(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”.

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