#40 -- Early to Bet

Title - Early to Bet
Director - Bob McKimson
Released - 1951

Reason for Placement --

"Better watch out, folks, or the Gambling Bug will get you!" Might sound like a simple enough warning to stay away from gambling, but in Early to Bet, it's actually a warning about a real-life Gambling Bug, whose bites cause the victim to start compusively gambling (geez, Gamblers Anonymous would have a field day with this episode).

Anyway, the focus of the short is actually McKimson's nameless cat (who appeared in multiple other shorts, including A Fractured Leghorn), who is bitten by the Gambling Bug and continually plays cards with a bulldog. Sadly, the bite doesn't bring luck with the cards, as the cat loses every time. And, for some reason, when the cat loses he has to be the victim of random penalties, which to me seem like a precursor to the Physical Challenges of Double Dare.

It's probably worth pointing out that the idea of the penalties being inflicted by the dog to the cat was previously used by McKimson in 1950s It's Hummer Time. However, in my opinion, Early to Bet works out as the better of the two, if for no other reason than the extra humor the Gambling Bug brings to the screen.

1 comment:

  1. The parts of this cartoon and "It's Hummer Time" that I love the most are the cat's reactions when he discovers what the new penalty is. Of course, in this cartoon, the tables are turned. Stan Freberg did the voice of the Gambling Bug.