Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004
Vaudeville and stage comic who appeared in over 100 films from the early talkies era, mostly as a supporting actor. Fidgety movements and an excited “woo-woo!” catchphrase were his trademarks. A not-dissimilar “woo woo!” went on to be one of Daffy Duck’s earliest vocal signatures. Two of Herbert’s funniest roles were as a fussy censor in Footlight Parade and as Snout in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Herbert caricatures appear in Speaking of the Weather (Tashlin, 1937), The Coo-coo Nut Grove (Freleng, 1936), Porky’s Movie Mystery (Clampett, 1939), as the Stonewall Jackson parody in Confederate Honey (Freleng, 1940), and quite prominently in The Hardship of Miles Standish (Freleng, 1940) as the title character.
In the text next to his caricature in Speaking of the Weather, one can note references to his roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Coo-coo Nut Grove, as well as his habit of tickling himself with a feather duster.