Chopper is chasing Fibber Fox on foot through a hospital ward. They exit from the scene and re-emerge 12 frames (half a second) later chasing each other in wheel chairs. A few seconds later, there’s a siren sound. “Uh, oh,” says Chopper. “A cop.”
It all seems logical. It makes sense for someone zipping along in a wheeled vehicle to get pulled over for speeding. But in this setting it makes absolutely no sense. And that’s what makes it funny. Add to it Maltese’s dialogue after Fibber Fox, disguised as a traffic cop (with a police motorcycle helmet), “pulls over” Chopper.
Chopper: Aw, what’s wrong, officer?Of course, there are such things as hospital zones and fox hunting, but not in the context that Maltese uses them. That’s where the comedy comes in. No time is wasted between lines. The sequence’s pace is quick, making it funnier.
Fibber: Doing 90 in a hospital zone, that’s what.
Chopper: Gosh, I didn’t mean any harm. I was chasin’ a fox.
Fibber: Well, we can just add that to your criminal record. Fox hunting is out of season. Let’s see your driver’s license.
Chopper: Well, uh, I haven’t got one.
Fibber: Shame, shame. Aren’t you the one. You’re going to have the book thrown at you.
Chopper: I am?
Fibber: Oh, yes.
(book hits Chopper in the face).
And instead of the thrown book being figurative, as it’s usually used, it’s literal in this case. The old switch is a guaranteed laugh if it’s done fast enough and you don’t have time to think about it.
(A side note: as this is a Hanna-Barbera cartoon, I should point out Chopper and Fibber run past the same door in the background seven times, Chopper rolls past the same table and flower pot 14 times, then Fibber zooms past the same door eight times. Why the door is replaced by a table in Chopper’s scene, since they’re supposedly chasing each other, must be for esthetic reasons and not those of logic).
Fibber Fox gets some of his humour from dialogue extensions. He’ll take a line a character has just spoken and use it for his next line. An example in this cartoon: after Yakky hands Chopper a bone and says “Bone appetite,” the observing Fibber adds “It’ll be duck appetite as soon as I get that mutt out of the way.” And later, when Chopper growls out his stock-in-trade suggestion to Yakky to close his itsy-bitsy eyes so he won’t see the pounding the fox will get, Fibber tells the audience, “I think I’d better leave before Chopper closes mine.
Other bits of dialogue:
Fibber (diagnosing Chopper, disguised as a nurse): Well, it’s a clear case of Relapso Escondido.The plot revolves around Chopper being in hospital after coming out on the losing end of a fight with a cat. Yakky is bringing him a bone as a present. Fibber’s foiled in his attempt to capture Yakky for lunch, despite a couple of disguises to fool the protective Chopper. Finally, Fibber’s done in by running into an elevator which, conveniently for the plot, turns out not to be there and dropping an unspecified number of floors.
(Yowp note: Escondido is a town in California).
Chopper: Hello, nurse. Remember me?
Fibber: Well, let me see. Did we meet in Paris? Or Yaphank? Or was it in the Casbah?
(Yowp note: Only New Yorker Maltese would include the name of a little town on Long Island in his dialogue, especially one that likely has extremely little in common with Paris or the Casbah).
Fibber (after getting bopped by Chopper’s arm cast): As Quick Draw McGraw would say, “Ooooh. That smarts.”
The final scene features Chopper and Yakky visiting the injured Fibber in the same hospital. Yakky’s brought a present—a bone. Chopper puts up a fist to emphasize that Fibber had better enjoy it—or else.
Fibber: Ah, yes. I see what you mean. (Gnaws on bone). A bone is just what I’ve always wanted. (turns to audience) But not very much. (resumes gnawing, stops and turns to audience). Yechhh.
With Fibber chomping on the bone, the cartoon fades out.
Allen Wilzbach is the animator. Some of his violence drawings...
Here’s how Wilzbach handles Fibber zipping out of a scene. Consecutive frames.
Fernando Montealegre painted the backgrounds from Dick Bickenbach’s layouts. Here’s Yakky strolling in Monty’s lone outdoor settings.
Only four characters take part in this one: a doctor is played by Daws Butler; Fibber, Chopper and Yakky are voiced by their usual actors. The sound cutter picks Flintstones music for some of the accompanying score.