Poking Fun at the Movies: Humorous Cartoons from 1916

I was rummaging around with research and stumbled across some rather cute movie-related cartoons. I have no particular insights on them, I just think they’re fun and you might like them. Enjoy!

No one with a monocle is up to any good in an American film. If it’s a German picture, just check to make sure that it isn’t Fritz Rasp under the eyeglass. If it’s Harry Liedtke, you are in safe (albeit lusty) hands.

“‘Allo, Marge!”

“Oh hello, Janet, how are you love?”

“Fancy seeing you! How’s little Ralph?”

“Oh, don’t ask me! He’s been nothing but trouble all morning. Stop it Ralph! Stop it!”

“Same as my Kevin.”


“Nothing but trouble… leave it alone! He’s just been in the Florentine Room and smeared tomato ketchup all over Raphael’s Baby Jesus. Put that Baroque masterpiece down!”

“Well, we’ve just come from the Courtauld and Ralph smashed every exhibit but one in the Danish Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition.”

“Just like my Kevin. Show him an exhibition of early eighteenth-century Dresden Pottery and he goes berserk. No, I said no, and I meant no! This morning we were viewing the early Flemish Masters of the Renaissance and Mannerist Schools, when he takes out his black aerosol and squirts Vermeer’s Lady At A Window!”

“Still it’s not as bad as spitting is it?”

(Sorry. I couldn’t resist a length Monty Python quote.)

I’m not as think as you drunk I am.

This is a sassy 1910s variation of an already-sassy nursery rhyme:

Where are you going, my pretty maid?
I’m going a milking, sir, she said.
May I go with you, my pretty maid?
You’re kindly welcome, sir, she said.
What is your fortune, my pretty maid?
My face is my fortune, sir, she said.
Then I won’t marry you, my pretty maid.
Nobody asked you, sir, she said.

Oh snap!

Incidentally, he was offering her $24 an hour, which ain’t bad but her $24,000 a week certainly beats it.

All clippings from a 1916 issue of Motion Picture Magazine courtesy of the Media History Digital Library.


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  1. Ross

    Re ‘the shidewalk’: I read somewhere an assertion that Billy Wilder’s 1945 ‘The Lost Weekend’ was the first film to depict the effects of alcohol seriously, and not comedic or sophisticated. There’s no shortage of ‘drunk acts’ in silent comedy, of course, inherited from music hall acts.

    1. Fritzi Kramer

      True story: I learned to use chopsticks as a kid but I learned to use them WELL thanks to copying Korean actors in historical dramas. I figured someone playing the king or queen would know a thing or two about table manners. 😉 I am not an expert, of course, but I think there was marked improvement.

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