Thursday, 21 January 2021

Gonging Simple Simon

Jack Bunny has been gonging amateur acts like Major Bowes and sending them through a trap door. A simpleton bird steps up to the mike and stammers “Simple Simon” so badly he realises how lousy he is. “Oh, well, shucks,” he says in a normal voice, then gongs himself and fall through the hole in the floor.



This is Tex Avery at work in the 1936 Warners cartoon I Love To Singa. Despite the tight story, I am likely the only person who doesn’t like this cartoon. The song has always bugged me, and so does the little owl boy’s white-bread voice.

Chuck Jones and Virgil Ross receive the animation credit. Bob Clampett, Sid Sutherland and assistants Bobe Cannon and Cecil Surry would have worked on this as well. The score is by Norman Spencer.

By the way, “Jack Bunny” isn’t the only Jack Benny radio show reference in this cartoon. When the boy hatches, he says “Hello, stranger,” the catchphrase of Schlepperman (vaudevillian Sam Hearn) on the Benny programme.

6 comments:

  1. That's not the only time we would hear " I love to singa " I don't remember the name of the cartoon, maybe someone can help out. The little boy is dragged by Mom to bed protesting all the way. When he goes to sleep, the clock strikes midnight and all the toys and stuffed animals comes to life. Certainly not a new concept. A stuffed bunny jumps up , puts on a derby, an over sized coat and starts to sing that song. Even as a youngster, I was thinking " they are really pushing this song, aren't they? ". I can't recall the title, just been too many years.

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    1. Sounds like Toy Town Hall (1936), but the song the rabbit is singing in that is "I'm Wearin' My Green Fedora". Could be a different short, but that's all I can think about at the moment.

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    2. Errol, the only other time Warners uses it in a cartoon was in "Clean Pastures," according to cue sheets filed at UCLA.

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    3. The Al Jolson caricature sings it in "Clean Pastures".

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    4. Yowp, Jonathan and Bart,I stand corrected, you are all right. Like I said.so long ago. It was " Green Fedora ". I do know that " Green Fedora " was used in one other short around that time, sung by a cocky little character. Thanks for the clarification.

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    5. Errol - The song "I'm Wearin' My Green Fedora" and the animation of the bunny singing it was re-used (but with altered details on the cels and with a different background) in Toy Town Hall(1936). The animation and the song was first used in "My Green Fedora"(1935).

      (I wonder which jr. animator or assistant animator got stuck with the tedious work of adding the polka dots to the re-used drawings of the bunny ? )

      See: https://youtu.be/ixHC3o3VrOY?t=313 .

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