Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wiffle Piffle - Common Street Brawler

Those of you familiar with the stable of original characters created by the Fleischer Studio will no doubt be a fan of Wiffle Piffle - the man with the boneless arms. For those ignorant of the joy of Piffle, you can see drawings of him here and watch him in the Betty Boop cartoon Hot Air Salesman.

I was surprised to find the aforementioned, ineffectual mite, was actually in a Popeye cartoon - as a street brawler in 'Brotherly Love'. His guest appearance had eluded me for countless screenings over the years. It's a short cameo so stay sharp and don't blink when the scene comes up next time you watch the cartoon.




Frame cut-in. Caught in the act!!

6 comments:

Mr. Cro said...

I never noticed this!

Jeff Overturf said...

All cartoon characters have to break into the business somehow. There are no small parts, only small actors. :P

J Lee said...

Never caught that before, either. Good eyesight on picking the 'cameo' up.

Wiffle is kind of to the Fleischer studios in the mid-30s what Egghead/proto Elmer was to Warner Bros. at the same time; great as an oddball side character for spot gags, but not really able to carry his own cartoons. But the animation on two-minute walk he takes at the start of "The Hot Air Salesman" (Tendlar unit? The UM&M print has no credits) is wonderful.

Mitch K said...

I've never seen this Wiffle Piffle cartoon before! It almost doesn't seem like a Fleischer cartoon. The shots cut from one another a lot faster than other Fleischer toons.

Bob Jaques said...

Wiffle carried a couple of Screen Songs as the lead charcater. I believe Hot Air Salesman was a Johnson crew cartoon - at least by deduction since he de facto directed most his Wiffle's other cartoon appearance other than the couple done by Crandall. I also think that Johnson created the character.

J Lee said...

Thanks -- I wasn't sure about the unit, but Johnson does make sense, since he and Myron Waldman seemed to be the mainstays of the Boop series by this time, with Crandall, Tendlar and Bowsky making occasional appearances (and damn whoever it was who cut the negatives for UM&M on the B&W cartoons, since there's no rhyme or reason to when they did or didn't leave the credits for Dave Fleischer and the animators on the print).