Comedy

Warner Bros. Animated Pop Quiz

Arthur Treacher (left) and Buster Keaton at Ciro's in Hollywood. Image: lkjdsf d
Dining at Ciro’s in Hollywood. Image: picslist.com

Hooray! It’s time for a Pop Quiz.

What – did you think we were never going to have a Pop Quiz? Where’s the fun in life if you can’t enjoy a surprise test every now and then?

Today’s quiz is based on the Warner Bros. animated short, Hollywood Steps Out. This eight-minute film is a send-up of Hollywood celebrities circa 1941. It has lively music, well-drawn caricatures and lots of funny lines.

The action takes place at a swanky Hollywood hot spot called Ciro’s, which was an actual nightclub on Sunset Boulevard. All the biggest names went to Ciro’s in the 1940s and 50s, including Joan Crawford, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe.

The palatial Ciro’s in the Merrie Melodies short is remarkably similar to the real Ciro’s, which was established in 1940 by William R. Wickerson, the founder of The Hollywood Reporter and, apparently, discoverer of Lana Turner. (Click HERE for a gallery of vintage Ciro’s photos.)

As the film opens, it’s immediately evident Ciro’s is not a place for regular folk. Animators jokingly point this out to us by providing a sign on the roof that reads:

De Luxe Dinner
$50.00 and Up
Easy Terms
6 Months to Pay
Small Down Payments

(According to the inflation calculator, $50.00 in 1941 would be $832.67 today. You’d have to be a Hollywood star to eat there; otherwise, you really would need six months to pay.)

L-R: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and George Raft at the bar. Image: lksdj fdskj f
Ciro’s has a strict dress code. Image: veehd.com

Are you ready for today’s Pop Quiz? Here we go!

Below is a link to Hollywood Steps Out. The quiz involves (a) watching the film, and (b) naming as many celebrities as you can. But, before you start, you should know there are a whack o’ celebs, although not all of them have speaking parts. You’ll have to Be On The Lookout.

Even so, you’ll be surprised at how many stars you’ll recognize. (Yes, you.) In fact, we recommend you keep score, just to prove to everyone what a smarty-pants you are. Give yourself points for correctly identifying the following:

Each A-List Star = 5 Points 
Each Character Actor = 10 Points
Each Famous 1940s Personality (that no one’s heard of since) = 20 Points
Leon Schlesinger = 30 Points
If you know who Leon Schlesinger is = 40 Points
If you liked the film so much you watched it multiple times = 50 Points

Click HERE to watch Hollywood Steps Out free on Vimeo. Have fun!

P.S. If you get stumped and can’t identify all the celebrities, you can find a Cheat Sheet HERE on Wikipedia.

P.P.S. In case you were wondering, Ciro’s became the rock and roll hang-out in the 1960s where The Byrds were discovered. It was sold in 1972 and became The Comedy Store.

Hollywood Steps Out: voiced by Dave Barry, Sara Berner, Mel Blanc. Directed by Tex (Fred) Avery. Written by Melvin Millar. Warner Bros. Pictures Inc. Vitaphone Corp., 1941, Technicolor, 8 mins.

This post is part of the One of My All-Time Favourite Cartoons hosted by Movie Movie Blog Blog. Click HERE to see the other fab entries.

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40 thoughts on “Warner Bros. Animated Pop Quiz

  1. I totally just called my hubbie over to watch that. 😀 No “score” (because we didn’t know how to define each character for points) but we recognized 24. I know there were sooo many we didn’t get. But we both remember seeing it when we were little. Great pick. Thanks! That was fun.

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      1. Haha! 😀 I’ll take the 50 bonus points. He actually recognized way more than I did. And he had fun. Ack! Greta Garbo. I’ll have to tell him. I had to look up Dorothy Lamour but her picture on Wiki looks just like the cartoon! LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fun and original post — great contribution to the blogathon! I love this cartoon, even if it frustrates me that I can’t name everyone without looking at a cheat sheet. 😉

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      1. Yeah, I’ve seen it a number of times over the years. It’s still so much fun to watch! And of ALL THE PEOPLE to be stumped by, ya chose Dorothy? 🙂

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  3. Thanks for your fact- and fun-filled entry to the blogathon! I’d heard of this cartoon for years but had never seen it. I guess you have to know the references to appreciate it, but since I knew them, it was hilarious! I made the scoring easy on myself and gave myself 70 points for recognizing Leon S. and just 5 points for each of the celebs. Nevertheless, I still racked up 210 points! Pretty good, eh, boss?

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    1. VERY good! You probably earned more than 210 points. You should reward yourself with a beer or a glass soda – whichever you prefer.

      And thanks for hosting & organizing this blogathon. Am looking forward to reading the other entries!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Even if I hadn’t recognized a single celebrity on this cartoon (which I did, nearly all of them, although I never knew the hat check girl w/ Johnny Weissmuller was Paulette Goddard), I like to think I would win on points because Hollywood Steps Out was on a preview reel that played when I worked the counter at a Philadelphia video store from 1983-85. We must have seen it at least once, often twice, five days a week back in the day (mind you, another preview reel featured “The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller,” so it could have been worse).
    Warners made several of these “all-star” ‘toons in the ’30s (I’d recommend The Coo-Coo Nut Grove and Have You Got Any Castles?, plus the ’47 Bugs Bunny short Slick Hare with “guest stars” Bogie and Bacall), but I always liked this one for the Al Hirschfeld-like caricature…and for Gable going “it’s me again!” By the way, does anyone know how the idea of Garbo having big feet got started?
    Thanks for this post and reminding me of those carefree days watching trailers and working the video counter.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, Paulette Goddard was a tough one. I had to look that up.

    If you played endlessly this on a preview reel at a video store, then you get a bonus 500 points. I haven’t seen The Coo-Coo Nut Grove & will check it out – thanks!

    In my research I found that – apparently – people made a big thing out of Garbo’s shoe size, back in the day. Not sure how it started…guess I need to do more research!

    Thanks for dropping by and sharing your video store memories. 🙂

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  6. Wow! I could recognise more faces than I expected. Not enough to make much points but I think I will make those 50 points for watching it multiple times. Thanks I loved it and the way it is so entertainingly presented here!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha thanks if you say so! I needed the cheatsheet quite a bit but I am having fun discovering the names that I didn’t know and some of the injokes I totally missed. It is definitely a great cartoon and it is true their impersonations and overall personalities really sum them up as how we, the audience, view them! Thanks for this, it is a great find!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. What a fun post, Ruth! I did terrible on the quiz, but just goes to show you I need to follow your blog. I recognized a lot of them, but could not remember a lot of their names. I guess I better start watching more movies! I have a long list, thanks to you, to choose from! 🙂

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