– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
America 1946 — fatigued by depression and war the public looks for light amusements at the box-office and is instead greeted by anarchic disrespect for the law, ironic mockery of advertising and occasional surrealism. At least that's what we at NYD see when viewing the graffiti defacement classic, Warner Brothers' 1946 cartoon Daffy Doodles.
The film opens with an overview of an un-named New York-like metropolis, our narrator intones -
In a large, eastern city, a demon is on the loose. The people are terrified, the police baffled. With diabolical cleverness, the monster strikes without warning... and draws mustaches on all the ads. No one knows who this fiend is. It could be you. It could be me.
This is one of the first times that mustache defacement of advertising was documented in a pop culture medium, but the desire to not just deface with mustaches, but to deface overblown and oppressive ads with them, must of been common much earlier. Even in 1946 it was seen as so obvious and common that you could make a Daffy Duck cartoon about it.
The targets of the mustaching are all very familiar - Hollywood stars, full-of-itself high art, cute babies, cute babes, animal brand mascots, and more cute babes. The irreverent motives seem are also very familiar, destructive enough to get the police after you but understandable enough that we're all more-or-less in favor of it, including the jury of identically mustshieoed Jerry Colonna clones (a famous massively mustached Hollywood goof-ball sidekick to Bob Hope in the forties.)
Daffy Doodles is a great cartoon, just as relevant today as it was almost seventy years ago, get more details at IMDb. And if you're a fan of hand drawn defacements and aren't afraid of seeing some naughty bits, take a look at the best penis defacement tv commercial ever, just as funny and a lot dirtier.