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The Courtship of the Newt (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Short | 23 July 1938 (USA)
A zoology professor gives a lecture on the title subject. He tells the audience that there is a newt in a tank of water seen on a table. The tank is filled with what looks like seaweed, and... See full summary »

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Zoology professor
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A zoology professor gives a lecture on the title subject. He tells the audience that there is a newt in a tank of water seen on a table. The tank is filled with what looks like seaweed, and the professor can't seem to get his hands on the animal during the lecture. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

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Comedy | Short

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Approved
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23 July 1938 (USA)  »

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(Western Electric Sound System)

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1.37 : 1
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Remake of The Sex Life of the Polyp (1928) See more »

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Benchley demonstrates the art of underplaying...
22 August 2008 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

You have to be a ROBERT BENCHLEY fan to appreciate his dry humor, especially when he deals with the even drier subject of this supposedly humorous sketch about a scientist talking about his latest find--"the newt." We never actually see what he's talking about. He makes several efforts to reach into a tank full of specimens but each time has to draw back, smile and say he'll take another look later. Meanwhile, his grumpy assistant is working nearby at a work table.

He then uses charts to illustrate his remarks--and naturally, none of them shed any light on the situation at all.

Finally, his assistant who has more experience with the newt, is asked to reach into the tank so Benchley can display the newt to the audience.

The weak payoff has Benchley showing that the little creature is invisible, even though it drops with a plopping sound when he tosses it back into the tank.

Silly stuff no matter how you look at it. Certainly not one of his best skits.


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