Walter Mencken 11 a.m., Nov. 27
Free movies: "Columbo" Day edition
You can watch clips of The Marx Bros. in Horse Feathers starting here, but if you want to cut to the "Columbo" Day chase, here's Chico's fractured English tribute to Chris:
"Christopher Columbo he write the Queen of Spain a very nice a-little note,
And he's a-write 'I love-a you baby' and then he get himself a great-a big boat,
He's a wise-a guy!
What do you think, Columbo do when he's a coming here in 1492?
He says to Pocahontas, "Achy-pachy-cachy-poo" which means you little son-of-a-gun, 'I love you!'"
Believe it or don't, the first time I saw Porky Pig in Bob Clampett's acutely incorrect Kristopher Kolumbus, Jr. (1939) was when my 1st grade teacher wheeled out the Bell & Howell Autoload to screen it for her class as a pre-Columbus Day treat. Beats the heck out of the Classics Illustrated version.
The stereotypical depiction of Native Americans has forever sentenced this Looney Tune to the bottom of the politically incorrect barrel. Clampett's wacky blackout gags and swinging dance finale make it worth fording through in spite of the short's built-in stream of insensitivity. Make that on account of the short's built-in stream of insensitivity.
Several years later, Bugs Bunny was called in to help Columbus prove the world was round. (Porky must have passed the old baseball gag on to his furry co-worker.) Bugs must have studied at the foot of Chico Marx. He knows the most convincing way to affect an Italian accent is by adding an "a" to the end of every other word. Here, presented in the wrong aspect ratio, is Robert McKimson's Hare We Go (1951).