Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 5, 2004
All-purpose nonsense word created by Bill Holman for his manic comic strip Smokey Stover. A single Sunday panel from September, 1938 uses the word no less than ten times in different contexts. Needless to say, this nonsense did not escape the eye of Bob Clampett, who used the word twice: once in The Daffy Doc (1938) in the series of signs Daffy uses to get silence (“Silence is Foo!”), and again on a sign in Porky in Wackland (1938).
Pity that none of the other nonsense phrases from the strip (examples: “Notary Sojac” and “1506 Nix Nix”) ever made it into the cartoons. “Foo” also makes an appearence in The Isle of Pingo Pongo (Avery, 1939) on the microphone the Fats Waller-like native sings into.