Thursday 16 March 2023

If It Worked At Warner Bros....

Fans of Tex Avery’s cartoons at MGM likely know he took ideas he used at Warner Bros. and incorporated them into shorts at his new locale.

An example is the silhouettes of audience members moving in front of the action on the screen, like the camera is at the back of a theatre shooting the action, including the film that’s being projected. You can see it in Avery’s Little Red Walking Hood, Daffy Duck and Egghead and Thugs With Dirty Mugs.

Here’s a version in Who Killed Who?, a 1943 MGM cartoon with Billy Bletcher as the voice of a detective who bursts into a room in a creepy mansion after its occupant (Kent Rogers doing his Richard Haydn voice) is killed.

“Everybody stay where you are! Don’t nobody move!” he shouts as we see a silhouette of an audience member get up and move “across the row.”

The detective takes care of things.

“That goes for you, too, bud!” he yells at the figure writhing in head pain.

And the cartoon carried on.

No animators are credited. Just Avery.


  1. Preston Blair! The cop’s entrance in this scene was copied with an off-brand character in the version I got of his animation book once upon a time.

    1. Preston Blair's original edition (with the unaltered MGM artwork) has some drawings from this scene. See the link :

  2. The difference is that at MGM Tex was a much better director, and it is a thousand times funnier than it was at Warners. It's way more ridiculous than shooting him, because it involves physical touch.

  3. Hans Christian Brando17 March 2023 at 18:40

    I hope organizers of theatrical animation retrospectives make a point of showing cartoons featuring this particular gag, which of course is awkward on television.