Thursday, January 28, 2010

016 Hamateur Night

Title: Hamateur Night
Studio: Warner Brothers
Date: 1/28/39
Fred Avery
Story by
Jack Miller
Paul Smith
Musical Direction
Carl W. Stalling
Series: Merrie Melodies
Running time (of viewed version): 7:42

Synopsis: Various shenanigans occur at an amateur talent night.

Comments: The amateur night in vaudeville may actually have survived more than regular vaudeville; few specialize in vaudeville style stage acts, but people amateur it up all the time (see, for example, Evening at the Apollo). Here, the MC sounds oddly like David Lander (Squiggy/the lead Weasel in Roger Rabbit). I think this type of amateur night may have been more connected with movies tho, based on the marquee, which doesn't even mention the amateurs. And vaudeville was largely dead by this point. The premise (yet another show biz based one) is a good excuse for a bunch of largely unconnected gags, aka Tex Avery's specialty. The painted crowd members look abnormally wooden; I think they're too brightly colored. They still look tasty, just inappropriate. Egghead is very unlikeable. And an audience which inexplicably turns into eggheads at the end shoves a bit more unlikeability at the audience than is wise. THe line "Look at my feet, they're all crooked and everything" is delivered in a very funny manner. The Katherine Hepburn chicken gets felt up like Princess Leia on Endor; that's not a cheater screen either, it lingers. And then she gets shot for laughing like a jackass. Very much in spite of Egghead, this is a good cartoon.

This marks being slightly more than 10% through the cartoons of 1939, and the month isn't even done yet. Which makes January above average in terms of releases. I guess they didn't take much vacation time over the holidays...

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