Friday, 13 May 2016

Pun of the Camel

Thanks to Shamus Culhane’s book Talking Animals and Other People, Bugs Hardaway has a reputation of being a weak pun-loving, hack writer. Yeah, I’m not a fan of a good percentage of Hardaway’s gags, but sometimes other elements in the cartoon overcome them (and some of his gags really are funny).

Take this little sequence from Abou Ben Boogie. Culhane pinches Walter Lantz’s pennies by panning over the contents of a cigarette machine. Hardaway comes up with lame parodies of Spud and Camel cigarettes. I haven’t made up my mind if there’s also a reference to Kools or old theatre ads about air conditioning as well.

Cut to the next scene. The Arab chooses his cigarettes. He evidently picked the Camel’s Hair cigarettes because out of the machine pops a CAMEL! Get it?!

What saves this groaner is the great design of Camelia Camel, who returns later in the cartoon with a marvellous dance scene (in ballet slippers) to the title song.

Pat Matthews and Paul J. Smith get animation credits but other members of the Lantz crew of that era worked on it as well.


  1. Cigarette gags cut for time:

    Pall Mall-ive ("Your'e Smoking in It!")
    Dunghill ("What a Load!")
    Cheater Failed ("They Didn't Pass the Test!")
    Kan't ("Kan't Quit. Kan't Breathe. Kan't Resuscitate.")
    Mole Burrow (Smoke These and You'll Be Six Feet Under!")

  2. What would you say is an example of Hardaway's work you find funny?