Thursday, April 7, 2016

Getting Schooled: I Haven't Got a Hat (1935)

Isadore "Friz" Freleng's "I Haven't Got a Hat" is memorable for the debut of Porky Pig, voiced here by Joe Daugherty. Porky would ultimately be streamlined into the iconic shape we all know and love, but his signature stammering is much more evident than usual. Chalk it up to perhaps nerves having to recite a couple of poems in front of the class.

The title song is sung by twin pups Ham & Ex (Bernice Hansen & Billy Bletcher), but the climax sees Beans the cat try to sabotage Oliver Owl's number, only for it to first be a bigger success before Beans' ruse is revealed.

I spoke before about Porky's stage fright. Little Kitty certainly looked more nervous, didn't she? Unfortunately, we wouldn't see Kitty again.

Rating: B.


Goldstar said...

Joe Daugherty had a genuine stammer, which he couldn't control and would use up yards of soundtrack before getting on target, which led to WB's hiring of Mel Blanc, who had a controlled stammer.

After "Haven't Got a Hat", Warner Brothers turned Beans the cat into a Mickey Mouse clone. The next short "Goldiggers of 1942" actually had Beans with the starring credit, but it was Porky who received the most laughs in this short, so the studio decided to focus it's attention on him instead (Porky and Beans were changed into adult animals for this short, btw).

Kitty appeared occasionally as Minnie Mouse to Beans' Mickey. Not much to say about her.

Silverstar said...

Friz Freleng took inspiration from Hal Roach's "Our Gang" comedies for this short, BTW.

hobbyfan said...

I'd read up on Daugherty, and it's easy to see and hear why he didn't get much work after this. I will be looking for some Beans shorts, as long as I'm digging into the Golden Age.

I also read about the Our Gang inspiration. In that context, Kitty would be Darla, Beans comes across as Butch, and Porky? Somewhere between Spanky & Alfalfa.

Silverstar said...

Given the year this short was made, I would probably reckon that Kitty would be Mary Kornman, Beans would be Mickey Daniels and Porky would be Joe Cobb, but I could be wrong.

hobbyfan said...

Nope. Cobb, Kornman, & Daniels were all off the Our Gang roster by 1935. Darla replaced Mary, IIRC, and Spanky replaced Cobb.