What’s scarier than a monkey? A puppet monkey from 1948.
Snark of the Covenant had me over for some holiday Rifftrax recently. Mike and the gang had dug up a moldy old Christmas short, and they made it pretty funny. They get paid for that, though, as they should, so the time warnings in this post are for the unadulterated PD version of Santa Claus’ Punch and Judy (below, end of post).
Santa has been transported into someone’s living room, where he grants a few wishes to children who have clearly been directed to “talk slower. Slower!” The wishes are all quite reasonable until some little mook asks for “ay lo-co-mo-tive, anna traain, anna Punchin Judy show.”
A Punch and Judy show. In the USA. In 1948. Sure, they were huge that year. The year after that, the kids all wanted Scrabble sets.
Nevertheless, Santa wouldn’t be Santa if he couldn’t wish this into the living room, and he does. Wellll, puppets are pretty creepy, but they’re not monkeys (or clowns), and there will probably be a crocodile at the end, which always cheers me up.
Oh dear, battling blackface puppets @ 4:49 (gone at 5:19), very not cool…is he calling Judy in again?…THAT’S NOT JUDY!
At 5:23, a monkey. A glove puppet monkey with gigantic nostrils and black eyebrows, a tongue that shoots out of its freaky head, a Frankenberry cranium, and flapping little chimpy ears. It’s like he was invented to scare people–er, children.
Hope and pray all you want, Punch will be not allowed to wallop the snot out of Just This One Thing. Even though it almost immediately jumps on him.
And ambush monkeys will jump on you. I remember a TV new story about a teen who was minding her own business at the mall when someone’s “pet” monkey crawled out of a gym bag and jumped on her from behind, out of nowhere.
Back in the film, Punch fails to smack this horrid thing with a stick until about 6:48, when it is allowed to escape unscathed (and replaced by a skunk). Whew.
Here it is, a film that would present a rainbow sherbet swirl of wrong even without the monkey: