Quotes / Tex Avery

"What, all this junk, the yak-yak-yak? It would've broke my heart! Dialogue gags are a dime a dozen, but a good sight gag is hard to come by."
—Tex Avery on TV cartoons, quoted from pg. 199 of Tex Avery: The King of Cartoons

"A lot of it (his comedy style) comes back from those old slapstick comedies. Chaplin- I guess everybody's copied him. You can see some of the things they contrived with wires and so forth to get impossible gags- Mack Sennett with his ford going between two trolleys. We found out early that if you did something with a character, either animal or human or whatnot, that couldn't possibly be rigged up in live action, why then you've got a guaranteed laugh. If a human can do it, a lot of times it isn't funny in animation. Or even if it is funny, a human could do it funnier. They attempted to make a Laurel and Hardy cartoon series. Well, goodness, you can't copy their reactions and all of that. But if you can take a fellow and have him get hit on the head and then he cracks up like a piece of china, then you know you've got a laugh! Because they cannot do it live! I would also say that magazine cartoons were a big influence. Virgil Partch started going crazy like that- having a guy taking a shower inside a helmet, just his head sticking out. There have been times when a magazine cartoon has built into a funny cartoon gag- twisting it, and switching it around, changing the situation or something. Or distortion, we've gotten a lot out of distortion, a character getting into something he couldn't possibly get into- a milk bottle or something. You couldn't possibly do that with Charlie Chaplin, get him in a milk bottle."
—Tex Avery in an interview with historian Joe Adamson for his book Tex Avery: The King of Cartoons

"Avery was a genius. As one of his animators in the later 1930s (at Warner Bros.), I was as ignorant of his genius as I supposed Michelangelo's apprentices were oblivious to the fact that they, too, were working with a genius. But Avery's brilliance penetrated the husk of my self-assured ignorance, the ignorance that encases most twenty-year-olds. In spite of myself, I learned from him the most important truth about animation: animation is the art of timing, a truth applicable as well to all comedy. And the brilliant masters of timing were Keaton, Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, (Harry) Langdon—and Fred (Tex) Avery."
Chuck Jones on Tex Avery, pg. 97 of Chuck Amuck

"Chuck Jones' coyote can fall five miles from a precipice and still be alive when he gets to the bottom. Tex Avery's wolf would probably endure such a fall but is more likely to develop brakes on the way down. It is the creation of the director's own universe, and the maintaining of that universe, that makes animation a medium capable of individual, personal expression, and what allows us to tell one animation director from another."
—Historian Joe Adamson on Tex Avery

Sammy Squirrel: My cartoon would have been cuter!
Screwy Squirrel and Meathead and their Offscreen Teleportation doubles together: Oh, brother! NOT THAT!
(cue Big Ball of Violence)
Screwball Squirrel

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