You know, you really shouldn’t smoke. It’s bad for you, makes you unpleasant to be around, and eats up funds you could be using for something more important. And don’t give me any of that: “It’s too addicting” crap. You don’t want to learn the hard way. My pal Porky did.
Another of the 100 greatest and my personal favorite from Tashlin.
It’s a lovely Sunday and Porky’s momma calls her offspring down. (Hilariously voiced by Ted Pierce) She sends him off to church with a nickel for the collection plate. (Why isn’t she going too? I guess she just doesn’t want her child to be an atheist like herself.) On the way, Porky comes across some kid smoking a cigar. He points out that it’s bad but the kid doesn’t take him seriously. Instead, he shows off some tricks he can do with the smoke. Making a target and hitting it with an arrow, creating a duck that flies, and kicking his cigar like a hackey sack and catching it again in his mouth. (Set to an ominous “Merry Go Round Broke Down”) With his masculinity threatened, Porky bets the thug 5 real cents (They’re children and this is the thirties, that’s some serious dough right there) that he is just as tough. The kid accepts and hands over his cigar, taking the nickel. (He hasn’t won yet, but he doesn’t need to stick around really. Porky is practicing.) He treis to show off some tricks with the smoke. He makes a target but hits his own behind with an arrow, creating a duck that flies and lays an egg on his face, and kicking his cigar like a hackey sack an catching the lit side in his mouth. (Set to an adorable “Merry Go Round Broke Down”) But all that tobacco takes its toll on poor Porky and he woozily blunders around, coming to a stop in a smoke shop. There he is spotted by some kind of smoke gremlin. He has the power to shrink Porky in size and wake him up with a snap of his fingers. He is a little shocked Porky doesn’t know who he is. All smokers know his name: Nick O’ Teen. (Who is one of the scariest things Looney Tunes has to offer. With his soulless eyes, magical powers, and soft voice. (Again, brilliantly portrayed by Pierce.) Nick ties Porky up and prepares to go “Pigs is Pigs” on him. With musical accompaniment. There are some singing matchsticks who look like they have blackface, (but you could say its debatable since they are extinguished) some chewing tobacco, and the three stogies. Singing a frightfully creepy version of “Mysterious Mose” about how little children shouldn’t smoke. (No one should, but they don’t want to come across as preachy.) Porky is forced into smoking more cigars, and given chewing tobacco, (which the poor guy swallows) as all the mascots come to life to scold him. (I would say it’s a nightmare version of “Foodfight”, but the original already earned that title, so this is the family friendly version by default) Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallee are there as some “Crooner” brand cigars. (Corona) Cigarettes march, snuff boxes are drums, and even a pipe cleaner gets in the fun by imitating Cab Calloway. (Taking a break from appearing in Betty Boop cartoons) Porky does manage to get free and wakes up from this trippy… “pipe dream?” (Screw you, it’s funny) Hearing the church bell, he hurries over. Except, he still needs that nickel. He takes it back from the bully, shoves the cigar in his face and goes back to church to donate it. He vows never to smoke again. (Except he did in “Rocket Squad.” And “Deduce, you say.” And “The Awful Orphan.” And… Well, at least he never smoked a cigar again. So take it from me and Porky: Don’t smoke. Or we won’t be your friend.)
A criminal has escaped from Alcarazz prison. Its a pig known as the Killer and though he is spotted, he manages to escape. His gang hides out at an abandoned girl’s school and is well aware of their boss’s big break. Just then, an attractive woman shows up claiming to have a message from Killer. The guys waste no time in letting her in. The message is this: “Don’t trust ladies.” Surprise! It was the Killer in drag all along! He takes a peek at the paper to see his story, and finds something else interesting. Seems Porky has finally been promoted from janitor to bank teller in only 15 years! (You may think this is a slow news day, but you’re wrong. Porky is the kind of guy whose birthday should be a national holiday. What did you do on March 9th?) Killer (whose real name I will guess is Hammy Hog) notices the similarities betwen the two. (Aside from the fact Porky shaves and that I’d be willing to date him if I was gay, they could be identical twins) Killer hatches an idea and fills the others in on it. The bank that Porky works at meanwhile, is the “Worst National Bank.” He loves his job. The clients are nice, and Petunia the secretary keeps asking him on dates. (Don’t worry. This is the last time she looks so weird. She gets a cute makeover once Clampett takes over) Porky is shy though, and can’t accept opting to go have lunch instead. (Food doesn’t judge) On the way, he sees a lady who is having car trouble. Porky is all around talented and offers to fix it up for her. She in turn kidnaps him. Surprise! It was the Killer in drag all along! Taking Porky back to the hideout, he steals his clothes (don’t freak out. He left Porky’s underwear alone. He’s not a weirdo) and tells of his grand plan. He’ll keep all the deposits, and once people figure out what is going on, Porky will be the one in trouble. Heading back to the bank, Killer gets in place and happily pockets everyone’s belongings. He even responds to Petunia with a perfect impersonation of Porky. She asks him out again, but not being as shy as Porky (or as charming, or as gentleman like, or…) he just steals a kiss from her. Petunia isn’t dumb and knows at once that this isn’t her beloved Porky. She calls the police while Killer escapes back to his hideout. (If he only kept his hormones in check, he could have kept this going at least until I visited. I don’t fall for fake Porky’s) The cops were following close behind though, as they find the place. Exchanging bullets, Porky’s bonds are shot and finding himself free, he begins to kick @$$. (Beating up thugs is no more difficult than fixing cars. You learn a lot from 15 years of janitorial work.) He gets to the killer just as the police and Petunia break in. The cops are not as smart as she is, and can’t tell which pig is which. (Well, to be fair, I wouldn’t think the pig in just is underwear is Porky right away either. He doesn’t do things like that) Petunia can figure it out though. Asking one of them out, gets another shy response. Petunia however, has become a b*tch again and decides she prefers Killer. Porky proves that he can kiss just as well if not better by giving her one himself. Still preferring the other guy she opts to wait for him. (Theory! Petunia’s makeover is no coincidence! Warner Bros. got a new Petunia because Porky deserves it! Wow, my Porky fanboyism is out of control today. Maybe I should blog about Beans again next week.)
Supervision by Frank Tashlin; Animation by Art Davis; Story by Don Christensen; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released in 1943.
Another one considered to be one of the 100 greatest Looney Tunes. This was also the first cartoon Tashlin directed upon coming back to Warner Bros. after leaving Columbia Studios.
We open on Daffy climbing his giant scrap pile. He’s got plenty of American pride! (And cans whose insides change colors.) Would you like to make your own scrap pile? It’s easy! Their is plenty of items you can donate to help the troops, and Daffy is happy to list them all! (Although he will take a quick break to whistle at the bathing suit model painted on his fence.) This will surely get the ire of Hitler. And it does indeed. Daffy’s pile is known the world over and Hitler is furious. He wants that pile destroyed and sends one of his subs to do so. The sub has a secret weapon. The perfect way to get rid of metal in a cartoon: a goat. (I would like to point out how scientifically inaccurate this is, but I hope you already know it) The goat happily chows down, but soon comes down with a case of hiccups. A patrolling Daffy hears the noise and attempts to intimidate the intruder, before realizing he’s looking at his reflection. Finding the real source of the noise, he takes pity on the ungulate and mixes him up a hiccup cure. Not long after this, he spies the swastika on the goat’s collar and realizes what it is there for. (And calling it one of the best names I’ve ever heard: a tin termite. Brilliant.) The goat tries to strike, but Daffy takes advantage of its moral compass by wearing glasses. (Nazi goats have limits to their cruelties) All too soon though, he loses this protection and is sent flying. He wants to give up, but the apparitions of his ancestors remind him that Americans don’t give up. (Did you know Lincoln was a duck? A duck that somehow grew a beard even) Filled with some new found pride, Daffy evolves into: SUPER AMERICAN! (Two references to cartoons from the Fleischer studios based on already existing characters in one Looney Tune? It must be my birthday! No wait, that’s this Sunday) With his new abilities, Daffy has the goat running back to the sub. The Nazis fire their cannon at him, but he punches their shots away one by one. With no other alternative, they try to escape. Daffy grabs hold of the sub’s periscope before the screen dissolves to him wrestling with a faucet back at his pile. It was nothing but a dream! However, the goat and Nazis are there too, with their sub now part of Daffy’s collection. They ask to be left out of his next dream.
No relation to the also awesome “Quasi at the Quackadero.” (Wish that was a Looney Tune, so I could blog about it) The Crocadero in question is based on the “Trocadero Ballroom” Porky is outside and excited to see that many conductors are scheduled to be playing that night. It’s Porky’s dream to be a conductor! (Isn’t a conductor what you do when you can’t play an instrument? Like how a coach can’t play a sport and someone who can’t draw blogs about animation?) His heroes include Leopold Stokowski (Whose name I’m actually bothering to spell right for once) Rudy Vallee, and Benny Goodman. He idolizes them so much, he imitates them all. But there is one thing to dampen his glee. It’s $25.00 for a plate at this place. (Fifty cents more gets you food on the plate) Porky can’t afford that, so he slumps off. But God is on his side, as he finds that the club is hiring and he rushes in. He gets the job because why wouldn’t he? And he begins washing the dishes. His boss (some sort of aquatic mammal. I’d like to say walrus, but he has too much neck and no tusks, so maybe he’s a sea otter.) He tells Porky to get his work done, and he just might be able to watch the music. But there’s a fly in the ointment. Actually, in the kitchen. Porky tries to get it which results in him breaking many dishes. He is fired. (And I begin sharpening my aquatic mammals carving knife) But God is still on Porky’s side as there are no conductors for the eager crowd and the boss has received a telegram saying that they won’t make it. The boss has a good idea! Get Porky back! His fly swatting did look an awful lot like conducting. He heads out to get him back “Schnell!” (Which, a randomly appearing narrator tells us, means “fast.”) He catches up to the pig and brings him back. (Of course, since the crowd is expecting other people, Porky will have to be in several disguises.) Good thing he takes to impersonating his heroes so much! He acts as Paul Whiteman (with some added gut) and gets some jazz going. A penguin waiter (there is no other kind in cartoons) has his drink stolen by a trombone player, and some lesbian kangaroos dance. (They must be lesbian! They both have pouches!) As Guy Lumbago (Guy Lambardo) Porky has his “Boiled Kanadians” sing “Summer Nights” rather shakily. (The audience dances to the beat) And as Cob Howlaway (Cab Calloway) Porky puts on some blackface. Which… actually doesn’t look too racist here. Maybe it’s just because I’m a Porky worshiping fanboy, but he looks pretty tame. The lips aren’t too exaggerated and it’s always fun to see Cab referenced. Good work Porky! He sings Chinatown (even dressing up as a Chinese Stereotype at one point. Less charming) while the band plays along. A turtle makes his body a banjo, a rabbit plays two pianos at once, (with his paws and ears) and a goat plays his beard when his violin breaks. The penguin waiter meanwhile, (who has been having his drinks stolen throughout the whole time) finally one ups the thief by drinking the drink himself.
And they’re all directed by Frank Tashlin! Hope you’re not sick of the guy yet. Don’t worry, we’ll be taking a break after this post.
“The Goldbrick” Released in 1943
“I do believe I’m putting on weight”
Snafu is sleeping when he is woken up. (What else would he be doing if he was woken up?) He is naturally unhappy about this, and wishes to not have to get up for drills. A sprite shows up named Goldie and he lets Snafu in on some secrets of avoiding work. Fake illness and you can spend a day in bed with a hot nurse by your side. (Who must suck at her job if she can’t tell he’s faking) When digging a trench, Goldie advises him to dig just enough for his head, and he’s earned a well deserved nap. Instead of pushing a load up a hill, have someone help while you sit on the load and push. Soon Snafu is lazy and out of shape. This comes back to bite him when he’s actually on the field. Deciding to goldbrick, he limps towards a convenient hospital. It’s a trap of course, and he ends up smashed by a hammer. He’s okay though and gets out. More trouble is out there, as an enemy tank chases him down. He digs a trench, but as he only knows to dig enough for his head, his rear sticks out and the tank crushes him. He’s dead. (Snafu dies quite a few times in his shorts) Goldie then reveals that he was really Japanese the whole time. (Remember: we were enemies. Japanese people do not look or sound like that.) But Snafu will be remembered, thanks to his 22 karat goldbrick grave.
“The Home Front” Released in 1943
“I didn’t know you cared.”
This short begins with Snafu in a very cold location. He complains because that’s what he does. He figures that all his loved ones are enjoying themselves back home. His dad is playing pool, his mom plays bridge and gossips and moonlights as a hen, (okay, maybe that’s just a joke) and his grandpa is being a pervert at a burlesque show. Worst of all, his sweet Sally Lou is no doubt dating someone else. (Isn’t that how women are? If you leave them, they replace you? I’m kidding) Out pops good ole’ Technical Fairy First Class. He has a tv and lets Snafu see how much fun his family is having. Turns out, that Snafu is the black sheep of the family, as the rest are working real hard. His dad’s building tanks, his mom’s planting a victory garden, and gramps is reinforcing battleships. And dear sweet Sally Lou? She joined the W.A.C.s. (I hope you feel like a dope Snafu) He tries to give her a kiss, but since she’s not really there, he kisses the fairy instead. (Hey, he lived. That’s rare.)
“Censored” Released in 1944
“Mail this for me!”
Snafu is trying to send the lovely Sally Lou a letter. (A wimpy, short, dumb, lazy, man gets a hot chick? It’s plausible. My cousin married someone very similar, just tall. And I can say that here, because they are never going to see it.) Only one things is preventing him from getting to the postbox. The censor. He/She/It catches Snafu and shreds his letter to nothing but “Greetings” and “Farewell.” On a train, Snafu tries again and this time folds it into a paper airplane. Tossing it at someone outside does not work, as the censor has a net. The note is returned to Snafu as paper dolls. On the ship to his next destination, he tries again with the help of a dove he has in his pants. (Not. One. Word.) The assisstant censor, (a hawk) catches the bird who points out it was not his plan. The letter is beaked this time. Snafu is getting desperate to talk to M.L. and luckliy for him his pal Technical Fairy First Class agrees to send it after Snafu tells him it’s safe. He and his girl use a code when speaking. The note delivers and Mary gets itttttt… I never thought i’d see this much skin in a Warner Bros. short. (Yes, I know these shorts were for the armed forces, but she’s not even wearing a bra.) Even though he’s asked her to keep quiet, she goes on to tell her mother who goes on to tell more people. Eventually the Japanese here of it too and prepare an ambush at Bingo Bango island, where the U.S. is heading to. Unaware of the dangers, Snafu and the others land only to get blown up. Turns out it was all a dream. (Three shorts today. 1 death, 1 live, and 1 both) Turns out T.F.F.C never sent the letter. Having learned his lesson, Snafu censors it himself.
It must be Valentines Day in this short, because Cupid is joyously spreading love. I bet you didn’t know Elmer was cupid, did you? (His laughs are not supplied by the usual Arthur Q. Bryan, but rather by a one Frank Graham) But this cupid doesn’t really seem to care about matching the right creatures together. Sure, he has a bird immdiately grab a mate, (and build a house) and gets a hose to jump out of his shoes, but he also has a dog fall for the cat he was about to eat. (The cat proceeds to shoot his nine lives away) So, I guess Cupid’s a shipper. Either way, Daffy is next on his agenda. But Daffy is not happy to see Cupid again. Yes, they have a history. Apparently the year before, Daffy was shot by one of Cupid’s love darts, (They are not snails, all you perverted zoologists who visit here may keep your comments to yourself) and ended up being shot gun married and having some ducklings. Yes, one has two heads. You didn’t think Duckman was completly original did you? Daffy uses Cupid’s bow to launch him away, but Cupid just giggles it off. He prepares a monstrous arrow and manages to hit the duck. The first creature that Daffy spots is (9, 10) a big fat hen. He immdiately starts trying to hit on her. Emily (that’s really her name, I didn’t have to make one up this time) is no whore, and runs away. Eventually, Daffy finds her in a closet and begins smooching. This would be a terrible time for Emily’s husband to show up. Just then, Emily’s husband shows up, and pries them apart. (Emily looks a little too calm kissing Daffy) The rooster (let’s call him…Rocko) gets ready to pummel the duck when Daffy comes to his senses. He explains that it was Cupid’s fault and apologizes stating he’s a family man as well. (Bringing his family in for a cameo to prove it) Rocko is a kind soul, and forgives the duck letting him go. Daffy is greatful and doesn’t notice Cupid is still out there. One shot later, and he jumps in between the chicken’s make out session. (And it fades out rather quickly. Apparently there was an original ending where Daffy said, “Don’t knock it till you try it!” Sorry Daffy, that’s not what I think of when I picture a hot chick)
“He-He-Here ch-ch-ch-ch-chick ch-ch-chick” (When Doughtery is voicing Porky, the quotes are hard to get.)
Directed by Frank Tash. (His first for Warner Bros.) Released in 1936
At the titular plant, a rooster rousts everyone out of bed. Porky included. He sets to work taking care of his birds. (This scene becomes less precious when you remember WHY poultry is raised. Sorry for ruining your happiness.) He has many chickens, ducks and geese and they are very hungry. Porky satisfies their cravings by giving them corn. One chick just can’t fight the rush. Porky pretends to throw a huge handful, and gives it all to the chick. He’s even willing to charm some worms out of the ground for the other chicks. Yes, it seems like nothing could ever go wrong here. But sadly, Pokry has lost several good hens. One was taken in June of 1936. (The same time Tashlin started at WB) Another was named Dorothy. (Like Tashlin’s wife) It seems they were all the victims of a hawk. (Looks more like an eagle to me.) Said hawk, is actually cruising overhead, looking for tasty morsels. Porky rings the alarm and all the birds take cover. After it leaves, one hen realizes one of her chicks is missing. Yes it appears that the hawk did make off with little (lets call him) Chippy. Rather than letting nature take its course (seriously though, if the hawk got the mother, than ALL the chicks would die) Porky gets in his airplane and goes after him. (Yes, I’m glad Porky is so devoted to his birds) He manages to shoot off the accipiter’s tail feathers and this causes it to call for reserves. Many hawks arrive and torture Porky by pulling his tail, and dropping eggs on him. (uhhhhhh… That’s like a human… never mind. I’m not going there) The battle goes into a cloud, where the birds get Porky’s gun away from him. They shoot and Porky goes down. All’s good though, he crashes into a windmill and gets a brand new propeller. Then for the best part: they start a game of football WITH the chick! (That is hilarious, cruel, and adorable all at once) The rooster (Ted Pierce) narates everything. After a few passes, one of the hawks fumbles. Porky gets Chippy back and expels some exhaust for the hawks to fly into. I don’t know if it kills them or knocks them out, but as they fall, the hens dig a hole for them to fall into, and bury them. So, they’re defiantely dead now. Pokry returns Chippy to his mother and all is well. OR IS IT? A shadow flies over the plant, sending the hen into hysterics. Porky readies his gun, but all IS well. The shadow belonged to the weather vane.
You know what this Sunday is? If you don’t then go look at a calender. Sorry. That was rude. You may not even have a calender. It is Mother’s day. And one of the sweetest things to me, is the relationship beteen mother and child. How they are willing to die for them, and how the child sees the mother as essentialy an almighty superhero, who can protect them from anything. I’m rambling. Let’s talk about a short deailng with such love.
It’s winter, and a duck (with teeth) is desperately trying to hatch some eggs. (She also has no name. I shall call her Ethel.) It is really cold, and the eggs have begun to turn blue. (The father was a smurf) She holds them up to a light to see inside, and finds the soon to be ducklings sneezing, warming themselves by a stove, skating and skiing. (At least they’re not dead) She does her best to keep them warm, but the poor things are below subzero! Time for drastic measures. As much as it pains her, Ethel sticks her rump right up to a latern. Clearly she’s in agony, but a true mother won’t let her children die, if she can help it. When she’s done, she goes over. The eggs hatch before she sits down. (“Don’t do it! We’ll come out.) I guess it’s warmer outside than in an egg, so the new family heads down to the pond for a swim. Uh Oh! One egg didn’t hatch all the way. Craving warmth, the egg with legs goes off to find his mother. Ethel meanwhile, is doing a head count and finds that her little Robespierre (such a great name) is missing. Finding his footprints, she follows them into the woods. Robespierre is nearly dead, but finds his mom wearing a fur coat. (a bear) And he slips under “her.” The bear takes it rather well. (“So I laid an egg.”) But this was all seen by a hungry wolf. Wait, is that William? No, his mailbox says he is known as B. B. (So he’s a transvestie. Bebe? Forget it) He uses some tnt to blow the bear off, and happily takes his prize home. The bear takes it rather well. (“Dreams like this, worry me, ya know.”) B.B. runs into Ethel on his way back, and the two keep swiping Robespierre from the other. Eventually, Ethel gets home with a doorknob. B.B. is preparing some egg drop soup, when Ethel returns and pokes his eyes through the key hole. She then rescues her son. Is he greatful? Heck no. He was finally getting warm. He dives back in.
It’s a little late to say this, but it is the year of the sheep according to the chinese new year calender. So let’s talk about a sheep short shall we? Due to an O.P.A. ruling, there is no meat for wolves. A crisis, seeing as how they are carnivores. One fellow, tries to make the best of his situation and sets some water to boil. This wolf (who I shall call William) makes sure no one watches as he grabs a very precious ingredient for his soup. A single, tiny bone. He dunks it a few times and puts it back in his hiding place. Alas! While his back was turned, mice sipped every drop. William has no choice to adapt to a herbivorous diet. While eating his steamed pea, he glances at the paper. What luck! A local sheepdog has left the herd to join the army. Easy pickins! William tosses the bone away and heads out. Look at all the tasty morsels. He dives in and finds himself face to face with a ram. Pulling out the paper again, William sees that the article went on to explain that a ram named Killer-Diller. (No relation to any “Thugs with dirty Mugs”) is now guarding the flock. (It even helpfully points out that the ram in front of him is Killer) The ram butts William away. William in turn gets a box that’s just labled “Costume.” Said costume is a ewe. (I guess it’s supposed to be sexy, but it freaks me out) He pretties himself up and readies some weapons to take Killer down. Killer likes what he sees. (There’s no other word for it: he’s horny. His horns even uncurl, point straight out, and turn red! I feel a little dirty seeing that) He rushes over to whisper sweet nothings into “her” ear. William tries to club him, but the shock knocks his costume off. By “shear” luck though, he manages to get it back on and lures Killer to follow him. He drops a safe on the ram, but he pops right out to continue his session. (His hooves turn white briefly) William tries to fire a cannon, but Killer is in there too and continues to smooch the poor creature. William makes a run for it, with Killer in hot pursuit. Later that night, William is still on the “Lamb” but he is getting tired. Killer still has plenty of steam. Deciding it’s not worth it, William breaks the charade and tears the costume off, revealing he’s a wolf. Killer doesn’t mind: He’s one too! He howls and continues the chase. Iris out on the chase going off into the moonlight.
When Merrie Melodies first came out, the main difference between them and their looney counterparts, was that they did not have a main character. As time went by, Merrie Melodies became the shorts that were colored, and Looney Tunes were still black and white. This here, is the last black and white one. After this, I have no idea what the difference was between the two if there was any.
A lady (Bea Benedarret) comes home and finds her canary, Dickie, gone. Rudolph the cat hasn’t seen him, but seems genuinely worried, and helps search. (After he hiccups some feathers) As soon as his owner leaves the room, he whistels like a bird and opens a window. She comes back to find the cat sobbing and waving goodbye. That makes 5 canaries gone in one month. Most people would give up and consider it a waste of money. But not (let’s call her) Megan. She calls up, to see if the pet shop has any more birds. (Rudoph prays too) Happy days! They will send another one right over. Rudolph obviously has a severe case of gluttonly as he paces back and forth many times and gets excited at every passing truck. (Canaries must be really tasty. Anyone have a recipie?) Finally, the truck shows up with the newest addition to the family, Petey. Megan loves him very much and gives him plenty of seed, telling him to eat it all and grow up big and strong. (Rudoph agrees with that statement) She also gives the cat a saucer of either milk or cream, (whatever one gives them) and leaves the room. Rudolph spits out the dairy and immdiately enters viscious mode. He pounces, but Petey is quite the resourceful bird and flies up, lifting his cage to safety, and making Rudolph crash. (I think he’s plenty strong already) Rudolph ties the cage down, (and I can’t help but think if he was able to do that, he could have already gotten Petey) and pounces again. This time the bird opens both of the doors and Rudolph crashes again. That night, Rudolph gets into Petey’s cage and a huge fight ensues. Mean comes downstairs and finds Rudolph missing. She asks a sleeping Petey if he’s seen her, but he hasn’t. However, before the short ends, he does hiccup Rudolph’s ribbon, and looks at us. Gulp! Don’t mess with that bird.