Monday, 1 February 2016

A Quick Change of Scenery

Henpecked Hoboes opens with a long shot of George and Junior walking down some railway tracks (the Atchison,Topeka and Santa Fe, judging by the soundtrack), then cuts to a close-up. Tex Avery and his writer Heck Allen get right to the plot. Junior lifts up George who spies a chicken pecking on the ground that would be perfect for dinner. Junior brings George down.

Avery doesn’t waste any time having the two race to the farm. Avery simply changes the background from a golden horizon to a green, barbed-wire fenced countryside.

I don’t want to say Avery hit some duds around this time, but he came out with a string of cartoons that don’t do too much for me. George and Junior are my least favourite Avery characters. But Avery still had his great original crew here: Ed Love, Preston Blair, Ray Abrams, joined by Walt Clinton.


  1. Well, It's a "Of Mice and Men" pair-up, so the gags can be pretty obvious between the characters. Pat Ventura seems to like them since, out of all of Avery's characters, he singled them out for two shorts.

    By the way, What don't you like about them? They seem ok.

    1. I don't know. They just don't do a lot for me.

  2. There was something about the "Of Mice and Men" that worked at Warners with Willoughby but just didn't at MGM, possibly because at the time he came up with "Of Fox and Hounds" and its follow-ups, Avery was less into rapid-fire gags any more into personality animation development, with Bob McKimson being in his unit. Tex had animators just as good as Bob over at MGM, but personality development was minimal and one gag after another were emphasized in the George & Junior shorts (the idea for me at least, did better with Screwy in "Lonesome Lenny", even with the gruesome ending).

  3. "Bend Over, Junior" gets my vote for Most Underrated Cartoon Catchphrase.

  4. Also the voices: Dick Nelson (Mark Evanier and others have noted) was the real voice behind both (and George's was the FOOT oft-behind Junior when Junior fudged up-which was often) George (long wrongly assumed to be Frank Graham) and Lenny (mistaken as Tex Avery, since he himself often told tall tales of it..)SC

  5. "Bend over Junior." HAHA That in itself is funny.