Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Old Sprung-a-Leak Gag

Anyone care to guess how many times Tex Avery pulled off this gag?

This time, the body-leaking gag comes from “The Hick Chick” (1946). The bad guy with the Charles Boyer voice has stabbed Lem several times with a pitch fork. “Ah, ya didn’t even touch me,” Lem says. Then the gag.

Tex pulled it again in “Garden Gopher” (1950) with Spike and a rake.

The story isn’t one of writer Heck Allen’s best; the ending is unsatisfying because it’s a running gag without a topper. You can see it coming and expect to build to something more. But the fight inside Lem’s clothes has to be unique.

The credited animators in this cartoon are Ed Love, Walt Clinton, Preston Blair and Ray Abrams. Avery and Allen use Red Skelton’s Clem Kadiddlehopper (and Daisy June) as a starting point for the cartoon; I’m not a Skelton fan so Skelton’s catchphrases aren’t any more amusing coming out of animated characters.

It sounds like Frank Graham supplying the voice of the Avery Wolf-behaving villain (complete with moustache), Sara Berner as Daisy Goon and Graham as the bull.


  1. The gag's kind of a reworking of the one Tex used in "Blitz Wolf", only with water instead of light coming through the openings. My favorite use though is still Daffy and the hot chili eater in the restaurant in Art Davis' "Mexican Joyride" (probably because I have felt like that after eating Mexican food so I can relate to hole-burning idea, while I haven't yet been pierced multiple times with sharp farm implements).

  2. From what I could tell, Benny Hill used that gag a couple times on his shows - namely in the 1973 sketch "The Deputy" after Jackie Wright was shot up, and as he was drinking, water was squirting out of his sides before he fell.

  3. Hanna and Barbera borrowed this gag a few times, in 1949's "Hatch Up Your Troubles" after Tom swallows a baby woodpecker, and in "Posse Cat" from 1942 after Tom is shot at by an angry cook on a ranch.