Cartoon Network is running old Warner Bros. cartoons again. I can’t believe how much I love and laugh out loud at Bugs Bunny, Tweety, Foghorn Leghorn and the rest. Last night, Foghorn was babysitting the little egg-head kid with the big glasses who challenged and demolished every project and game with his science, slide-rule and calculations. Like hide and seek. Foghorn hides in the feed bin. Egg-head uses his slide-rule, scribbles some equations, digs a hole and pops out Foghorn. Foggie goes back to the feed bin and starts to open it then says, “No, I might still be in there.”
I have nothing against cartoons these days. Though some are completely stupid, quite a lot are funny and wonderful and very worth watching. The quality of Looney Toons cannot be underestimated though. We heard opera for crying out loud! We learned to recognize a great deal of classical music from those cartoons, even if we couldn’t name it or the composer. At first glance it seems that humor is based solely on misfired guns, TNT gags, falling off cliffs, frying pans to the face and other violence. In fact a great deal of the true humor in Looney Toons is created through puns, spoonerisms, witty banter and the really clever uses of dialogue and song lyrics.
Sir Loin of Beef, Earl of Cloves, Baron of Munchausen, Milk of Magnesia,
Quarter of Ten . . .
(Rabbit Hood, 1949)
Rabbit au gratin du jour under tubed leather. Drool Drool!
(Rabbit Fire, 1951)
Keep your eye on the ball- Eye! Ball! Eyeball! That's a joke, son.
(The Foghorn Leghorn, 1948)
Promenade across the floor. Sashay right on out the door. Out the door and into the glade and everybody promenade.
Step right up you're doing fine. I'll pull your beard you'll pull mine. Yank it again like you did before. Break it up with a tug of war.
How many of us can quote dozens of lines from Looney Toons? I’m willing to bet, most of us who grew up on them.
I never want to reach a point where I can’t laugh out loud at Wile E. Coyote and Sylvester the Cat.
I just wish I had a better knowledge of all that music!