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Western Animation / The Ducksters

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He'll be sorry.....
The Ducksters is a 1950 Looney Tunes short directed by Chuck Jones.

It stars Daffy Duck as the sadistic host of the radio quiz show "Truth or AAAAHHH!!", with Porky Pig as the hapless contestant. Porky must suffer incredibly obscure answers, nigh-impossible challenges, painful penalties, and Daffy's twisted sense of humor if he hopes to walk home with the grand prize... or his life, for that matter.


  • Ambiguous Syntax: "This program was brought to you by the Eagle Hand-Laundry. If your eagles' hands are dirty, we'll wash 'em clean!"
  • Anvil on Head: Porky suffers from getting a safe dropped on his head, and later a huge boulder. When he buys the radio station and turns the tables on Daffy, Daffy suffers the same treatment.
  • Asshole Victim: Daffy spends most of the short looking for any excuse he can to inflict harm on Porky, so no tears are shed when Porky uses the prize money Daffy gave him to buy the radio company and torture Daffy in return.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Porky starts to tire of Daffy's antics when Daffy directly threatens Porky.
      Daffy: Listen, mac, you've got thirty-two teeth. Would you like to try for sixteen?
      Porky: Are you th-th-th-threatening me, sir? (grabs Daffy by the neck) F-f-for if you are, by Gadry...
      Daffy: HAAALLLP! ...This call for help came to you through the courtesy of the Eagle Hand-Laundry.
    • Porky tries to throttle Daffy again after getting beat up by a Killer Gorilla. He ultimately ends up spending his prize money to buy the radio station and turn the tables on Daffy.
  • Book Ends: The circular buzzsaw on the Conveyor Belt of Doom described downward. For Daffy, it winds up being A Taste of Their Own Medicine.
  • Bowdlerization: When this short aired on Nickelodeon, the part after Daffy asks Porky if he'd like to continue the game, in which an off-screen audience member yells, "You'll be sor-ry!" and Daffy blasts him with a shotgun, was cut.
  • Call-Back: Daffy references "Jungle Jitters," an old Looney Tunes short from the late 1930's best known nowadays for being one of the Censored Eleven.
  • Calling Me a Logarithm:
    Daffy: What was Cleopatra's aunt's maiden name?
    Porky: W-w-which one, her m-m-maternal aunt or her paternal?
    Daffy: Here, watch your language, bud! We're on the air.
  • Characterization Marches On: On top of being the first usage of Daffy's modern design, this short served as a transitional period for the duck. This was among Chuck Jones' first shorts to not have Daffy as a laughing screwball, but the last of his shorts to have him as a straight-up prankster before making him an egotistical Butt-Monkey and rival for Bugs. While he's still wacky and devious enough to run rings around Porky here for the most part, his later Smug Snake tendencies and underestimating of his adversaries do emerge on occasions, shown by his getting frustrated whenever Porky manages to avoid repercussions and panicking whenever he finally provokes his anger.
  • Conveyor Belt of Doom: The cartoon opens with Porky on one of these. When Porky turns the tables on Daffy, the cartoon ends with Daffy in the same predicament.
  • Deadly Game: Every time Porky has to "pay the penalty", he's put through some form of Amusing Injuries like getting blown up, getting pummelled with a mallet, or having a safe or a boulder dropped on him.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Near the beginning of the short, Daffy succeeds in persuading Porky to continue playing, despite his misgivings. An audience member shouts, "You'll be so-o-o-orry!" Daffy fixes the offending man with a Death Glare, then produces a hunting rifle and shoots him.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After Daffy makes the threat mentioned about halving the number of teeth Porky has, Porky threatens to hit him. Daffy tricks him into walking into a room with a Killer Gorilla to avoid getting beaten up, but Porky still survives and Daffy gives Porky his prize money anyways. Porky uses it to buy the radio company Daffy's show airs on and gets some much earned payback.
  • Evil Laugh: Once the setting of a sadistic radio game show has been established, Daffy lets out a particularly sinister cackle after saying "Now, back to our contestant!"
  • Exact Words: Daffy uses this to weasel out of awarding Porky a "jackpot".
    Daffy: This pot was made for Jack. Jack pot, get it? Your name isn't Jack, so you must pay the penalty!
  • Game Show Appearance: Naturally.
  • Game Show Host: Daffy is of the sadistic kind here.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Daffy gives Porky a handsome amount of prize money in order to avoid getting pummelled. Porky uses the money to buy the company that airs Daffy's show, something Daffy quickly realizes won't end well.
  • Hourglass Plot: The short begins with Porky being subjected to the (painful) penalties of Truth or AAAAHHH!!, courtesy of Daffy. By the end of the short, Daffy and Porky swap roles.
  • Humiliation Conga: As soon as Porky turns the tables, Daffy is subjected to the same abuse in rapid-fire fashion.
  • In Medias Res: The short opens with Porky tied to a conveyor belt with a chainsaw answering correctly that Eli Whitney was the inventor of the cotton gin.
  • Is There a Doctor in the House?: The cartoon ends with Daffy, stuck in the same position Porky was at the start of the cartoon, shouting "Have you got a doctor in the balcony, lady?!"
  • Jerkass: Daffy unshrewdly rigs the game show to abuse Porky at every turn, even shooting an audience member that tries to warn him of his foul play. It gets turned against him in the end.
  • Killer Gorilla: Daffy's special mystery guest "Miss Shush" turns out to be an angry 600 lb. gorilla named Mamie. Porky finds this out the hard way.
  • Literal Money Metaphor: When Porky wins the jackpot, Daffy gives him a cooking pot.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Daffy tries to mollify a furious Porky by offering him a big cash prize "for being such a good sport". Porky promptly turns around and buys the radio station where Daffy works.
  • Oh, Crap!: Daffy when Porky buys the radio station.
  • On the Money: Porky finally wins a cash prize of $26,000,000.03. That just so happens to be the asking price for the radio station.
  • Running Gag: Daffy mentioning the show's sponsor, "Eagle Hand-Laundry".
  • Sadistic Game Show: The whole point of the show seems to be Daffy humiliating his contestants for ratings. "Good, clean, wholesome fun" indeed.
  • Shout-Out: As a spoof of radio quiz shows, the short references a number of contemporary examples of the form.
    • The name of the quiz show hosted by Daffy, Truth or AAAAHHH!!, is a nod to Truth or Consequences, which ran on NBC Radio from 1940 to 1957. Like its parody version, Truth or Consequences featured obscure questions that contestants had mere seconds to answer; if they failed, they had to perform a bizarre stunt as a forfeit. The "Miss Shush" question is inspired by that show's "Miss Hush" contest.
    • Daffy threatening Porky with "You've got 32 teeth, would you like to try for 16?" is a reference to Take It or Leave It, which ran on CBS Radio from 1940 to 1947 but was more famous in its TV incarnation as The $64,000 Question; after a correct answer, the contestant would be offered the chance to go double or nothing on another question (Daffy's threat thus inverts this idea). The audience member shouting "You'll be sorry!" (whom Daffy shoots dead) is also from Take It or Leave It.
    • As Daffy heads down the Conveyor Belt of Doom, he screams, "Have you got a doctor in the balcony, lady?", a spoof of the Catchphrase "I have a lady in the balcony, doctor!" with which new contestants were announced on the quiz show Doctor IQ, which aired on NBC and ABC Radio from 1939 to 1950.
    • The title references The Hucksters, a 1947 film about the radio advertising industry.
  • Teeth Flying: Daffy threatens Porky at one point with "You've got 32 teeth, would you like to try for 16?"
  • Unexpectedly Obscure Answer: Daffy hits Porky with a number of these.
    • First, he asks Porky to identify Cleopatra's aunt's maiden name (Porky asks if Daffy means her maternal or paternal aunt).note 
    • Then, he asks Porky to name the referee of the New Zealand heavyweight championship in 1726.note  To Daffy's shock, Porky knows the answer: Arbuckle Dreen. Daffy scolds the audience for "coaching" and then tries to stump him again by asking Porky to name Dreen's second-grade teacher, but Porky knows this as well: Abigail Twitch.
    • Daffy then tasks Porky with identifying an opera from a passage played on a piano; the passage consists of a single note. Porky guesses Cavalleria Rusticana; Daffy asks the audience the correct answer, and they say Rigoletto.
    • Finally, Daffy challenges Porky to identify "Miss Shush" from a recording of the mystery lady brushing her teeth on Wednesdays. Porky guesses Lauren Bacall; the correct answer is the 600 lb. Killer Gorilla star of Jungle Jitters.
    • Porky then turns the tables on Daffy at the end of the short by asking him to identify the latitude and longitude of the wreck of the Hesperus.note 


Video Example(s):


You'll Be Sorry

Daffy tries to coerce Porky into continuing playing Truth or AAAAUGH!, but an audience member tries to dissuade him from continuing, saying he'll be sorry for doing so. Daffy then shuts the audience member up by pulling out a shotgun and shooting him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / DisproportionateRetribution

Media sources: