Monday, 6 November 2017

Porky's Clim-axe

Evidently Bob Clampett and his buddy Flash Gee must have been bored with Porky Pig. In 1939, they turned him into a parody of Mr. Moto. Why? Just for something to do, I guess. It’s not even a particularly good one, as Porky’s Movie Mystery relies on stereotypes, verbally and musically (Carl Stalling plays “Japanese Sandman” in several spots).

The climax comes as Porky/Mr. Motto quickly stops the Invisible Man’s axe in mid-air and then fights him. There are five drawings used in a cycle.

Porky jumps out of the fight, gently lays down the axe, and resumes the fight.

The Invisible Man is suitably voiced by Billy Bletcher until he’s revealed at the end to be Hugh Herbert, when Mel Blanc voices him. Was Hugh Herbert ever funny?

John Carey is the credited animator. Izzy Ellis and Norm McCabe are in here somewhere, and there’s a bad edit about three-quarters of the way through the cartoon in circulation.


  1. Even Frank Tashlin and his background artist in "Speaking of the Weather" seemed to question the humor aspect of Hugh Herbert, given how Tashlin ends the cartoon and the print copy on the newspaper that's used with Herbert's 'picture'. But someone at Warners must have liked him because he kept turning up in cartoons all the way through 1940.

  2. Later WB veteran Michael Maltese at H-B would give the world "Super Snooper and Blabnber Mouse", which, depsite being 50s-60s, didn't have a lot of those...:) Hugh Herbert inspired Ed Wynn, Curly Howard, and Daffy Duck..or at least it's been SAID..WOO WOO! SC

  3. Well, I can recall one very funny sight-gag with Herbert in "Hellzapoppin," which can be found here: There was also a good performance in one of the early WB Berkeley musicals, as the fellow who advised on censorship rules.

  4. Three words for Hugh Herbert...SH! THE OCTOPUS ... (1937) Warner Brothers.