The first Eagle-Lion film stars Kenny Delmar as Senator Beauregard Claghorn, his "Allen's Alley" resident-character heard on Fred Allen's radio program. Claghorn was a blustery, one-man-Chamber-of-Commerce for all things Southern, who had no tolerence for anything north of the Mason-Dixon line, although he made allowances for South Philly. The character inspired the creation of one of the most popular of the Warners' cartoon characters, Foghorn Leghorn, who re-worked most of the originals material and style. The title of this movie is a stock line- "it's a joke, son"---he would feed a befuddled Fred Allen each week. In the film, Claghorn gets into some financial difficulties and is forced by a machine-political gang to enter a race for state senator against his wife (Una Merkel) who appears to have a good chance to beat the political hack backed by the machine. Claghorn is in to siphon votes and ensure his wife's opponent will win and is expected to run a campaign that will defeat ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Kenny Delmar who was both announcer on the Fred Allen Radio Show and a character on his Allen's Alley segment takes said character Senator Beauregard Claghorn and stars in this initial film for Eagle-Lion Pictures. The title It's A Joke Son came from the catchphrase that identified him with so many radio listeners.
The sad thing today is that unless one is a student of our popular culture or in a generation before mine, the name of Senator Claghorn would not be recognized by too many contemporary viewers. Eagle-Lion in making this first admittedly B picture had a built in audience of Fred Allen's radio listeners. That is entirely lost on today's movie audience who watched this on YouTube as I did.
Senator Claghorn was a caricature of the flannel mouth politicians who got themselves elected to office in the former Confederate states by proudly proclaiming their Dixie heritage and little else. Done ever so gently for the radio listeners lest the ones in the south stop listening.
Those in the radio audiences still might have asked how did someone like Beauregard Claghorn ever get elected. The answer is provided by this film and it's that he beat a bigger boob. This boob is Jimmy Conlin and he's backed by some carpetbagging Yankee political boss in the person of Douglass Dumbrille.
When we meet Claghorn he's not a Senator yet, he's a rather henpecked husband of Una Merkel. When at a meeting of her Daughters Of Dixie club where the punch has been liberally spiked, Merkel is urged to run as a reform candidate.
For reasons I won't go into Delmar then throws his hat in the ring and the fun begins.
It's a B film with productions values of same so don't expect much. But also it's terribly dated with jokes that no audience of young people could possibly get. It's a film for folks like me.
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