Thursday 11 January 2018

You Killed Jimmy Durante

The Queen isn’t impressed when a Jimmy Durante-in-the-box sings the lyrics “Let’s put out the lights and go to sleep” to her. She slaps him.

The jack-in-the-box’s voice is the worst impression of Durante ever put to film; Keith Scott tells me it’s Rudy Ising’s. The Schnozz-in-a-box says “I am mortified!” before expiring.

The King is upset that Durante is dead. He walks along imitating the Stan Laurel whimper, pointing at it. Frank Marsales’ band plays “Am I Blue.”

The crying king dumps the jack-in-a-box over the balcony. But suddenly, he’s all excited. He sees children playing in cycle animation in the courtyard. Durante is forgotten for the rest of the cartoon. How mortifying!

The cartoon is Young and Healthy (1933), drawn by Larry Martin and Ham Hamilton. The celebrity jack-in-a-box idea wasn’t new. More tomorrow.


  1. Harman and Ising also had Hitler chasing Durante with an axe in 1933. They really had it in for the Schnozzle (though maybe a little less than Friz seemed to have it in for Bing Crosby a few years later).

    1. Maybe they really didn't like his movies with Keaton.