The Booze Hangs High

“Get back!”

Animation by Isadore Freleng and Paul Smith. A Looney Tune released in December, 1930.

Like all the best cartoons of the time, this one opens with a close up of a cow’s behind. (And you think I joke about that happening more than once. It’s how the Mickey’s first short “Plane Crazy” was introduced. Fitting, considering Harman and Ising came from Disney)

Bosko dances with the cow, and it seems like they might be best of friends. But when the cow’s pants fall… hide falls… when its underwear is shown, Bosko can’t help but laugh. The cow leaves in a huff. (Believe me, I’m tempted to write “hoof.”) A nearby horse found the scene funny and it seems as if Bosko will have a friend to play with after all. And I do mean “play with.” Bosko pulls the horse’s tail taught and uses it as a stringed instrument. (And despite the fact that the horse is pulling a wagon that Bosko is sitting on, the harness disappears. (Don’t worry. It comes back)

While Bosko continues to entertain himself and us, (playing air banjo with a pitchfork) a family of ducks are out for a merry stroll. I only bring this up because its another example of toilet humor being subtle in Looney Tunes. A duckling crosses its legs, so we can tell it’s uncomfortable. Its mother pulls a flap of its down down, like a pair of pants, so we can tell the problem is related to its hind quarters. And it walks off screen, so we can guess that whatever the problem is, it’s personal and we don’t need any direct mention of it. A million and more times better than how the feature length films did it. (No, I’m not ever letting that go.)

Back on topic, three pigs are hungry. Judging by their relative sizes, and the fact the biggest one has a deep voice, I’ll guess they’re father and sons. Bosko empties a trash can for them to eat. The piglets find a bottle of booze in the stuff. (Look at that! The title character finally showed up!) Are the piglets just curious about their find? Or are they excited? Considering prohibition was still in effect at the time, I choose the latter.

All three of the swine take a swig and the drink works its magic. They fling the bottle away, and it hits Bosko and he gets affected too. He goes to join the swine song. As they croon, the biggest pig accidentally coughs up  a corn cob. He puts it back where it belongs though. (That’s not a belly button. It’s a door knob.) Apparently regurgitating food is censor worthy as that scene was cut from TV airings. Quite stupid as the short ends after that. (And Bosko’s nose turns white)

Not the best of Bosko’s shorts, but still enjoyable. You can’t go wrong with drunk animals.

Personal Rating: 2

One Reply to “The Booze Hangs High”

  1. It’s amazing. You’re, like, the second person online who mentioned seeing the edited version of this cartoon that cut out the father pig puking up a corn cob (which was cut when aired on the cable channel, Nickelodeon — a fact I find amusing, because this is the same channel that brought us such gross-out classics as Ren and Stimpy and Rocko’s Modern Life, and both of thosr cartoons have gotten away with so much worse).

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