"Save for a rainy day."
She saves, but every time it rains
She spends what she puts away.
She knows her proverbs, A to Z,
And knows the good they bring.
But when she has to follow them,
Well, that's another thing.
Oh, Little Audrey says
"While the sun is out, make hay."
Though she's not immense,
There's a lot of sense
In what Little Audrey has to say.
Little Audrey is a folkloric character who "starred" in a plethora of mostly bad jokes dating back to the turn of the 20th century that went something like this:
"One day, Li'l Audrey was playing with matches. Her mother told her she'd better stop before someone got hurt. But Li'l Audrey was awfully hard headed and kept playing with matches, and eventually, she burned their house down.
"Oh, Li'l Audrey, you are sure gonna catch it when your father comes home!" said her mother.
But Li'l Audrey just laughed and laughed, because she knew her father had come home early to take a nap."
Starting in 1947, she became a cartoon character from Famous Studios, made during The Golden Age of Animation. Her creation was spurred when the studio grew tired of paying royalties to produce Little Lulu cartoons and decided to create a similar character they could be used in the shorts for no cost who was in fact far more famous. (During World War II there are many examples of bomber planes and even tanks named after her) She is voiced by Mae Questel, who also voiced Betty Boop and Olive Oyl in the Popeye cartoons. During her Famous Studios years, she starred in a fair amount of cartoons between 1947 to 1958. In 1948, Audrey would receive her own comic book series by St. John Publications. Then in 1952, Harvey Comics obtained the rights to Little Audrey, and has been the character's sole publisher ever since.
After many years of disuse, Audrey has returned as one of the tritagonists (alongside fellow Harvey stars Little Dot and Little Lotta) of the Netflix series Harvey Street Kids.
- Santa's Surprise: December 5, 1947 Public Domain.
- Olive Oyl For President (Not a Little Audrey cartoon, but she does make a brief cameo in it): January 30, 1948
- Butterscotch And Soda: July 16, 1948 Public Domain.
- The Lost Dream: March 18, 1949
- Song of the Birds (a semi-remake of the 1930's Max Fleischer Color Classics short of the same name): November 18, 1949
- Tarts and Flowers: May 26, 1950 Public Domain.
- Goofy Goofy Gander: August 18, 1950 Public Domain.
- Hold the Lion, Please: August 27, 1951
- Audrey the Rainmaker: October 26, 1951
- Law and Audrey: May 23, 1952
- The Case of the Cockeyed Canary: December 19, 1952
- Surf Bored: July 17, 1953
- The Seapreme Court: January 29, 1954 Public Domain.
- Dizzy Dishes note : February 4, 1955
- Little Audrey Riding Hood: October 14, 1955
- Fishing Tackler: March 29, 1957
- Dawg Gawn: December 12, 1958
- Adaptation Dye-Job:
- Harvey Comics changed her from a redhead to a brunette.
- The color of Audrey's dress varies across media. In the cartoons, she wears a blue dress. In the St. John Publications comics, her dress is yellow. In the Harvey Comics, Audrey's dress is red.
- Alien Invasion: The dream theme for "Dizzy Dishes".
- All Just a Dream: Most if not all of her shorts. Not so much in the comics.
- Beach Episode: "Surf Bored".
- The Cameo: As noted, Audrey cameos in the Popeye cartoon "Olive Oyl For President."
- Captain Ersatz: Little Audrey was created so Paramount wouldn't have to pay Lulu's creator Marge Henderson Buell royalties for rights to the character.
- Cheerful Child: Audrey, when she's not being a brat.
- Comedic Spanking: Audrey got it from her parents on a regular basis.
- Disproportionate Retribution: In "The Seapreme Court"; Audrey is wrongly tried for the suffering of many fish in the sea just because she's the first human they've manage to capture, and is sentenced to the Eee-lectric chair. Thankfully, it was all just a dream.
- Dream Land: Pretty much a theme in several Audrey cartoons.
- Dunce Cap: Audrey wears one in "Goofy Goofy Gander" after getting caught reading comic books in class.
- Eat the Camera: Inverted, in "Butterscotch and Soda"; the camera zooms out of Audrey's screaming mouth when she imagines her pet bird turns into a vampire bat.
- Electric Torture: The 'Eee-lectric' chair that Audrey gets sentenced to by the end of the cartoon 'The Seapreme Court'.
- Everybody Laughs Ending: Many of the shorts end with Audrey laughing.
- As noted above, Audrey is this to Lulu.
- Likewise, Audrey's friends and family are quite similar to Lulu's:
- Melvin = Tubby
- Lucretia = Annie
- Mr. and Mrs. Smith = George and Martha Moppet
- Force Feeding / I Taste Delicious: The candy people in "Butterscotch and Soda" when Audrey's dream turns into a nightmare.
- Kangaroo Court: "The Seapreme Court".
- Level Ate: Audrey's dream in "Butterscotch and Soda" has her end up in a world made of sweets.
- Nursery Rhyme: The cartoon "Goofy Goofy Gander" has 'Mother Goose rhymes' as the theme for Audrey's dream adventure.
- Onion Tears
- Only One Name: Until the comics, where her last name is Smith.
- Panty Shot: Quite prolifically, due to Values Dissonance. It was once regarded as merely cute and neither obscene nor suggestive for a pre-teen girl to show a bit of underwear.
- Public Domain Animation: a few shorts have slipped into the public domain and can be found on a number of cheap VHS and DVDs.
- Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: The 1950 short "Tarts and Flowers" has the villainous Devil Food Cake interrupt a wedding to steal the bride right as the priest says, "If anyone knows why these sweet things should not wed, speak now!"
- The Television Talks Back: In "Tarts and Flowers", Audrey listens to cooking instructions on a radio. The announcer says "Beat it." which Audrey takes to mean leaving before he clarifies the cake mix should be beaten.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In "The Lost Dream", when she opens a door clearly marked "DANGER" in Dreamland despite repeated warnings not to do so, and unleashes several hellish and maniacal creatures for her troubles. She then snaps back to reality.
- Would Hurt a Child: Audrey's Electric Torture at the end of The Seapreme Court