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Western Animation / A Day At The Zoo

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I'm a bad boy!

A Day At The Zoo is a 1939 Merrie Melodies cartoon, directed by Tex Avery.

The short (like most of Tex Avery's theatrical cartoon work both on WB and when we worked at MGM) is a series of visual and verbal gags, usually based on outrageous stereotypes, corny, yet clever wordplay; and topical references, is presented as a narrator (Gil Warren) describes a "tour" of the "Kalama Zoo" where the animals have nonsensical names, display anthropomorphic behavior, or illustrate punny gags. The only thing remotely related to a narrative is the running gag of Egghead (the prototype Elmer character) teasing a lion and paying for it in the end.



  • Annoying Laugh: Egghead while teasing the lion.
  • Ax-Crazy: When asked by the narrator why he's acting loopy and crazy, the Rocky Mountain wildcat says this:
    "They called my name out at bank night, AND I WASN'T THERE!" (starts going crazy again)
  • Bullying a Dragon: Egghead believes that taunting a hungry lion is a good idea.
  • Bowdlerization: The scene of the camels smoking cigarettes was cut on TBS, Cartoon Network, and Boomerang.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The cartoon crams as many animal puns as possible into 7 minutes.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: With everyone keeping their distance from his cage, a skunk reads How to Win Friends and Influence People.
  • I Warned You: The narrator repeatedly tells Egghead to stop bothering that lion or he'll really suffer for it. Suffice to say, Egghead should've listened.
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  • Informed Species: One monkey cage is labelled "Baboon", but the primate in it looks like a chimpanzee.
  • Institutional Apparel: The "Alcatraz Jailbird" is shown wearing stripes and claiming he's innocent. The Stool Pigeon claims to have seen the whole thing.
  • Ironic Echo: "I'm a bad boy."
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Egghead's constant teasing of the lion gets him eaten, despite the narrator warning him to stop.
  • Off with His Head!: The narration introduces a man reading a newspaper, saying he became famous for sticking his head in a lion's mouth. He puts down the newspaper and walks away, despite having no head.
  • Pink Elephants: One exhibit shows floating pink elephants, a good two years before the Trope Namer comes out.
  • Silly Animal Sound: The ostrich makes a chicken-like cluck after laying an egg.
  • Smug Smiler: When the narrator thinks that Egghead simply went home, the lion does this while shaking his head.
  • Suddenly Shouting: "HEY SISTER! CAN'T YA READ?!" shouts a monkey after an old woman tries feeding him some peanuts, the latter ignoring a "Don't Feed The Animals" sign. He even shows her the sign as a bonus.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Egghead continues teasing the lion even though the narrator tells him to stop, he eventually gets eaten.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Egghead laughs hysterically, while teasing the lion. The lion eats him in the end and happily smirks about it.

Video Example(s):


A Day At The Zoo (1939) - Hurricane of Puns

5 puns sent in the space of 30 seconds.

How well does it match the trope?

4.4 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / HurricaneOfPuns

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