Friday, March 27, 2009

When Ham and Bud Met Bugs and Daffy

A film clip of Ham and Bud talking to a newsboy was shown during Chuck Jones: Memories of Childhood, a documentary which debuted this month on TCM. Jones revealed that, at an early age, he became fascinated with Ham and Bud. He was living at the time in an orange grove on Sunset Boulevard and the comedy duo would occasionally drop by his house to visit.

Jones couldn't have been more than five years old at the time, but Ham and Bud left enough of an impression on him that he talked about them repeatedly in his later years. He talked particularly about Bud, who he described as a "midget." He wrote in his autobiography, Chuck Reducks, that Bud let him try on one of his costumes. It was a western outfit that came with wooly cowboy chaps, multiple gun belts and a sombrero. Jones said, "[Bud] was my size in every department but the hat." The hat, according to Jones, "hung on my head like a garbage-can lid."

I cannot say if Jones' memory of Ham and Bud ever influenced his work. Was he thinking of Ham and Bud when he was animating Tom and Jerry cartoons?

Did Bud enter his mind when he created the diminutive Sniffles?

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