Thursday, 8 October 2020

A Beer on the Job

The Herring Murder Case is crammed with all kinds of gags, and there’s a great one involving prohibition.

Detective Bimbo knocks on the panel of a wall. The panel opens and out comes a hand with a pint of beer. “Good morning, officer!” says a voice (Billy Murray?). Another hand uses a razor to brush the foam off the mug, then Bimbo drinks the beer before carrying on his work.

Can it be that speakeasies in New York paid off beat cops with a beer so they would go on their merry way?

Oh, if only the Fleischer Talkatoons could be restored. This cartoon deserves it.


  1. It's actually older than Prohibition. Cops sneaking around to the back of saloons to have a free beer is something that was commented on as long as New York City has had a police department (which goes back before the Civil War). Ditto cops taking an apple from a fruit-seller's stand. What's going on here is an old, traditional New York City joke.

  2. See, for example, a later Fleischer cartoon from 1939, "The Fresh Vegetable Mystery," where the Irish potato-cop does something similar (at 1.20 ff).