Seven-year-old Ernie Morrison, nicknamed “Sunshine Sammy”, was the first black performer signed to a long-term contract in Hollywood. The charismatic and talented actor worked with Fatty Arbuckle before stealing scenes from the best Hal Roach comics, including Harold Lloyd.

Sunshine Sammy had natural comic timing and a sparking personality. He was so endearing to audiences that Roach featured him in his own series, an idea that became the prototype for the Our Gang comedies.