Definitions

chow-hound

Chow Hound

[chou-hound]

Chow Hound is a Looney Tunes animated short directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese. Released June 16, 1951, the voices were performed by Bea Benaderet, Mel Blanc and John T. Smith.

Unlike most Warner Bros.-series cartoons featuring cats as the antagonists of their targets (such as birds) and dogs serving to discourage their behavior, "Chow Hound" uses a different formula, wherein a large bulldog is the merciless bully, and the cat (along with a mouse) are his hapless victims.

Plot

A large bulldog bullies two unwilling parties — a frightened cat and a tough-talking mouse — into various scams to obtain dinner from various residences. The scheme involves the dog, who forever complains that he is "starving," using the cat to pose as the pet for three residents and a municipal zoo. The cat poses as (in order of appearance):

  • "Butch," a turtleneck-wearing feline. The cat timidly walks to the waiting bulldog to hand him his steak.
  • A bow-tied "Harold," who is scolded by his female "mistress" as he comes home. "Harold" tries to eat a leg of chicken when the mistress leaves the room, but is quickly grabbed by the bulldog.
  • "Timothy," the alley cat who serves as the mouse catcher for an older gentleman living in a brownstone apartment building. The cat swallows the mouse whole, earning more physical punishment; the mouse tries unsuccessfully to get away after he is spit out.
  • As a "saber-tooth alley catus," complete with fake fangs. The zookeeper shrugs his shoulders at the apparently new, unannounced "exhibit." It is at this point where the cat tries to one-up his captor by wrapping a TNT stick inside the steak. The embarrassed dog excuses himself afterward, then hits the cat over the head.

The cat is instructed to gather juicy steaks and then surrender them to the bulldog. Each time, however, the cat forgets the gravy; the agitated bulldog bellows out, "What, no gravy?" and beats the cat for his mistake.

After the fourth scheme, the bulldog complains that "week in, week out, it's the same thing; it's too slow!" He then sees a sign advertising a reward for lost animals and gets a sinister idea: Holding the cat hostage for weeks, the dog accurately anticipates that the cat's "owners" will post rewards in the newspaper. "C'mon stupid; this is the payoff," the dog snarls.

The bulldog returns the cat to each of his masters, collects the reward and then reclaims his cat by means of a trick-bed, the largest of the rewards coming from the zoo. The dog, gloating that he is now "set for life" and will "never be hungry again," uses his ill-gotten gains to purchase a butcher shop, where "acres and acres" of meat hang from the ceiling.

The bulldog's greed gets the better of him, as his overindulgence on meat has rendered him grossly obese and unable to move a muscle. As the doctors prepare to pump his stomach, two vistors march in: The cat and the mouse. The cat says, "This time, we didn't forget the gravy," shortly before inseting a large funnel in the dog's mouth and begin pouring an institutional-sized bottle of gravy into the funnel; the bulldog, strapped to the table, is helpless to stop them.

Censorship

  • On FOX's Merrie Melodies Show, the part where the dog (dressed as a game hunter) returns the cat (dressed as a sabre-toothed tiger) to the zoo was cut because the scene also had a mouse who was dressed as an African savage. Also cut on FOX was the ending where, after the dog is sent to the veternarian's for gorging on meat, the cat and mouse (whom the dog had mercilessly exploited throughout the cartoon) come in and say, "This time, we didn't forget the gravy!" and funnel a giant drum of gravy down the dog's throat as revenge.
  • On Nickelodeon, only the part with the dog as the game hunter, the cat as the sabre-toothed tiger, and the mouse as the African savage was cut.
  • Cartoon Network cut the part with the dog as the game hunter, the cat as the sabre-toothed tiger, and the mouse as the African savage on a March 18, 2001 episode of The Looney Tunes Show and showed it edited on other installment shows. Prior to this airing, the scene was left unedited.

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