|Merrie Melodies (Elmer Fudd) series|
|Directed by||Tex Avery|
|Produced by||Leon Schlesinger|
|Story by||Jack Miller|
|Music by||Carl W. Stalling|
|Animation by||Paul J. Smith|
|Studio||Leon Schlesinger Productions|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
|Release date(s)||January 28, 1939|
|Running time||7 minutes 42 seconds|
Hamateur Night is a seven-minute animated short film released to theaters by Warner Bros. on January 28, 1939. Directed by Tex Avery and written by Jack Miller, the film was a part of the Merrie Melodies series produced by Leon Schlesinger and distributed by The Vitaphone Corporation. The premise of the film is rather simple; it features a vaudeville-style amateur talent night with a format that resembles the much later television program The Gong Show in that it features a judge who strikes a gong to stop the performance of any entertainer whom he deems bad. The primary character of this short is Egghead, a prototype of Elmer Fudd who lacks the speech impediment of the character he evolved into.
The cartoon entered the public domain in 1967 when its last rightsholder, United Artists Television (successor-in-interest to Associated Artists Productions), failed to renew the original copyright within the required 28-year period, and it is one of very few cartoons featuring any version of Elmer Fudd to achieve public domain status.
Showing tonight at a theatre is "Four Daughters with Selected Shorts". Throughout the performance, members of the audience do some miscellaneous gags while Egghead (as a running gag) keeps interrupting by singing "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" and getting dragged offstage. After a brief orchestra played by the conductor rather than the musicians, comes talented pianist Maestro Palawitski, but he instead inserts a nickel in the piano to play for him. For that, the performance judge rejects him. Next up is a divo penguin, but he too is rejected. Next, Hindumystic Swamiriver has his sword-through-the-basket act with Egghead as the volunteer, but Egghead doesn't emerge after the act. Next is the ballerina flea, Teeny-Tiny-Teensy-Tinny-Tinny-Tin reciting a high-pitched version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb", but she as well is rejected. For the next act, Fleabag McFoodle gives instructions to his highly trained dog, but he is nevertheless rejected. Then there is a Hamlet acting fox who is shunned by a member of the audience who throws tomatoes and is thus rejected. The closing act is the balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet played by a hen and a rooster, to which the rooster knocks out an obnoxious audience member who was constantly laughing throughout most of the animated short. Finally comes the final judging for the performers; to the announcer's surprise, it is Egghead himself who is picked by the audience, which is now composed of many Eggheads applauding.
- VHS - The Golden Age of Looney Tunes Vol. 3: Tex Avery
- DVD - The Golden Age of Looney Tunes Vol. 1, Side 3
- http://looney.goldenagecartoons.com/DVDvideo/PD/ "Looney Tunes in the Public Domain"