Took a walk and passed your house late last night

There are three silhouette gags in this cartoon, and while the third situation reveals itself to be less sinister than the shadow suggests, I still don’t know what exactly is going on there. Maybe that guy should be brought in for a psych evaluation just in case.

French impressionist

At first I thought the dog in this cartoon was doing basic blackface in front of the king, but it quickly became apparent that he was impersonating some foreign celebrity of the time. It’s not quite Maurice Chevalier, and it might not even be French? I don’t know. Maybe the dog is just bad at celebrity impressions.

But can she bake a cherry pie?

There’s a pretty good gag in this cartoon involving the raspberry jam making a “raspberry.” I started wondering why the derisive noise also known as a “Bronx cheer” came to be known as a raspberry, and I learned that it comes from Cockney rhyming slang. “Raspberry tart” = “fart.” Well, there you have it. Enjoy those tarts, everybody.

Listen to the mocking

I’ve never been able to resolve in my mind a story theme like the one in today’s cartoon. Is the moral that you should be grateful for what you have, or is it saying you shouldn’t strive outside of your station in life? I’m not going to make any headway with this any time soon, I don’t think. So let’s focus on something else in the cartoon: the cheerful song “Listen To The Mocking Bird.”

You may know it as a theme for The Three Stooges or Heckle & Jeckle. Upbeat, positive, a little goofy. “Listen to the mocking bird, listen to the mocking bird…”. And I always forget; what’s the next line?

“Oh, the mocking bird is singing o’er her grave.” What? That’s rather interesting. Apparently Abraham Lincoln liked it quite a lot, assessing it as “… sincere as the laughter of a little girl at play.” I guess little girls at play used to be a little more macabre than they are today. Fine; let’s go back to talking about the cartoon.

Okay. Why does the parrot get to sit uncaged in the living room while the canary is imprisoned? Isn’t the parrot more likely to cause injury to that old lady? Should I stop analyzing this cartoon? Yes, I think I should stop analyzing this cartoon.

Raspberry goose

Why is everybody in this picture so down on Mother Goose getting a little late night romance? Sheesh.

Cold pork, buns

When I look at a real rabbit, my first thought isn’t, “That looks like an animal that can ice skate.”

I still love you, Little King

I was a little thrown by the NRA gag in the middle of this Little King cartoon. From Wikipedia: “The National Recovery Administration was a prime New Deal agency established by U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) in 1933. The goal was to eliminate “cut-throat competition” by bringing industry, labor, and government together to create codes of “fair practices” and set prices. The NRA was created by the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) and allowed industries to get together and write “codes of fair competition.” The codes were intended to reduce “destructive competition” and to help workers by setting minimum wages and maximum weekly hours, as well as minimum prices at which products could be sold. The NRA also had a two-year renewal charter and was set to expire in June 1935 if not renewed.[1]” I’m guessing Van Beuren Studios didn’t hire union animators.

Anyway, the rest of the cartoon is pretty cute. The Little King is always cute. From Wikipedia, again: “…the comic strip often showed His Majesty pursuing a hobby, playing a children’s game, flirting with a pretty woman, or otherwise enjoying himself in an unkingly fashion while neglecting his ‘official’ duties.”

Oh geez. At least the Little King was cheerful and kind.

Wanna buy a duck?

It’s snowing on the blog again, which means it’s time for Christmas cartoons. Hooray! I think I get a lot of the old references here, though I’m not sure why Bing Crosby is a wind-up goat. I don’t understand the jack-in-the-box/bead toy “Why are you wearin’ the whiskers?” exchange, either. Anybody know what that’s about?

The drying-up season

I don’t know how things are where you live, but it seems like here in Los Angeles we went straight from summer to winter this weekend. I guess I’d better post this cartoon before it’s too late.

Hi, holidays!

I know I woke up at 7:45 of my own volition this Saturday morning, but I’ve never identified with Scrappy as much as in this cartoon. I’m ready for the holidays. I mean, not ready at all but ready as a child might be ready. But Thanksgiving is not until Thursday so I might need to go back to bed for a little bit as soon as I post this.

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