Thursday, September 3, 2009

Private Snuffy Smith (Monogram Pictures,1942)

I love Snuffy comes from the fact that I grew up in a rural farmland region, and have been tagged with the label "hillbilly" in the past. Regardless of the fact that I'm a college graduate with three degrees, the first reaction I get from folks when they discover the area that I grew up in is that one of ,"'re from the sticks....." and immediately they seem to pass judgment on my educational background and intelligence. I soooo love the moment that tends to happen later when they realize they're fuckin' with someone who's probably smarter than them, and possesses a quick wit and a wise-acre smart mouth, to boot. I tend to cut people like that to ribbons verbally, showing no mercy or remorse for their feelings.

It's the little things that bring me joy....

Anyways...I love so-called cornball hillbilly humor. Not so much the current variety that has peaked in popularity (the whole Blue Collar Comedy Tour can kiss my ass with their collective unfunny lips), but the old school stuff.....Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, Li'l Abner (Al Capp was a genius), Lum n' Abner on the radio, The Beverly Hillbillies and The Dukes of Hazzard on the movin' picture box and such....I just find the stuff endearing. So sue me.

From Wikipedia:

Private Snuffy Smith is a 1942 American film directed by Edward F. Cline and starring Bud Duncan as Snuffy Smith.
Snuffy Smith has been for many years the predominant character in the syndicated newspaper comic strip Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, created by Billy DeBeck and later drawn by Fred Lasswell from 1942 until 2001 (when Laswell died). The strip is currently drawn by John Rose.

Snuffy is a stereotypical hillbilly. He lives in a shack, makes moonshine, is in constant trouble with the sheriff and is very shiftless, occasionally doing a small amount of farm work but primarily working his still and loafing. He also has some proclivity toward stealing chickens, which led to a brief but effective use of his character in a marketing campaign by the Tyson Foods corporation in the early 1980s.

He is very short, wears a broad-brimmed felt hat almost as tall as he is, has a scraggly mustache and wears a pair of tattered, poorly patched overalls. He constantly cheats at poker and checkers. His speech is ungrammatical in the extreme. In fact, almost all of the characters in the strip (except of course for the occasional visiting "flatlander") have been stereotypical hillbillies – sharp-tongued gossipy women such as his wife Loweezy (Louisa); his baby Tater; his nephew Jughaid (Jughead); his neighbors Elviney and Lukey (Lucas Ebenezer);[1] the sanctimonious (but nonetheless ungrammatical) Parson; Silas, the owner of the General Store; the ostentatiously badged Sheriff Tait and others. Vehicles were rundown jalopies of a seeming 1920s vintage, even in the 1970s and beyond.

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