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A Pest in the House is an animated short film released on August 2, 1947.[1]:429 It is directed by Chuck Jones and stars the characters of Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. The title is an appropriate play on "a guest in the house." The film is notable for featuring a sort of "in-between" interpretation of Daffy. He is not necessarily the zany, impish interpretation used famously by Tex Avery and Bob Clampett, nor is he the greedy, self-centered version that Chuck Jones later popularized in the 1950s. As Paul Dini said in the DVD audio commentary for this cartoon: "[In this cartoon, Daffy] is really kind of almost like a sprite. He's just a little, almost elfin creature who's not really out to hurt anybody or has any ill will or malice toward anybody. He's just completely out of his mind."[2]

A Pest in the House
Directed byChuck Jones
Produced byEdward Selzer
Story byTedd Pierce
Michael Maltese
StarringMel Blanc
Arthur Q. Bryan
Music byCarl Stalling
Animation byBen Washam
Ken Harris
Basil Davidovich
Lloyd Vaughan
Layouts byRichard Morley
Backgrounds byRichard Morley
Color processTechnicolor
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
August 2, 1947 (USA)
Running time
7 minutes (one reel)
LanguageEnglish

It was only one of three non-Bugs Bunny cartoons from 1947 not to be reissued. The others were Catch as Cats Can and Mexican Joyride.

The cartoon was followed up in 1948 by Daffy Duck Slept Here, wherein Daffy (this time as a fellow guest) again doesn't let a hotel patron sleep - in this case Porky Pig.

Contents

PlotEdit

The cartoon starts with a brief narration describing a labor shortage that "became so bad" that compels employers to hire "anybody or-- anything". At the "Gland Hotel", Daffy is a hotel bellboy and Elmer Fudd is the manager. Elmer tells Daffy to take a customer to room 666. The customer (voiced by Arthur Q. Bryan, in his natural voice) asks for peace and quiet, and suddenly threatens to punch Elmer right in the nose if he's disturbed at any time.

Daffy, in a Jerry Colonna-like sarcastic aside to the audience, remarks: "Likable chap, isn't he?", intending to take advantage of this condition to cause pain to his employer. Daffy does many stunts that keep the man awake, complete with escorting him to room 666. Every time he is awakened again, the increasingly irritated man walks slowly with footsteps to the lobby, to the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel", and at the part where the song says "pop", he punches Elmer in the face (Elmer at one time gets hit through the phone and in a different time wears a knight's helmet in a futile try to stop getting hit).

After several shenanigans (including barging in to tell him the legendary "traveling salesman story", only to forget the punch line), Daffy finally concludes it is too cold in the man's room and decides to fix the radiator. Elmer, knowing he'll get beat up again, chases after Daffy. Daffy makes the heat vibrate to the room. Elmer hears whistling and covers it with several pillows. Daffy, thinking that Elmer is blowing whistles, proceeds to yell loudly to him: "So, a fine kettle of fish! Here I work myself down to the skin and bones trying to keep this guy to sleep, and what do you do? Blow whistles! Just when I got things so quiet you could hear a pin drop, you bust in here and bust out with a whistle, and you snafu the whole works! How in the name of all that's reasonable do you expect a guy to get his slumber when a goof like you goes around making noises like a one-man Fourth of July celebration? He needs peace and quiet! It's positively outrageous!". His screaming obviously wakes the now infuriated man, so Elmer hurries downstairs and he and Daffy switch places through a promotion in an effort to fool the man: "Fow vewy mewitowious sewvice, you are hewewith pwomoted to the position of managew. Take ovew." However, Elmer gets punched one last time, and Daffy concludes the cartoon with another Jerry Colonna-like aside: "Noisy little character, isn't he?".

CastEdit

  • Mel Blanc as Daffy Duck and Narrator
  • Arthur Q. Bryan as Elmer Fudd and Hotel Guest (uncredited)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Maltin, Leonard (1987). Of Mice And Magic: A History Of American Animated Cartoons (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Plume. ISBN 0-452-25993-2.
  2. ^ Paul Dini. A Pest in the House - DVD audio commentary - Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 5.

External linksEdit