Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Hay, That's Not Funny

Ben Hardaway was really a hit-and-miss writer at the Walter Lantz studio, sometimes within one cartoon.

Here’s a miss from “The Screwdriver,” a 1941 Woody Woodpecker cartoon helped to a good start by the acting (and singing) of Mel Blanc and some attractive animation. Woody is a driver who does whatever he feels like on the road. But in one scene, he runs into a simply-drawn rube on a hay wagon. The perspective artwork of Woody’s car is a nice choice, either from Hardaway’s storyboard or whoever handled layouts.

But when the dust clears, the gag is the farmer is suspended in mid-air between the hay. That’s supposed to be funny?! Yipe.

Hardaway ends yet another cartoon with someone driven insane.

Ralph Somerville and Alex Lovy receive the animation credits on screen.


  1. Hardaway ruins many Lantz cartoons with this type of half-baked stuff. It's a real pity.

  2. Looks like something Paramount might have done in the 1950s. 20 years earlier Fleischer would have shattered the wagon, then let it reconstitute as a trailer or a car.

  3. I think the joke is not only being suspended between the two halves of the wagon load of hay, but the farmer is in his long-johns as well. I happen to like Ben Hardaway's gags, it's easy to be armchair quarterbacks on stories that were written 72 years ago! I'm also getting a little tired of Hugh Harman being called the Don Bluth of the 1930s, Hugh's approach is much funnier than Don's any day, and Hugh was an animation pioneer. A little respect, please.
    Mark Kausler

  4. At Warners, Avery would have overruled Hardaway and had the farmer with no hay in the wagon while he was showered with straw hats.