Saturday, June 5, 2010

074 Believe It Or Else

Title: Believe It or Else
Studio: Warner Bros.
Date: 6/03/39
Fred Avery
Story by
Dave Monahan
Virgil Ross
Musical Direction
Carl W. Stalling
Series: Merrie Melodies
Running time (of viewed version): 8:38

Synopsis: A series of unrelated gags with Egghead running through several of them, tied together as Believe it Or Not style film making.

Comments: The pre-title cards in this look different; "Warner Bros." is heavily outlined, unlike the available non-Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies before and after this cartoon. This cartoon is based on Robert L. Ripley's "Believe It... Or Not" series, an illustrated newspaper feature and a series of film shorts (you can get the film shorts from the Warner Archive) and radio programs (which you can get hundreds of from ), known best by me through books as a kid and the Jack Palance hosted series, known perhaps to some of our younger readers by the awful Dean Cain incarnation. It gives a good excuse for a bunch (15 or so) of unrelated gags. Buck Dodgers is obviously a Buck Rogers reference. Egghead still sucks. There's a group of three singers; I'm not sure if they're meant to be specific. Egghead's voice reminds me of someone, but I'm not sure who. A little like Dr. Girlfriend, but that's not really it...


  1. For whatever reason, Schlesinger switched over the opening title grapics from "Vitaphone" to "Warner Bros." in 1939, and there are a handful of LT and MM cartoons with the 'parchment/scroll' opening graphic, which does come across as a wee-bit too high-falutin' pretentious for the direction the studio was headed in. Avery's "Detouring America" later in the year is the first cartoon to feature the familiar opening WB type style.

    As for Egghead, his annoyingness is mitigated slightly when Tex ends the cartoons by sawing him in half, or getting eaten by a lion as in "A Day At the Zoo", so even Avery knew what the audience wanted to see at the iris out.

  2. I suspect the "parchment/scroll" was simply placed over the original "Vitaphone" title card until the artists created a new card with "Warner Bros." on it. In other words, a quick fix.

  3. As for the Egghead voice, it's Joe Penner (imitated, of course(. The title is a bit startling compared to the variant, on, say, "Hare-Um Scare-Um". Both were used alternately, thru 1939.

  4. PS Never heard of Dr.Girlfriend. [blah]