The Sad Laugh of Woody Woodpecker: FOUND!

(The laugh happens at the 5:30 mark!)

I love cartoons, and I have a special place in my heart for the toons that were on television during my youth in the 80’s and 90’s. For the longest time, my “Holy Grail” of cartoons was the one in which Woody Woodpecker ends the episode defeated, with a sad laugh instead of his usual victorious pre-Nelson-Muntz “Ha ha!” version.

Back in this post I shared one of my favorite cartoons of yesteryear, Tex Avery’s “Shhhh!” (featuring huge stretches of complete silence… unheard of in a cartoon!) and, while enjoying the sadistically hilarious trials and tribulations endured by the protagonist I recalled my quest for the fabled “Sad Laugh of Woody Woodpecker”.

Whenever something bad happened to me, whether getting passed over for a choice bit of acting work, tripping over my shoes in the street before a live audience, locking my keys in my car, whatever… in my head, I would imagine that singular sad laugh of Woody Woodpecker… a laugh robbed of characteristic bravado, utterly defeated… and yet, still a laugh!

Special thanks to Cal-pal Michael C. for finding this clip for me! Now I know where it is, and I will once again cherish having that funny little sound fresh in my head the next time I do something stupid and need to find a way to smile despite that most recent example of life’s little “defeats”.

6 thoughts on “The Sad Laugh of Woody Woodpecker: FOUND!”

  1. This is a great find, Calpernia! As a kid, I do not recall ever seeing this Woody episode in the 70s or 80s. Woody Woodpecker is very under-appreciated among younger fans of classic animation, I think.

    I remember there was some mention in the comments section in one your articles or blogs that mentioned TSG Girlfriend. I know you haven’t visited that site (or perhaps no need to), but I have many times, and it is a good, safe place for chatting. ANYWAY, they have a terrific Woody Woodpecker audio emoticon, which gets used often. Just thought I’d mention that :-)

    Also, my own “Woody Woodpecker Holy Grail Cartoon” was this one, which actually doesn’t feature Woody except for the first and last minute. But it does have these weird running cameos from Smokey Bear:

  2. Made a mistake: it’s TS Girlfriend, and meant to write: “….(or perhaps have no interest or need to)…” Sorry, can’t delete/rewrite comments here :( But I encourage you to stop in there and say “hi” sometime 😉

  3. Also, in your “Sh-h-h-h-h” post, you mentioned this: “….There’s another one somewhere, where Porky Pig or somebody has to get some “peace and quiet” or else he’s just going to lose his mind, and he and Sylvester go to some rickety old hotel where Sylvester has to fall all over himself keeping things quiet so that Porky doesn’t lose it… If I can find that one, and my current Holy Grail of old cartoons, I’ll be complete as a human being. For a minute or two….”

    Actually, I believe you’re thinking of a synthesis of 2 different Looney Tunes cartoons.

    There’s one with Elmer Fudd and Sylvester the Cat, entitled “Back Alley Oproar” (1948). It’s available on the “Looney Tunes Collection: All Stars – Volume 3” DVD collection (from Warner Home Video). Here’s an online video link:

    And the second one is with Porky Pig and Daffy Duck, entitled “Daffy Duck Slept Here” (1948). That one is available on the “Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2” DVD collection (also from Warner). And here’s an online video link for THAT:

    And of course, there are sites where you can download those cartoons individually.

    There are more Disney and WB examples of the “insomnia cartoon” genre that are too numerous to mention here.

    Well, I hope this makes you complete for another two minutes! :)

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