by E.O. Costello
- KAISER, HENRY J.
Industrialist who reached prominence in World War II for his ability
to mass-produce ships, cutting the time for building Liberty cargo
ships down to one day. His shipyards launched 1,490 vessels by the end
of the war. Hence the joke at the end of The Weakly Reporter (Jones, 1944) in which a sign on his office door at a shipyard reads “Out to Launch - Back in 10 Minutes”.
- KATZ, RAY
Along with Henry Binder, one of the managerial assistants to Leon Schlesinger.
Also Schlesinger’s brother-in-law -- which, according to Jones, was his
sole qualification for the job. He describes Katz as something of a
lunkhead, noting (among other things) that he would flip musical score
sheets in imitation of the way animators flip drawing sheets.
Katz produced some Looney Tunes in the late 1930s. Porky in Wackyland (Clampett, 1938) model sheets note that it was a Ray Katz production.
Katz, along with Binder, went on to run the Screen
Gems cartoon unit at Columbia in the late 1940s -- both of them had
left Warner Brothers after Schlesinger sold the studio in 1944 -- but
failed to turn that floundering studio around. It closed later that
Katz is caricatured in Nutty News (Clampett,
1942) as a man who demonstrates the use of a rear view mirror to
prevent his hat and coat from being stolen, only to lose his pants
instead. Katz is also referred to by the praying “Good Earth” figure in
Have You Got Any Castles? (Tashlin, 1937), and in the Katz School for Girls in Porky’s Double Trouble (Tashlin, 1937).
- KAYE, DANNY
Brooklyn-born comic with a taste for frantic, tounge-twisting
wordplay, especially Eastern European types, and shameless mugging.
Daffy Duck imitates him in Book Revue (Clampett, 1946). The wild dance routine Bugs Bunny does in Hot Cross Bunny (McKimson, 1948) owes something to Kaye, as well.
Ingenue who starred alongside Dick Powell in a number of Busby Berkeley musicals of the 1930s, including 42nd Street, Footlight Parade, and Flirtation Walk. Keeler was married for some years to Al Jolson.
Keeler is caricatured in The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos (Tashlin,
1937) as “Ruby Squealer”, though by this time she had left Warner
Brothers at the insistence of Jolson, who’d had a falling out with the
- “KEEP IT UNDER FORTY”
Slogan used by the government in World War II
in an effort to limit fuel and tire consumption during the war by
placing a national speed limit on the nation’s roads. See also Gasoline Rationing. The slogan is used in the closing gag of The Daffy Duckaroo (McCabe, 1942).
- KENDALL, CYRUS
Hames Ware, in Animato! #28, puts forth the thesis that this Hollywood character actor provided the rich, resonant voice of the Spider in Meatless Flyday (Freleng, 1943), contrary to previous identifications of the voice as that of Tex Avery.
Radio station owned by Warner Brothers which began broadcasts in
1925, and was sold in October, 1950. It has been alleged that the
father of the Warner Brothers gave the station these letters, stating
that they stood for “Keep Fighting Warner Brothers”. (For more
information, see Hollywood Be Thy Name: The Warner Brothers Story by Cass Warner Sperling and Cork Millner.) In numerous cartoons of the 1930s, and even as late as Catty Cornered (Freleng,
1953), when characters speak into a radio microphone, it is usually
emblazoned with these letters. Cartoons featuring KFWB include: A Feud There Was (Avery, 1938) when the hillbillies sing their song, The Penguin Parade (Avery, 1938) during the Bon Crispy number, Bedtime for Sniffles (Jones, 1940) announced on the radio, Fresh Airedale (Jones, 1945), and others.
“KILLROY WAS HERE”
Bugs Bunny believes himself to be the first living creature ever to set foot on the moon in Haredevil Hare (Jones, 1948), blissfully unaware of this phrase scrawled on a nearby moon rock.
The phrase came from graffiti used by GIs around the world during
World War II. It could be found on fences and buildings all over
Europe. The origin is reportedly a U.S. Army sergeant who, after
checking equipment, would write on it “Kilroy was here”. Usually, it
was accompanied by a little peeking, bulbous-nosed figure.
- KING, JACK
Along with Tom Palmer and Earl Duvall, one of a group of largely forgotten (and frankly, forgettable) directors in the three year period between the departure of Harman and Ising and the formation of the first “Termite Terrace” unit of Tex Avery.
King directed ten Buddy cartoons and some of the early Porky/Beans/Ham
and Ex cartoons between 1933 and 1936. When King left to return to the
Disney studio, he was replaced by Frank Tashlin.
King had also put in stints at the Bray and Hearst
studios in the teens and twenties, in addition to his stints at Warner
Brothers and Disney.
- KNIGHT-MARE HARE
Jones cartoon of 1955 in which Bugs, á la “Connecticut Yankee
in King Arthur’s Court” (which Jones would do many years later), is
sent back to Camelot as a result of a blow to the head. Bugs refers to
his pals Sir Duke of Ellington, Sir Count of Basie, and Sir Earl of
Hines. Proof positive that he is indeed a hep cat.
- KOHLER, CARL
Story writer at Warner Brothers in the 1960’s. Credits include Quackodile Tears (with John Dunn for Davis, 1962) and Martian Through Georgia (with Chuck Jones for Jones, 1962).
- KRAMER, PHIL
Hames Ware, in Animato! #31, identifies Kramer as a voice great who did the voice of the Cuckoo -- comprising one line -- in Porky’s Hotel (Clampett, 1939). Ware does not provide any further information on this person.
Austrian-born master of the violin. A brother of Owl Jolson who is talented with the violin is called by his father Dr. Fritz Owl “another Kreisler”.
- KRUPA, GENE
Noted drummer of the big-band era. A good caricature of him can be seen in Book Revue (Clampett, 1946), as the character out of “Drums Along the Mohawk”. Note the “GK” monogram on the drums.
- KYSER, KAY
Popular bandleader on radio who also appeared in a handful of films. Known for his semi-game show on radio, the Kollege of Musical Knowledge. If
a contestant did not know an answer to a question, his call of
“Students!” would bring the answer from the studio audience. Another
catch-phrase associated with Kyser was “That’s right, youre wrong!”
when a contestant gave a wrong answer, as used in Slap Happy Pappy (Clampett, 1940).
Caricatures of Kyser appear in Hollywood Steps Out (Avery, 1941) with his cry of “Students!” after seeing the Sally Rand bubble dance, Africa Squeaks (Clampett, 1940) as “Cake Icer”, and Malibu Beach Party (Freleng, 1940) confirming the Spencer Tracy question: “Miss Livingston, I presume?”. The caricature of him as Kanine Kyser in Hollywood Canine Canteen (McKimson, 1946) parodies his trademark cheery “Evenin’ folks, how y’all?” greeting.