Monday, 25 May 2015

Number Ple-ase

Did Tex Avery have problems sleeping? He produced several topics built on the premise of sleep vs noise; an early one being “Doggone Tired” (released in 1949). Avery and writers Dick Hogan and Jack Cosgriff combine it with another Avery obsession—hunting. In this case, a Louie Schmitt-designed rabbit tries to keep Speedy the hunting dog awake all night and thus too tired to go rabbit hunting in the morning. Avery, Hogan and Cosgriff give us a string of gags.

One is the rabbit putting a phone to the sleeping dog’s ear. An operator (Sara Berner) spews out a litany of standard operator lines (“Number, ple-ase,” “They do not answer,” “Your three minutes are up,” etc.) until the dog strangles the phone receiver, killing the operator. I love the little expression with the dog’s rolling up to look at the receiver.

Kids reading this post on your smartphone, note: until the 1950s, every single time you wanted to use your phone, you had to go through an operator. Can you imagine that today?

Bobe Cannon was in the Avery unit at the time this cartoon was made, along with Walt Clinton, Grant Simmons and Mike Lah.

1 comment:

  1. Ladies and gentlemen... Speed-Die-led!

    Get it? Speedy the dog made the operator die by strangling the phone?

    Speed Dial. Speedy-DIE-al?