What's Up, Tiger Lily? is a 1966 comedy film written and directed by Woody Allen in his directorial debut.
The film, featuring a soundtrack by The Lovin' Spoonful, is a Gag Dub of the 1965 Japanese spy film/James Bond clone International Secret Police: Key of Keys, in which superspy Phil Moscowitz searches for a secret egg salad recipe stolen from the leader of a "real-sounding but non-existent" country ("We're on the waiting list. As soon as a spot opens up on the map, we're in.").
The idea of a gag dub was so new that Allen appears in an interview segment at the beginning to explain the concept.
This version of the film contains examples of:
- And Call Him "George"!: Quoted verbatim from the original.
- Animated Credits Opening: Sort of. A cartoon version of Allen cavorts amongst various quick-edited cheesecake stills of original Japanese cast member (and future Bond girl) Mie Hama.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "They kill, they maim, and they call information for numbers they could easily look up in the phone book."
- Audience Participation: Phil asks the audience to believe in his gun having bullets so that he can shoot the villain.
- Bowdlerized: There are edited versions that remove the more risque jokes.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:Phil Moscowitz: Nothing much to report — oh, somebody tried to shoot me before the opening credits.
- Flowery Insults: "Russian snake!" "Anglo-Saxon hun!" "Spartan dog!" "Turkish taffy!" "Spanish Fly!"
- Gag Dub: Woody Allen's comedic dialogue over a Japanese spy film.
- Interchangeable Asian Cultures: The poster pictured above refers to a "Chinese fortune 'KOOKIE'". But the film being dubbed over is not Chinese, it's Japanese.
- Lame Pun Reaction: Hero Phil Moskowitz and his girl assistant, tied up, think they've been abducted by bad guy Shepard Wong, but it turns out to be a second bad guy, Wing Fat, who introduces himself: "I am Wong's competitor." Phil quips, "Well...two Wongs don't make a wight!" Wing Fat smiles and says, "For that joke you should only drop dead."
- Ms. Fanservice: Playboy Playmate China Lee, who does a striptease during the closing credits. She also appears in the poster art shown above.Woody Allen: I promised her I'd put her in the film...somewhere.
- Noodle Implements:Phil: Meet me in the bedroom in five minutes and bring a cattle prod.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: A bartender character is given a Peter Lorre voice. Eventually lampshaded:Snake Man: Ugh, my throat. This Peter Lorre impersonation is keeling me!
- Punny Name: Teri Yaki and Suki Yaki.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The Lovin' Spoonful's upbeat folk-rock soundtrack provides a complement to the Gag Dub dialogue in keeping things light, in spite of all the serious cloak-and-dagger action onscreen.
- Stop Being Stereotypical: One character's cry of "Banzai!" is met with groans of disgust from the other characters."Oh, God. Would somebody please tell him?"
- Viewers Are Morons: Defied for comedy. Midway through, the film cuts back to the interviewer.Interviewer: Woody, since the story is a bit difficult to follow, would you mind giving the audience and myself a brief rundown on what's gone on so far?
Allen: (flatly) No.
- You Have to Have Jews: Japanese detective "Phil Moscowitz".