Jittery Jester

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Jittery Jester
Woody Woodpecker series
Directed by Paul J. Smith
Produced by Walter Lantz
Story by Homer Brightman
Voices by Grace Stafford
Dal McKennon
Music by Clarence Wheeler
Animation by Robert Bentley
Lester Kline
Don Patterson
Studio Walter Lantz Productions
Distributed by Universal International
Release date(s) November 3, 1958 (U.S.)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 6' 19"
Language English
Preceded by Tree’s a Crowd
Followed by Tomcat Combat

Jittery Jester is the 88th animated cartoon short subject in the Woody Woodpecker series. Released theatrically on November 3, 1958, the film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal International.


A king, seated on the throne, says to official court jester Dapper Denver Dooley, "Make me laugh, jester." The jester does his best to comply, but his gags are old and stale, and they evoke no response from the king. The king goes to the window and sees Woody Woodpecker busy in a tree. Woody's antics so please the king that he laughs long and loud, and he orders Dooley to bring Woody to him, punctuating his demand by telling Dooley that should he fail, he would lose his head.

The jester, now on a horse, orders the drawbridge opened, and he starts out of the castle. A knight boat whistles for clearance, and the drawbridge quickly raises. Dooley and horse run smack into it. After a second time which lands Dooley in the moat, the horse laughs at Dooley's misfortune and earns him a sock in the jaw. The angry horse mutters, "Ooohhhh, I HATE him!"

The jester again tries and finally gets near the tree where Woody's located. Dooley, knowing that his job's at stake, has no desire to take Woody to the king, and he uses all kinds of tricks and devices to try to eliminate the competition. Woody outwits the jester; some of Dooley's tactics end up harming the king, who uses the line "Tain't funny, Dooley (a parody of a line from Fibber McGee and Molly, when Molly sometimes tells McGee, "Tain't funny, McGee"), and we finally see Woody, in the jester's costume, before the king, with Dooley clapped in the stocks. (In the previous scene, Dooley had hit what he thought was Woody with a mace, until Woody pointed out the outraged king. Upon discovery, Dooley bursts into tears.)

The king says to Woody, "Make me laugh, jester." Woody fulfills the King's request when he throws a soft, mushy pie into Dooley's face, punctuating it with the line, "This will be a good trick, when someone invents television!"

As we fade out, the king is really having a big laugh for himself.


  • Cooke, Jon, Komorowski, Thad, Shakarian, Pietro, and Tatay, Jack. "1958". The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia.