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Sort Of On The Weak Side

6/10
Author: John T. Ryan (redryan64@hotmail.com) from United States
9 February 2016

AS WE HAVE asserted before, the best way to describe the MC DOAKES Series is not as an anthology of live action comedy movies that are held together by way of Joe & Alice; but rather as a veritable animated cartoon that is rendered in the realm of actors, rather than that of pen & ink. In no episode is this approach to that which is comic more in evidence than here.

THE STORY CONCERNS the age old, short term occupation of the baby sitter. The storyline, as threadbare and tin as it can be, consists of the one basic establishment of Joe's being put in temporary charge of his pal Homer's young son. From that point on, it is a rapid fire succession of sight gag after cartoony sight gag. In its form this MC DOAKES entry not only resembles the construction of a theatrical cartoon, but that of particular, esoteric term for one sub-genre.

IT WAS IN some interview with ROCKY & BULLWINKLE producer, Bill Scott, that he referenced the term, "Close-line" cartoon. The name is derived from its method of "hanging" one gag after another in fast paced, non intermittent fashion. The action continues until an end for the picture is reached. In this case, the ending, a usually important element of the film farce, is relatively weak and lacking that old "Leave 'em laughing" rule.

AS AN INTERESTING observation to the movie is that it has a young Billy Gray (uncredited)as the son of Joe's pal homer and the center of the story as an incredibly bratty kid. (much in the mode of Red Skelton's 'Mean Widdle Kid' on radio)

THE MOST MEMORABLE roles for Billy Gray were in THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and as 'Bud' on TV's FATHER KNOWS BEST.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the Better McDoakes Shorts

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
31 March 2010

So You Want to Be a Baby Sitter (1949)

*** (out of 4)

Hilarious entry in the Joe McDoakes series has him being forced by his wife to babysit a kid he hates just so they can go to a fashion show. Once there the kid turns into a monster by constantly picking on Joe and this is just the start of a long night. This here is certainly one of the better entries in the series as we get one great sequence after another with the entire cast being at the top of their game. As expected, George O'Hanlon does a wonderful job as Joe as he brings a certain loser quality to the role that he also mixes with someone you can't help but love. The amount of abuse Joe takes makes us feel sorry for him since he's a nice guy but at the same time it's extremely funny because of how weak he is. There are plenty of good scenes here but one of the highlights has to be at the end when Joe finally flips out, takes a ballbat and goes after the kid only to have his father (Clifton Young) come home. THe kid is wonderfully played by Billy Gray who would appear in THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL a couple years after this. If you're new to the series then this here would be a good place to start.

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