THE BIRD CAME C.O.D. (1942)
Article 4856 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Chuck Jones
Featuring the voice of Mel Blanc
What it is: Warner Brothers Cartoon
A hapless cat delivers a potted palm to a theater, but his attention is caught by a magician’s hat. In it he encounters a very small but pugnacious bird who has little patience with the cat’s antics.
This was the first appearance of Conrad Cat, a short-lived character patterned after the comedian Ben Blue. As a character, Conrad is more odd than funny, with his defining characteristic being an abrupt self-conscious chortle. I rather like him myself, but I can see why he didn’t last long. One of the things I like about this cartoon is that there isn’t a word of dialogue, and I’m assuming that the credit to Mel Blanc is for the chortle. I’ve noticed that that is a discipline Chuck Jones liked to use; the Road Runner cartoons, for example, usually didn’t have any words save the Road Runner’s signature “Meep Meep”, and if it weren’t for the musical numbers, ONE FROGGY EVENING wouldn’t have any dialogue. I also like the use of music here, especially the bouncy little signature melody of the bird. It’s not one of Warner Brothers’ best cartoons buy a long shot, but I find it quite amusing myself.