Besser, Joe

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on January 30, 2004

    Bald, rotund comic with a high-pitched voice and precious mannerisms who was, for a time, one of the post-Curly Three Stooges. He had long been a successful nightclub comic. “Ooohhh, you craaaazy!”, delivered with a flip of the wrist, was his trademark.

    Various Warner Brothers characters utilise Besser’s mannerisms. The elephant in Rabbit Fire (Jones, 1951) that pounds Fudd into the ground (“You do and I’ll give you SUCH a pinch!”) is one such example, also the goose pulling the same poison bone con job that Daffy wants to do at the end of Birth of a Notion (McKimson, 1946), the little tuba-playing pooch who confronts “Leopold Bowkowski“ in Hollywood Canine Canteen (McKimson, 1946), the character of the studio cop in Hollywood Daffy (Freleng, 1946); the use by Daffy of the “you craaazy” tagline during the rapid-growth scene at the start of Nasty Quacks (Tashlin, 1945), and Bugs’ line “you and your old shotgun, you crazy!” in The Unruly Hare (Tashlin, 1945).

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