Tuesday 10 November 2020

Oh, My Sides!

I don’t know who wrote the 1958 Paramount cartoon Travelaffs. You could have written it. I could have written it. Anyone could have come up with its all-too-obvious groaners that greeted theatre-goers who weren’t buying popcorn. The fact “laughs” is spelled “laffs” should tip you off that this is not going to be funny.

“Smash your baggage?” asks dog porter Jack Mercer. So he does. Are you rolling with laffter? By the way, is “smash your baggage” an actual term used at railroad stations?

“Check my bag,” says pig businessman Jackson Beck. You know what’s going to happen next. The dopey clerk is Sid Raymond.

“Carry your trunk, sir?” asks the Jack Mercer mouse that sounds just like the earlier dog. Trunk!? You know what the punch-line is going to be.

Well, as Popeye used to say in these late Paramount cartoons, “I can’t stands no more.” We get more spot-gag footage the rest of the way.

The one pleasant part of the cartoon is the narrator. Anyone familiar with Henry Morgan’s radio show will recognise the voice belonging to actor/announcer Charlie Irving.


  1. You can tell by the more rounded designs and background details here there's lots of stuff culled from other Paramount/Famous Studio efforts, especially the Kartune "Gags and Baggage". Whether or not the studio was just tossing out a cheater cartoon to meet the production schedule, or if it ended up worse than it could have been because Izzy Sparber died during production, is open to question. But Sparber already had done one cheater in '58, "Sportickles", and Seymour Kneitel would do another, "The Animal Fair", a few months later, so they did seem OK with cribbing early 1950s animation for late 50s releases, until Paramount sold all those cartoons to Harvey Publishing.

    1. That explains the "new cars" looking like '52s at best.

    2. JL, my knowledge of these spot gaggers is sparse. Thanks for the background.

  2. The shot at about 0:50 is very clearly Grand Central Terminal in New York City, which as of 1958 was the terminal for the New York Central Railroad. The four-faced clock in the center of the concourse is distinctive, as are the windows.