Wednesday, September 05, 2007

:: who's yehudi? ::

greetings gates! let's operate!

so yes, i've done far too many posts as of late. but hey! when it rains it pours. and let me tell you it's no fun catching a terrier in the eye!

today i got to thinking of one of my favorite radio personalities....


when i got the last golden collection, i was watching the tash disk and in the plane daffy cartoon daffy turns around and all the sudden has bug eyes and says "ahh! something new has been added!" in a crazy voice:

Plane Daffy 1
Uploaded by thadk

then later looks into the fridge and makes another crazy comment. sometimes you'll see a guy talk with that voice with an incredible mustache. it's obviously a caricature. so of course my first thought was...


[my drawing signified end of flashback]

and he's hilarious.

early on he was in a string of b movies playing in a nightclub band and a general character [he was called the professor], then met up with bob hope and basically operated as his sidekick on his radio show 'till about '48 when he was replaced by doris day to apparently keep the show "fresh". although he was still on every USO tour with hope...

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oddly enough, there's a lot of references to colonna in that plane daffy cartoon and tashlin went on to direct the bob hope features...and guess who popped up in em from time to time?

he was also the voice of the march hare in alice and wonderland!

this website can give you the rundown far better than i, and i'd rather not step on their toes:

ol' bug eyes

plus you can hear one of his albums "music for SCREAMNIG!" because yes...he also played trombone. amazing. and you know in cartoons when characters hold the first note of a song seemingly forever before they start? yup that's his deal too!

a lot of the jokes in looney tunes came from radio. we think a lot of the humor today is "fast paced" but a lot of the humor of the thirties and 40's was based around fast talking and general confusion...i mean ever see groucho marx in action?!

for kicks here's another good show [also including colonna] that might enlighten you to a couple other jabs the warners took at pop icons:

the bob hope show: april 8th 1947

i just subscribed to this podcast [the link will open itunes and subscribe you]:

old time radio comedy podcast

it's all comedy radio shows from the 30's and 40's including the bob hope show [with colonna], you bet your life [groucho], red skelton, and abbot and costello.

i grew up on the movies these guys made and i still think it's far funnier than anything else out there! check it out, and listen for colonna! he's totally awesome!

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it's funny to me how the pop culture of a bygone era was able to become characterized in cartoons so vividly. and today the best we have to work with is referencing things. back then there were so many strong character actors that they made amazing caricatures, if not in likeness in action! the only ones i can really think of more recently are personalities like "pee wee herman," "mr. t,"or "mr. bean." television doesn't have strong characters as far as i can tell and sketch comedy is incredibly weak right now. know of any other good characters that might be worth caricaturing today?

someone strong enough that their bits or mannerisms could be understood without simply the likeness, like daffy using colonna's voice saying "something new has been added." it's tough!


Brendan Tobin said...

I've never heard of Jerry Colonna but he definitely looks awesome. He looks cool enough to become weirdly obsessed over. Enjoying the clips and tidbits, Smo, very informative and interesting blog.


CaveMatt said...

The problem is that there's too many pretty people in entertainment today. Pretty people are lazy entertainers. They just sit there at the angle they look prettiest from and try not to move or do anything to shatter that image. For really interesting character faces you gotta watch Coen Bros. or Seth Rogan movies and on TV you gotta watch Deadwood.

mikecarloooyeah said...

I wanted to comment a few days ago on that awesome mustached face you drew. I am glad to see a couple of people pushing their drawings to be weirder and weirder. Do you have a rough for this one? Or did you draw it straight. I tend to draw with more character when I draw straight and kind of mix in roughs in the process. Anyway awesome bear.
My only complaint- post more!

CartoonSteve said...

I know what you mean. Having just finished this animation, which was a struggle with the client wanting me to put name tags on everyone.

Its one thing for a celeb to be recognizable from their likeness, quite another for them to have strong enough mannerisms to caricature.