Sunday, July 09, 2017



Do any of you remember this sexy gal? It's Betty Boop … a cartoon character made famous by Max Fleischer and Paramount Pictures in 1932. 

Her cartoon films stood out from the competition mainly because of the
musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway who provided her jazzy soundtracks. In one film Betty is threatened by a salacious ringmaster and, while swinging her hips, she tells her friend, the clown, “He couldn’t take my boop-oop-a-doop away!” That phrase became her byword.

But it wasn't an easy road for Betty. As incredible as it seems today in 1934 the Production Code censorship laws forced Betty to increase the length of her skirt and to cover up the revealing neckline. She was no longer a “risqué” flapper. She became a housewife with a little dog named Pudgy and the films fell flat.

It is ironic that Betty’s spirited sexuality would spell her doom even as it was making stars of the women who copied her antics. Can anyone forget the memorable performance by Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like it Hot”, the 1959 hit with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis? Her song “I Wanna Be Loved By You” with the chorus of boop-oop-a-doop was a direct takeoff of Betty.

By 1939 it would seem that her cartoon career was at an end but you can’t keep a girl like Betty under wraps. She has been revived over the years in syndicated films and even had a cameo appearance in the Academy Award winning film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” in 1988. 

Way to go Betty and keep on boop-oop-a-dooping wherever you are !!


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I never really realized this about her career and certainly not the Marylyn Monroe connection.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

Yay for Betty! A woman ahead of her time.

4:43 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

My goodness, that was considered racy? I never knew anything about her. Interesting.

12:31 PM  
Blogger possum said...

Somehow I missed Betty Boop... I guess she would have been racy to some... pretty tame for today.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks for an informative post on Betty, who I do remember.

7:47 PM  
Blogger joared said...

I recall hearing the name in connection with that tune, but never saw any cartoons. Interesting recap younprovided. She does seem to keep popping up in one way or another. Censorship criteria surely has evolved with our culture over the years.

10:39 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home