Tex Avery and Red Hot Riding Hood

When Tex Avery began working at the early Warner Brothers Cartoon Studio, he found himself in a group of other crazy people. The first time he met the other gag writers, they built a fire in the middle of the floor of the writing room and then sat around it like a group of Native Americans. One of the gag writers was Dave Monahan, who quit by saying, “I’m going to the dentist,” and then driving from California to Florida to get a job at another studio. When Tex worked as a cartoon director for MGM, he created a sexy Red Riding Hood character. The first cartoon the character appeared in was “Red Hot Riding Hood,” which appeared in 1943. Much of the humor resulted from the wolf character’s exaggerated reactions to the sexy Red Riding Hood. The Hays Office censored a lot of the cartoon, so lots of funny stuff was taken out, but Tex and others at MGM learned from the experience. If they ever wanted a sexy character in one of their cartoons, they would add some other VERY sexy characters to the synopsis they sent to the Hays Office. The censors would censor the VERY sexy characters and leave in the sexy character that Tex wanted to use. By the way, MGM did some training films for the military. A military officer saw the uncensored version of “Red Hot Riding Hood” and requested that that version be sent to overseas American soldiers, with whom it was very popular. By the way, Tex once gambled with a boss, Leon Schlesinger. Tex ended up owing him $10, promised to pay it the following day, and as promised brought in $10. The money was all pennies, and all unrolled, and in a bag, which Tex emptied onto the floor.

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