Thursday, 1 September 2016

Ah, Yes!

Pausing in the middle of a cartoon for some commentary by a character or a sign is a favourite Tex Avery routine. We find it in Who Killed Who? (released 1943), Avery’s great spoof of radio/film detective mysteries.

Cadavers fall toward the camera, initially in a 16-drawing cycle, speeding up to eight. We see 13 of them drop before a 14th stops in mid-fall and removes the gag around his mouth. “Ah, yes!” he says to the audience. “Quite a bunch of us, isn’t it?” Then the gag snaps back over his mouth and he resumes his fall (as do nine other identical bodies afterward).



Avery’s name is the only one on the credits.

9 comments:

  1. This gag was more or less done in live action in the Joe McDoakes short "So You Want to Be a Detective" (which spoofed Robert Montgomery's "Lady in the Lake").

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've always wondered if that was meant to be a caricature of someone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AH,. yes it is, surprised Yowp himself didn't:
      JERRY COLONNA.

      Delete
    2. The voice is Colonna, but the face isn't.

      Delete
  3. The falling bodies here (along with some of the other incidental characters) still bear the holdover traits of the Hugh Harman unit -- i.e., they look like they migrated to the cartoon from "The Alley Cat" or one of Hugh's other 1939-41 MGM shorts. The timing here's also slower than what Tex would be doing at MGM just a year or two later (and also slower than how Bob Clampett would use the gag in "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery", where the bit's made even funnier by the use of the various Chester Gould-styled victims).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose that's understandable, JL, considering Avery replaced Harman. I imagine he got a lot of people who were in Harman's unit. Who they all were, I guess we'll never really know.
      I'd have to check to see if Claude Smith designed the characters in this.

      Delete
  4. "Avery’s name is the only one on the credits."

    There he goes again, that bastard Tex Avery, trying to hog all the credit for himself, screw the artists who worked for him , that fascist , dictatorial jerk .... oh, um , wait , this sort of rant only applies to Walt Disney , never to anyone else ... never mind ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey man he was not a fascist he is the king of wackiness and he credited animators for a lot of his cartoons

      Delete