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Hidden Gags in Looney Tunes
and Merrie Melodies Cartoons

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Speaking Of The Weather
(Tashlin, 1937)

Note - this particular cartoon has alot of hidden stuff in the background - enough that I've devoted a whole page to it! The magazines in the backgrounds are full of silly titles and references to people at the studio.

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Names Appear...
[Select to see more]

Cover Stories   This pair of images are part of the fade-in to a rack of magazines. In the top picture the "True Story" magazine has an article entitled "The True Love Life of Charlotte". About this time there were at least 2 women named Charlotte at the studio: Charlotte Darling and Charlotte Langdon. This could refer to one of both of them - or someone else. My guess is Charlotte Darling because of the fact that her complete name appears in similar situations in elsewhere.
Now moving to the bottom picture, a mostly-obscured "West" magazine has the text "By Tobias Millar" on it. Melvin "Tubby" Millar was a writer in this film - this would appear to be his doing. Near the bottom is another magazine called "Liberty" with a headline across the top of it: "You can still have a fortune By Ray Katz". Katz was one of the studio managers. Now moving to just above "Liberty" there are a couple of articles with names: "Public Necker Number One - By Dorothy ???" and "Pick Up The Pieces - By Cornett White". Cornett was a background and layout artist. But who was Dorothy and did she how did she inspire that headline?

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Look Hugh's Here

Here's Hugh Herbert   A cartoon caricature of the actor Hugh Herbert is shown and in the text alongside, it mentions that he's "been featured in many screen hits including... the cartoon classic "Coo Coo Nut Grove". This was an actual Merrie Melodie cartoon released the previous year that featured Hugh Herbert along with many other Hollywood caricatures.

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More power!

What? A Dynamo?   A "Popular Mechanics" magazine has an article across it called "Dynamos in the Cartoon Studio". This might be another reference slipped in by Millar since the team at Portis High School was called the "Dynamos".
[Thanks to "D.K." for this info. His granddad played for the dynamos! ].

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More names   Along the red border of one magazine it looks like they have hidden the name "Heinrich Binder". An apparent reference to Henry Binder. And just above that there is an article you can only partly read: "ask Father Loome". This is almost certainly meant to be Loomer, as in Art Loomer. Art worked in the background department there.

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Darling!

There she is...   We now get a Charlotte Darling appearance as the author of an article "Love is a [something]" in a "Love Every Week" magazine.

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Home in Burbank

Burbank   A sign in the yard of the home shown on the cover of "Good Housekeeping" urges "Try your best to build in Burbank". Since Melvin Millar was obviously involved in many of the in-jokes in this film, this may be connected to a headline from I'm A Big Shot Now the previous year mentioning how he had just bought a home there.

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Keyhole View

Millar and Burbank   As the jailbird creeps by you can see on the magazine to the left a picture with the caption "A Chateau in Burbank". On the one to the right is the name "Tobias Millar" (again). Once again we have a connection between Melvin Millar and a home in Burbank!

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Astrology editor?   The "American Astrology" magazine is shown with an editor named "Hank Garner". Henry "Smoky" Garner was a popular cameraman and handyman around the studio.

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What a sport

Ray Katz, On Track.   The "Police Gazette" mentions an article called "Ray Katz's Sports Review" with another line mentioning "Broadcasts every day right from the track". Ray Katz was the Leon Schlesinger's business assistant and there were comments made over the years that Leon often was out at the racetrack...

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Sea Melvin

More Millar   The next "Millar" appearance is on the cover of "Sea Stories" where you find the almost melodious headline "The Marvelous Sea Voyages Of Melvin Millar".

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More Names

On the Cover   The copy of the book "The Thin Man" here has an author of "Dashall Hemlock" - a play on the name of a real author "Dashiell Hammett".
Then on the cover of "Detective Fiction Weekly" there are the names "Melvin Millar", "I Freleng", "Volney White" (an animator) and "R. Wolfe". According to the "Warner Bros. Cartoon Companion" Ralph Wolfe was a studio employee whose name was the inspiration for the "Ralph Wolf" character that faced Sam Sheepdog several years later. His name appears again later in this cartoon (see below).

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A Mystery?

Time for Vengence   Along the bottom of the cover of "Mystery Magazine" it mentions a story called "Vengence Of The In-betweeners". In-betweeners were the artists who created the animation drawings "in between" the ones the more senior animators drew.

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A Mystery?

More Name Dropping   In this scene there are the names of two people: Katherine Pierce is credited with writing a new novel on the cover of "Good Housekeeping" while another cover shows a story by Betty Burke called "Me and My Dog ???".

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A Mystery?

More Names!   On the cover of LIFE, we see the name "D'Igalo". There was an animator by the name of Joe D'Igalo who worked on this film.

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Cactus Cal

Novel idea   "Western Story" magazine proudly boasts that it has the "Complete Novel By Cactus Cal How'd". This would be reference to the animator/writer Cal Howard.

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Another editor   The magazine "American Golfer" has an editor by the name of "Ralph Wolfe". This is the second Ralph Wolfe appearance in this film!

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Showing Character   Note the magazine in the bottom left corner - it is named "Porky Pig".You do know who Porky is don't you? :)

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Burbank Shot   The city of Burbank appears one final time in the film as part of the magazine title "Hunting and Fishing in Burbank".

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And finally   At the end of the film the jailbird falls in front of an issue of "McCalls" with some names on it. They don't appear to be complete names but a couple of them might be identifiable. For example, "Ann Lee" is probably "Ana-Lee Camp". And as with the earlier appearance, "Charlotte" could possible be Charlotte Darling.






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