Frederick Bean "Tex" Avery was an American animator, director and voice actor, known for producing and directing animated cartoons during the golden age of American animation. His most significant work was for the Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, where he was crucial in the creation and evolution of famous animated characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Screwy Squirrel and Junior, Chilly Willy. Gary Morris described Avery's innovative approach:Above all, steered the Warner Bros. house style away from Disney-esque sentimentality and made cartoons that appealed to adults, who appreciated Avery's speed and irony, to kids, who liked the nonstop action. Disney's "cute and cuddly" creatures, under Avery's guidance, were transformed into unflappable wits like Bugs Bunny, endearing buffoons like Porky Pig, or dazzling crazies like Daffy Duck; the classic fairy tale, a market that Disney had cornered, was appropriated by Avery, who made innocent heroines like Red Riding Hood into sexy jazz babes, more than a match for any Wolf.
Avery endeared himself to intellectuals by breaking through the artifice of the cartoon, having characters leap out of the end credits, loudly object to the plot of the cartoon they were starring in, or speak directly to the audience. Avery's style of directing encouraged animators to stretch the boundaries of the medium to do things in a cartoon that could not be done in the world of live-action film. An often-quoted line about Avery's cartoons was, "In a cartoon you can do anything." He performed a great deal of voice work in his cartoons throwaway bits. Avery was born to George Walton Avery and Mary Augusta "Jessie" in Texas, his father was born in Alabama and his mother was born in Chickasaw County, Mississippi. His paternal grandparents were Needham Avery and his wife, Lucinda C. Baxly, his maternal grandparents were his wife Minnie Edgar. His paternal great-grandparents were wife Elizabeth Brannon Avery. Avery, nicknamed "Tex", "Fred", "Texas", was born and raised in Taylor, Texas, a small town in the vicinity of Austin.
Avery graduated in 1926 from North Dallas High School. A popular catchphrase at his school was "What's up, doc?", which he would utilize for Bugs Bunny in the 1940s. Interested in becoming a newspaper cartoonist, he took a summer course at the Chicago Art Institute. On January 1, 1928, Avery arrived in Los Angeles, he spent the following months working in menial jobs. According to animation historian Michael Barrier, these jobs included working in a warehouse, working on the docks at night, loading fruits and vegetables, painting cars, he began his animation career. He was only an inker, inking cels for animated short films in the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit series. Avery moved to a new studio, Universal Studio Cartoons, he was again employed as an inker, but moved up the studio's hierarchy. By 1930, Avery had been promoted to the position of animator. Avery at the start of his animation career continued being employed by the Walter Lantz Studio in the early 1930s, he worked on the majority of the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons from 1931 to 1935.
He is shown as'animator' on the original title card credits on the Oswald cartoons. He claimed to have directed two cartoons during this time. During some office horseplay at the Lantz studio, a thumbtack or paper clip flew into Avery's left eye and caused him to lose his sight in that eye; some speculate it was his lack of depth perception that gave him his unique look at animation and bizarre directorial style, but it did not stop his creative career. The incident is described in some detail based in part on old interviews with Avery. Part of the typical crude horseplay at the Universal studio was using a rubber band or a paper spitball to target the back of a colleague's head, they would shout "Bull's eye" after every successful shot. An animator called Charles Hastings decided to take the game one step further, by using a wire paper clip instead. Avery heard one of his colleagues telling him to look out, he reacted by turning around. Instead of the back of his head, the paper clip hit Avery in his left eye.
He lost use of his eye. As an animator, Avery worked under director Bill Nolan. Nolan delegated work to Avery, whenever Avery had to animate a sequence. Nolan's instructions for a scene involving Oswald being chased by bees, were simple, he would describe. The rest of the details were left up to Avery. Avery started handing out work to other animators working under Nolan, he still wanted more control over the creative process, served as a de facto director for a couple of films. Based on Avery's recollections, there is a description of, he was submitting sight gags for use in the short films. Some of them wer
Arthur "Harpo" Marx was an American comedian, mime artist, musician, the second-oldest of the Marx Brothers. In contrast to the verbal comedy of his brothers Groucho Marx and Chico Marx, Harpo's comic style was visual, being an example of both clown and pantomime traditions, he wore a curly reddish blonde wig, never spoke during performances. He used props such as a horn cane, made up of a lead pipe, a bulbhorn, he played the harp in most of his films. Harpo was born on November 1888 in Manhattan, he grew up in a neighborhood now known as Carnegie Hill on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, on East 93rd Street off Lexington Avenue. The turn-of-the-century tenement that Harpo called "the first real home I can remember" was populated with European immigrants artisans—which included a glass blower. Just across the street were the oldest brownstones in the area, owned by people like David L. Loew and William Orth. Harpo's parents were his wife, Minnie Schoenberg Marx. Minnie's brother was Al Shean. Marx's family was Jewish.
His mother was from East Frisia in Germany, his father was a native of Alsace in France and worked as a tailor. Harpo received little formal education and left grade school at age eight during his second attempt to pass the second grade, he began to work, gaining employment in numerous odd jobs alongside his brother Chico to contribute to the family income, including selling newspapers, working in a butcher shop, as an errand office boy. In January 1910, Harpo joined two of his brothers and Milton, to form "The Three Nightingales" changed to "The Marx Brothers". Multiple stories—most unsubstantiated—exist to explain Harpo's evolution as the "silent" character in the brothers' act. In his memoir, Groucho wrote that Harpo wasn't good at memorizing dialogue, thus was ideal for the role of the "dunce who couldn't speak", a common character in vaudeville acts of the time. Harpo gained his stage name during a card game at the Orpheum Theatre in Illinois; the dealer called him "Harpo". He learned how to hold it properly from a picture of an angel playing a harp that he saw in a five-and-dime.
No one in town knew how to play the harp, so Harpo tuned it as best he could, starting with one basic note and tuning it from there. Three years he found out he had tuned it incorrectly, but he could not have tuned it properly. Harpo's method placed much less tension on the strings. Although he played this way for the rest of his life, he did try to learn how to play and he spent considerable money hiring the best teachers, they spent their time listening to him. The major exception was Mildred Dilling, a professional harpist who did teach Harpo the proper techniques of the instrument and collaborated with him when he had difficulty with various compositions. In the autobiography Harpo Speaks, he recounts how Chico found him jobs playing piano to accompany silent movies. Unlike Chico, Harpo could play only two songs on the piano, "Waltz Me Around Again, Willie" and "Love Me and the World Is Mine," but he adapted this small repertoire in different tempos to suit the action on the screen, he was seen playing a portion of Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in C# minor" in A Day at the Races and chords on the piano in A Night at the Opera, in such a way that the piano sounded much like a harp, as a prelude to playing the harp in that scene.
Harpo had changed his name from Adolph to Arthur by 1911. This was due to his dislike for the name Adolph; the name change may have happened because of the similarity between Harpo's name and Adolph Marks, a prominent show business attorney in Chicago. Urban legends stating that the name change came about during World War I due to anti-German sentiment in the US, or during World War II because of the stigma that Adolf Hitler imposed on the name, are groundless, his first screen appearance was in the film Humor Risk, with his brothers, although according to Groucho, it was only screened once and lost. Four years Harpo appeared without his brothers in Too Many Kisses, four years before the brothers' first released film, The Cocoanuts. In Too Many Kisses, Harpo spoke the only line he would speak on-camera in a movie: "You sure you can't move?". Fittingly, it was a silent movie, the audience saw only his lips move and the line on a title card. Harpo was cast as Chico's eccentric partner-in-crime, whom he would help by playing charades to tell of Groucho's problem, and/or annoy by giving Chico his leg, either to give it a rest or as an alternative to a handshake.
Harpo became known for prop-laden sight gags, in particular the infinite number of odd things stored in his topcoat's oversized pockets. In the film Horse Feathers, referring to an impossible situation, tells Harpo that he cannot "burn the candle at both ends." Harpo produces from within his coat pocket a lit candle burning at both ends. In the same film, a homeless man on the street asks Harpo for money for a cup of coffee, he subsequently produces a steaming cup, complete with saucer, from inside his coat. In Duck Soup, he produces a lit blowtorch to light a cigar; as author Joe Adamson put in his book, Harpo and Sometimes Zeppo, "The president of the col
Miss Exotic World Pageant
The Miss Exotic World Pageant is an annual neo-burlesque pageant and convention, is the annual showcase event the Burlesque Hall of Fame. The pageant, sometimes referred to as the "Miss America of Burlesque", attracts former burlesque queens from past decades, as well as current participants of the neo-burlesque scene; the pageant consists of burlesque performances spanning a weekend, culminating with the competition to crown a single performer as Miss Exotic World. Because of the significance of the Exotic World Burlesque Museum to the burlesque community, winning the pageant is considered a top honor for a burlesque performer; the pageant grew out an annual event held by Jennie Lee and the Exotic Dancers' League, first held in 1958 and annually through 1989. Awards were given out starting in 1962 to performers and promoters who furthered burlesque and showed it in a positive light. After Lee's death in 1990, the pageant was created and took place at the Exotic World Museum's grounds in Helendale, California from 1991 through 2005 before relocating to Las Vegas.
Exotic World Museum curator Dixie Evans initiated the Miss Exotic World pageant in 1990 as a way to draw people to the museum. She garnered attention by sending out a press release claiming that "Lili St. Cyr, Tempest Storm, Blaze Starr and 30 other alumni of burlesque will all be invited to attend this reunion." While technically true, none of those invitees attended that year. However, the release garnered press attention for the pageant, successful enough to become an annual event, held on the first Saturday in June each year, close to the traditional time of year of the EDL's previous annual events. In 2005, the pageant expanded to mark its 15th year, as well as to accelerate the museum's fundraising efforts. Where the pageant had been a one-day event, it grew and was expanded to last a weekend after its first decade; the new format featured an entire evening dedicated to the "legends" – the sexuagenarian and septuagenarian women of burlesque's "golden age" of the 1950s and 1960s. Other new changes to the pageant included the expansion of financial sponsors.
Some of the most significant changes by 2005 were changes to the pageant application and judging process. The pageant had expanded from having only one "Miss Exotic World" category to now include other new categories such as Best Debut. Additionally, the application process was tightened up, with the evaluation method standardized to further ensure professionalism and fairness. In 2006, the pageant took place in a new location, Las Vegas, in the wake of certain events that affected the museum's operational ability. With the museum's impending move to Las Vegas, the pageant was held there, based at the Celebrity Theater in downtown Las Vegas; the pageant, up to that point held on the first Saturday in June, was instead held over Memorial Day weekend in late May, 2006. The pageant consisted of four evenings' worth of events and featured dual hosts Margaret Cho and El Vez. Since 2006, the pageant has made Las Vegas its permanent home. Nudes-A-Poppin' Media related to Miss Exotic World Pageant at Wikimedia Commons Behind the Burly Q. 2010 documentary film by Leslie Zemeckis Exotic World & the Burlesque Revival.
2010 documentary film by Red Tremmel
Sally Rand was an American burlesque dancer and actress, most noted for her ostrich feather fan dance and balloon bubble dance. She performed under the name Billie Beck. Helen Gould Beck was born in the village of Hickory County, Missouri, her father, William Beck, was a West Point graduate and retired U. S. Army colonel, while her mother, Nettie Beck, was a school teacher and part-time newspaper correspondent; the family moved to Missouri while she was still in grade school. Helen got her start on the stage quite early, working as a chorus girl at Kansas City's Empress Theater when she was only 13. An early supporter of her talent was Goodman Ace, drama critic for the Kansas City Journal who saw her performing in a Kansas City nightclub and wrote glowing reviews. After studying ballet and drama in Kansas City, the teenage Helen decided her future lay in Hollywood. For a short time as she worked her way to the west coast, she was employed as an acrobat in the Ringling Brothers Circus, she performed in summer stock and traveling theater, including working with a then-unknown Humphrey Bogart.
During the 1920s, she appeared in silent films. Cecil B. DeMille gave her the name Sally Rand, inspired by a Rand McNally atlas, she was selected as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1927. After the introduction of sound films, she became a dancer, known for the fan dance, which she popularized starting at the Paramount Club, at 15 E. Huron, in Chicago, her most famous appearance was at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, known as the Century of Progress, accompanied by her backing orchestra, directed by Art Frasik. She would play peek-a-boo with her body by manipulating her fans in front and behind her, like a winged bird as she swooped and twirled on the stage to "Clair de Lune", she was arrested four times in a single day during the fair due to perceived indecent exposure after a fan dance performance and while riding a white horse down the streets of Chicago, where the nudity was only an illusion, again after being bodypainted by Max Factor, Sr. with his new makeup formulated for Hollywood films.
She conceived and developed the bubble dance, in part to cope with wind while performing outdoors. She performed the fan dance on film in Bolero, released in 1934, she performed the bubble dance in the film Sunset Murder Case available for watching on YouTube. In 1936, she purchased The Music Box burlesque hall in San Francisco, which would become the Great American Music Hall, she starred in "Sally Rand's Nude Ranch" at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco in 1939 and 1940. She was arrested twice in San Francisco in 1946. S. F. P. D." that time. In an unusual move, the judge viewed her performance at the Savoy and cleared her of all charges after deeming that "anyone who could find something lewd about the dance as she puts it on has to have a perverted idea of morals". In the early'50s she was traveling with a 17-member troupe around the midwest appearing at state fairs and small theaters. Edith Dahl, accompanied Miss Rand's famous fan dance, the finale of the show, on the violin and "cracked a few jokes."
According to local newspaper accounts, Miss Rand's large white feathered fans acted as "a guard to keep too much of mother nature from showing." "Smutty jokes" were at minimum in the afternoon performances." The tour was across Oklahoma and Texas west toward Washington before returning east. She refused to divulge her age to reporters at the time but was known to be approaching 50, she appeared on television in March 12, 1957, in episode 13 of the first season of To Tell the Truth with host Bud Collyer and panelists Polly Bergen, Ralph Bellamy, Kitty Carlisle, Carl Reiner. She did not "stump the panel" but was identified by all four panelists, she continued to appear on stage doing her fan dance into the 1970s. Rand once replaced Ann Corio in the stage show, This Was Burlesque, appeared at the Mitchell Brothers club in San Francisco in the early 1970s and toured as one of the stars of the 1972 nostalgia revue "Big Show of 1928," which played major concert venues, including New York's Madison Square Garden.
Describing her 40-year career, Rand said, "I haven’t been out of work since the day I took my pants off." Rand died on August 31, 1979, at Foothill Presbyterian Hospital, in Glendora, aged 75, from congestive heart failure. She was in debt at her death. Rand's adopted son told an interviewer that Sammy Davis Jr. stepped in and wrote a $10,000 check which took care of Rand's expenses. Football coaches at the University of Delaware named a football play after Sally Rand. One explanation is that the play misdirected the defense, or in other words, like the dancer herself, the offense was showing more than they had; the name migrated to Canada, where a "naked bootleg" became known as a "Sally Rand" and was used to great effect by the B. C. Lions. In Tex Avery's cartoon Hollywood Steps Out, a rotoscoped Rand performs her famous bubble dance onstage to an appreciative crowd. A grinning Peter Lorre caricature in the front row comments, "I haven't seen such a beautiful bubble since I was a child." The routine continues until the bubble is popped by Harpo Marx and his slingshot, with a surprised Rand (her nudi
Rotoscoping is an animation technique that animators use to trace over motion picture footage, frame by frame, to produce realistic action. Animators projected photographed live-action movie images onto a glass panel and traced over the image; this projection equipment is referred to as a rotoscope, developed by Polish-American animator Max Fleischer. This device was replaced by computers, but the process is still called rotoscoping. In the visual effects industry, rotoscoping is the technique of manually creating a matte for an element on a live-action plate so it may be composited over another background. Rotoscoping has been used as a tool for visual effects in live-action movies. By tracing an object, the moviemaker creates a silhouette that can be used to extract that object from a scene for use on a different background. While blue- and green-screen techniques have made the process of layering subjects in scenes easier, rotoscoping still plays a large role in the production of visual effects imagery.
Rotoscoping in the digital domain is aided by motion-tracking and onion-skinning software. Rotoscoping is used in the preparation of garbage mattes for other matte-pulling processes. Rotoscoping has been used to create a special visual effect, guided by the matte or rotoscoped line. A classic use of traditional rotoscoping was in the original three Star Wars movies, where the production used it to create the glowing lightsaber effect with a matte based on sticks held by the actors. To achieve this, effects technicians traced a line over each frame with the prop enlarged each line and added the glow. Eadweard Muybridge had some of his famous chronophotographic sequences painted on glass discs for the zoopraxiscope projector that he used in his popular lectures between 1880 and 1895; the first discs were painted on the glass in dark contours. Discs made between 1892 and 1894 had outlines drawn by Erwin Faber photographically printed on the disc and coloured by hand, but these discs were never used in the lectures.
By 1902, Nuremberg toy companies Gebrüder Bing and Ernst Plank were offering chromolithographed film loops for their toy kinematographs. The films were traced from live-action film footage; the rotoscope technique was invented by animator Max Fleischer in 1915, used in his groundbreaking Out of the Inkwell animated series. It was known as the "Fleischer Process" on the early screen credits, was exclusive to Fleischer for several years; the live-movie reference for the character known as Koko the Clown, was performed by his brother dressed in a clown costume. Conceived as a short-cut to animating, the rotoscope process proved time consuming due the precise and laborious nature required in tracing. Rotoscoping is achieved by rear projection and front surface projection. In either case, the results can have slight deviations from the true line due to the separation of the projected image and the surface used for tracing. Misinterpretations of the forms cause the line to wiggle, the roto tracings must be reworked over an animation disc, using the tracings as a guide where consistency and solidity are important.
Fleischer ceased to depend on the rotoscope for fluid action by 1924, when Dick Huemer became the animation director and brought his animation experience from his years on the Mutt and Jeff series. Fleischer returned to rotoscoping in the 1930s for referencing intricate dance movements in his Popeye and Betty Boop cartoons; the most notable of these are the dance routines originating from jazz performer Cab Calloway in Minnie the Moocher, Snow White, The Old Man of the Mountain. In these examples, the roto tracing were used as a guide for timing and positioning, while the cartoon characters of different proportions were drawn to conform to those positions. Fleischer's last applications of rotoscope were for the realistic human animation required for the lead character—among others—in Gulliver's Travels, the human characters in his last feature, Mr. Bug Goes to Town, his most effective use of rotoscoping was in the action-oriented film noir Superman series of the early 1940s, where realistic movement was achieved on a level unmatched by conventional cartoon animation.
Contemporary uses of the rotoscope and its inherent challenges have included surreal effects in music videos such as Klaatu's "Routine Day", A-ha's "Take On Me", Kansas' "All I Wanted", the live performance scenes in Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing", the animated TV series Delta State. Fleischer's patent expired by 1934, other producers could use rotoscoping freely. Walt Disney and his animators used the technique in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs during 1937. Leon Schlesinger Productions, which produced the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons for Warner Bros. used rotoscoping. The 1939 MGM cartoon "Petunia Natural Park" from The Captain and the Kids featured a rotoscope version of Jackie. Rotoscoping was used extensively in China's first animated feature film, Princess Iron Fan, released under difficult conditions during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II; the technique was used extensively in the Soviet Union from the late 1930s to the 1950s, where it was known as "Éclair" and its historical use was enforced as a realization of Socialist Realism.
Most of the movies produced with it were adaptations of folk tales or poems—for example, The Night Before Christmas or The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish. Only during the early 1960s, after the "Khrushchev Thaw", did animators start to explore different aesthetics; the makers of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine used rotoscoping in
Peter Lorre was a Hungarian-born American character actor of Jewish descent. Lorre began his stage career in Vienna before moving to Germany where he worked first on the stage in film in Berlin in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Lorre caused an international sensation in the German film M, directed by Fritz Lang, in which he portrayed a serial killer who preys on little girls. Lorre left Germany, his first English-language film was Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much made in Great Britain. Settling in Hollywood, he became a featured player in many Hollywood crime and mystery films. In his initial American films, Mad Love and Crime and Punishment, he continued to play murderers, but he was cast playing Mr. Moto, the Japanese detective, in a B-picture series. From 1941 to 1946, he worked for Warner Bros, his first film at Warner was The Maltese Falcon, which began a sequence in which he appeared with Humphrey Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet. This was followed by Casablanca, the second of the nine films in which Lorre and Greenstreet appeared together.
Lorre's other films include Frank Capra's Arsenic and Old Lace and Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Typecast as a sinister foreigner, his career was erratic. Lorre was the first actor to play a James Bond villain as Le Chiffre in a TV version of Casino Royale; some of his last roles were in horror films directed by Roger Corman. Lorre was born László Löwenstein on 26 June 1904, the first child of Alajos Löwenstein and his wife Elvira Freischberger, in the Hungarian town of Rózsahegy in Liptó County, his parents, who were Jewish, had only moved there following his father's appointment as chief bookkeeper at a local textile mill. Alajos served as a lieutenant in the Austrian Army Reserve, which meant that he was away on military maneuvers. László's mother died when he was only four years old, leaving Alajos with three young sons, the youngest several months old, he soon married his wife's best friend Melanie Klein. However and his stepmother never got along, this colored his childhood memories.
At the outbreak of the Second Balkan War in 1913, anticipating that this would lead to a larger conflict and that he would be called up, Alajos moved the family to Vienna. He served on the Eastern Front during the winter of 1914–1915, before being put in charge of a prison camp due to heart trouble. Lorre began acting on stage in Vienna aged 17, where he worked with Viennese Art Nouveau artist and puppeteer Richard Teschner, he moved to the German city of Breslau, to Zürich. In the late 1920s, the actor moved to Berlin, where he worked with German playwright Bertolt Brecht, including a role in Brecht's Mann ist Mann and as Dr. Nakamura in the musical Happy End; the actor became much better known after director Fritz Lang cast him as child killer Hans Beckert in M, a film reputedly derived from the Peter Kürten case. Lang said that he had Lorre in mind while working on the script and did not give him a screen test because he was convinced that Lorre was perfect for the part; the director said that the actor gave his best performance in M and that it was among the most distinguished in film history.
Sharon Packer observed that Lorre played the "loner, schizotypal murderer" with "raspy voice, bulging eyes, emotive acting always make him memorable." In 1932, Lorre appeared alongside Hans Albers in the science fiction film F. P.1 antwortet nicht about an artificial island in the mid-Atlantic. When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, Lorre took refuge first in Paris and London, where he was noticed by Ivor Montagu, associate producer for The Man Who Knew Too Much, who reminded the film's director, Alfred Hitchcock, about Lorre's performance in M, they first considered him to play the assassin in the film, but wanted to use him in a larger role despite his limited command of English at the time, which Lorre overcame by learning much of his part phonetically. Michael Newton wrote in an article for The Guardian in September 2014 of his scenes with Leslie Banks in the film: "Lorre cannot help but steal each scene. After his first two American films, Lorre returned to England to feature in Hitchcock's Secret Agent.
Lorre and his first wife, actress Celia Lovsky, boarded a Cunard liner in Southampton on 18 July 1934 to sail for New York a day after shooting had been completed on The Man Who Knew Too Much, having gained visitor's visas to the United States. Lorre settled in Hollywood and was soon under contract to Columbia Pictures, which had difficulty finding parts suitable for him. After some months employed for research, Lorre decided that Crime and Punishment, the 1866 Russian novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, would be a suitable project with himself in the central role. Columbia's head Harry Cohn agreed to make the film adaptation on the condition that he could lend Lorre to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as a means of recouping the cost of Lorre not appearing in any of his films. For MGM's Mad Love, set in Paris and directed by Karl Freund, Lorre's head was shaved for the role of Dr. Gogol, a demented surgeon. In the film, Gogol replaces the wrecked hands of a concert pianist with those of an executed knife throwing murderer.
An actress who works at the nearby Grand Guignol theater, who happens to be the pianist's wife, is the subject of Gogol's u
Hollywood Steps Out
Hollywood Steps Out is a 1941 short Merrie Melodies cartoon by Warner Bros. directed by Tex Avery. The cartoon features caricatures by Ben Shenkman of Hollywood celebrities from the 1930s and early 1940s, including Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Wallace Beery, Bing Crosby, Greta Garbo, Groucho Marx. A bird's-eye view of Los Angeles is shown with searchlights moving to a conga beat; the action takes place in the famed Ciro's nightclub, where the Hollywood stars are having dinner at $50 a plate and "easy terms". The first stars seen are Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, and, at a table behind them, Adolphe Menjou and Norma Shearer, followed by Cary Grant, seated alone. Grant's first lines reference his films My Favorite Wife, The Awful Truth, His Girl Friday. Greta Garbo comes along as a cigarette girl, lights a match for Grant on her notoriously large feet. In the next scene, Edward G. Robinson asks Ann Sheridan, "How's the Oomph girl tonight?" Sheridan known as the "Oomph Girl", responds by uttering the word "Oomph" several times.
The camera tracks past several other tables: Warner Bros. staffers Henry Binder and Leon Schlesinger appear as an in-joke, while the soundtrack quotes "Merrily We Roll Along" – the theme to the Merrie Melodies series. A seat is reserved for Bette Davis. Meanwhile, in the cloakroom, Johnny Weissmuller checks a coat with Paulette Goddard that reveals his Tarzan outfit, with the single addition of a tuxedo collar and black bow tie. Sally Rand, leaves her trademark feather "fans" behind and leaves naked. In the next scene, James Cagney prepares Humphrey Bogart and George Raft – all known for their "tough guy" roles – for a risky task, they get ready and start childishly pitching pennies. Harpo Marx lights matches under Garbo's foot, but in keeping with her subdued acting style, she responds with only a casual "Ouch." Clark Gable turns his head around 180 degrees to observe a pretty girl whom he follows offscreen. Emcee Bing Crosby introduces the evening's entertainment, interrupted by an over-affectionate race horse with an unconscious jockey.
Crosby presents Leopold Stokowski, who wears a snood as he prepares for what promises to be a serious orchestral performance— however, the song is "Ahí, viene la conga" and he dances to the beat. The conga inspires Dorothy Lamour to invite James Stewart to dance with her. Stewart, known for playing "shy guy" roles, stutters and runs away scared, leaving behind a sign reading "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Gable dances following the girl he saw earlier. Tyrone Power dances with noted ice skater Sonja Henie. Frankenstein's monster dances woodenly; the Three Stooges smash each other in rhythm to the beat. Oliver Hardy's dance partner is revealed to be two women hidden by his obese frame. Cesar Romero dances with Rita Hayworth. Mickey Rooney, sitting with Judy Garland, is presented with an expensive bill. An episode of the Andy Hardy film series breaks out as Rooney asks his "father", Judge Hardy, for a favor. In the next scene they are seen washing the dishes to the conga beat. Gable, still following the girl, gives an aside to the audience: "Don't go away folks, this oughta be good!"
Crosby introduces the "feature attraction of the evening:" Sally Rand performing the bubble dance to "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles". Throughout the dance she holds a large white bubble in front of her nude body. Kay Kyser, in his "Ol' Perfessor" character, shouts out, "Students!" to which a group of men wolf-whistle in unison and exclaim "Baby!": They are William Powell, Spencer Tracy, Ronald Colman, Errol Flynn, Wallace Beery and C. Aubrey Smith. Peter Lorre cryptically states, "I haven't seen such a beautiful bubble since I was a child," in reference to his breakthrough film role as a child murderer in M. Henry Fonda is enjoying the act until he is pulled away by Alice Aldrich of The Aldrich Family saying "Hen-reeeeee!" J. Edgar Hoover says "Gee!" Several times as a pun on his position as a G-man. Boris Karloff, Arthur Treacher, Buster Keaton, Mischa Auer watch the action in their typical deadpan manner until Ned Sparks, another famous movie "grouch," asks them if they are having a good time.
Jerry Colonna is excited, utters his catchphrases "Guess who?", to which the camera reveals an invisible character next to him: "Yehudi!". "Strand" tosses her bubble up in the air and catches it on the way back down, titillating the audience. Harpo shoots the bubble with a slingshot. Gable, has caught the girl he was chasing, insisting she kiss him. "She" turns out to be Groucho Marx in drag, says, "Well, fancy meeting you here!" Kent Rogers – Mickey Rooney, James Cagney, James Stewart, Kay Kyser, J. Edgar Hoover, Henry Fonda, Cary Grant, Edward G. Robinson, Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Lewis Stone, Ned Sparks, Peter Lorre, Groucho Marx Mel Blanc – Jerry Colonna Sara Berner – Greta Garbo, Ann Sheridan, Paulette Goddard, Dorothy Lamour, Henry Fonda's Mother When announced for the bubble dance Rand is called "Strand" by Crosby to avoid infringement. Rand refused permission to copy her dance act. In one showing of the shor