Friday, April 14, 2017

The Organ Grinder

So I watched another short off the DVDs in the Warner Bros. Gangsters collection Vol. 3. This time, I took out the DVD of The Mayor of Hell and watched the short The Organ Grinder. This is another of the Harman and Ising Merrie Melodies from before they left for MGM; I'd guess Warner Bros. didn't want to put more prominent cartoons on this inexpensive DVD box set.

As you can guess, the subject is an organ grinder (complete with creepy vaguely ethnic smile) and his monkey. The monkey performs, and this gives the opportunity for a bunch of sight gags. Several involve the monkey's prehensile tail, and when he steals a banana from one of those sidewalk fruit vendors, the banana has zippers to open it.

Later in the short, the monkey does a Harpo Marx impersonation, followed by his impressions of Laurel and Hardy. There's even a playing of the music from 42nd Street. But one scene shocked me. The organ grinder wants the monkey to take the can of coins and shake it to get more people to donate. Oh, the monkey shakes the can, all right:

And then there's the scenes of the monkey using a cat's tail as a crank. Boy are these old cartoons interesting.

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