An Itch in Time

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An Itch in Time
Directed by Robert Clampett
Produced by Leon Schlesinger
Starring Sara Berner
Mel Blanc
Arthur Q. Bryan
Music by Carl W. Stalling
Edited by Treg Brown
Release dates
  • December 4, 1943 (1943-12-04)
Running time 8 minutes
Country United States
Language English

An Itch in Time is a 1943 Warner Bros. cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series, directed by Bob Clampett and starring Elmer Fudd and a dog which looks very similar to, if not a modified Willoughby the Dog. It is the only Elmer cartoon from 1943 to remain under copyright; the others, To Duck or Not To Duck and A Corny Concerto, are in the public domain.

The voice of A. Flea is uncredited and was provided by Sara Berner, except for the character screaming "T-Bone!" which was done by Mel Blanc. Blanc also performs the voice of the dog and the cat. As usual, Arthur Q. Bryan is the voice of Elmer.

A. Flea would make another appearance in 1947's A Horsefly Fleas, directed by Robert McKimson, in which the "A" in the flea's name is revealed to stand for "Anthony".

Plot synopsis[edit]

Elmer Fudd is laughing while lounging in his easy chair and reading his comic book, his dog comfortably nearby sleeping in front of the fireplace. All is peaceful until a flea comes bouncing by. (The flea is dressed in a farmer's-type outfit with a big straw hat and is carrying a satchel with the name "A. Flea" on it). He gets out his telescope and spots the dog. (We see a big shot of the dog's hind-quarters and the flea whistles in excitement, screaming "T-Bone!" and then singing "Food Around the Corner", which become a recurring theme throughout the cartoon.) The flea then begins to find a suitable portion of the dog for him to eat or work on, which in turn causes the dog to scratch and bite the flea. Elmer soon notices this and threatens to give the dog a bath if he witnesses him scratching again, which the dog promises not to do.

The flea continues searching for meat and uses pickaxes, jackhammers and even explosives while the dog tries to withstand the suffering pain, but finally yelps and runs around. After that Elmer advances on the dog, and carries him to the bathroom after getting a hold of him. However, the flea manages to get on Elmer, causing him to scratch, and the dog proceeds to carry Elmer and give him a bath. He promptly slips on a soap bar on the floor and lands in the kitchen sink. The flea soon carries the two away on a plate, labelled as a "Blue Plate special".

See Censorship for more details on the ending.

Credits[edit]

Supervision: Robert Clampett

Story: Warren Foster

Animation: Bob McKimson

Music: Carl W. Stalling

Censorship[edit]

  • The end gag where the cat shoots himself after seeing the flea carry Elmer and the dog on a platter has been cut on most TV airings, particularly on Cartoon Network (excluding The Bob Clampett Show broadcast), TNT, and TBS. Volume 3 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD series has this cartoon uncut.

External links[edit]