Friday, 29 November 2013

The Headline Behind the Headline

Real newspapers made their way into Warner Bros. cartoons on occasion. One example is in the Bob Clampett cartoon “Tortoise Wins By a Hare,” released February 20, 1943.

Yes, the paper has been doctored for the Bugs-Cecil story (and for the prescient headline about Hitler killing himself) but it actually is from Sunday, November 1, 1942. It’s really tough to read but if you blow up the picture enough, you can tell the story sub-headed “MacArthur’s Flyers Damage Second Warship” matches the copy of an AP story of the date. And, yes, there was an AP story of that date datelined Pearl Harbour, H.I., reporting the Chaplain who said “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition” had been found (he wasn’t actually missing; his ID was revealed as Lt. Howell Forgy, a former football player).

This same newspaper, doctored differently, but still with the same phoney Hitler headline, opened the Private Snafu cartoon “Fighting Tools” (released October 13, 1943).

And, yes, this actually is a Chicago Tribune newspaper. The proof is in the story in the left-hand column about capturing 40 seats. The writer was Arthur Sears Henning. Not only was he on the Trib staff, he was the reporter who told his editors on Election Night in 1948 that Thomas Dewey couldn’t lose to Harry Truman, prompting the infamous front-page headline in the Tribune on November 3, 1948: “Dewey Beats Truman.”

At least the Bugs headline was accurate.


  1. This is what happens when you do the research, you know something that seems so insignificant yet you tell it anyway!

    I do sorta wonder what were these 10 shortwave radio stations were (unless it was something like "Voice of America".

  2. The same newspaper is used for the third time in 1944's "What's Cookin' Doc", with a different headline and title ("The Hollywood Blah"), but with the Hitler gag still intact. I wasn't able to determine what (if any) Hollywood trade paper "The Hollywood Blah" is spoofing.

  3. Probably "The Hollywood Reporter", Veikko.