It's A Joke, Son (January 15, 1947)
Released on January 15, 1947: It's A Joke, Son, is the movie hit that inspired the cartoon with Foglorn Leghorn as a caricature of Senator Claghorn.
Produced by Aubrey Schenck
Directed by Benjamin Stoloff
Written by Robert E. Kent and Paul Girard Smith
The Actors: Kenny Delmar (Senator Beuregard Claghorn), June Lockhart (Mary Lou Claghorn), Una Merkel, Mrs. Magnolia Claghorn), Kenneth Farrell (Jefferson 'Jeff' Davis), Douglass Dumbrille (Bid Dan Healey, political boss), Jimmy Conlin (Senator Alexander P. Leeds), Matt Willis (Ace, Healey's henchman), Ralph Sanford (Knifey, Healey's henchman), Vera Lewis (Hortense Dimwitty), Margaret McWade (Jennifer Whipple), Ida Moore (Matilda Whipple), Sam Ash (unknown), Edward Biby (unknown), Ralph Brooks (unknown), Paul E. Burns (Peterson the mailman), George Chandler (groceryman in the opening scene), Jane Crowley (Daughters of Dixie member), Blythe Daley (Daughters of Dixie member), Cathy Dart (Daughters of Dixie member), John Dehner (unknown), Robert Dobson (unknown), Sarah Edwards (Annabelle), Billy Engle (unknown), Franklyn Farnum (Mr. Harvey), Margaret Farrell (Daughters of Dixie member), Sam Hayes (radio commentator at victory rally), Clarence Hennecke (unknown), Raymond Largay (unknown), Wilbur Mack (man at rally), Edward Peil Sr. (man at rally), June Pickerell (Daughters of Dixie member), Kathryn Sheldon (Daughters of Dixie member), Anthony Sydes (William), John Wald (NBC radio commentator)
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Politics, Mint Julep and Southern Hospitality
Kenny Delmar’s mother and aunt toured the Vaudeville show circuit with young Kenny, but his greatest fame would come from this movie character alone. He was a radio personality that never lacked for work, but even though his voice was heard by millions of people, his fame resulted almost by accident while he was the radio studio show announcer for the Fred Allen comedy show.
For one show in October of 1945 he got the chance to be in a comedy skit as loud-mouth Southern Senator Beauregard Claghorn. His character was an instant hit and he became famous, and was soon hailed as the most quoted man in America. His catch phrase, “That’s a Joke, Son,” was mimicked more often than any other quote for several decades. Warner Brothers created a cartoon rooster named Foghorn Leghorn that was a caricature of the Senator Claghorn character.
For all of his fame from the Senator Claghorn comedy character, Kenny Delmar only appeared in two motion pictures – this one, and one as a child in the 1921 silent film “Orphans of the Storm.” By comparison, Una Merkel, his wife in this adventure, appeared in 115 movies, and June Lockhart, most famous for her role in the “Lost in Space” television adventure, appeared in more than 150 motion pictures.
Not to press a point, but the little dog Daisy, who appears as the household dog, who was most famous as the dog in the Dagwood and Blondie movies, was in 46 motion pictures. Even though his motion picture career was very short, we can meet the man and the character that dominate America for many years in the 1940s. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Kenneth Farrell and June Lockhart
Kenny Delmar and Una Merkel
June Lockhart and Kenneth Farrell
June Lockhart and Kenneth Farrell
Kenny Delmar and Matt Willis
Una Merkel and Kenny Delmar
Kenny Delmar has a fly on his nose
Paul E. Burns and Kenny Delmar
Paul E. Burns
Ralph Sanford, Douglass Dumbrille and Matt Willis
Ralph Sanford, Kenny Delmar and Matt Willis
Ralph Sanford and Matt Willis
Una Merkel and June Lockhart