by E.O. Costello
Situs of Illudium Phosdex, the Shaving Cream Atom. Since supplies on
Earth are alarmingly low, Secretary of the Stratosphere Dr. I.Q. Hi
sends the title character of Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century (Jones,
1953) to the planet to claim it in the name of the Earth. Since Mars
has also sent an expedition to claim the planet, a war breaks out which
destroys the planet and its hauntingly beautiful, X-filled landscape,
with X-shaped clouds, yet. Kudos to Phil De Guard and Maurice Noble.
X-2, COMMANDER OF FLYING SAUCER
The only name by which “Marvin” the Martian was ever identified
onscreen in the Classic era. It shows up on the instructions he is
given in Hasty Hare (Jones, 1952).
One of the key players in the Japanese war effort of World War II.
Yamamoto, who studied at Harvard and had been a naval attache in
Washington, was Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet, and the
architect of the raid on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941. For all that,
Yamamoto had grave misgivings about the war. He stated that “if
hostilities break out between Japan and the United States, it would not
be enough that we take Guam and the Philippines, nor even Hawaii and
San Franscisco. To make victory certain, we would have to march into
Washington and dictate the terms of peace in the White House.”
American propagandists got a hold of this phrase, and twisted it into a
boast that Yamamoto would dictate the terms of peace in the White
House. This is reflected in Tokio Jokio (McCabe,
1943), in which a character -- not an accurate depiction -- makes the
above statement as a boast, followed by a shot of the room reserved for
the Admiral, which has an electric chair.
Irnoically, Yamamoto was already dead by the time the cartoon was
released on May 15, 1943. One month earlier, on April 18, 1943,
American long-range fighters, tipped off by code-breakers, ambushed the
plane carrying Yamamoto, killing him. In a major intelligence failure,
the Japanese failed to catch on that the Americans were deciphering
many of their codes, much to the relief of the American high command.
His death was not publicly revealed until Radio Tokyo made the
announcement on May 21, 1943, a week after the cartoon was released.
Catch-phrase of Jerry Colonna. This originated in a gag involving the violinist Yehudi Menuhin and an appearence by him on the Bob Hope
radio show, on which Colonna was a supporting player. Wertheim
describes the origin of the gag: Colonna, apparently not knowing who
Yehudi was, asked the cast of the radio show, who didn’t know either.
The search for the mythical Yehudi became a running gag and eventually
a popular song. Yehudi references can be seen in Hollywood Steps Out (Avery, 1941) in which an invisible figure is sitting next to Colonna and is identified by Jerry as Yehudi, and in Farm Frolics (Clampett, 1941) in which an owl says “Who’s Yehudi?”. Another reference comes in Crazy Cruise (Avery/Clampett, 1942), in which an invisible battleship, the S.S. Yehudi, is seen. There is also the Club Yahoodi in Lights Fantastic (Freleng, 1942), which does not have much of anything.
A fairly recent episode of the PBS series Nova, I
have been informed, discussed a so-called “Project Yehudi” from the
World War II era involving camouflage schemes for ships, which gives
the Crazy Cruise gag an interesting twist.
Dynamic, short-tempered antagonist, usually of Bugs Bunny, who featured prominently in a number of classic Friz Freleng
shorts. There is some speculation that Sam was based on Freleng
himself, both being short, red-haired chaps with volatile tempers.
Freleng himself seems to have been equivocal as to whether he was the
model for the character. Mike Maltese originally considered calling the
character Texas Tiny, Wyoming Willie, or Denver Dan, before settling on
the final name.
While Sam had a wide variety of roles -- including
desert sheik, prison guard, English lord, and shifty small town mayor
-- his two best known roles were as Western outlaw, which was his
metier in his first few cartoons, and as a pirate in some of the finest
entries in the Bugs Bunny series. Interestingly, the Freleng unit
maintained his black mask, even in roles that did not require it.
Freleng developed the character as an alternative to
Elmer Fudd, who he felt did not provide enough of a challenge to Bugs.
The southern sheriff in Stage Door Cartoon (Freleng, 1944) can
be considered something of a “dry run” for the character. Mel Blanc has
pointed out that while the voice is based on a Texas accent, the name
derives from a National Park in California.
The second cartoon to feature the character, Along Came Daffy (Freleng, 1947) introduces a black-haired twin brother to Sam.
Filmography, all Freleng, except where noted:
- Hare Trigger (1945)
- Along Came Daffy (1947)
- Buccanner Bunny (1948)
- Bugs Bunny Rides Again (1948)
- High Diving Hare (1949)
- Mutiny on the Bunny (1950)
- Big House Bunny (1950)
- Bunker Hill Bunny (1950)
- Rabbit Every Monday (1951)
- The Fair Haired Hare (1951)
- Ballot Box Bunny (1951)
- Fourteen Carrot Rabbit (1952)
- Hare Lift (1952)
- Southern Fried Rabbit (1953)
- Hare Trimmed (1953)
- Captain Hareblower (1954)
- Sahara Hare (1955)
- This is a Life? (1955)
- Roman Leigon Hare (1955)
- Rabbitson Crusoe (1956)
- A Star is Bored (1956)
- Pikers Peak (1957)
- Knighty-Knight Bugs (1958)
- Hare-Abian Nights (Harris, 1959)
- Wild and Wooly Hare (1959)
- Horse Hare (1960)
- From Hare to Heir (1960)
- Lighter Than Hare (1960)
- Prince Violent (Freleng/Pratt, 1961)
- Shishkabugs (1962)
- Devis Feud Cake (1963)
- Dumb Patrol (Chiniquy, 1964)
“YOU BWOKE MY WIDDLE !”
Catch-phrase of Red Skelton’s character known as Junior, the Mean Widdle Kid.
In Warner Brothers cartoons, the phrase is usually connected with a
little character overreacting to some physical stimulus. Examples can
be found in Ain’t That Ducky (Freleng, 1945), The Impatient Patient (McCable, 1942), Birdy and the Beast (Clampett, 1944), Ballot Box Bunny (Freleng, 1951), and Case of the Missing Hare (Jones, 1942), among others.
“YOU NAAHSTY MAN!”
One of the tag lines of Joe Penner. A modified version is used by Porky in Ali Baba Bound (Clampett, 1940), as “You naahsty spy!”
Japanese fighter aircraft of World War II manufactured by
Mitsubishi. The name derives from the fact that it was designed in the
2,600th year of the Nipponese dynasty, which is to say 1940. A highly
efficient fighter, it was not matched by any Allied aircraft until well
into the Pacific war. The spider in Meatless Flyday (Freleng,
1943) as he is going down in flames -- the result of a multiple hotfoot
administered by his prey, a fly -- laughingly exclaims that he is a