Thursday 31 March 2016

Under Water, Over Acting

Someone would do the world a great public service by starting a blog to post Rod Scribner and Manny Gould scenes from Bob Clampett cartoons. There are so many great drawings that you have to stop the cartoons to admire them.

Here’s the dramatic pre-death scene from the only cartoon set under water for no particular reason: Hare Ribbin’. Yes, Bob McKimson gets the animation credit on screen, but you just know this isn’t McKimson’s work here. Teeth, floppy tongue, hammy histrionics, all animated on ones. These are lots of fun to view. The first frame below shows the dog (who, in Elmer Fuddish fashion, wails because he “killed” Bugs Bunny) spitting out bits of the sandwich he has just bitten into.

The dog, an imitation of radio’s “Mad Russian,” wishes he were dead. “Do you mean it?” asks Bugs, in his best Mad Russian imitation. Then this. These are consecutive frames.

And then....

He’s dead, alright.

Since we mentioned Scribner...

Roderick Henry Scribner was born in Joseph, Oregon on October 10, 1910, the middle of three children. When Rod was 11, his father had a bedroom built in the bank where he worked so he could fool around with different women. The Los Angeles Times lovingly listed the details in its coverage of the divorce trial (three years later, his dad married a cashier at the bank). Young Rod was fooling around with chicks of a different kind. Around the same time, he and his brother joined a poultry club at their grammar school in Burbank. Perhaps it was of assistance when, years later, he was called upon to animate Foghorn Leghorn.

Scribner wasn’t the only over-the-top animator at Warners. Gould turned out some beautiful work. So did Bill Melendez. It would seem Clampett accommodated, if not encouraged it, for when they were put until the directorship of Bob McKimson, Scribner was told to “calm down.” Gould escaped to Jerry Fairbanks Productions. Melendez bolted for UPA. Scribner ended up in a sanitarium fighting tuberculosis before returning for a few more years at Warners as the studio, as a whole, calmed down. There were still some good cartoons, but Warners’ best days were behind them.

Scribner bounced around. He animated for UPA and then Jay Ward. He worked on animated commercials in their heyday in the ‘50s. The fun “Cow Train” spot for John Hubley’s Storyboard, Inc. was his. His name is even in the credits at Hanna-Barbera on Yogi’s Gang, about as confining a job as any to someone like Scribner. He died on Boxing Day 1976 at the age of 66.

Wednesday 30 March 2016

Hans Conried, Acrid Humourist

Hans Conried loved to talk. Not only in outrageous European accents and mock Shakespearean and melodramatic tones on camera (or behind a mike). And not only on a talk show (he and Jack Paar were friends). Hans seems to have done all kinds of newspaper interviews over the years as he was involved in all kinds of projects, both on the air and on stage.

It’s been a little while since we posted about the droll and erudite Hans on the blog, so allow me to pass on this piece from the Buffalo Courier-Express of March 5, 1961. He was promoting two satires, one with Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams that was about to appear on television on The U.S. Steel Hour and, way down at the bottom of the story, a syndicated romp being produced by Jay Ward. Unfortunately, the publicity photo with Conried and Pat Carroll that accompanied the story is a little too murky so we’ve substituted a different one from another paper.

Hans Conried to Poke Fun at Network Sleuths

MANY ROLES—Shakespearean actor—Nazi villain comedian—quiz panel expert. You name it, Hans Conried has been it.
You've heard Hans, with a supercilious look, sprinkle his acrid humor over many a quiz show panelist or contestant. You've heard his witty comments on the Jack Paar how many times, and you probably remember him for a steady series of movie roles as monocled German meanie.
SATIRE— Those who have sampled his quick wit on Ernie Kovacs' "Take a Good Look" panel (it was carried last night for the first time on Ch. 7), know what a fast man with a quip he is. And on Wednesday night at 10, Ch. 4, you'll see Hans on a real free-wheeling satire spree in "Private Eye Private Eye."
What does he do on this anew? Conried told us by phone the other day: "This is show in which we really take private investigators of fiction and TV for a sleigh ride. As usual, I play second banana to Ernie."
Hans has made a career out of being a second banana, but a mighty talented one who often steals the show.
WITH PAAR—His appearances with Jack Paar, he feels, have been a big boost.
"For 25 years I was an actor," said Hans. "Now, because of the Paar show, I'm suddenly a personality."
And a well-rounded personality he is. Conried began his career in 1937 when, at the age of 20, he played Laertes in NBC Radio's production of "Hamlet" with the late John Barrymore.
He played a wide variety of classical roles for a full season on the air, "and this was about the only Shakespeare I've done."
DIALECTICIAN—Conried's such a clever dialectician no one knows whether he's Austrian, English or what have you. Actually, he hails from Baltimore and New York, but his father was Austrian. A tribute to his versatility is that he once did 18 parts on a 30-minute "March of Time" radio show.
He was the "voice" of Captain Hook in Walt Disney's "Peter Pan," and has made a series of recorded readings of famous children's stories.
MOVIE ROLES—He made the first of his 90 motion pictures in 1938, and filled endless roles as a Nazi villain.
"I think my best role was in "The 3,000 Fingers of Dr. T.," said Conried, "It was the best fantasy ever made. It was a smash hit in Tokyo, Paris and points east, and in the U.S. set a record for losing most money as a box office flop."
So how did he become a comedian and a character actor of the quiz shows? "I was in the Army for three years. When I got out, I was offered comedy, which I hadn't tried and didn't want. Suddenly — to quote my agent — I was a sensation."
RADIO AND TV — Conried had radio assignments on "Life With Luigi" and "My Friend Irma," the latter for seven years. On the stage, he won raves from the critics for his role of the professor in Cole Porter's "Can-Can."
On TV, he was on the regular-panel of "Pantomime Quiz" for five years, and has been featured with Bob Hope, George Gobel and Rod Skelton.
THE FUTURE — And what of the future? "I'll do a "Steel Hour" with Faye Emerson called "The Odd Ball" on April 5," said Hans. "And I've made countless pilot films for possible TV series.
"Of course, only about one out of 75 of these pilots click. I hope fervently the hand of God will strike on one of mine, such as 'Fractured Flickers."
In this show, old silent movies are re-edited and narrated by Conried and company, with a new twist in dialogue. Can you imagine how he could cut up "The Great Train Robbery" or "Birth of a Nation?"

I really love Hans Conried’s work, even though he always struck me as an intelligent chap who really wanted the chance to do the classic dramatic plays on stage instead of ducking from Danny Thomas’ spit-takes as Uncle Tonoose. On radio, he always seemed to be playing some preposterous foreign eccentric. On television, you could drop the adjectives words. And he captured the essence of John Barrymore in pulling out the stops as Snidely Whiplash on Dudley Do-Right, a triumph of wit and casting over animation (which really could describe all of the Jay Ward studio’s best cartoons).

Private Eye Private Eye came and went. So did Fractured Flickers, remembered only by second-generation cult fans today. But Hans Conried carried on because of his love of show business. There was always another opening, another show.

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Poochini Ballerina

The comic transitions are quick in Tex Avery’s masterpiece Magical Maestro. A scene where Poochini changes into a ballerina lasts five seconds, enough for the silliness of an opera singer doing a little ballet dance to hit the audience, then it’s on to the next gag.

Here are some poses.

Avery once said it took five frames for an anvil to drop from the sky and hit something, and the action would still register on the audience. It takes five frames for the tutu to drop to the floor. He sets up the suddenness of the drop by keeping Spike with his arms up in the air for 14 frames, although there is a little bit of movement so the movie isn’t static. Avery was as much a master of animation timing as anyone else.

Monday 28 March 2016

Popeye Take

A steady stream of ad-libs from Jack Mercer, skinny Olive flailing her arms and legs in all directions and a wonderful scene where Popeye punches the colouring out of Bluto highlights the 1937 short Fowl Play.

I also like this Popeye take when he realises the pet parrot he gave Olive has escaped. Here are the drawings.

Here’s one of those fear effects some of the New York animators (Carlo Vinci was one) were fond of. Two drawings of Popeye alternate in the take as his hat is animated. One with smooth lines and one with wavy lines.

Dave Tendlar and William Sturm are the credited animators.

Sunday 27 March 2016

Tralfaz Sunday Theatre – Slapstick

Silent comedy films—the best of them, anyway—are just as entertaining today as they were when they lit up movie screens 90 and 100 years ago. Tossed pies are still funny. The stunts performed by Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd are still fascinating to watch. Personally, I love looking at old box-shaped Fords and Chevrolets, steam locomotives, and streets dotted with three-storey, front-porched wooden homes.

Growing up in the ‘60s, you couldn’t see a full silent picture on TV. They were chopped up into little segments and plopped into documentaries. ABC even bought a series of them from producer Paul Killiam and broadcast them in 1960 as a Thursday night summer replacement series called “Silents Please.”

Killiam was a lawyer’s son who graduated from Harvard, then became a newscaster on WOR in the mid-‘40s before opening a club/cafe on New York’s east side called the Old Knick. There he mounted musicals, staged audience sing-alongs and screened silent films. In 1953, he parlayed it into a 15-minute show on WCBS, where he ad-libbed narration on a 15-minute show of old Edison reels (“his humor ranges from pure corn to deft satirical barbs,” decreed Variety, which also pronounced his spiel “erractic”). Killiam had formed a syndication company in 1950 with the idea of putting the same kind of show on stations across the U.S. (one trade ad revealed he found buyers in three cities). Later, he and his companies had to defend themselves in several lawsuits over ownership of the ancient films he was incorporating into his documentaries. He died in 1998.

Enough about Mr. Killiam. Here’s one of his half-hour shows, “Slapstick.” The print isn’t great and the sound wows but it doesn’t spoil watching some of the great silent comedians in action.

Benny vs Hope (and Bud and Lou)

Jack Benny’s radio broadcast from Vancouver in April 1944 is mainly noted for being the final one for singer Dennis Day until after the war, as he had been inducted into the U.S. Navy that month. But it was also one of many, many stops Jack made in helping the war effort. He and most of his regular crew spent a week in the city, visiting soldiers, putting on performances, meeting dignitaries and, of course, doing two broadcasts from the old PNE Forum on Sunday night. Jack generously paid the line charges and all expenses for his entourage.

Vancouver wove its way into the Benny life story. It was here he met Mary Livingstone as a girl in her home on Nelson Street east of Denman (the house was replaced with an apartment building decades ago). Vancouver was also one of the stops on the Orpheum circuit which Jack played and many years after vaudeville died, he performed a benefit to raise funds to save the Orpheum theatre (albeit a different one than he visited in the early ‘20s; it was the one Fred Allen played in late April 1928).

The Benny brigade arrived at the Great Northern Railway terminal in White Rock, which was then a small bayside resort town not far from a brand-new two-lane highway that went for miles past fields and brush and a few homes. The train stopped at 1 a.m. Despite the early hour, several hundred fans greeted Jack and reporters boarded the train for the remainder of the ride into Vancouver (with a snort or two along the way, I strongly suspect).

The three Vancouver papers gave almost daily coverage to the Benny trip (papers in those days could not publish on Sundays due to the Lord’s Day Act). Plenty of photos exist in the Vancouver Archives, taken from the files of the long-defunct Vancouver News-Herald. The Vancouver Sun’s Ray Gardner, who was once accused of being a Russian spy, was on the Benny beat, and he came up with two stories about Jack’s writers, the second of which appeared in his “After Dark” column. His writing style reminds me of other newspaper scribes of the day who somehow injected themselves into what they were covering.

The first story is from April 20, 1944 and gives you an idea of how the Benny show was put together. The photo appeared in the paper, though it looks like a photo retoucher did something with Milt Josefsberg’s head.
Script Writers for Jack Benny Show Tell How It’s Done

Gag writers carry on just like the drug-store cut-ups, especially for reporters which is okay by the latter because all they have to do is relax, listen and copy down the script.
Lacking the protection of even a Joe Miller joke book, this reported stumbled upon Jack Benny’s four script writers in their hotel room Wednesday afternoon.
They were about to go downstairs to the dining room for a cup of coffee and some silverware while waiting for Benny, Mary Livingstone and the gang to return from Shaughnessy Military Hospital.
“Reading from left to right,” announced the one who was swinging from a chandelier,” we are Sam Perrin, George Balzer, Milt Josefsberg and John Tackaberry.” “Jokes and funny sayings. Just like that,” said Balzer, and he snapped his fingers just like—well, just like that. No kidding, it happened that way. The rest of the script went like this:
Balzer: I have never been in prison. You can quote me on that.
Perrin: He’s just talking for himself.
Balzer: I haven’t been writing gags long. I used to be campaign manager for Willkie.
(Balzer was back with another. The other three must owe him money.)
Balzer: I won seventeen dollars from Benny at poker and I lost my job.
Josefsberg: I lost seventeen dollars to Benny and I worked five years to pay it back.
(The photographer snapped their picture.)
Josefsberg: What time does your paper come out?
Cameraman: At 11:30.
Josefsberg: We’ll be down at 11:29.
Tackaberry just sat there, mugging furiously and looking out the window hoping to catch the arrival of television.
Here, by the way, is how Benny and staff build the weekly show:
The comedian and the writers gather right after the close of the Sunday night broadcast and in 15 to 20 minutes conceive the general story line for the following week’s show.
Monday the four writers go on from there.
Tuesday or Wednesday they meet with Benny and the real work begins. The five of them work until they have a full script ready for a Saturday morning rehearsal. The cast doesn’t see the script until they arrive at the studio for this try-out.
This script runs about 10 minutes beyond the length of the actual broadcast.
Benny and the writers, acting on suggestions from the cast, then spend Saturday cutting the script down, rewriting parts of it.
The orchestra attends the second rehearsal Sunday morning and the sxript is revised again on the basis of their reaction to it.
A final “dress” rehearsal is held Sunday and later, while the writers are led away in chains, Benny et al go on the air.
Benny and the gang did a thorough job of entertaining patients at Shaughnessy Military Hospital, Wednesday afternoon.
For more than an hour after their 45-minute program in the hospital’s auditorium they wandered through the wards chatting and wise cracking with the patients, and autographing everything from canes to plaster casts.
“I’m not leaving till I’ve visited every ward,” the genial Benny declared firmly when reminded that the party was behind schedule for its next appointment. Rochester met a boyhood pal in Vancouver Wednesday. He is Pte. Roy Williams of the Kent Regiment, stationed at Little Mountain. They knew one another as boys of 11 or 12 in Chicago, later were in show business.
Benny and his party, also visited City Hall yesterday where the comedian tried on the mayor’s robes and chain of office.
“The best mayor that money can buy,” he cracked.
Gardner revisited the writers and came up with this column on April 22nd. It’s fascinating for its revelations about other radio comedy shows. It’s also a little contrived. If the City Editor didn’t like his original story, why was it allowed to be published?
Benny Writers Sweat An Hour Over One Line

The other day I did a short piece about Jack Benny’s four gag writers which made them appear to be nothing more than four joke files wired for sound when actually they are not like that at all.
As a matter of fact, my city editor remarked about that story that it was the first time he had ever seen an egg laid in ten point and hatched in blackface. It was also the city editor who glanced at the names, Perrin, Balzer, Josefsberg and Tackaberry and said, “Hmm, sounds like a law firm.”
“Yes,” I said, “and a high-class law firm at that. They have their own ambulance!”
(No wonder people keep telling is that WE ought to be on the radio. Probably they mean instead of a lamp.)
Anyway, the first time I met Perrin and associates—a word I coined myself and which stands for Balzer, Josefsberg and Tackaberry—they put on the razzle-dazzle banter I described in that original piece about them.
But the second time I ran into them they gave every indication of being sane and were even willing to produce their honorable discharge papers from one of America’s best psychopathic wards.
Balzer began to fumble through his pockets in an unsuccessful quest for his, then gave up, explaining: “Hmmm, must have left it in my other strait-jacket.”
Physically they seem to be perfectly normal. They each have a body, two legs, two arms, two heads. Two heads? Oh, that. Well, there’s nothing really unusual about that. They carry one of them under their arms.
Speaking seriously—as I always do when all the gags in sight are under lock and key—I was at a press reception for Benny when I was told Balzer and Perrin were down the hall and wanted to see me.
I finally found them in a small lobby of the hotel where they had set up shop. They had thrown their coats on a chair, opened up their typewriter and were working on the script for Sunday’s broadcast.
I found out right away that they are perfectionists. They had been working for an hour on one line, writing and re-writing it, and still they were not satisfied. And even when they have it polished to their liking, the chances are Benny may not approve and may re-write or even drop it.
Benny, they said, insists that every line “plays” right, a rule that applies even to the straight or feed line as well as to the punch or gag line.
Bob Hope, among others, doesn’t demand such perfection and is happy as long as the gag line clicks.
You don’t need me to tell you that there is a different between the brands of humor dispensed by Hope and Benny, but a few words from Balzer and Perrin might be worth recording.
Perrin says, “We attempt to disguise our jokes. We hide them in the script.” Hope, on the other hand, is about as subtle as a putty nose, especially in that opening monologue.”
Mind, they don’t say which is the preferable type of humor; they merely point out the difference in technique.
Benny’s gags must also be plausible and fit into the general story line and be consistent with the character of the actor who speaks them. In contrast, Hope’s jokes are evaluated on their laugh-getting potentialities with no regard to story development.
“Hope will say ‘I slept in a hotel last night . . .’ to work in an hotel joke,” Perrin explained, “then a few minutes later say he slept in a subway because he has a good subway joke.”
Before I left, Perrin said the best writing teams are made by having a couple of quiet guys—“Like me,” he adds—and a couple of noisy exhibitionists.
Perrin and Balzer, incidentally, do the general story of the script while Tackaberry and Josefsberg are assigned to the writing of a particular incident. The two teams work independently of one another until the latter part of the week when they meet with Benny to turn out the finished product.
After leaving Perrin and Balzer I ran into Josefsberg and due to conditions beyond your control I will now set forth a few facts which were originally scheduled to be set forth at this time.
Among other things he said:
That gag writers are not born, but ad libbed. He began inadvertently by sending items to Walter Winchell. When Winchell printed them his friends told him he was good enough to earn a living at writing gags. They were right.
That Bob Hope is tough to work for because he has no idea of time. He’ll call a story conference at his home for, say, seven o’clock at night and then may not show up till early morning.
That the manpower shortage is not caused by the fact that every man healthy enough to lift a pencil is writing gags for Bob Hope. He has a staff of eight writers. Each writes a complete script (Josefsberg has written a complete show in six hours) and the best gags in each go into the final broadcast.
That Abbott and Costello are an insult to the intelligence of radio listeners.
That A & C won’t accept a joke unless it is old and reliable. “It isn’t funny. We haven’t heard it before” is almost a stock criticism with them. But if the writer says the gag was used on, say the Hope show and again on Benny’s program and got a laugh track each time, they’ll consent to use it. They lift gags without changing a word from the original.
That some gag writers possess voluminous joke files and make as high as $2500 a week by filling orders from comedians. If a comic wants to put on a skit about doctors, for instance, these gag collectors thumb through their files to the one headed “doctors” and supply as many jokes as are needed.
That Groucho Marx is a terrific gag “switcher.” He once gave 15 switches in five minutes to a gag Josefsberg had written for him.
That some of Fred Allen’s gags are so subtle and written specifically for the trade that they go over the heads of men who have been in the business only a few months.
That a writer may turn in a six-page script to Allen, hear him rave about it, sincerely. Then when it finally goes on the air the writer will be lucky if he recognizes one line of the stuff he has written.
I suppose, that inasmuch as today’s column is about radio gag writers, it should close with some kind of a commercial. Well, about the only thing I can think of is to ask you to “Remember that ‘gag’ spelled backwards is ‘gag,’ which means absolutely nothing.”
Benny’s brood left Vancouver on a ferry for a two-day stay in Victoria before returning to the U.S. One of the papers lauded Benny in an editorial for his generosity in helping the war effort. In a way, it’s sad to note that Jack’s programme was no longer heard on Vancouver radio within two months. The show took the summer off and returned in the fall for a new sponsor. As American cigarettes were not sold in Canada, and the sponsor was so interwoven with the show, the CBC could no longer broadcast it. Vancouver listeners had to pick it up from Seattle stations about 110 miles away. However, a little over two decades later, a chap named Jack Cullen ran old network radio broadcasts on his show on suburban CKNW, exposing the Benny gang to many new listeners and giving the 39-year-old miser a whole legion of young fans.

Saturday 26 March 2016

The King of Smokingdom

Tobacco companies spent a small fortune on advertising until they were told they couldn’t any more because they were making something that killed people. Each had a gimmick. In the days of network radio, there were chanting auctioneers, a bellhop stepping out of thousands of store windows, talk of a T-zone and Arthur Godfrey strumming an “ABC” jingle on his ukelele. In the early days of network television, there were leggy packages of cigarettes, stop-motion choreographed cigarettes and, yes, animated cartoon characters.

American Tobacco had Happy Joe Lucky, who cavorted with Gisele MacKenzie in live action. He was even in paid ads in the Sunday comic section of newspapers. Liggett and Myers decided it wanted its own cartoon spokesman, so its ad agency came up with the King of Smokingdom.

Unlike the Marlboro Man or Johnny the Bellhop, the king doesn’t seem to have lasted very long on TV. Daily TV-Radio announced his creation in early January 1957. Billboard reported on him on March 20th that year, but that’s about all I can find out about him. Here’s Billboard’s story.
Chesterfield’s King Crowned In Speedy Advertising Coup
• Tenuous reign with transportation ads suddenly grows into sizzling campaign of trademark
• McCann-Erickson agency dreams up wider usage of the king and his little herald and lion

Chesterfield has crowned the King of Smokingdom. The coronation took place at the beginning of the year at McCann-Erickson. And what began as a tenuous reign with a few newspaper ads and some transportation posters has developed into a sizzling campaign, one which has grown so rapidly that it has caught all hands off guard.
The response to this tall, slim, jolly ruler and his two pals—the cheerful, pudgy Harold the Herald and the docile, bewhiskered Bushy the Lion—is, in fact, running ahead of the coalition which put him in power. The agency as a result is just now working out many details on merchandising items and point-of-sale display to establish more firmly the king and his pals as a Chesterfield trademark.
On TV the campaign is already launched. Created by McCann-Erickson and produced by Hankinson Studios, which has so far delivered three 60-second commercials and has two more coming up, the blurbs are being used on Chesterfield’s network shows: “Panic,” “Hey, Jeannie!” and “Dragnet.”
Original art work on the Chesterfield King was done by Dan Keefe, art director at McCann-Erickson.
The TV campaign is a light and breezy one built on the theme of “the King has everything!” Copy calls for such expressions as majestic length, regal pleasure, commanding the pack, revel in the royal carton, royal flavor, etc. The voice of the king is being done by Dawes Butler [sic], who was associated with Stan Freeberg [sic] on several humorous records, including the “Dragnet” parody.
Just what else will be done to build this campaign is still a moot point. As yet Chesterfield’s spot campaign has not been solidified, nor have plans jelled on its one remaining sports show, “Boston Baseball.” It is definite, however, that the king and his court will reign on the new ABC-TV Frank Sinatra show in the fall.
With these plans to be ironed out, plus a magazine campaign to be done and new posters coming as well as display items, it looks as tho the king of Smokingdom is in for a long rule.
So who was involved in the Hankinson Studios? If someone has some specifics, please post them in the comment section. About all I’ve learned is it was founded in 1947 by Fred Hankinson and Walter Klas was his production manager. The studio was at 15 West 46th Street in New York City and provided live action and animated commercials and industrials. At the time the Smokingham spots were made, Hankinson had produced TV ads for Chase Manhattan Bank, Gem Blades, Eversharp Pens, Chesebrough-Ponds, Columbia Records, Pepto Bismol, Ivory Snow and Quaker State Oil. My guess is he didn’t farm out his animation to other companies as he was a director of the Animation Producers Association and had animation equipment on site, judging by trade ads. That’s even though he used West Coast voice actor Daws Butler. I haven’t been able to discover who animated or directed for the company.

Here’s one of the King spots. You’ll notice some voices that found fame when Daws used them on the Huckleberry Hound Show a year and a bit later.

Friday 25 March 2016

Smokers, Stooges and Crooners

Frank Tashlin directed with a string of Warner Bros. cartoons around 1937-38 with things on store shelves coming to life. It was books and magazines in Speaking of the Weather. It was books in Have You Got Any Castles? And it was pipe-cleaners and matches in Wholly Smoke.

There are parody products in the background, some of which you should still recognise today. Camels and Raleighs, to name two. Porky is accompanied in this scene by Nick O. Teen, an imaginatively designed character.

Wooden matches light themselves to blacken their heads and turn themselves into a quartet. Among their lyrics: “Light a fag and take a drag.”

Bull Durham tobacco. Is this Rod Scribner’s early work?

Fatima cigarettes. Basil Rathbone plugged them on radio for a while.

Night Owl cigars.

I love the “tongue sandwich” gag in some cartoons where a tongue in a sandwich flaps around singing. Here we get chewing tobacco that chews.

Stogies become stooges. Three of them. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!

Corona Corona cigars get parodied. The crooners in question are (if you don’t already know), Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallee. Sinatra wasn’t around in 1938.

An inside gag. Henry Binder was Leon Schlesinger’s right-hand man. The pipe cleaner dips his head in a pipe to emerge as Cab Calloway.

George Manuell received the story credit on this cartoon, while it was Bob Bentley’s turn for the animation credit. Volney White, Joe D'Igalo and Bob McKimson were animating for Tashlin around this time, and I think Ken Harris was assisting.