Night of the Long Schnozz

In BOSKO’S PICTURE SHOW, we get to see an entire 1933 cinema programme, including wurlitzer sing-a-long, newsreel, short subject and feature, condensed into a single cartoon. We also get a particularly startling gag in that fake newsreel. After an intertitle announcing that a famous screen heartthrob is taking a European vacation, we cut to this image –

Jimmy Durante: “Am I mortified! Am I mortified!”

The joke is as funny as cancer, but since this is Warner Brothers we can at least be sure it comes from a warm place.

It all hang from Durante’s nose — let’s see if we can unpick it, if you’ll forgive the expression. The first assumption (and all jokes are based upon shared assumptions, often in the form of stereotypes) is that Jimmy Durante has a big nose, and some Jewish people have big noses, therefor J.D. might be taken for a Jew (he was Italian-American and Catholic). This means that if Jimmy Durante went to Nazi Germany, he would be in danger of being personally murdered by Hitler. Hilarious!

While the idea of laughing at this stuff seems ghastly now, Warners probably deserve points for talking about this stuff so early, even if they’re not doing it in a way that treats the subject with the seriousness it deserves.

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10 Responses to “Night of the Long Schnozz”

  1. Daniel Riccuito Says:

    Oy.

  2. At 5:52, is Bosko saying what it sounds like he is saying?

  3. “That dirty fox.”

  4. Wish I could find it, but Kaye Ballard used to sing a song called “I Just Kissed My Nose Goodnight” — and I’ve got a lot of affection for it.

  5. Gogol would goggle.

  6. Christopher Says:

    Chaplin as The Great Dictator 7 years before the fact.

  7. D.B. McWeeberton Says:

    1933 is pretty early, Hitler-mockery-wise! Especially in an American cartoon.

    In 1938, his ‘mountain home’ was still considered a reasonable subject for a puff piece in the British ‘Homes and Gardens’ magazine:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/germany/graphic/0,,1075414,00.html

  8. And the French and Germans were still embarking on co-productions up until ’39.

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