August 1, 2013 posted by

What Ever Happened To Gabby Goat?


Here’s a simple entry for this week- a Porky Pig cartoon, directed by Bob Clampett.. and Chuck Jones as the listed animator (of course other animators were on the picture too).

It seems to be that there was a rise in the late 30’s of cartoons that feature two or three characters teaming up to battle adversity. Of course there’s the Mickey, Donald and Goofy shorts, but also things like Meany, Miny and Moe, the Lantz short Tom Thumb Jr and Oswald in Keeper of the Lions. Daffy would eventually make a better team member than Gabby Goat does here, both in contrasting design and stringer personality traits.

So, what happened to Gabby Goat? He’s one of those characters that just vanished..but maybe that’s ok. It’s possible he had a facelift and moved to Fleischers for the greener pastures of feature film work- at least he has a similar personality to his namesake…

This one is a little harder to see these days, having never been part of the Looney Tunes DVD collections. It appeared on the now-unavailable Return of the 30’s Characters DVD by Thunderbean. At some point I may reissue the set…


  • Porky also had a couple of early adventures with Beans Cat, another partner who didn’t work out.

    • Not to mention WB had a view other short lived cartoon stars before Porky was introduced like Foxy, Piggy, and Buddy (a bland ‘whitewashed’ version of Bosko).

  • This is a really funny cartoon, with some great gags. I remember it from my childhood. I wonder why Warners didn’t include it in their collection

    I’m curious — who provided the voice of the con man?

  • He seems to have come and gone with the brief period when a few cartoons were farmed out to Ub Iwerks. I can’t draw any connections there, though.

  • Good one! Does anyone know who the voice of the con man is? It sounds to me like character actor Earle Hodgins (but then again, what do I know?)

  • Gabby was based on the idea you could wring humor out of a character who was perpetually angry, coming out of the hybrid Ub Iwerks unit that Bob Clampett would soon take over. Debuting at roughly the same time as Avery created Daffy Duck, Clampett assumed control of Daffy in the B&W Looney Tunes after Tex departed for full-time Merrie Melodies duty, and found that a perpetually crazy character was a better source of comedy than one who was basically an animated, hyper version of James Finlayson or Edgar Kennedy from the old Hal Roach shorts.

    Porky didn’t need two supporting sidekicks, so Gabby had to go. But it is interesting to see how Clampett adapted Daffy for Gabby’s role, in the color remake of “Porky’s Badtime Story”.

  • Ah, Gabby we hardly knew ye.

    Maybe that’s OK.

  • I think the voice of the Oil Salesman was Eddie Marr, who did a lot of radio work in the mid to late 1930s. He’s also the Rain Pill salesman in “Milk and Money”. Marr used many catch phrases in his radio character, such as “get away from the platform, son, you bother me” and “tell you what I’m gonna do”. I think THE most obscure Porky sidekick was in the 1939 Hardaway and Dalton cartoon, “It’s An Ill Wind”, namely Dippy Duck. Dippy was not an angry character like Gabby Goat, but a non-stop talker, good natured, but annoying. He was very much like the talkative parrot in Tex Avery’s “I Wanna Be A Sailor”.

  • According to the original storyboards, Gabby was going to appear in PORKY’S PARTY, but instead got replaced by a new penguin character.

  • I heard he died penniless in an L.A. flophouse hooked on junk (REAL junk; couldn’t stop eating it.).

    • Good one Gerard!

  • I kinda liked Gabby Goat, and I notice his “anger” was toned down considerably in “get Rich Quick Porky”, and had he actually been in “Porky’s Party”, he would have only lost his temper at the end.
    I think if they had figured out how to refine his personality, he could have been in more shorts. I always felt they gave up on him too easily. Or did they get a lot of “fan mail” saying, ‘Get rid of the goat!”

    • Too bad he never lived on in the comics.

  • I’m waiting for the inside story on Willoughby Wren, the little guy who got super-strength from a hat made of Samson’s hair in a couple (or more?) Columbia shorts.

  • The salesman was indeed actor Earle Hodgins, although I agree with Mark that it resembles the character Eddie Marr did on radio (Marr did a con man type in the 1949 Lantz SCRAPPY BIRTHDAY). Interestingly, Clampett once identified Cal Howard as the voice of Gabby…but only in this cartoon. In his other appearances he was done by Mel Blanc.

    • That same character was also in WOODY THE GIANT KILLER. Thanks, Keith!

  • So, Keith, did Earle Hodgins do the voice of the rain pill salesman in “Porky the Rainmaker”? I made a mistake in my earlier comment and thought this cartoon was “Milk and Money”! Gawrsh!
    By the way, what radio shows did Earle Hodgins appear on?

  • Hi Mark–Yes, Hodgins also did the pill guy in PORKY THE RAINMAKER, and was the opening narrator on THE VILLAGE SMITHY. He was in radio shows like KOMEDY KAPERS (from Warner’s own KFWB studio on the Sunset lot), and COMEDY STARS OF HOPLLYWOOD. He was also a director of some early radio shows.

  • I remember Gabby; he was perpetually ticked off, and a master skeptic and cynic. Porky was like Mickey Mouse, the “everyman” character, who may get into a scrape, but keeps a good attitude, and in the end, everything comes out all right. I believe, in “Porky’s Badtine Story”, Porky and Gabby were roommates, and shared the same bed (after all, it WAS the Depression). Their Boss had given them hell that morning for coming In late, and threatened to fire them, if they came in late again (not an idle threat in those days). Porky and Gabby were determined not to be late, again; and that’s when the fun started. It started to rain, and the roof and ceiling leaked, right onto Gabby’s head. He had enough, and opened an umbrella. Porky starts, and tells Gabby that it’s bad luck to open an umbrella in the house. Gabby says, “Awww, that’s a bunch of malarkey! Right on cue, a bolt of lightning comes in the window, strikes the umbrella; and it, and Gabby, end up a little “toasted”. I’m truly sorry that Warner Bros. didn’t keep him around, and, while I like Daffy; I think Gabby, properly developed, would have been an occasional good “foil” to both Porky, and Bugs Bunny. I see a little of him, in both Daffy, and Donald Duck.

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