Tex Avery made some of the greatest cartoons of all time. And then there are some others that...well, they’re full of something you associate more with Nebraska than Texas—corn.
There was a temptation in the 1930s and into the ‘40s to engage in the most obvious puns possible when coming up with spot gag cartoons. Tex and writer Mel Millar fell for it in A Day at the Zoo (1939). Here are five. I probably don’t even have to say what they are; you’ll get it looking at the drawing.
A pack of camels. Carl Stalling gets into the punny mood by underscoring the scene with The Campbells Are Coming. Camel. Campbell. Get it?
A North American Greyhound. (Note the Greyhound bus logo on the side). Stalling plays California, Here I Come in the background.
And five sense. Stalling hokes it up with We’re in the Money in the background.
Here are two friendly elks, played by Mel Blanc and (I think) Danny Webb. Background tune: For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow. The rotund member of the Elks Club has an elk’s tooth on his watch chain; teeth and watch chains were standard any time there was an elk gag on radio.
At least we don’t get a dog/tree gag.
Gil Warren is the narrator and if you ever see a version of this with original titles, it’ll say that Ham Hamilton was the animator.