Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Baby Bottleneck (1946) -notes
The gag of the baby alligator trying to nurse from a sow was originally followed by a close-up of the sow saying, "Now, don't touch that dial!" The line was cut for being too suggestive, but the first few frames of the censored scene still remain in the final cut.
When Daffy is manning the phones, he gets a call from an angry "Mister Dionne". This is a reference to the famous Dionne quintuplets. Annette, Emilie, Yvonne, Cecile, and Marie. Born May 28, 1934, they were the first quintuplets known to have survived birth. They were happy news during the great depression, and the most famous babies in the world. The quintuplets were born in Canada, and would have been 12 when Baby Bottleneck was released.
The Dionne family was headed by father Oliva-Edouard (1904–1979) and mother Elzire (Legros) Dionne (1909–1986), who married on September 15, 1925. They lived just outside Corbeil, in a farmhouse in unregistered territory. Oliva, through his father, was a descendant of Zacharie Cloutier (via Louise Cloutier 1632–1699, Charlotte Mignault 1669–1747, and Antoine Dionne 1641-1721). The Dionnes were a French-speaking farming family with five older children, Ernest (1926–1995), Rose Marie (1928–1995), Thérèse (b. 1929), Daniel (1932–1995), and Pauline (b. 1933), who was only eleven months older than the quintuplets. A sixth child, Léo (b. 1930), died of pneumonia shortly after birth.
The Dionnes also had three sons after the quintuplets: Oliva Jr. (1936–2017), Victor (1938–2007), and Claude (1946–2009).
Daffy also gets calls from Bing Crosby and Eddie Cantor. Both entertainers were known for their large broods; all boys for Crosby, all girls for Cantor. Bing Crosby had four sons at the time this film was made, Gary, twins Dennis and Phillip, and Lindsay. Gary wrote a "highly critical memoir, Going My Own Way, depicting his father as cruel, cold, remote, and both physically and psychologically abusive."
Eddie Cantor had five daughters, Marjorie, Natalie, Edna, Marilyn, and Janet, who provided comic fodder for Cantor's longtime running gag, especially on radio, about his five unmarriageable daughters. His daughters didn't love the jokes.
When Mama Gorilla says, "Mister Anthony, I have a problem," this is a reference to John J. Anthony, who hosted the radio show "Good Will Hour" (1937-1953) for 20 years and gave advice to married couples. His show would open with a European-accented woman saying that line in a similar fashion.
John J. Anthony was born as Lester Kroll on September 1, 1902, in New York, New York. He began his own radio series where listeners would call in with their problems in 1930. Radio historians consider this the first instance of talk radio.