by E.O. Costello



Alphabetical Listings

A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H / I / J / K / L / M / N / O / P / Q / R / S / T / U / V / W / X / Y / Z



Alphabetical Listings

A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H / I / J / K / L / M / N / O / P / Q / R / S / T / U / V / W / X / Y / Z



Alphabetical Listings

A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H / I / J / K / L / M / N / O / P / Q / R / S / T / U / V / W / X / Y / Z



Alphabetical Listings

A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H / I / J / K / L / M / N / O / P / Q / R / S / T / U / V / W / X / Y / Z



Alphabetical Listings

A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H / I / J / K / L / M / N / O / P / Q / R / S / T / U / V / W / X / Y / Z



Alphabetical Listings

A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H / I / J / K / L / M / N / O / P / Q / R / S / T / U / V / W / X / Y / Z



Gag where a baseball catcher is portrayed spinning forth a rapid patter, along the lines of “comeonoldboycomeonoldboypitchitovertheplatethisguycanthit”, usually followed by a fastball that knocks the catcher back several feet.

Used in some Freleng cartoons, including Boulevardier from the Bronx (1936) and Porky’s Baseball Broadcast (1940), both of which use the same footage of a turtle catcher. Sports Chumpions (Freleng [and Avery?] 1941) used the same gag, but referred to a real contemporary catcher -- now in the Baseball Hall of Fame -- Gabby Hartnett. Bugs also does the same routine in Baseball Bugs (Freleng, 1946).

Frank Tashlin used a patter-talking catcher for a slightly different situation in The Unruly Hare (1945), in which Bugs and Elmer play catch with a lit stick of dynamite. Further modified versions can be seen used by Bugs Bunny in Knights Must Fall (Freleng, 1949) while jousting with Sir Pantsalot, as well as in Rabbit Punch (Jones, 1948).


Short-lived sidekick to Porky Pig. Gabby was a short-tempered, irritable, and ultimately rather unlikeable character who was fairly quickly dropped. Voiced by writer Cal Howard.


  • Porky and Gabby (Iwerks, 1937)
  • Porky’s Badtime Story (Clampett, 1937) debut of character
  • Get Rich Quick Porky (Clampett, 1937)

Beck and Friedwald believe that elements of Gabby ended up in the character of Daffy, a theory buttressed by the fact that Porky’s Badtime Story was remade by Clampett as Tick Tock Tuckered (1944) with Daffy replacing Gabby.


Matinee idol who made some early films at Warner Brothers, but went on to become a star at MGM. Jack Warner allegedly let him go on account of his ears being too big. Gable is probably best remembered for films such as Gone With the Wind and Mutiny on the Bounty.

Frank Tashlin made a clever pun in Speaking of the Weather (1937) by putting a series of seven Gable caricatures in front of The House of the Seven Gables. Gable also makes an appearance in Little Pancho Vanilla (Tashlin, 1938) as the bullfighter on a poster being admired by three young senoritas. Gable is the subject of a running gag in Hollywood Steps Out (Avery, 1941) in which he chases a mysterious Woman in Red who turns out to be not quite what she seems. Gable also shakes his castanet ears in The Coo-coo Nut Grove (Freleng, 1936).


Gandhi was a highly respected figure who was a leader in the fight for the independence of India, famous for promoting non-violent resistance. Gandhi had a rather singular appearance, with his lean body, glasses, and simple garb. This made him a popular target for political cartoonists and, for some odd reason, animated cartoonists as well.

Caricatures of Gandhi can be seen in Goopy Geer (Harman-Ising, 1932) as one of the figures in the drunken DTs of a horse, and in I Love a Parade (Harman-Ising, 1932) as “The Skinny Man from India”. Rice Puddin’ the Mad Monk, after an explosion, gets turned into Gandhi at the end of Wake Up the Gypsy in Me (Harman-Ising, 1933).

Originally, Yosemite Sam introduced himself in Bugs Bunny Rides Again (Freleng, 1948) as “the roughest, toughest he-man hombre thats ever crossed the Rio Grande -- and I don’t mean Mahatma Gandhi”. The short was released on June 12, 1948. Unfortunately, Gandhi was brutally assassinated on January 30, 1948, after the scene had been recorded and animated, but before it was released. In the interests of good taste, reissue prints of the film replace the line with “...and I ain’t no namby pamby”. Even so, the animation wasn’t changed; and it is still possible to read Sam’s lips speaking the original line.


Animator at Warner Brothers who eventually became a specialist in effects animation. See, for example, the credits for Haredevil Hare (Jones, 1948).

Gamer’s name is shown as one of the pigeons on the board in Plane Daffy (Tashlin, 1944). He also appears as sideshow attraction “Gamer the Glutton” in Circus Today (Avery, 1940).


Mysterious and alluring Swedish actress well remembered her roles in many classic films, including Anna Christie, Ninotchka, Grand Hotel, and Queen Christina. Garbo was a regular figure of fun, with her heavy accent and allegedly large feet, which were expanded by the WB animators into veritable barges.

A listing of Garbo caricatures and references in Warner-released cartoons would have to include the following:

  • Speaking of the Weather (Tashlin, 1937), in which she appears rocking on her feet as if in a rocking chair.
  • Hollywood Steps Out (Avery, 1941), in which she appears as a Swedish match girl, lighting a cigarette for Cary Grant
  • Porky’s Five and Ten (Clampett, 1938), as a fish
  • A Star is Hatched (Freleng, 1937), in which Emily speaks Garbo’s famous line from Grand Hotel: “I want to be alone”,
  • Have You Got Any Castles? (Tashlin, 1938) on the cover of -- what else? -- “So Big”
  • Bosko in Person (Harman-Ising, 1933)
  • The Daffy Duckeroo (McCabe, 1942) in the headline: “I Want to Be A Lone... Ranger”

Daffy also dangles the prospect of Porky starring opposite Garbo at the end of You Ought to Be in Pictures (Freleng, 1940), getting a tomato in the face for his pains.


First host of the long-running Today show on NBC-TV, beginning in the 1950s. He was famous for his use of the word “Peace” with an upraised hand as a sign-off. He is caricatured in Wild WIld World (McKimson, 1960) as Cave Darroway.


During the Second World War, a government-imposed gasoline rationing program was implemented in the United States. Rationing was especially strict for those living in the eastern seaboard states, because at the time, most petroleum was carried by tanker -- an impractical mode of transport with enemy U-Boats operating off the US coast. Until the “Big Inch” pipeline was finished, gas supplies in the East were generally considered “tight”.

Depending on need, citizens were issued one of a number of different “gas cards”, entitling them to a certain quantity of gasoline each week. (One had to present a ration book as well when purchasing gas. Ration book coupons were valid for only a set period of time; so you could not save them up for rainy -- or sunny -- days.)

To get a classification and the necessary rationing stamps, you had to appear before a local board, often comprised of your neighbours, who would likely know something of your actual need for gasoline. You had to certify that you needed gas and that you owned no more than five tires; any in excess of five were confiscated by the government to alleviate rubber shortages. The rubber shortage was, in fact, a major reason for rationing, since the government wanted to keep driving, and thus the demand for tires, as low as possible.

An A card would have had the lowest priority in the rationing system, entitling the holder to around 3 gallons per week. (Some sources say 4, apparently reflecting varied rations depending both on the stage of the war and the geographic location of the rationee.) B cards were issued to persons essential to the war effort, including industrial war workers, and therefore entitled the holder to more gas: most sources say around 8 gallons per week. C cards were granted to those who were deemed vital to the war effort, such as doctors and railroad workers. X cards entitled the holder to unlimited supplies and was the highest priority in the system. Clergy, police, volunteer firemen, and civil defense workers all fell into this category. (Something of a scandal erupted when 200 Congressmen received X cards.) T rations were available for truckers.

Gags based on these cards would have struck a chord with contemporary moviegoing audiences; and indeed, a number of Warner-released shorts used them. (They appear for a time to have been a favourite device of director Bob Clampett.) The closing gag in Falling Hare (Clampett, 1943) has the plane in which Bugs and the Gremlin are plunging to almost certain death run out of gas just before hitting the ground. Bugs points with his carrot to the ration card on the windscreen, observing “you know how it is with these A cards!” In Tortoise Wins By a Hare (Clampett, 1943), Bugs displays his secret weapon to beat Cecil Turtle, flashing A and C ration cards. Russian Rhapsody (Clampett, 1944) has a gag in which one of the Russian Gremlins replaces the C card on the windscreen of Hitler’s plane with an “a” card -- the lower-case letter possibly serving to sharpen audience reaction to the gag. A slightly exaggerated view of the number of stickers on a windshield can be seen in The Weakly Reporter (Jones, 1944), in which a windshield is covered by these stickers, forcing a motorist to use a periscope to see.

Gas rationing policies were also reinforced by certain slogans, several of which found their way into the cartoons. A national speed limit of 35 miles per hour was imposed to save fuel and tires: see the closing gag in The Daffy Duckeroo (McCabe, 1942) which exhorts people to “Keep It Under Forty”. Posters were often seen asking “Is this trip really necessary?” The question is asked in Draftee Daffy (Clampett, 1945) by the little man from the draft board, by a billboard in Wagon Heels (Clampett, 1945). Daffy Duck as Duck Twacy in The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (Clampett, 1946) asks “Was that trip really necessary?” after falling through a hidden trap-door. Baseball Bugs (Freleng, 1946) uses the line after Bugs tags out a Gashouse Gorilla at the plate. (The cartoon was completed in June, 1945 but not released until 1946, after gas rationing had ended.) Requests not to do any unnecessary traveling were also prevalent, as noted in the closing gag in The Unruly Hare (Tashlin, 1944), and Daffy, to the father in Nasty Quacks (Tashlin, 1945).


Story writer at the studio in the late 1930s. Credits:

  • Porky in Egypt (Clampett, 1938)
  • Porky’s Movie Mystery (Clampett, 1939)
  • Scalp Trouble (Clampett, 1939)
  • Jeepers Creepers (Clampett, 1939)

Gee is one of the people turned into stone who make up part of a picket fence in Porky’s Hero Agency (Clampett, 1937). See Schneider, p. 78.


Artist and author, vastly better known by his pen-name Dr. Seuss. The creator of dozens of memorable characters including the Cat in the Hat, the Lorax, and the Grinch. Geisel also had a career as an editorial cartoonist for the liberal New York daily PM in the 1940s.

During the second world war, Geisel worked closely with members of the Schlesinger studio, particularly Chuck Jones, on a number of Private Snafu shorts. Geisel was responsible for writing some of the cartoons which had rhyming lyrics. Three cartoons Geisel is known to have collaborated on are Spies (Jones, 1943), Gripes (Freleng, 1943), and It’s Murder She Says (Jones, 1945). The last cartoon was written in conjunction with W. Munro Leaf, the author of the children’s book Ferdinand the Bull. Geisel also worked with P.D. Eastman, later a UPA animator, on the Snafu series.

Geisel’s book Horton Hatches the Egg was adapted for the screen by Bob Clampett in 1942. The opinion seems fairly generally held that overall, Clampett did a fine job capturing the spirit and humor of the book, while tossing in a few Warner Brothers cartoon elements.

Geisel also worked with Jones on the beloved adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas in the 1960s, and with the DePatie-Freleng studio on a number of other adaptations from his books.

The author strongly suspects that Geisel worked in partnership with P.D. Eastman on the opening sequence of Plane Daffy (Tashlin, 1944), which relies on the same type of distinctive meter and clever rhyme for which Geisel was known. The style of the sequence certainly bears a remarkable resemblance to his work in Gripes and Spies.


Merrie Melodies theme song prior to “Merrily We Roll Along”.


The fat, jolly ghost voiced by Tex Avery in Ghost Wanted (Jones, 1940) sends the silent kiddie ghost a telegram -- saying simply “Boo!” -- on the letterhead of this telegraph company. It is a parody of The Postal Telegraph, a rival of Western Union which went out of business in the early forties.


Veterans in the post-World War II era were often convinced to buy homes with the promise of advantageous mortgage loans -- though probably with somewhat less pressure than Bugs uses to bamboozle the Sheriff of Nottingham in Rabbit Hood (Jones, 1949). It is also rather unlikely that such loans were used to finance palaces like the one built by the Caliph Hassan Pheffer (get it?) in A Lad in His Lamp (McKimson, 1948).


Character played by Hal Peary on radio in the 1930s and 1940s as a boisterous stuffed shirt on the Fibber McGee and Molly radio program, later striking out on his own program on NBC in 1941. The character, particularly his distinctive “heheheh” laugh, was parodied in the character of the floorwalker in Hare Conditioned (Jones, 1945).

Arthur Q. Bryan (the voice of Elmer Fudd) played Floyd the Barber, and Bea Benaderet also had a role on the show.


Model sheet maker and writer at the studio in the late 1930s and 1940s. Givens designed the model sheet for Bugs Bunny in A Wild Hare (Avery, 1940). He was also a layout man in the McKimson unit in the early 1950s.

Givens receives screen credit for the story in the Jones cartoons Little Lion Hunter (1939), Curious Puppy (1939), and The Egg Collector (1940).


Telephone number of the loan agency advertising money for your shotgun, paid for or not, in A Feud There Was (Avery, 1938).


Words very clearly lip-synched by an Indian whose head has just been plunked with an arrow in The Hardship of Miles Standish (Freleng, 1940).

(d. 1945)

The brilliant and twisted propaganda chief for Adolf Hitler, and essentially the boss of German cinema between 1933 and his suicide in the last days of World War II.

Göebbles can be seen in the last scene of Plane Daffy (Tashlin, 1944), along with Hermann Göering, both of whom declare that Hitler being a stinker is no military secret, and, realizing their mistake, kill themselves in a scene which is usually cut when shown today.

(d. 1946)

High-ranking Nazi and chief of the Lüftwaffe (German Air Force) in the 1930s and 1940s. He had been the successor to the Red Baron as a leader of one of the most famous German fighter groups of World War I. Sentenced to die by the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal, Göering effectively cheated the hangman by committing suicide.

His ponderous bulk and passion for showy uniforms and medals made him a natural target for cartoonists everywhere, with devastating effect. Göering starred opposite Bugs in Herr Meets Hare (Freleng, 1945) in a Fudd-like hunting role. (Ironically, Göering, who had been appointed Chief Reich Forester and Reich Master of the Hunt, once boasted to British ambassador Sir Neville Henderson that he had enjoyed a fine day of shooting, prompting Henderson to enquire whether he was referring to animals.) His dance with Bugs-as-Brünnhilde foreshadows the better-known, extremely similar scene in Whats Opera, Doc? (Jones, 1957), another cartoon written by Mike Maltese.

Hitler gives orders to a heavy, bemedaled individual in Scrap Happy Daffy (Tashlin, 1943) who, even though we do not see his face, is obviously meant to be Göering. Along with Mussolini and what appears to have been meant as a Hirohito caricature, Göering is seen next to a newsstand at which Private Snafu is purchasing magazines to read in the short Spies (Jones, 1943). Göering also makes a brief appearance along with Joseph Göebbels at the end of Plane Daffy (Tashlin, 1944).


One of the intermittent efforts over the years to establish good relations between the United States and various Central and South American nations. This particular effort was in the public eye during the 1940s, when in Mexican Joyride (Davis, 1948) quondam “Ugly American” Daffy Duck confronts a very angry Mexican bull he has been heckling, whom he asks to consider the Good Neighbor Policy.


Perrenial slogan for Maxwell House Coffee Advertisements. It is also the slogan printed on the parachute of the pilot bailing out of a plane in Ceiling Hero (Avery, 1940). The phrase appears in Lights Fantastic (Freleng, 1942), and again in Wild Wild World (McKimson, 1960).


Clarinetist known as “The King of Swing” whose combo was one of the leading big bands of the 1940s. Goodman is caricatured as The Pie-Eyed Piper in Book Revue (Clampett, 1946), and as Boney Goodman in Hollywood Canine Canteen (McKimson, 1946).


While the characters were originally conceived by Bob Clampett, the first cartoon featuring the pair, The Goofy Gophers (1947), wound up being directed by Arthur Davis. Clampett had finished recording the soundtrack, but animation had not been completed when he left the studio in 1945.

The characters were based partly on the super-polite Edward Everett Horton and Franklin Pangborn, including their rather “prissy” mannerisms, and also on Alphonse and Gaston, two early comic strip characters created by F.P. Opper who were also super-polite. Mel Blanc and Stan Freberg provided the characters’ voices.

The gophers have come to be known as “Mac ’n’ Tosh” -- apparently in a spoof of the Disney characters “Chip ’n’ Dale” -- but these names was never used in the classic era cartoons.


  • The Goofy Gophers (Davis, 1947)
  • Two Gophers From Texas (Davis, 1948)
  • A Ham in a Role (McKImson, 1949)
  • A Bone for a Bone (Freleng, 1951)
  • I Gopher You (Freleng, 1954)
  • Pests for Guests (Freleng, 1955)
  • Lumber Jerks (Freleng, 1955)
  • Gopher Broke (McKimson, 1958)


One of the early efforts by members of the Schlesinger studio to develop a lasting character. A relentlessly cheery musical dog who looks remarkably like the Disney Studio’s contemporary Goofy.


  • Goopy Geer (Harman-Ising, 1932)
  • Moonlight for Two (Harman-Ising, 1932)
  • The Queen Was in the Parlor (Harman-Ising, 1932)


Comic who played the Mad Russian on the Eddie Cantor radio show, his tag-line being “how doo you doo?” The dog in Hare Ribbin’ (Clampett, 1944) is based on this character.


Character in The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos (Tashlin, 1937). A parody of Grace Moore.


Perennial protector of Tweety and foil of Sylvester, seen almost exclusively Freleng’s Tweety versus Sylvester cartoons. Hare Trimmed (Freleng, 1953), a Bugs-Yosemite Sam-Granny flick, is a noteworthy and funny exception.

A prototypical Granny can be seen in Hare Force (Freleng, 1944) and earlier, in Hiss and Make Up (Freleng, 1943) alongside Tweety. An even earlier version -- with a thirst for gin, no less -- appears in Little Red Walking Hood (Avery, 1937).

During the Sylvester/Tweety period, Granny went through two basic forms. In the late forties and early fifties, she usually appeared in a blue dress, her hair done up in a bun. A typical example would be Canary Row (Freleng, 1950). Granny was gradually redesigned through the mid-to-late 1950s, with a larger face and glasses. It is in this form that she appears through the closure of the studio, in films such as like A Pizza Tweety Pie (Freleng, 1958).

Her voice was provided by a variety of actresses, including June Foray and Bea Bernaderet. Also providing the voice on occasion were Gege Pearson and Joan Gerber.

Filmography, all opposite Sylvester:

  • Cannery Row (Freleng, 1950)
  • Room and Bird (Freleng, 1951)
  • Tweety’s S.O.S. (Freleng, 1951)
  • Ain’t She Tweet (Freleng, 1952)
  • Gift Wrapped (Freleng, 1952)
  • Little Red Rodent Hood (Freleng, 1952)
  • Snow Business (Freleng, 1953)
  • Fowl Weather (Freleng, 1953)
  • Tom Tom Tomcat (Freleng, 1953)
  • A Streetcat Named Sylvester (Freleng, 1953)
  • Muzzle Tough (Freleng, 1954)
  • Sandy Claws (Freleng, 1955)
  • Red Riding Hoodwinked (Freleng, 1955)
  • Tweet and Sour (Freleng, 1956)
  • Tugboat Granny (Freleng, 1956)
  • Greedy for Tweety (Freleng, 1957)
  • A Pizza Tweety Pie (Freleng, 1958)
  • A Bird in a Bonnet (Freleng, 1958)
  • Trip for Tat (Freleng, 1960)
  • The Last Hungry Cat (Freleng, 1961)
  • The Jet Cage (Freleng, 1962)
  • Hawaiian Aye Aye (Chiniquy, 1964)


English-born actor who was the archetypal upper-class screwball comedian in films such as Topper, The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby and The Philadelphia Story. He later came to be a cool fixture in Alfred Hitchcock thrillers of the 40s and 50s. His distinctive diction is parodied in Hollywood Steps Out (Avery, 1941) in a brilliant little caricature, as he buys cigarettes from Greta Garbo. The Awful Truth, My Favorite Wife and The Front Page, which the character mentions, were all standout Cary Grant films.


An actor on the stage for many years who originated the role of Lutz the valet in The Student Prince, and worked with the Lunts for many years. Greenstreet made a memorable screen debut as the menacing Kasper Guttman in the 1941 film The Maltese Falcon, for which he received an Oscar nomination. He was a most effective villain -- his 300 pound bulk made his onscreen presence genuinely menacing, especially when teamed with the diminutive Peter Lorre.

Bugs Bunny literally bumps into Greenstreet in Slick Hare (Freleng, 1947) while fleeing from a cleaver-wielding Elmer Fudd.


Mythical beasties, “the little men who aren’t there”, allegedly responsible for “die-a-boll-lickal sab-o-tay-gee” in aircraft. While the Roald Dahl versions of the critters are probably best remembered -- he wrote a best-selling book about them while serving in the war -- variations on the characters go back to at least World War I. The critters took on a life of their own, and became part of the lore of World War II.

The Disney studio attempted to make a movie out of the Dahl book, but ultimately abandoned the project. Disney tried to urge other studios against working with his characters -- so of course, Robert Clampett went on to make two separate cartoons featuring Gremlins. First, he used a gremlin to battle Bugs, who, unusually, gets the worst of it in Falling Hare (1943). The title of the second cartoon was changed from Gremlins from the Kremlin to the somewhat less effective Russian Rhapsody (1944) before being released.

The gremlins in the latter cartoon are mostly caricatures of studio personnel, based partly on a Christmas card put out by T. Hee around 1936, up to and including studio head Leon Schlesinger as the gremlin with the little hammer. Other gremlins include Ray Katz, getting hit with a hammer, Mel “Tubby” Millar with a thumbtack for a head, Friz Freleng with a little green saw for a nose, Chuck Jones as a beefy off-white gremlin, and Henry Binder with a V-shaped hairdo. The gremlin in Falling Hare -- who, let us reiterate, is *not* Wendell Willkie -- has an elegant flying helmet/plane and tail design and a Benny Rubin-like laugh.


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The Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion is Copyright © 1996-1998
E. O. Costello. All rights reserved.