Friday, 9 December 2016

Piece of Pie

There are always little characters popping up to enliven the Fleischer Talkartoons. In Mask-A-Raid (1931), Betty Boop hands swords to Bimbo and the King so they can duel over here. Soon, a phalanx of armoured soldiers marches forward to join in. One of them apparently gets killed.

Cut to a scene where a trap door on the armour opens up and a mask pops up. Yes, there are masks all over the cartoon, but that but that isn’t the gag. A mouse pops out, makes a spitting scat of the words “Give a piece of pie” in time to the music. His job done, he disappears for the rest of the cartoon. The reference must be vaudevillian, but I couldn’t tell you from where.

The cartoon ends with a great scat by Bimbo with winged Betty Boops in the air. Great stuff. Unfortunately, there are no animation credits.


  1. Interestingly enough, the book "Iron Desire: the Legacy of Notre Dame Football Coach Frank Leahy" (available in Google Books), notes at one point that it was a catch-phrase from vaudeville (it's transcribed there as "eeff-eyeff give me a piece of pie), that a vaudevillian tried to get copyrighted, but failed.

  2. Fats Waller and his Rhythm recorded "Eep, Ipe" Wanna Piece of Pie" in 1940..probably a derivation/corruption of the above vaudeville catch phrase