The MGM shorts were made during the 1930's, on a variety of subjects. Notable series during this time were comedies starring The Boy Friends and humorous commentaries by Pete Smith ("A Smith named Pete").
     Pete Smith (1892-1979) headed MGM's Publicity Department from 1925 to 1930. He's best known for producing, writing, and narrating more than 280 one-reelers from 1931 through 1954, on topics ranging from sports to animals to science. He received 16 Academy Award short-subject nominations between 1932 and 1950, winning for Penny Wisdom (1937) and Quicker 'N a Wink (1940). Smith received a 1953 Honorary Academy Award "for his witty and pungent observations on the American scene" in his series of Pete Smith Specialties.
      Born Peter Schmidt in New York City, Pete Smith got a job after graduating business college with The Player magazine and later with Billboard magazine. That led to his being hired as a publicist for Famous Players-Lasky and Artcraft Pictures, and he was later appointed publicity director at Paramount Pictures. Director Marshall Neilan hired Smith to be the publicist for his own production company, and Smith left New York for Hollywood. After Neilan's company closed, Smith freelanced for a short period before being hired by MGM in 1925 as the head of its publicity department, a position he held until 1930. The job that really brought him recognition, however, was his producing, writing and narrating a series of shorts known as "Pete Smith Specialties" for MGM. The one-reelers covered just about every subject imaginable, from the animal world to the latest technology to how to handle annoying patrons in movie theaters, all delivered with Smith's trademark wry, bemused narration. Many of the later shorts were written and directed by actor Dave O'Brien, using the name David Barclay. Sixteen entries in the series were nominated for Oscars, and two of them won. The series came to an end in 1954, though there were enough made to continue releasing into 1955.

Go Here for some of "A Smith named Pete" specialties.