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Gabby Catcher Gag

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 5, 2004

    Gag where a baseball catcher is portrayed spinning forth a rapid patter, along the lines of “comeonoldboycomeonoldboypitchitovertheplatethisguycanthit”, usually followed by a fastball that knocks the catcher back several feet.

    Used in some Freleng cartoons, including Boulevardier from the Bronx (1936) and Porky’s Baseball Broadcast (1940), both of which use the same footage of a turtle catcher. Sports Chumpions (Freleng [and Avery?] 1941) used the same gag, but referred to a real contemporary catcher -- now in the Baseball Hall of Fame -- Gabby Hartnett. Bugs also does the same routine in Baseball Bugs (Freleng, 1946).

    Frank Tashlin used a patter-talking catcher for a slightly different situation in The Unruly Hare (1945), in which Bugs and Elmer play catch with a lit stick of dynamite. Further modified versions can be seen used by Bugs Bunny in Knights Must Fall (Freleng, 1949) while jousting with Sir Pantsalot, as well as in Rabbit Punch (Jones, 1948).

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