted by carl  on  Thu Jan 25, 2007  at  03:02 PM
I personally knew Bill "doc" English when I was attending Arizona State U. I was wondering how I could get that footage from A Current Affair, also if anyone knows how to get the footage from the 20/20 interview in 1990, I would greatly appreciate it....

thanks, dave
Posted by dave tonk  on  Wed May 14, 2008  at  10:31 AM
George"SPANKY"Mcfarland says that Bill English is an imposter and who should know better than him? However,if Bill English wants to go around claiming that he's Buckwheat,I say let him.What harm could it possibly do to anybody?
Posted by bill  on  Sun May 23, 2010  at  10:36 PM
Eddie Murphy was the guy potraying Buckwheat on SNL IN THE 80's.
Posted by bill  on  Sun Jun 13, 2010  at  05:36 PM
I personally knew William Thomas who played "Buckwheat" in the "Our Gang" series during the latter part of his life. (1970's)
Mr. Thomas lived in the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles, California, and was employed as a technician at the Technocolor Corporation facility in Hollywood. William Thomas was a hard working, well mannered gentleman who only occasionally spoke of his childhood career with the "Our Gang" series.
Mr. Thomas did indeed pass away.

The Gentleman claiming to be Buckwheat (Bill Green) is an impostor. I have no idea what his motivation is, but I do know that he is not who he claims to be.
Posted by Atwood Mason  on  Sat Aug 14, 2010  at  09:38 PM
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