Few short-subject divisions experienced as profound a change as did Loew’s-MGM’s in the decade following sound. The studio had entered the sound era with among the strongest short comedy line-ups in the industry, courtesy of the studio’s distribution deal with Hal Roach (commencing in 1927). By the mid-1930s, however, Roach was looking to leave the shorts market to enter into features, and the studio took the opportunity of his impending departure to radically rebrand its shorts output. Under Jack Chertok, head of the shorts division since 1935, MGM began to introduce a growing number of what it described as “informative” product lines, perhaps most famously the long-running Crime Does Not Pay reenactments of true crimes (1935-1947). Even comic shorts were conscripted to this instructional rhetoric, albeit in motley, in the form of the popular Pete Smith Specialties (1936-1955), in which Smith lent wry commentary to documentary topics of wide-ranging general interest, and the Robert Benchley “How to” series (1935-1940, 1943-1944) on the frustrations of daily life. Slapstick, meanwhile, was reduced to a single product line, the Our Gang series, now one-reelers, which MGM took over from Roach upon the latter’s departure.