Warner Bros. Cartoons

Looney Tunes CartoonsBefore Hanna-Barbera destroyed cartooning, the animated arts were wonderfully entertaining, funny, eye-poppingly creative, and often clever.  Flipping through the channels today, we paused on The Cartoon Network in hopes that there might be something on that didn’t suck.  Nope. Old Reliable, that Cartoon Network. And what was the crap de jour? Scooby Dump. What. The. Hell.

It gave us pause and thus began a brief discussion on what cartoons we liked best. For his part, Barney waxed eloquent on pre-TV Warner Bros. We all had to agree. Warner Bros. put out some brilliant stuff. With talents like Chuck Jones, Mel Blanc, Tex Avery, Friz Freleng, and a host of many others, WB Looney Tunes were the usually at the top of mainstream cartooning.

As for the characters, Barney said that Daffy Duck (particularly ’40’s Daffy) was the best. With Porky Pig playing straight man to Daffy, Barney’s overall favorite short is Daffy Duck Slept Here (1945), directed by Robert McKimson. Too bad Hymie has such a brief cameo.

A similar theme was used in another Daffy Duck short. In A Pest In the House (1947), Daffy this time plays a porter on a mission to ensure an exhausted hotel guest gets the sleep he desperately needs. Elmer Fudd plays the hotel manager and becomes the recipient of the guest’s ire when his sleep is compromised by Daffy’s inherent ability to make a well-intended effort turn into a nightmare. The short is directed by Chuck Jones and voiced by **surprise** Mel Blanc. We wonder what Chuck had in mind when he decided to assign the guest to Room 666. Does this make Daffy the apocalyptic Beast?

Conrad the Cat

Looney Tunes CharactersOne character that we all really liked doesn’t get much attention and we think he should. Conrad The Cat was a bit player in just a handful of toons — all  in 1942 and all directed by Chuck Jones.  His credits are:

  • The Bird Came C.O.D.
  • Conrad the Sailor
  • Porky’s Cafe

What was fun about Conrad? He’s a lovable goofball. Not at all the brightest of chaps but he’s a happy hard-working sort, just going about doing his job. Unfortunately, in each episode, one of the other characters makes it impossible for him to do his job. In The Bird Came C.O.D., angry birds in magic hats foil the simple task of preparing a theater for a show. In Conrad the Sailor (one of the many, many, many wonderful WWII shorts WB put out), he’s foiled by Daffy Duck. In Porky’s Cafe, an ant in a pancake proves irritatingly difficult to deal with.

Conrad’s gait, nose rubbing, finger snapping, and guffawing were what gave him such affable charm. Whereas other characters had various dimensions to their personalities, Conrad was fairly simple: he was happy or he was frustrated. Of note: Pinto Colvig (the voice of Goofy over at the Disney stable), provided the voice for Conrad in Conrad the Sailor. The ubiquitous Mel Blanc pitched in for the other episodes. In Sailor, Conrad didn’t have many words, but we rather enjoyed hearing him sing “Shoving Right Off for Home:”

(“The Marine Song” lyrics by Al Dubin)
Over the sea, let’s go men
We’re shovin’ right off, we’re shovin’ right off again
Nobody knows where or when
We’re shovin’ right off, we’re shovin’ right off again
We’re leaving today It’s anchors aweigh
Sally and Sue don’t be blue
We’ll just be gone for years and years and then
We’re shovin’ right off for home
Shovin’ right off for home
Shovin’ right off for home again

So, without further ado, here are the three shorts for your viewing pleasure:

The Bird Came C.O.D.

Conrad the Sailor

Porky’s Cafe

Author: comicsagogo.com

We like comics. And we like music. And we like movies. Pop culture is our game! But we also have a serious side. Current events, history, and politics are a part of the Comics A-Go-Go experience and we hope you find interesting things to read and look at while you traverse our website pages.

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