The Ducksters

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The Ducksters
Looney Tunes (Daffy Duck/Porky Pig) series
The Ducksters Title.jpg
The title card of The Ducksters.
Directed by Charles M. Jones
Produced by Edward Selzer
(uncredited)
Story by Michael Maltese
Voices by Mel Blanc
Music by Carl Stalling
Animation by Lloyd Vaughan
Ken Harris
Phil Monroe
Ben Washam
Layouts by Robert Gribbroek
Backgrounds by Peter Alvarado
Studio Warner Bros. Cartoons
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) September 2, 1950 (USA)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7 minutes
Language English

The Ducksters is a Warner Bros. Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon short animated in 1949 and released in 1950. It was directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese. The title is a pun on The Hucksters, a 1947 film.

Synopsis[edit]

Porky Pig is on a radio quiz show called Truth or AAAAHHH!!, a parody of the popular quiz show Truth or Consequences hosted by Daffy Duck, sponsored by "Eagle Hand Laundry" ("If your eagle's hands are dirty, we'll wash them clean!"), and broadcast by the Ajax Broadcasting Company, in which the object is to answer near-impossible questions, such as "Who, mind you WHO, was the referee for the New Zealand heavyweight championship fight in 1726?" (oddly, Porky actually knew it was "Arbuckle Dreen," and even knew that Dreen's Second Grade teacher was "Abigail Twitch"). Failing to answer the other questions required him to "pay the penalty" (for instance, when Daffy asks who was the father of his country, Porky states that the answer is simple, but his stuttering prevents him from answering "George Washington" in time). These penalties include Porky being crushed by the Rock of Gibraltar, rained upon by Niagara Falls, tied up and blown up with dynamite, pounded with a mallet, threatened by a buzz saw, crushed by a safe, and other forms of abuse, to Daffy's amusement.

Eventually, after a particularly snide line from Daffy ("listen, Mac; You got 32 teeth, would you like to try for 16?," a play on the then-popular game Take it or Leave It), Porky threatens to retaliate, forcing Daffy to offer his final challenge for a huge jackpot, Porky must guess who Miss Shush is with is only clue being hearing a recording of her brushing her teeth on Wednesdays, Porky fails to answer correctly (obviously) but is invited into Miss Shush's dressing room to meet her, but it's revealed by Daffy to be his final torture; Miss Shush is really Mamie, a 600 pound gorilla who appears in Obnoxious Pictures' "Jungle Jitters", proceeds to maul Porky. Porky eventually emerges and advances on Daffy menacingly, and Daffy finally gives in: awarding Porky the jackpot of 26 million dollars and three cents. Porky immediately contacts the Ajax Broadcasting Company and contacts the president and, upon learning that they will sell for the exact amount of the jackpot, buys it out.

Now Daffy's boss, Porky takes over the quiz show and then asks Daffy: "in what latitude and longitude did the Wreck of the Hesperus occur?". Daffy fails to answer correctly in time, and as a result, Porky gets his revenge by submitting Daffy to the same "penalties and prize" that he had received earlier. Daffy is then tied to a long plank being cut by the same buzz saw Porky was on to begin the cartoon, quickly irising out after Daffy screams at his studio audience: "Have you got a doctor in the balcony, lady?!" (this line was a takeoff of another radio quiz show, Doctor IQ, where the announcer would note "I have a lady in the balcony, doctor" to introduce a new contestant).

Production details[edit]

The cartoon's title is a play on The Hucksters, a satirical novel about the advertising business that was made into a 1947 live-action film starring Clark Gable.

There are several references to well-known people in this cartoon, such as Eli Whitney, George Washington, and even Lauren Bacall.

A reference to one of the "Censored Eleven" shorts, 1938's Jungle Jitters, pops up, but the context makes it clear that Daffy is referring to a different (presumably fictitious) film by the same name, since the original cartoon did not feature any character fitting the description of "Miss Shush, the 600-pound gorilla", who Daffy claims starred in Jungle Jitters.

The identification of the Ajax Broadcasting Company was an unusual name for Warner Bros.; Ajax was a name more commonly used by rival studio Disney, whereas Warner Bros. would more commonly use Acme Corporation in its later productions.

This is one of several post-1948 Warner Bros. cartoons whose original title cards have been cut and replaced in the Blue Ribbon reissue version.[1] In such films, the Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies title fades to a replaced title card, which then cuts to the credits from the original version. In all other post-1948 films reissues, the Blue Ribbon title cuts right to the original title card. It remains unknown why such edits were made (most probably to fit in the 1.85:1 (Panavision) or 2:1 (SuperScope) ratios, noting that those cartoons were reissued during the late 1950s, when widescreen was the new standard), as no one has been able to recover any original prints of most such cartoons.

Edited versions[edit]

On Nickelodeon, the scene where Daffy shoots an audience member who shouts "You'll be sorry!" is removed.

References[edit]

External links[edit]