Thursday, 3 August 2017

The Worm and the Egg

George spends a lot of time in costume in the MGM cartoon Henpecked Hoboes (1946), where he and Junior attempt to catch a chicken for dinner.

Tex Avery and writer Heck Allen work up a gag where George pretends to be a worm to get the chicken to chase him. The chicken is supposed to clobbered by Junior, who botches things again. George/Worm realises the chicken’s still on the loose and after him.

The hen has him trapped. A cry of help to the dullard Junior yields no results. I love the crazed look on the chicken. It reminds me of the dog-in-a-box in Avery’s Bad Luck Blackie (1949). Walt Clinton animated on both.

Cut to Junior, who sees the smiling hen with an after-meal toothpick! (Yes, hens don’t have teeth). He pulls open the chicken’s mouth and confirms George is in her stomach. He gets him out—when the chicken lays an egg with George inside it.

Avery never lets the pace slow down so you can think about the gag before you see it.

Ray Abrams, Preston Blair and Ed Love are the other credited animators.


  1. This sequence was Ray Abrams's work, Yowp.
    All best, Mark

  2. I believe Irv Spence animated a few shots in this cartoon.
    "Don't you dare strike my mother!!"