Thursday 28 September 2017

A Likely Story

One of my favourite pieces of Mike Maltese dialogue at Warner Bros. is when Daffy Duck starts accusing the butler in Daffy Dilly (1948), building and building his case through detective and mystery plot clich├ęs.

Ken Harris’ gestures augment the words very nicely.

“Where were you the night of April the 16th?”

“A likely story!”

“I see it all now.” Note how Daffy’s cogitating.

“You and the upstairs maid.” Daffy points toward the upstairs.

“ ‘Do the old boy in,’ you said.” Daffy gives a strangling motion.

“ ‘Elderberry wine and old lace,’ you said.” Daffy motions like he’s pouring wine.

“ ‘Then the quick getaway,’ you said.”

Daffy eventually gets to that great line: “But you weren’t smart enough, John. Alias Johnny. Alias Jack. Alias Jackie!” as Mel Blanc’s voice rises.

Phil Monroe, Ben Washam and Lloyd Vaughan also animated this cartoon.


  1. "What's Humphrey Bogart got that I ain't got?"

  2. While greed is Daffy's motivation in this cartoon, there's still enough of the old crazy/impetuous Daffy to clearly separate this from Jones and Maltese's 1950 cartoons.

    1. Quite true, J.L. This Daffy doesn't intend any malice, unlike the later Daffy.

  3. A similar premise was used fifteen years later for Fast Buck Duck.

    1. Yeah, a lot of people know that..:) One of the most interesting differences between this one and the later cartoon, a symbol of what would happen, is while here, we get to see fun anthropomorphized dogs, in 1963 when "Fast Back Duck" was written, a bulldog ACTING as a dog (nothing of which, let alone other dogs or anaimals, are needed in "Daffy Dilly" and humans appear only at the outset when Daffy's selling things), is in Daffy's way. The soon to be employer of Daffy-no humanized dog but a human...SC