Title - A Sheep in the Deep
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1962
Reason for Placement --
The idea behind Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf always intrigued me when I was younger, and I don't think it was until I got older that I truly understood the premise: we see the two doing what they do best (namely, protecting a flock of sheep and trying to steal said-sheep), but we find out that this is literally their jobs. Hmm, wonder who signs their checks...
Anyway, A Sheep in the Deep was always a fun toon, mostly for the balance of visual gags that made the Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner toons famous (yes, I'll admit it, it took me a long time to realize that Ralph and Wile E. were two totally different characters, didn't help that a few of the Sam/Ralph toons were found on my old WEC/RR videotapes).
In one of the more brilliant moments to come from Chuck Jones (and that alone is saying something), Sam dangles Ralph over a cliff after another failed sheep-stealing attempt, and is about to drop him... when the lunch bell rings. The two stop to have lunch, even sharing a cup of coffee, and take a smoke break (which, I should mention, was edited out of certain broadcasts), and then go right back to where they left off, with Sam dropping him off the cliff! That is comedy gold right there: Ralph knows that when they go back, he'll be dropped of the cliff, but he shows no remorse or fear while on break. To him, it's just part of the job, and that, my friends, is hilarity in its finest.