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Friday, February 07, 2014

Another Bid To Roast Daffy


That Wise-Quacking Duck (1943) On a Sugar High

This worries me: Four or five days ago, I watched The Wise-Quacking Duck, sat down to write about it, and remembered nothing. Now this is a Bob Clampett, from his peak period, and for me ... crickets. It's not an age issue --- I can't recall specific cartoons from childhood either --- while others more informed can cite where and what Saturday they first came across every duck, wise-quacking or no. Was it fact they were over in seven minutes and ladled out by dozens at a sit? OK, I've just watched again. Daffy is chased by a character called "Mr. Meek" (was this his only cartoon appearance?) and makes with enough topical reference to need a 40's pop culture thesaurus. That I like, especially for its acquainting me with deathless Jerry Colonna-speak like Greetings Gate, Let's Osculate! I've used Greetings Gate with latter-dayers and come off mostly peculiar, or deranged. When will civilians laud us for being able to retain and utilize archaic catch-phrases?

4 Comments:

Blogger Scott MacGillivray said...

Au reet, Jackson! Those ickies who don't dig your jive are way down cellar. Off the cob, but strictly.

Don't worry about your being "archaic." We know what you mean. After all, you can't have archaic and edit, too.

9:40 AM  
Blogger radiotelefonia said...

I used to watch this one for years on boradcasing stations in Argentina until around 1995 it went to Cartoon Network exclusive. The version in the Time-Warner channel was visually far better than the chained version I saw for years. But it had exactly the same annoying Spanish dubbed version used since the mid sixties that replace part of the original soundtrack that can be heard in the US version of Laurel & Hardy's TWO TARS, that was employed over and over again in those altered Mexican dubbings (in some of the Censored 11 shorts, the dubbing can be far more racist than in English!). Still, the cartoon manage to overcome those flaws and my favorite part is the strip tease scene.

9:52 AM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Donald Benson explains the background of "Mr. Meek":


"Mr. Meek" was a very specific riff on Wallace Wimple, a character on "Fibber McGee and Molly." The radio character was created by frequent cartoon voice Bill Thompson; but sort of doubt he voiced a parody/ripoff of his character here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Thompson_(voice_actor)#Wallace_Wimple

There were various one-offs where the main joke was a current movie or radio character. "Hare Conditioned" pits Bugs Bunny against a clone of another Fibber McGee character, The Great Gildersleeve (there's even a joke about sounding like the guy on the radio). My favorite is Clampett's "Tale of Two Kitties" with the brilliant Abbott and Costello cats. Perhaps a fear of legal action kept Meek, the cats and others from becoming regulars.

Foghorn Leghorn isn't a precise imitation of Senator Claghorn from "Allen's Alley", but Claghorn must have come up sometime during the writing of his first appearances. Mel Blanc was always pretty emphatic that he drew on other inspirations for the voice.

7:45 PM  
Blogger rnigma said...

Of course, Bill Thompson himself used his Wallace Wimple voice for Tex Avery's great creation, Droopy. Thompson didn't play Droopy in every cartoon featuring that character - Don Messick pinch-hit in "Northwest Hounded Police" and a few others.

In "Draftee Daffy," the "little man from the draft board" was based on a "Great Gildersleeve" character, Peavey the druggist (whose catch phrase "Well, now, I wouldn't say THAT" was used throughout).

2:06 AM  

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