Egghead Rides Again

“I’m a rootin’, tootin’, shootin’, snootin’, high falutin’, tootin’, shootin’, rootin’, tootin’, cowboy, fella!”

Supervision by Fred Avery; Animation by Paul Smith and Irvin Spence; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on July 17, 1937.

For once, talking about these shorts out of order has worked in my favor. You’ve heard me talk about Egghead before, but back in 1937, audiences hadn’t. So, I’m pretty sure there were a number of people who saw this title, and figured they had missed the first one. But they hadn’t. This was Eggy’s first appearance. (And since Daffy had only had one appearance so far, and barely at that, Mel uses the duck’s voice.)

Egghead lives in the city, but really yearns to be a cowboy. His room is coated in western merchandise, he rides his pogo stick like a steed, and he yells as loud as he can. This displeases the landlord, Mr. Dadburn. So much in fact, that he evicts Egghead right there and then. And since he’s a wannabe cowboy and not a cowboy, he doesn’t have a horse to just aimlessly ride. He needs a job.

The want ad he spies has just the answer he’s looking for. They’s looking for help at the Bar None Ranch in Wahoo, Wyoming. (I’ve been to Wyoming. And I swear it didn’t look as desolate and dry as they’re depicting. Looks more like Utah’s Bryce Canyon to me. Any Wyomingians who can confirm your state looks like this cartoon?) Cow puncher sounds a bit more barbaric than cowboy, but it’s a tomayto, tuhmahto thing. Egghead mails his resume.

And the best thing you can have on a resume is experience, and since that’s something the body supplies, Egghead sends himself. He may be short, bald, have a big nose, and short, but he wants this job so much, that his voice briefly hits puberty. The buckaroos are willing to give him a shot, and let him take a shot. See, cowboys can shoot a cigarette out of someone’s mouth while they stand x feet away. Eggheads can fire a gun, but only at the near cost of the target’s life. Good thing he had his hiding hat on.

Branding is another skill that is vital to know. The terrified little calf they have for practice sessions wants no part in this, so the authentic cowboys are willing to hold it down for the noob. (Is anyone still saying that term? I can’t help it if I’m fourteen years late. My mind never matured past 2010.) Egghead, being a toon, brands every hide butt the calf’s.

The guy in charge makes the little guy a deal, if he can catch the calf that has taken the opportunity to start escaping, then Egghead can have the job. Such a deal! Egghead mounts a pony and sets off. (Looks like all those years of pogoing has paid off.) The calf is quite the tricky one. It takes the rest of the picture for Egghead to make any progress. He does manage to get it back to the pen, but the calf hogties him. Destroying his dignity, and earning jeers from the ranch hands.

But the bossman is willing to keep his word. Egghead got the calf back, so he gets the job. His position is known as the “Sanitation Engineer.” Talk about starting at the bottom! (I’m sorry. I promise to not make anymore jokes of that caliber for at least seven days.)

Favorite Part: The cowboys hear the mail arriving, and decide to ride to its drop-off point. A whole two feet away.

Personal Rating:3

Believe it or Else

“I don’t believe it!”

Supervision by Fred Avery; Story by Dave Monahan; Animation by Virgil Ross; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on June 25, 1939.

You ever hear of “Ripley’s Believe it or not”? It’s a bit obscure. Newspaper comics, books, museums, and more: all to inform you of things you might just claim as false. I mean, a little boy named Chalres Schulz getting a drawing published? Preposterous. I’m sure he never went anywhere, did anything, knew anyone.

So yeah, obscure it may be, it was still worth a parody in a Warner Bros. picture. Brought to us by the master of gags: Tex Avery. Imagination is limitless, so we’re guaranteed a good time! Egghead is also here, but he’s going to play the role of doubting thomas. (Which isn’t fun to be. Be warned, children.)

What sort of oddities, strangeities, and weirdities could we possibly be shown? Example: a man has been drinking fifty quarts of milk a day for two years. Would you believe that all those calories didn’t kill him? It just makes him unleash a good lowing. (Which is odd. Cows give milk, they don’t drink it. Would eating enough apples make you act like a tree?) There’s a snake charmer, (Whose hood looks more like a shell than anything. Cute gag though.) and a man who builds ships in bottles. (You might not be impressed, but I am. I couldn’t even fit my head in one.)

A man calls pigs from several states away, (you don’t believe that most of our states are just misshapen blobs? We said “Believe or else!”) another hasn’t left his room in years. (Jails frown on that, you know.) There’s even a human basketball! (I’m not jealous. You’re jealous.) Keeping in “Ripley’s” style, there’s even some demonstrations on brain tricks you can play with your friends. (If I had friends, you know I’d give it a try.)

Take a look through the telescope. There’s life on Mars you know. (Warner cartoons with martians? No!) Well, it’s really just “Buck Dodgers.” (What a bad pun. Why isn’t he named “Duck?”) And he’s an over the top gay stereotype. The third I’ve seen this year. Okay, there’s life on Mars. Is there any on the Moon? Nope, and we’ll check to prove it- Hey! There’s men on the moon! Men who sing! I wouldn’t have thought that possible, what with the lack of an atmosphere and all, but I guess I’m just wrong about everything.

With what we’ve seen, is there any reason to return to Earth and see what wonders are still there? I’d say so. There’s a wishing well that responds to the wishes made. It doesn’t grant them. Technology isn’t there yet. There’s even a device that allows us to hear the ants talk. (Must be a newly discovered species, as our narrator identifies it as a male, but I see no wings.) Last up, we’re going to see the classic trick: sawing a person in half. Egghead still doubts, despite all he’s experienced, and offers himself as a test subject.

Believe it or Not! (By Dr. Foolio)

Today, a one Egghead Penner found out that the human body can survive in two halves! His head and torso stayed in one location, but his waist and legs walked off by themselves!

This drawing of a nose was submitted by Bradley Daniels, of Annapolis, Maryland.

TRY THIS TRICK!

Draw a square. Cut the square in half. Magically, you now have two rectangles! Amaze your friends!

 

Favorite Part: Seeing the berth of a baby, for the first time on screen. (It’s much more funny when you hear it spoken, as opposed to reading it.)

Personal Rating: 3

 

Count Me Out

“I’m a professional prize fighter!”

Supervision by Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton; Story by Melvin Millar; Animation by Herman Cohen; Musical Supervision by Carl W. Stalling. A Merrie Melody released on December 17, 1938.

This is actually a rather important cartoon for the good ole’ WB. You may not notice it right away, so I’ll just tell you. It’s all on the piece of mail Egghead is reading. This was the first appearance of ACME! The greatest “sell anything” company since… well, I suppose it was the first, and nobody else has ever been crazy enough to sell such content. That makes them number one to this day!

Back to business, the ad Egghead is reading promotes some boxing lessons (equipment included, ACME cares about its customers). What really hooks Eggy, is the ad challenging his masculinity. He can be a man or a mouse, and mice don’t box, do they?

Then I guess Egghead doesn’t have to prove anything. But what fun would that be?

He orders the kit and almost immediately gets it. (The delivery man would have been there sooner, but the bridge was out.) Time to get to work! There’s all sorts of nifty gear to make you the champion boxer of the neighborhood! Instructions relayed to you by a Mel Blanc narrator. The most basic rule of boxing is knowing how to punch, so that’s a good starting point. Egghead may not look like he’s got a lot of strength, but he can really hit that punching bag! In fact, it won’t stop swinging when Mel tells him to stop. (Egghead has no choice but to shoot it)

Like any sport, you can’t have offense without defense. (Otherwise, you’d just be getting payed to bully others) Next, will be lessons on dodging. The kit comes with a nice wall of gloves that will try and give you a good socking. Dodge them! Egghead does just that, and the instructions deem him ready! He’s a real boxer now, and real boxers right real matches. (Believe me, I’m tempted to put in joke about real Boxers (the dog breed), but I can’t make such a bad joke if you’re expecting it!)

He must have the right kind of connections, because Egghead is booked to fight the world champion, Biff Stew. (Oddly enough, Egghead is the only person in this short who isn’t an anthropomorphic animal. Then again, I’ve never been entirely sure that he wasn’t a hooded seal.)

(Uncanny.)

The referee is being played by Tex Avery. (Doing that oh, so enjoyable laugh he does. You can’t help but join in.) And the fight begins! Egghead does have some agility on him, and he lands several jabs, but it’s kind of like a grasshopper hitting an ox. No fazing is going to happen. It’s not long before Egghead is getting his rear handed to him. (So dazed is he, he thinks he is Charlie McCarthy at one point and takes a seat on the champ’s lap.)

He can’t just quit. Oh, don’t think he wouldn’t try! Biff is just not going to give him that luxury! They are fighting to the death! Biff might have overdone it on that last punch though, as after stretching the ropes as much as possible, (Egghead comes close enough to kiss! Any desperate people in the audience tonight?) he comes back and knocks Biff off his feet, and onto Eggy’s body. Only one way to get that lummox off, a bite! The galoot flies up, and comes down, the impact dragging the rest of the ring down with him. Could Egghead go down too?

If he was actually there! Turns out Egghead was knocked out by his dodging wall, and dreamed the whole thing up. Dream or not, he’s convinced that a fighter’s life is not for him and he throws everything out. (Except the wall, which gives him one more punch.)

Favorite part: After a grueling exercise, Egghead pants. The record tells him to not have his tongue hanging out, because we’re watching him. (Glad I didn’t have to say it.)

Personal Rating: 3

Little Red Wallking Hood

“Gee, but you’re swell!”

 Supervision by Fred Avery; Story by Cal Howard; Animation by Irven Spence; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. Released in 1937 Supervision by Fred Avery; Story by Cal Howard; Animation by Irven Spence; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. Released in 1937 (You know, I always questioned the “riding” part of the title)

In this short (which contains backgrounds drawn by colored pencils. Gives it that story book feel.) we see a wolf playing pachinko. Despite his best cheating, he fails. (Don’t feel bad wolf, if Super Mario Sunshine has taught me anything, it’s that pachinko is near impossible.) He spies a young girl with a red hood outside and calls upon his inner pervert. (She looks like a kid, maybe she is one) He hits on her, but she is not interested and turns her nose up at him. Not looking where he was going, the wolf (voiced by Ted Pierce) gets hit on the head by a stop sign. After waiting for Egghead to cross the street (and getting hit by a go sign) he resumes his flirtatious ways despite her literal cold shoulder. She tells him off (in her Katherine Hepburn-esque voice) and says that she is going to her grandmothers. Egghead pops up with a sign showing a shortcut, and the wolf drives off. Turns out that favor wasn’t free as the wolf soon sees Egghead hitchhiking up ahead. He speeds past him. At grandma’s, (where we see Egghead just jumped onto the car anyway) He tries to get in. Grandma was smart enough to lock the door and the wolf can’t get in no matter how hard he tries. (Egghead can get in easily to the wolf’s chagrin) He eventually does get in the house and chases the old lady around. She calls a time-out to answer the phone. It’s the grocer and she takes her time listing her groceries. (Gotta love the wolf’s reaction) After getting some butter and lettuce (and gin) they resume their chase. She hides in the closet and when the wolf catches up, Egghead walks out. (The wolf can only shrug by this point) Right when he gets her where he wants her, Red shows up. The wolf begs for the stuff he needs to disguise himself with. (Funnily enough, she hands it over right away) He hops into bed and the girl walks in. After they give the usual banter this story has, the wolf tussles with her. (Taking a quick break so a couple of inconsiderate a-holes can sit down in the theater.) Just when the fight starts picking up again, Egghead walks by once more. Having enough, the wolf asks (in his own words) just who the heck this guy is. Egghead responds by smacking him with a mallet. Turns out he was the hero of the short.

Personal Rating: 4

Looney Tunes: Back in Action! (Part 5)

Back at Acme, Mr. Chariman is gloating over the success. Damian still believes that D.J. will foil his plans. Mr. Chairman has the Peter Lorre Scientist keep using a machine that makes Damien hit himself. Looking at the map, they see that Daffy got himself in the shot, making it useless. They decide to go face our heros and use their most dangerous operative: The Tasmanian Devil. (When the Vice President of “Never Learning” points out that he’s kinda dumb, Taz eats him) In Africa our heros are making slow progress when who should appear? No not Inki. (That would’ve been awesome) It’s Granny, Sylvester, and Tweety on an elephant. They offer them a ride. Bugs points out how they came at just the right time, and Granny and Sylvester share a evil look. Could THEY be Acme agents? They take a safari and end up at the temple. Granny bids them farewell. (Phew. I guess they were alright) When they enter Daffy sets off a booby trap by taking a small monkey like object off a pedestal. Kate figures out that it’s a puzzle piece and quickly puts it into its spot. It reveals the parth to the Blue Monkey as well as the gem itself. D.J. accidentally turns himself into a Capuchin monkey and Daffy tries to make off with the gem. Bugs convinces him to change D.J. back. Then Granny and Co. show up and demand the diamond. Oh No! They were evil! Except not really. These were disguises. Granny and Sylvester reveal themselves to be Mr. Chairman and Bob. Tweety is Taz and he farts. (I hate this part. Warner Bros. never had to reduce themselves to such immature humor. Otherwise this film would have been perfect) Mr. Chairman also reveals that he is really Damien! No wait, he’s Michael Jordan! No wait, he’s really MR. CHAIRMAN! (funny) Bob takes out a device that transports them all to Acme. Bob then reveals to Taz that he is really the Tasmanian She Devil. (Yeah, Taz was kinda worthless in this movie. shame) At Acme everyone has been spliced with one another. While we laugh, Mr. Chairman fixes everything. He finally gets the TV to work right and shows that if D.J. does not give up the diamond, Damien will die by a train, exploding dynamite and an anvil. (But not the pendulum of doom. That’s overkill) Wile is overseeing all this. D.J. stupidly relents and Mr. Chairman does not release Damian. (Did you really expect him to?) He calls Marvin and tells him to go into space with the diamond. Marvin takes off and Daffy runs after him taking another ship. (That was being worked on by an Instant Martian) To his dismany, Bugs is along for the ride. They get into a brief fight with Marvin by keying his ship. Mr. Chairman tells his prisnors that the gem will loaded onto a satellite that will turn everyone on earth into monkeys. (You gotta have really dedicated henchmen to go along with this) Well not everyone. Mr. Chairman is going to be in a safe room with Mary as company. Told you she’d come back. (She doesn’t look too thrilled) Marvin puts the auto pilot on but Bugs and Daffy get rid of him by tricking him into rolling down his window so they can ask for directions. He is sucked out into space. (Daffy: Well whattya know, he fell for it. I guess I owe you 5 bucks.) But Marvin is not gone yet, he’s clinging to the underside of their ship. They arrive at the satellite and Daffy volunteers Bugs to go get the diamond out of the other ship. D.J. and Kate are tied up and left hanging by a rope near Damian. D.J. easily breaks free before realizing that there was a reason it was so easy to escape. Releasing themselves also releases an Acme robo-dog. (He kinda looks like Chester) Bugs runs into Marvin again, and takes on his bubble gun with his carrot light saber. Daffy is cowering and wondering what to do? What would Duck Dodgers do? Realizing he IS Duck Dodgers, Daffy grabs a jetpack that blows up before he can say his name. (It happens four more times) D.J. and Kate are barely able to escape the dog, by hooking his collar onto a hook. D.J. just barely rescues his dad, and Wile (who was piloting the train) blows up with the dynamite. (He feels that he’s not paid enough) In space, Marvin traps Bugs in one of the bubbles, and the satellite is about to fire. Daffy gets caught between two of the pylons and his beak detaches again. Using his skills he has learned from this happening all the time, he throw his bill, (ignoring the fact there’s no gravity) and it lands on the laser. His bill closes itself and the laser begins to backfire. Bugs escapes and dispatches Marvin with his own gun and the satellite begins to explode. Only two shots of the laser escape Daffy’s bill. One flies off into space never to be seen again. The other flies down to Earth and hits Mr. Chairman who was checking to see if everyone was monkeys yet. Daffy saves Bugs from floating away and they return to the ship. (Bugs won’t say that Daffy is his hero) The others find a sobbing Mary (I guess she did love him) and a simian Chairman. He is arrested and Damian and D.J. hug. They quickly leave when they see the rocket coming towards them. Mr. Chairmonkey runs away. (Perfect for a sequel methinks) and Daffy and D.J. congratulate each other. Bugs admits that Daffy deserves the credit, but Daffy is so sure this is a “rabbit season-duck season trick” that he refuses to go along with it. Kate admits that she likes D.J. and Bugs congratulates Daffy on finally getting to be the hero. Daffy gloats that Bugs never got him into is movie when the entire building gets taken away. Yes, this whole story WAS the movie and Daffy was not aware of it. (Ma bear brings Bugs a towel) D.J. punches out Brenden Fraser, (laugh) and Bugs admits that Daffy and him should be equal from now on. (While he is being given carrots by Charlie Dog, Heathcliff from “Dough Ray Me-ow”, the squirrel from “Much Ado about Nutting”, Marc Antony and Pussyfoot, Egghead, Mr. Gruesome Gorilla, and Hippety Hopper) Daffy barely avoids a falling stage light, and comments that his luck is already improving. He is crushed by the Looney Tunes rings. My man Porky comes out to say his famous closing line but his stutter is worse than usaul, and everyone leaves. Porky: “Go home Folks.” Not until I’ve seen the credits! We get a rockin song along with some animation. (Some of which I’m sure is from deleted scenes) At the end of all this, we get a final joke. Daffy is running form Nasty Canasta and Cottontail Smith in the casino and pulls a slot machine. It stops on three cherries. The thugs happily hold out their hats, but the cherries are really bombs and they blow up! What a great movie! My favorite film of all time.

Daffy Duck and Egghead

“I’m not crazy, I just don’t give a darn!”

Directed by Tex Avery

Only his second appearence and Daffy is already funnier than most people on tv today. Before the credits we see two walnuts. Daffy and Egghead each pop out of one, setting the scene. Egghead is hunting and is quite annoyed when a theater-goer won’t sit down. Egghead politley asks him to sit. He won’t. Egghead shoots him. He hears quacking, and pulls back the reeds to recive a bill bite to the nose. Daffy has joined the picture. Egghead winds up a duck decoy and lets “her” go towards Daffy. He is not amused and throws it back along with a sign. (Ta’int funny, Mcgee) A random turtle encourages them to duel which Daffy cheats at and gets the turtle shot. Daffy then puts an apple on his head for Egghead to shoot off. Egghead continuosly misses. Daffy goes right up to the barrel of the gun and Egghead STILL misses. Daffy gives him a cup of pens, sunglasses, and a “blind” sign. (“Too bad, too bad.”) Daffy leaves to sing “Merry go round broke down” with his reflection. Egghead fires at Daffy again, but Daffy pulls out a frightening mask, that has the bullets hiding back in the gun. Egghead stuffs some gloves into the gun’s barrrel, attaches them to a fishing line and fires. The gloves knock Daffy out and bring back Egghead’s prize. He’s elated. Just then a truck from the insane asylum arrives. The driver takes Daffy and thanks Eggy for the help. Apparently they’ve been hunting him for awhile now. The key word is apparently. The doctor is just as crazy as Daffy and the two “Hoo-hoo” into the sunset. Egghead snaps and joins them.

On a unrelated topic: R.I.P. Bob Hoskins. You were my favorite live-action actor in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”

Personal Rating: 4