Edward Everett Horton talented actor that he was, should never have had the burden of carrying a film by himself. His type of personality just simply couldn't do it.
I'm not sure how to classify Ask Dad. It's a short three character play, certainly not a comedy because there are no jokes in it. Horton's son Winston Miller comes to Horton's office and waits for admittance to Dad's office. He's got a yen for the secretary Ruth Renick, but she's not got a yen for him. That's not hard to see why not, Miller's one real backward kid.
Some of Horton's fuss budget personality does come through in Ask Dad, but not enough. Maybe he could have been a lead in short subjects if given the right material, this clearly wasn't it. He's so much better in support of people like Fred Astaire or as part of a great ensemble cast. He certainly had his moments in films directed by Frank Capra or in Here Comes Mr. Jordan.
But explaining the birds and bees to his backward kid just wasn't him.
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