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Western Animation / Greetings Bait

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Greetings Bait is a 1943 Looney Tunes short (7 minutes) directed by Friz Freleng.

None of the iconic characters from the Looney Tunes canon appear. Instead the hero is a wacky worm on the end of a fisherman's hook. The fisherman lowers the worm into the water, whereupon the worm engages in various hijinks to get the fish on the hook. Once he makes himself the meat in a sandwich, once he impersonates a mermaid, once he basically dares another fish into biting. The worm's hijinks are interrupted when he encounters a crab who tries very hard to eat the worm.

Second of two appearances for the nameless worm, who first popped up in 1941 Looney Tunes short "The Wacky Worm".


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  • Battle Discretion Shot: Sets up the closing gag. The worm tells the crab that he's going to beat the crab up. He then tells the audience that the camera is going to pan up, in order to avoid exposing them to violence. The camera then goes to the surface to show the water foaming from combat. Finally the fisherman, revealed to be Jerry Colonna, pulls up the worm, who's on a stretcher and covered in bandages.
    Worm: I could be wrong, y'know...
    Colonna: Ah yes! Embarrassing, isn't it?
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The worm addresses the audience right before the climactic fight.
  • Eye on a Stalk: The crab has them. This leads to a clever shot when the crab approaches an old trunk sitting at the bottom of the water, and sends one eye around each end of the trunk, bifurcating his vision.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: The worm, who has been busy getting fish onto the hook, has to run for it when a crab comes after him.
  • Impairment Shot: Blurred shaking vision from the crab after he goes hurtling into a rock while chasing the worm.
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    • Also a weird, crumpled image of the worm after he's tied the crab's eyes together around the trunk.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The fisherman is revealed at the end to be a cartoon Jerry Colonna.
  • Shout-Out: The worm and the fisherman are both cartoon caricatures of Jerry Colonna, who is pretty much forgotten in latter days but in that era was a comedian and star of radio and movies (he was a regular on Bob Hope's radio show). The title is a pun on Colonna's Catchphrase, "Greetings, gate!"
  • Split Screen: This effect is produced when the crab extends one eyeball around either side of a trunk.
  • Two-Act Structure: The first part is the worm trying to bait fish, the second part is the worm fleeing from the crab.
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