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



In The Ducktators (McCabe, 1943) the Japanese duck tries to escape getting whacked by a furious turtle by displaying a button, marked “made in Japan”, with the phrase “I am Chinese” on it. The turtle does not believe the button and proceeds to pummel the duck.

The gag has a bitter, ironic twist, as it is intimately connected with the prejudice suffered by many Japanese-Americans during the war who were forcibly relocated, losing their land, homes, and businesses. Chinese were often mistaken for Japanese, and suffered right along with them in the generally xenophobic atmosphere which broke out after the war started; hence these buttons really did appear.


Line used by the Marian Jordan character Teeny on the Fibber McGee and Molly radio show to annoy the Fibber McGee character. The phrase is used numerous times in cartoons from the 1930s, for example by the little Indian in Sioux Me (Hardaway/Dalton, 1939) and, in a manner rather like the original, by the obnoxious little goose in Porky’s Hotel (Clampett, 1939).


One of the catch-phrases on the pseudo game/panel show It Pays to Be Ignorant, which first aired in 1942. Usually this phrase, associated with panelist Harry McNaughton, would be preceeded by a burst of laughter following a bad joke. Oddly, the exact same gag is used in The Penguin Parade (Avery, 1938) by the little penguin who is told the joke about the two old mules in the Army by a jolly, Avery-voiced walrus.


Spoken rapidly and excitedly, the tagline of Al Pearce’s Elmer Burt, a timid salesman character on his radio program. The wolf in Little Red Walking Hood (Avery, 1937) gives one a pretty good idea of how the line was used.


Mysterious element that crops up in various Jones cartoons, be it the Illudium Pew-36 Explosive Space Modulator so beloved by Marvin Martian -- spelling taken from the bar sheet for Hare-Way to the Stars (1958), or Illudium Phosdex, the Shaving Cream Atom, the supply of which is dangerously low, meaning that Duck Dodgers in the 24-1/2th Century must be called in to save the day.


Line associated with Lou Costello and used in quite a few Warner Brothers cartoons, usually following some act of child-like mischief. Examples include:

  • Trap Happy Porky (Jones, 1945): one of the Hubie/Bertie-like mice says the line after skillfully robbing a rat trap
  • Russian Rhapsody (Clampett, 1944): a tiny Gremlin says this after violently shattering airplane instruments with a hammer
  • One Meat Brawl (McKimson, 1947): Grover Groundhog says the line to Porky after he discovers that Grover has been feeding him lines
  • Baseball Bugs (Freleng, 1946): one of the ancient batters for the Tea Totallers says he is only 93 1/2 years old
  • Baby Bottleneck (Clampett, 1946): a bawling hippo says that he is only 3 1/2 seconds old


Little African character, created by Chuck Jones, who appeared in a handful of cartoons between 1939 and 1950. Inki would usually be hunting some animal, all the while being stalked by a mysterious, inscrutable minah bird, hopping along to the tune of the “Fingal’s Cave” theme from Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture. These cartoons are rarely seen today, partly for fear -- ungrounded, in my view -- that the depiction of the character is racist in nature. Inki is a very neutral character, really quite inoffensive.

Inki and the Minah Bird (1943) features exceptional animation by Shamus Culhane.

Filmography, all directed by Jones:

  • Little Lion Hunter (1939)
  • Inki and the Lion (1941)
  • Inki and the Mihah Bird (1943)
  • Inki at the Circus (1947)
  • Caveman Inki (1950)


Radio suspense show of the 1940s which often featured tense, moody music. Its opening sequence featured an organ mysterioso, followed by the sound of a squeaking door. Hence the comment of Bugs Bunny on the moody music accompanying the opening shots of the abandoned house in Racketeer Rabbit (Freleng, 1946): “sounds like Inner Sanctum!”.


Character in The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos (Tashlin, 1937) based on Irwin Cobb.


Stage name of Merwyn Bogue, a member of the Kay Kyser band, who was used as a deadpan stooge for some of Kyser’s jokes. The character is turn caricatured very well in Hollywood Canine Canteen (McKimson, 1946) as “Ish Kapoodle”, doing the one about the skunk college, P.U.

(b. 1903)

Interesting journeyman animator during the formative years of big-studio animation. Ising started out at Disney in the mid-1920s, eventually leaving partly because of his habit of falling asleep on the job. In 1929 he teamed up with Hugh Harman to produce a pilot film featuring Bosko, which won them the financial backing of Leon Schlesinger to produce cartoons for Warner Brothers distribution starting in 1930.

Between 1930 and 1933, Harman and Ising developed both the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series. Ising focused mostly on the Merrie Melodies. These early series set the stage for the later success of the studio. Sharing the ambitions of Harman for higher-budget work -- an ambition that Schlesinger did not support -- Harman and Ising broke with Schlesinger and moved to MGM, where the two worked until the early 1940s. Ising joined the 18th Air Force Base Unit (First Motion Picture Unit) as a major, helping produce animation for the war effort during World War II.

Ising appears briefly in live action for the pilot film, Bosko The Talk-Ink Kid (1929).


Slogan often seen during World War II in an effort to convince people to save gas. See entry for Gasoline Rationing.


According to an interview Bob Clampett gave in 1970 for Funnyworld #12, this was the intended title of his first cartoon. It ended up being called Porky’s Badtime Story (1937). Clampett indicated that the title, a spoof of the 1934 movie title It Happened One Night, was rejected as being too risqué.


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This page was originally maintained by Stephen Worth. Thanks to John K. for funding its production. Preserved by Kip Williams and restored in 2014 by Harry McCracken.
The Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion is Copyright © 1996-1998 E. O. Costello. All rights reserved.