Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004
General nickname for Jack L. Warner, the infamous and irascible yet oddly endearing chief of production at Warner Brothers from the 1920s until the 1960s. Warner was quite friendly with Leon Schlesinger, the producer of Warner cartoons from 1930-1945; and it is quite probable that J.L. helped Leon get the cartoon business at the studio launched.
J.L. is referred to in Ain’t That Ducky (Freleng, 1945), when Daffy warns an errant animator that J.L. will hear about a barrel not being in a scene, as it was called for in the script. Daffy deals with an off-screen J.L. himself in The Scarlet Pumpernickel (Jones, 1950), trying to sell him on a dramatic role, as opposed to typecasting him in comedy. Jones, in his memoir Chuck Amuck, sardonically notes that on seeing the film, Warner would never recognize himself beneath so obscure a pseudonym. Daffy Duck tries to sneak past a studio cop by disguising himself as an Oscar statuette in Hollywood Daffy (Freleng, 1946), by indicating that J.L. is waiting for the Oscar.