A Pest in the House

From Loonipedia

A Pest in the House is a 1947 animated short film directed by Chuck Jones starring the characters of Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. The title is an appropriate play on "a guest in the house." Voices are performed by Mel Blanc and uncredited Arthur Q. Bryan.

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." The Business Man later makes a cameo appearance in the bleachers in the 1996 movie, Space Jam cheering for Michael Jordan after Michael wins. [1]

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.

Synopsis[edit]

The cartoon starts with a brief narration (Blanc, in his natural voice) describing a labor shortage that "became so bad" that compels employers to hire "anybody or anything". Daffy (also voiced by Blanc) is a hotel bellboy and Elmer (voiced by Bryan) is the manager. A tired man (also Bryan, in his natural voice) demands peace and quiet, and threatens violence against Elmer if disturbed ("Just one more thing. I'm a tired man. I gotta have my sleep, plenty of it. So see to it that I get lots of peace and quiet. Because if I'm disturbed at any time, I'm gonna bust you right in the nose!"). Daffy, in a Jerry Colonna-like, sarcastic aside to the audience, remarks: "Likable chap, isn't he!" 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 trudges to Elmer's station, to the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel", and at the moment where the song would say "pop", he busts Elmer in the face. Here are the following gags that make the man awake:

  • Daffy pounds a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door and wakes the exhausted man up, and when the man opens the door, Daffy accidentally pounds his face.
  • Daffy opens a window which releases a loud gail which frightens the man to the ceiling, and when the man comes down, closes it and retuns to his sleep, and Daffy leaves the room, a drunken man in the other room sings "How Dry I Am". Just when he was going to beat the drunk, Daffy says that he'll "muzzle that inebriated canary", only for the naïve duck to get drunk and sing along.
  • Daffy is singing and cleaning a window and finds a small speck and the scratching wakes and irritates the man. He calls Elmer by telephone and punches him through the phone!
  • Daffy hears a funny story about a Salesman trying to sell something to a Farmer when the farmer doesn't want it and wakes the man to tell the story and the man nonchalantly walks down to Elmer, who is protecting himself with a knight's helmet only for the man to punch him. Then, it is revealed that Daffy doesn't even remember how his joke ends, but still laughs, and then Elmer comes in and shushes Daffy to be quiet, only for the manager to be beaten.

When Daffy says it is too cold, he decides to fix the radiator. Elmer, fearing getting beat up again, chases after Daffy. Daffy makes the heat vibrate to the room. Elmer, fearing that the room might Explode along with the man, hears whistling and covers it with several pillows. Daffy, thinking that Elmer is blowing whistles and trying to kill the man, rants to him by saying "So, a fine kettle of fish! Here I work myself down to the skin and bones trying to keep this guy asleep and what do you do? Blow whistles! Just when I got things so quiet you can 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 things reasonable do you expect a guy to get his slumber when a goof like you goes around making noises like a one-man 4th of July celebration?! He needs peace and quiet! It's positively outrageous!". Elmer nervously tries to shush Daffy but Daffy's screaming obviously wakes the now enraged man who shows red swirls in his eyes and then shows his teeth, so Elmer hurries downstairs and he and Daffy switch places in an effort to fool the man, but Elmer gets beat up anyway. Daffy concludes the cartoon with another Jerry Colonna-like aside: "Noisy little character, isn't he!"

Cast[edit]

Censorship[edit]

  • The version that aired on Kids' WB! edited out the part where the man is kept awake by a drunk man in the next room singing "How Dry I Am" and Daffy tells the man that he'll "muzzle that inebriated canary" only to drink up with the drunk man and sing along in harmony.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Paul Dini. A Pest in the House - DVD audio commentary - Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 5.

External links[edit]

Elmer Fudd Cartoons
1940 Elmer's Candid CameraConfederate HoneyThe Hardship of Miles StandishA Wild HareGood Night Elmer
1941 Elmer's Pet RabbitWabbit Twouble
1942 The Wabbit Who Came to SupperAny Bonds Today?The Wacky WabbitNutty NewsFresh HareThe Hare-Brained Hypnotist
1943 To Duck or Not to DuckA Corny ConcertoAn Itch in Time
1944 The Old Grey HareThe Stupid CupidStage Door Cartoon
1945 The Unruly HareHare Tonic
1946 Hare RemoverThe Big Snooze
1947 Easter YeggsA Pest in the HouseSlick Hare
1948 What Makes Daffy Duck?Back Alley Op-RoarKit For Cat
1949 Wise QuackersHare DoEach Dawn I Crow
1950 What's Up Doc?Rabbit of Seville
1951 Rabbit Fire
1952 Rabbit Seasoning
1953 Up-Swept HareAnt PastedDuck! Rabbit! Duck!Robot Rabbit
1954 Design for LeavingQuack Shot
1955 Pests for GuestsBeanstalk BunnyHare BrushRabbit RampageThis Is A Life?Heir-Conditioned
1956 Bugs' BonnetsA Star is BoredYankee Dood ItWideo Wabbit
1957 What's Opera, Doc?Rabbit Romeo
1958 Don't Axe MePre-Hysterical Hare
1959 A Mutt in a Rut
1960 Person To BunnyDog Gone People
1961 What's My Lion?
1962 Crow's Feat
1990 Box Office Bunny
1991 Blooper Bunny
1992 Invasion Of The Bunny Snatchers
2012 Daffy's Rhapsody