Thursday, 29 March 2012


Tex Avery called up some standard gags for Spike time and time again in his later MGM cartoons—being burned to a crisp, an explosion creating a hole in his body, the coy blush after his butt’s blasted (and revealed) .

And then there’s the “timber” gag, the one where Spike chops down a huge tree but it lands on him in between syllables of the warning “Timber!” It’s always accompanied by a little four-drawing stomping run, shot on ones. This version’s from ‘Daredevil Droopy’ (1951).

And then the fall.

The same animation was used in each of the cartoons with the gag, “Wags to Riches” and “Cock-a-Doodle Dog” being two of them. Some times, the drawings were reversed so the run was left to right in the scene. The animation was by Mike Lah (and whoever assisted him) and the yell unmistakeably belongs to Billy Bletcher.


  1. It was interesting that Tex took a mid-cartoon gag from "Wags" and made it the end piece in "Daredevil Droopy". Normally, you'd expect that to be the other way around and you'd want to craft a new big finish, but given that most of the Droopy-Spike efforts fall into the 'blackout gag' category, Avery may not have felt the same sort of need to not just mix-and-match the gag segments.

  2. Dick Lundy also used the gag for one of his Barney Bear cartoons as well - can't remember which one though...