Curtain Razor

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Curtain Razor
Looney Tunes (Porky Pig) series
Directed by I. Freleng
Produced by Edward Selzer
(uncredited)
Story by Tedd Pierce
Voices by Mel Blanc
Stan Freberg
(uncredited)
Music by Carl Stalling
Animation by Manuel Perez
Ken Champin
Virgil Ross
Pete Burness
Layouts by Hawley Pratt
Backgrounds by Paul Julian
Studio Warner Bros. Cartoons
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) May 21, 1949 (1949-05-21)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7 minutes
Language English

Curtain Razor is a 1949 Looney Tunes short directed by Friz Freleng and starring Porky Pig. It is notable as a showcase of the voice talent of Mel Blanc.

Plot[edit]

An operatic tenor voice and piano music for the Act III Prelude from Richard Wagner's opera Lohengrin accompany the opening credits and earth-shaking scene as hopeful stage talents wait outside the office of Goode and Korny: Talent Agents. While singing, the voice boasts of his previous experience in other venues. The voice turns out to belong to a tiny grasshopper, who ends his performance with Blanc's trademark pronunciation of "Cuc-amonga". Porky, who is the agency's producer and listening to the auditions, tells the grasshopper he might have a spot for him. The rest of the short consists of a series of acts by various performers, most of whom Porky rejects.

  • A hen (who bears a resemblance to Disney's Clara Cluck) clucks Blue Danube. Porky seems to like this act, but the hen literally "lays an egg" and takes this event in its figurative sense in that her act flopped ("So I laid an egg!"). Porky agrees by pulling a lever next to his desk that sends the hen and the egg with a sad looking chick (who resembles Tweety) in it through a trap door in the floor.
  • A fox, voiced by Stan Freberg, bursts in telling Porky that his act is the best ever, but Porky tells him that it's not his turn yet.
  • A turtle resembling Cecil Turtle but with Blanc's voice says he is the "man of a 1000 voices." He goes through a rapid fire montage of voice impressions (including Lionel Barrymore, Senator Claghorn, Bugs Bunny, and Jimmy Durante). Porky says that he counted only nine hundred ninety nine voices. The turtle is stumped as to what his 1000th voice is and exits the office hoping that he'll remember it later (a similar character is Ken Terry in Noah Byrd's Series).
  • Bingo the Parrot, Frankie the Rooster, and Al the Duck (resembling Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Al Jolson, respectively[1]) sing the popular hit song April Showers, each in the distinctive manner of their namesakes. Porky tells them that he'll consider their act but says after they leave that it was a low class act that only bobbysoxers would like (ironically, Porky has his socks rolled down to his ankles).
  • A two-headed man enters the office. Porky quotes "Oh boy two-headed! This ought to be a sensational act!" The two-headed man quotes "Act, Shmact! I'm the janitor" as he empties Porky's pail into another pail and leaves.
  • The fox barges into the office again, telling Porky to watch his act. Porky tells him to go back out and wait his turn.
  • A dog in a bathing suit named J. Fenton Hadding places his briefcase on the floor. It turns out to be an elevated platform that the dog rides through the office skylight 500 feet into the air. The dog then dives into a glass of water that he is holding in his hand (describing his whole act throughout). Porky sends the dog, stuck in his water glass, down the trap door.
  • Crawford Coo (a man in a circus ringmaster's outfit) has a trained pigeon act. He sets up various pigeon-sized acrobatic equipment and releases the pigeons from a box, but the pigeons fly out the window. Crawford tries tap dancing instead, but Porky sends him down the trap door (the gag is repeated in Show Biz Bugs).
  • The fox bursts in again. Porky sends him down the trap door.
  • A shaggy dog enters. Porky thinks it's a dog act, but the dog hands him a business card, announcing that he is the Itch and Scratch Flea Circus. The dog blows a whistle and fleas hop from his back to build a tiny circus tent and carnival midway, then dismantle it when the dog blows the whistle again. The music played here is the Wackyland Rubber Band music featured in the shorts Tin Pan Alley Cats and Dough for the Do-do.

Finally, it is the fox's turn to do his act. He dons a devil's costume and swallows atomic powder, TNT, gasoline, and finally, a lit match. BOOM! Porky thinks the act is terrific, but the fox (now a transparent ghost) comes through the office door and says that there is only one tiny problem with the act: he can only do it once! (The same gag and punch line would be recycled near the end of the 1957 cartoon Show Biz Bugs, only with Daffy Duck blowing himself up.)

Availability[edit]

Curtain Razor is available uncut and digitally remastered on Looney Tunes Super Stars' Porky & Friends: Hilarious Ham DVD release.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Curtain Razor". www.bcdb.com, August 31, 2013

External links[edit]