Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid (1929)
A cartoonist sits at his drawing board, smoking a cigarette and crumpling up his latest drawing. He tries a new drawing, and this time he produces Bosko, a caricatured Negro boy with a simple, rounded design. Once finished, Bosko becomes animate on the paper. "Well, here I is," he declares to the mildly surprised cartoonist. "And I shore feel good!" Bosko proceeds to dance, play the piano--and sing. But his singing is so bad that the cartoonist sucks Bosko back into his ink pen and then pours him into his inkwell. But the end of this demo reel proves that Bosko can't be beaten so easily.
A cartoonist draws Bosko, who promptly comes to life.
- A cartoonist sits at his drawing board, smoking a cigarette and crumpling up his latest drawing. He tries a new drawing, and this time he produces Bosko, a caricatured Negro boy with a simple, rounded design. Once finished, Bosko becomes animate on the paper. "Well, here I is," he declares to the mildly surprised cartoonist. "And I shore feel good!"
"Oh ho, you feel good, do you?"
"Yeah, I's just outta de pen!" he says, pointing to the cartoonist's instrument and laughing.
"All right," says the cartoonist. Now that you're here, what can you do?"
"What can I do? Oh ho! Boss, what I can't do, ain't."
"Well, well. Who are you?"
"Who is I? I's Bosko, that's who I is, ain't nobody else except but."
"Bosko, eh? All right, Bosko, show me what you can do."
"Okay, boss," he agrees. "Watch this here." Bosko dances, accompanying himself by humming a song. He pulls down his derby and does another dance, imitating a Chinaman. He does a third dance, this time while whistling a tune. Suddenly he stops and stares at us, the audience. "Who's all them folks out there in the dark?"
"Why the audience, Bosko. Can you make 'em laugh?"
Bosko thinks for a few moments, tapping his foot and scratching his head. Now he has an idea. "You got a pi--uh-uh, a pian-uh?"
"Yeah, here you are." The cartoonist brings his pen to the paper.
"Right there," says Bosko, pointing at the empty space to his left. The cartoonist draws a piano, and then a stool pops up out of nowhere. Bosko grabs the seat of his pants and lifts himself into the air. He elongates his other arm and pulls the stool underneath himself, and then drops his behind on the stool. He whistles a signal to the stool, and it dutifully jumps over to the piano, close enough for Bosko to play.
Bosko tests the keys, but one plays the wrong note. "Ain't that a heck of a note?" Bosko says to the audience. He pulls out the errant key and puts it in its proper place. Then he slides his finger over all the keys so vigorously they briefly lift up off the keyboard. He laughs and then puts his feet under the keyboard and pulls himself forward.
He begins to sing "Sonny Boy," but holds a note so long that his tongue stretches out and flops in front of him on the floor. He fixes this by pulling a hair on the top of his head, which reels the overlong tongue back into his head. He goes back to singing, but again holds a note too long, which causes his neck to pop up like an uncoiled spring and send his head nearly to the top of the page. "Say," he cries. "Where's I at?" He pulls his head back onto his shoulders, but the spring goes off again, sending his head back to the top of the page. "I's re-sgusted!" He sits firmly on the stool, spins it with his feet, which sends it into the air, bringing his body and his head back together.
Bosko jumps off the stool, looks toward us and throws out his arms for approval. He attempts the song and the note yet again, causing his torso to become toothpick-thin.
Bosko's voice is terrible. The cartoonist holds his hands over his ears and commands him to stop, but he won't. "You'll go back to the pen for this," the cartoonist says. He stabs Bosko in the rear with his ink pen. Bosko cries out in pain and protest, but it does no good. The cartoonist sucks him and the piano back into the pen and then pours its contents back into the inkwell.
But the indomitable Bosko pops back out of the inkwell. He removes his hat, looks at us and says, "Well, so long, folks. See y'all later!" He slaps his derby back on his head, flicks it, and then looks in the direction of the absent cartoonist and blows him a raspberry. Bosko returns to his inkwell; and we iris out.