Friday 20 June 2014


Wildlife is frolicking or resting around a sleepy mountaineer at the start of the Walter Lantz cartoon “Pass the Biscuits, Mirandy.”

The hillbilly wakes up and starts a-firin’ his rifle.

The animals freeze in panic for 19 frames (see first drawing below) while he shoots off another bullet. Then they get out of the scene. These are consecutive drawings, one per frame.

Paul Smith is the only person to get an animation credit.

The name “Mirandy” in the title song of the cartoon seems to have been inspired by Mrs. Marjorie Edith Bauersfeld, a former Chautaqua gospel singer and Mack Sennett comedienne who played Mirandy on a Los Angeles radio show in 1930 as a member of the singing Beverly Hill Billies. She later appeared on other radio shows as a kind of Ozark philosopher, as well as with the Gilmore Circus, and was an early star on KECA TV, hosting a gardening show. A dark red rose was named for her character in 1948 (Marian Jordan, radio’s Molly, played Mirandy on the National Farm and Home Hour in the late ‘20s; Bauersfeld apparently took her place).

The song “Pass the Biscuits, Mirandy” was penned by Carl Hoefle and Del Porter. The pair sold the song to Republic for use in the film “Hi Neighbor” (Variety, April 21, 1942). Walter Lantz then bought it for final Swing Symphony cartune of 1942-43 series (Variety, January 18, 1943). Bugs Hardaway was editing the story by February (Variety, March 1) and the short was due to be released in July (Variety, July 8) but apparently didn’t get a national release until August 23rd. Porter was with Spike Jones’ orchestra, among the many who recorded the song. Porter sings on the cartoon and the goofy-sounding chorus is provided by the voice of Goofy, Pinto Colvig.

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