Working at Warner Bros. from 1938 through 1962, legendary animator Chuck Jones perfected the wisecracking Bugs Bunny, the short-tempered Daffy Duck, and the amorous Pepé Le Pew. The purest expression of his artistry is his Road Runner series, in which Wile E. Coyote endlessly pursues the elusive Road Runner. With its streamlined visual style, brilliantly geometric gags, and constant comic invention, the series is a masterpiece of American screen comedy. During the retrospective Chuck Amuck, Jones spoke at length about his life and art. In the tradition of his hero, Mark Twain, Jones was a witty, wry, thoroughly engaging speaker.
A Pinewood Dialogue moderated by Chief Curator David Schwartz (December 17, 1994):
SCHWARTZ: Please now welcome Chuck Jones. (Applause)

JONES: Well, it’s true. Being born in 1812, Lincoln was really a very nice man. I let you know that. Anyway, yes, I was born in 1912, which was the 100th anniversary of Charles Dickens's birthday. And I was born two years before Winsor McCay made Gertie the Dinosaur, and I'd like to believe that I had some effect on him, and on that. (Laughter) I don't remember, but my mother contended that I made public nuisances of myself, and I'm still doing that. And you've just witnessed a group of public nuisances I have created over the years.

The essence of making animation, however, is the recognition (which many people fail to recognize) that animation is teamwork. One thing I do know that I have in common—I have a talent that I have in common with other good people in our business and that is that I knew enough to surround myself with talent. I always wanted animators better than I was when I was an animator. Men like Maurice Noble who are brilliant artists. Background men like Phil[ip] DeGuard and writers like Tedd Pierce and Mike [Michael] Maltese. Now that, that's something I can recommend to anyone, because if you surround yourself with talent, it doesn't matter which direction you fall, you're going to fall on somebody with talent. And that's very pleasant, indeed. No one can take complete credit. The thing that the director has, though, he has the same responsibility that the captain of a ship has. Everybody on the ship should be better [at] running the ship than the captain does [is], except the captain has to make the decisions.

And at Warner Bros., we were very fortunate in that we had terrible men we worked for... (Laughter) Leon Schlesinger and Eddie [Edward] Selzer were two of the most abysmal human beings that I could possibly get outside of a decadent zoo. We had an advantage of Leon because Leon, he was lazy. And that, that's really what got, got us starting doing good pictures. Because he didn't know what we were working on. He did contribute one thing. I don't know whether you realize this or not, but he used to come back once in while; he wore spats and always put gloves on before he came back into this place we worked in called Termite Terrace, which could have been called Spider Terrace, or Dust, or Spider Web, or Mouse Terrace, or anything else. But there were termites, all right. He didn't want to get his spats dirty, so he tiptoed back there. Then he would ask us, “What you working on fellasth?” He had a little lisp. And “What you working on, fellath?” We knew he wouldn't be listening to us, so one of us would say, “Well, we're working on a new Daffy Duck. And it turns out that Daffy isn't a duck at all; he's a transvestite chicken.” (Laughter) And he'd say, so Leon would say, “Hey, boyth, put in lots of joketh. I'm off to the raceth.” So that's where Daffy Duck got his voice. (Laughs)

Tex Avery was making a picture called Porky's Duck Hunt, I think it was. And he wasn't happy with the voice that they were using on the duck at that time—nor were any of us happy with what Bugs Bunny's voice was like in The Wild Hare. So Cal Howard, who was one of our writers, said to Tex, he says, “You know, Leon's voice would make a very good voice for that duck. And he's like Leon,” because he said that Leon believes that the world owes him a living. And so does Daffy. (Laughs) So we figured, well, that would make a perfect situation. So Tex said, “Well, fine, we'll do it.” So we called Mel Blanc in and said, “Can you do Leon Schlesinger's voice?” And Mel said, “Well, thertainly I can do it. How much voith do you want me to do?” (Laughs) (“How much voice do you want me to do?") And he said, “Well, just for this picture.” So we made it. And halfway through the picture—I was animating, Bob [Robert] Clampett and I were both animating, and Bob [Robert] Cannon, were all his animators. So we went ahead and put the picture to work and animated it, and so on. Got three quarters of the way through and we realized that Leon was going to have to hear that picture. (Laughs) And exactly how he would respond to his voice coming out of this idiot duck was… Well, we didn't have to ask the question, we knew full well what would happen. We would get fired, all of us. And so it was too late. We couldn't… it was far too late, we couldn't junk the picture. We hadn’t any legitimate reason for doing so. So we went ahead and finished it.

So the day came. And in order to understand what this was like: Leon would enter from the front of our little theater and he'd walk back to the middle. There was a middle aisle. And at the far end he had a platform with an old golden throne on it that came from an early Warner Bros. silent picture where Theda Bara used to put her beautiful gams or butt—they were called butts in those days; I don’t know what they’re called now, but they were beautiful—then Leon put his scaly old behind down on that. (Laughter) And then to make us feel good he'd say, “Okay, roll the garbage.” (Laughs) That's the first time he'd seen the film. And of course, I said—heartrending; it made you feel good. The guy really cares. And so, we rolled the garbage. Leon never paid any attention to what anybody was doing, anyway. He didn't know whether people were laughing or not, because he was so self-oriented. So, he listened to the picture all the way through. And nobody laughed, because it was like being at a funeral, because everybody was going to die. So we'd all written out our resignation so we wouldn't get fired. And at the end of it, why, he jumped up and he glared around. He says, “Jesus Chrith, that's a funny voith. Where'd you get that voith?” (Laughs) So that's the way it all happened.

And so Leon Schlesinger, who had a brain—well, let me explain about his brain. I can never figure out where it belonged on the scale of animals. His brain. You know, was it better than a possum[’s]?

I didn’t know. So, I talked to a friend of mine over at UCLA who was a zoologist, and he was also generally a naturalist; they knew a lot of things. He said, “How do we start?” I said, “Look, in terms of living things, what’s the lowest?” And he said, “Well, a sphagnum moss. It doesn’t do anything; it just sits there.” And I said, “Well, he does things: he irritates people.”

I wanted to make him into poison oak, but he wouldn’t have that. He said, “No, let’s go... I think we could do better.” So, we went up and we kept examining things, and we finally got up to, I think, a planarian worm—he said that’s a pretty good thing. He said, “It does very little, but what it does, it’s consistent.” I said, “Is there something about it that makes it different than others?” And he said, “Well, it kind of bores its way up and seeks light.” I said, “Well, Leon’s lower than that.” I mean—I said, he’s not a planarian worm. So, if you ever want to know the intellectual level of cartoon producers at that time, just get out your book and look somewhere between sphagnum moss and planarian worm, and you’ll find, nestled there, Eddie Selzer and Leon Schlesinger. Very happily in there in their stupidity. They live on stupidity. With a little ketchup.

So, a year ago, last September, the new management at Warner Bros.—who are very good people; I hate to say it, because of my position that producers are terrible people. But in this case, I—when I formed this new unit, I decided that I wanted a producer that I could trust. And anyone I knew [whom] I was certain I could trust who'd had experience—because we worked on Mrs. Doubtfire together—was my daughter. And so, I made my daughter my producer, which hamstrung me terribly, because I couldn't hate her; I'd loved her too long. So, when she doesn't ask, or when she makes a judgment that I don't like, all I can do is go and sulk. Which she used to do to me when she was little, so we're just getting it back. (Laughs) She's a good sulker, you know.

They said, “Well, we want a 20-year contract.” I was 82. (Laughs) And you can only legally die every ten years. That was even more appealing, you know. You know, I'm not going to die illegally, that's for sure. And so, they put me in the office. They paid me a lot of money to make decent cartoons. We hope we made decent ones.

But the point of the thing... And I want you to understand what this was all about; it wasn't a question of my coming back and making cartoons for them. I told them I would do so if I could rebuild and make what you might call Termite Terrace II. That is, to build a studio of young people: taking them from art school, we have a couple people from England, we have some from Canada, we have a bunch of young local people, men and women, a wonderful bunch. And they're developing into a new unit.

And so, that's what I want. I told them, within three years what I wanted to do was build a unit of young people making new adventures with the old Warner Bros. cartoons, and new adventures with new characters. Because the new characters were where the vitality is. But new adventures of the old characters is not a bad thing, either. For them, it was kind of like discovering that Charlie Chaplin wasn't dead; that's the way they felt about it.

So, um, we, we, we made this cartoon, which is now complete. It will open in the theater next week—week. So you guys are seeing it before anybody in the world is seeing it. And if you have opinions that are negative, keep them to yourself. (Laughter)

Anyway, the first cartoon is Fast and Furry-ous. That was the very first one in—way back in ’48, I think. Leon and I—Eddie Selzer was now our producer, and he hated it because there was no dialogue. He says, "Goddammit." He says, "We pay Mel Blanc and you should use his voice." And I said, "Well, we're not going to use any voices on this one." He says, "What do you mean, you're not going to use a voice?" “Quiet down.” And so, he sulked. As I told you, I was familiar with sulking, and I didn't mind when he did it, you know. But he didn't want to do it because we, we didn't have a dialogue. And I said, "Well, it won't work otherwise." And he says, "I don't give a damn whether it works or not. You ought to use voices. We pay Mel Blanc!"

The curious part of it was that Mel didn't even do the “beep-beep.” Mike and I hadn't any idea what kind of a sound the Road Runner should make. Until we were sitting in our room one day and we heard this voice coming down the hall, and it was going, "Beep-beep. Beep-beep. Beep-beep." And the door was open and Paul Julian, one of the background men, walked by, and he had a whole load of background sets in his arms and he couldn't see where he was going. So, in order to keep from running into somebody, he went, "Beep-beep."

And so, you know—and so, he went on—actually, it probably is more like "meep-meep" than—you might write it as "beep-beep." But "meep-meep,” and in France they call it M-I, M-I. “Mi-mi.” I guess the French can't imagine anybody chasing anybody except for sexual reasons. But certainly, it would... If that's true, I had to have the Coyote catch the Road Runner. (Laughs) That, that would be a newly designed egg, I would think. (Laughs) The results would be too horrendous.

At any rate, this voice went by, "Beep-beep, beep-beep, beep-beep." This was—and I looked at Mike, and Mike looked at me, and I said, "Well, you're the Catholic around here." So, he said, "Okay, God, we'll take it from here." (Laughs) And that's where the “beep-beep” came from. And so, it's always been his. We use it over and over again, even... Mel did not do that—that "beep-beep."

Anyway, there's not much to say about the thing, except it was an experiment. When I came back, I wanted to do it, and I thought maybe I'd give it a person—a little bit of personality to the Road Runner, and that he would be more, maybe a little, I don't know, Harpo Marx-ish look to him. Not that we do it maliciously. He's never malicious.

You'll also notice, however, that in the first one he actually does a couple of things which are not pleasant for the coyote. I realized afterward, absolutely no. The reason for that being—I'll be profound for a moment, but comedy, as different from tragedy, is always involved with little things, little reasons for doing things. And this is terrible profound—I didn't know at the time—but if you go clear back to Chaplin, or Buster Keaton, clear up to Woody Allen (when he was not being Ingmar Bergman) and a great, great big comedian: that they're always dealing with little things. Getting something to eat, someplace to stay, someplace to get away from the cops chasing them, whatever. But they're always tiny things, things we do, things we are involved with. So when the coyote was chasing the Road Runner, why, I always thought the Road Runner—I could kind of translate that over to some people who I know who are terrible fond of caviar. They pass up a lot of things that I enjoy very much, like hot dogs and hamburgers—I really love them—and then go right for this bunch of caviar. They die for an ounce of caviar, even though it cost $89. Well, I figured that's what the Road Runner is to the coyote: very fast caviar. (Laughs) So anyway, that's only in retrospect and looking back.

So we'll run these two cartoons, and if you'd like to discuss them in a friendly way. (Laughs) You know, in a very "boy, that's wonderful" way. But any sulking on your part will empty this auditorium! I have a deal. (Laughs) So, let's do that. (Applause)

[Screening of 35mm prints of short films: Fast and Furryous, Chariots of Fur, Duck Dodgers in the 24th Century, Duck Amuck, and One Froggy Evening.]

Well, I'm glad that you have had a chance to see this. The contrast—there isn't much contrast. (Laughs) The characters do develop. And you'll notice there's quite a bit of difference between, in the way the character looks.

But the point about it all is—and about all acting, I think it can be said—that character is a way they move, not what they look like. In a comic strip, you only have one choice. And that is, you've got to have a drawing style which is established when you open the newspaper and you look down. I can immediately see that's Charlie Brown, that's Mike Peters. And these people are some of my favorite people alive. But they actually are—they only have those tools to work with. Now, if you're dealing with Bugs Bunny or Donald Duck or Daffy Duck or any of the others, it's where they move that makes them what they are. If you've never seen Bugs Bunny in movement, I doubt very much whether the cels would sell for this disgraceful amount of money. (Laughs) But I can't help that. I mean, I don't get it, so I... I think it would be perfectly—it would be a great bargain if I got the money. But I don't, so I figure I'm with you guys on that one... (Laughs) So, Warner Bros. gets richer and I get more resentful! Not true, really.

We all worked for Warner Bros. We developed the characters, we invented the characters. And we were paid a reasonable amount to animate and draw and direct. Although we would have loved to have participated in the goodies, we had something that none of them could ever have. And that is that we drew them. We thought them up. We drew them. We brought them to life. The life was that the character is—that the way it moves is what makes it what it is.

Now, you can tell anytime people ask, what's the difference [between] limited animation and full animation? There's nothing mysterious about it. All you have to do is turn the picture on—project some Saturday morning or any other time; it doesn't matter what it is—and turn the sound off. If you can tell what's happening, you're looking at “animation,” as defined by a man named Noah Webster probably in 1840. And it [the dictionary] says, “animation.” After that it says, “To invoke life.” In other words, to bring something to life—bring it, you can say, to believable life. And because you can without pictures—and with Disney, you can tell what's happening without the sound. Just like in watching a good actor like Alec Guinness or [Laurence] Olivier or like that, you can turn the sound off and you tell pretty much what's going on. As a matter of fact, I use that method on airplanes. I don't know if I'm going to like the picture or not, so I just turn it on without the earphones. And if the picture interests me without the talk, why, I figure it must be a good picture. And then I'll start listening. And that's not a bad way of getting started, because most of that stuff is pretty dumb.

Anyway, I'm trying to define for you what full animation is. Curiously enough, it started there in that one place in Hollywood—in Burbank, California, which is not notable for anything else. As a matter of fact, Burbank is not even named after Luther Burbank, who was a famous, as you know, man in the vegetable line. But it turned out that it wasn't named after him, although he did work there. It was named after a man... you can't believe this. This sounds like something out of Uncle Max. It was a man named Sam Burbank. (Laughs) And he was a dentist. And he was! (Laughs) And that's what the town's namesake is. (Laughs) So, I discovered... You know, we made a cartoon once where Bugs Bunny was up against William Shakespeare and (Inaudible) talking in Shakespearean terms. And it turns out the guy's name was Giuseppe Shakespeare, you know, a long-distant relative. (Laughs) And...kind of disappointing.

So, what we did was 24 drawings a second, sometimes 12 drawings a second. We had 4,000 or 5,000 drawings to make a 6-minute cartoon. And the characters acted, hopefully. And, hopefully, they became endearing to us, I know, by the way they moved. I think we had about eighty characters one way or another over a long period of time. So, that's exactly what we're going back to doing. We're not going to do that. Because it's very sad if you're looking—while you're looking, if you come across something even... Matt Groening is a good friend of mine, and a very nice guy, and he loves our stuff. But nevertheless, you try turning the sound off and see if you can figure out what's happening on The Simpsons. Well, you can't—that's nothing against it—any more than you could on Bullwinkle [Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show], and those are wonderful.

But curiously enough, or oddly enough, all the men that worked and were responsible for Bullwinkle and Rocky—[one] was a man who came to us after the war, Bill Scott. And a wonderful story: he wrote to his grandmother in Denver and told her how proud he was. He said, “I'm writing scripts for Bugs Bunny.” And the old lady was kind of, I was going to say, pissed about his effrontery. She wrote back and said, “I can't understand why you're writing scripts for Bugs Bunny. He's funny enough just the way he is.” (Laughter) Which is exactly what we were trying to do, to bring the character to life, but not ostensibly—not to say that he's acting.

SCHWARTZ: How much of acting is reacting? In your films, a lot of the comedy comes from reactions, from those silent, pregnant moments when the character realizes something bad is about to happen. Your films are filled with these quiet moments when the character, whether it's Bugs or Daffy or the Road Runner, is reacting.

JONES: Would you explain the word pregnant? (Laughter)

SCHWARTZ: “Ripe with comic tension,” in this case.

JONES: Well, I don't think my wife would have thought that was a very good interpretation. She didn’t like carrying that thing around. (Laughter) Anyway, yeah, humor pretty much depends upon response, doesn't it? Jackie Gleason probably described the situation about as well as it could be explained during a comedy. He said, “Comedy is the most exacting of all forms of drama. Because you have an instant critic: laughter.” And that's pretty good, isn't it, because if you're doing tragedy, what do you do, come down and check out the number of tears that come out? Collect them and take them back, measure them, think, Gee, you got two quarts tonight. (Laughter) So, there's no way of telling, is there?

But I'll tell you one thing, speaking of that kind of thing, very often these tests—you know, they’re always making tests, which we didn't. We went ahead and made pictures we thought were funny. Well, when Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs came out, why, there was a lot of criticism of the witches. They had to have tests. They'd bring in these horrible little children, little kids, like, and they’d run the picture [in a room] full of them and find out. They had paddy wagons to carry them away when they went mad with fear. (Laughs) Well, they didn't go mad with fear, but apparently somewhere along the line there was evidence—this is very scientific—there was evidence that they had wet their pants. (Laughs) And everybody said, "Fear, aha. When that witch showed up, boy, all the kids started wetting their trousers and stuff." And no wonder, by God, this should be taken out of circulation.

When we made pictures, all we knew was this: we would make pictures, and the job was to make pictures that would make people laugh. In theaters—all of our films were made for theaters; we never made anything for television, except later when I made specials like The Grinch [How the Grinch Stole Christmas!] and so on—we made them for an audience. Well, we didn't know what the audience was. And we never made pictures for children, because we were certain that people who went to see I Am A Fugitive from a Chain Gang or [The] Public Enemy or something like that—well, our pictures were playing with those features. But obviously the audience was not, well, solely “toddlers,” as they're so quaintly called. No, and we were quite young. We were—like a great many of you are—young, too. I was eighteen when I started in animation. And we were all in our twenties. The old man in our business was Walt Disney, and he was, like, 29. So, we suddenly looked around and realized: to hell with theory. We didn't actually do it at a specific time, but subconsciously we suddenly realized we were surrounded by cartoonists that we admired. I mean, Friz Freleng and Mike Maltese and Tedd Pierce and all the rest of these guys. We suddenly went, “Why should we depend upon any...? These guys are good! Let's learn from each other.” And that's what we did. I don't think we ever voiced it, but that's the way it turned out. We learned from one another. And we felt that if [we made] what we all agreed was funny, then hopefully an audience would follow. If the audience didn't follow, then we were obviously doing something wrong and we'd be on the street. Because in those good days they used to call it “sucking bricks.” (Laughter) It's a terrible term, but it was very accurate.

SCHWARTZ: I wanted to talk about one of the stars of today's program: Bugs Bunny. Could you talk about how Bugs evolved and came to life? Because he had several fathers, several directors.

JONES: Yeah, well, Bugs was an unusual rabbit. Most rabbits have hundreds of children, and Bugs had—well, essentially, I think—three fathers: Tex Avery and Friz Freleng and me, I guess. I guess I can mosey in on that group. And Clampett was in there, too, but Clampett tended to make Bugs a lot wilder and—and funny, but in a different way. Even Tex's first rabbit, in which “What's up, Doc?” was put in… People say, “Where'd that come from?” It's a magical phrase. Well, it really wasn't a magical phrase. It is not a funny line in itself, but when Bugs Bunny said it [it] became funny because of a situation.

To translate that situation into terms most of us can understand (including me): If you came up to your house, and you had a gate, and you opened the gate, and you walked up to the front door, and there’s somebody, a total stranger, with your front door open, firing a shotgun into your living room—if you had any brains, of course, you'd run for the hills. But not Bugs. He looks over the shoulder to see! That's the point. And he says—you know, he takes the gun away and says, "What's up, Doc?" And that's—but what a dumb thing to do! (Laughter) The guy's got a gun! (Because guns were not as popular among the friendly folk in the street as they were in those days. Not in those days, they weren't—as they are today, rather.) In other words, the line becomes important and valuable within a context.

That's true of all great lines. I don't know that all of you remember Jack Benny's wonderful lines, when he would fold his arms and look around and say, “Well.” Well, can you imagine writing a script for that, saying, “Benny—Jack Benny—says, 'Well.' Hold for two minutes of laughter.”

So that's... The writers kill themselves when—and this only works with radio, of course, where Jack Benny is on his way home running along the street and he… You hear the step, the steps going (pounding table) along this street. And then you hear some other set of footsteps going, "Boom boom boom boom boom boom boom." And this voice says, "Your money or your life!" Now, Benny is a miser. And he hesitates. There's a long hesitate. And it went on for about a minute before the audience began to understand. And then the guy says, “Didn't you hear me? I said, ‘Your money or your life!’” Benny says, “I’m thinking, I’m thinking!” (Laughter) It's so peculiar to say, you know, but it works. And it's a very subtle thing. You remember, everybody loves that line from Daffy. If anybody had ever told me I would write a line saying—and get a laugh out of—“Pronoun trouble.” (Laughter) Absurd! Even when I put it in there I didn't know it was going to be a laugh. I thought it was funny, but it seems to me a kind of quirky little thing.

SCHWARTZ: The first film we saw in this program today was The Dover Boys, which seemed to be an important stylistic turning point for you. So you can talk about how that cartoon came about, and what was different about it…

JONES: We have to go back a long way in order to understand what The Dover Boys meant. Because I learned to read when I was very young, because my father didn't like to read to his children. So he taught us all to read when we were, like, three. There were four of us, so he had to teach each one of us. But he said he didn't want to waste his time reading to us. He said, if you'd learned to stand up, that's more complicated than learning how to read. So, we all did learn to read, so we all started reading. So, we read a lot of things, of course. And I'd heard there were bad things to read, like Horatio Alger, and the Bobbsey Twins, and that kind of thing. My father said, “How are you ever going to know what good reading is unless you read bad stuff? Read anything; it'll soon separate.” Probably he said, “Well, you'll determine that bad writing is always sweet, and good writing is always tart. There's a sharpness to it. And you'll discover that. You'll set your own rules. And you'll discard the stuff that's no good.”

But among the things that we read were The Rover Boys, which probably most of you have never even heard of. But they were the Rover Boys that roved across the plains, and they were the Rover Boys. But then Dan Baxter came into it. And the place they went to school was Putnam Hall. And in the book, they talked about Dan Baxter; they called him—they'd say, “Dan Baxter, coward, bully, cad and thief, and archenemy of the Rover Boys.” Not once—every time he showed up! (Laughter) He’d walk into the room. It’d say, “Dan Baxter walked into the room: Dan Baxter, coward, bully, cad, and thief, and archenemy of the Rover Boys.” So we put that in the film. We called him Dan Backslide. And we had the three boys—they were all engaged to the same woman, Dora. So, anyway, that was just a take-off. They hated the picture—Warners in New York. They hated anything they'd never seen before. That's true to a certain extent with television, you will see. Some guy gets real daring and goes out and does something, and everyone else imitates them. But they're all afraid to do something new; it might rub off or something, and that might call attention to it. Anyway, that was true of films in those days. Nobody had ever seen anything like a The Dover Boys. They had never seen anything like Bugs Bunny, either. The first Bugs Bunny was spat upon.

The first Road Runner—if you look at the listing, you will notice I made a Road Runner picture, then it was three years before the next one came out. Why? Because they demanded they wait and see whether anybody liked it or not. And the way they liked it, the way I first discovered of it was, an interesting thing happened. This was right after the war, in ’48—not exactly right after it, but soon enough. And I got a letter from a psychiatrist; he was actually a Marine assigned to the Pensacola Naval Base, for studying pilot behavior in the air and so on. Anyway, he wrote to me and he said that they'd had a peculiar phenomenon. I didn't know; I knew nothing about the picture since it left. And he called, and he said they were listening in to some guys who were making practice runs. They were torpedo bombers to make some practice runs on an old destroyer out off Pensacola. And he said he heard the lead pilot say, “Red Fox to Red Fox, we're going in for the kill.” And he went, “Beep-beep,” and he went, “Beep-beep, beep-beep, beep-beep.” These guys were laughing! When he said they—he figured they'd all gone Section Eight, which means you'd have to shoot them out of the sky! He said, “What the hell's the matter with the guys?”

So, when they came down, it turned out the night before, they'd run that first cartoon, the one you just saw. And they were enchanted by it. So, they demanded that it be run again the next night. So, everybody in the base came in, and—I think it was about 8,000 people came to this huge—they had to run it, like, eight times. Then this one man and a woman—all the people on the base—got up and walked out on a Doris Day feature, which we thought was kind of nice. (Laughter) A few of these people had good taste. (Laughter) So that was the first thing I knew. And so, I told the producer about it, and he said, “Oh.” He said, “Oh, come on, that couldn't happen again. It's a specialized audience.” Anyway, so we did go back to make more. I made about 26 of them, all told. And we never ran out of material.

I got to the point where I could write them quite quickly, almost as fast as I write. You see, the process of animating—because you make so many drawings, you don't have to figure out how to draw the character each time. It's like an actor. You have to figure out what he's doing. I can draw Bugs Bunny in trouble. Then I have to think, “What would Bugs Bunny be doing if he met a polar bear?” So he'd act differently in different situations. The same character will act differently under all different situations. The different characters will act differently under the same situations. So: Bugs Bunny meets Elmer Fudd with a gun, he'll act one way. If Daffy meets him, he will act in a different way.
I met Marcel Marceau. He said that he learned a lot of his things from watching Buster Keaton. You see, Buster Keaton was a great comedian, but he couldn't move his face. Part of his deal was that frozen face. So, a lot of his work was done with his feet, back and forth, like this. And when he was sure, he'd go forward; when he was unsure, he'd go back; and when he was undecided, he'd go sideways. (Laughter) So, he said, I learned a lot from that. Then, who was the one that played Mr. Hulot’s Holiday?—Jacques Tati: he did the same thing. And he said, “The only thing I added was him tipping his hat.” So, it depends. (Laughter)

You have to work out the limitations of your character, too, as to what he will do. And you have to learn what they call displacement activities, which means the things that you do that don't mean anything, like rubbing your nose or pulling your ear or anything like that. It doesn't mean anything. But it's essential to know whether the character will... Not just pointing or this kind of thing. It's a tricky thing. But it's so much fun. It took us, our group, five weeks to animate a cartoon. We had 10 pictures in the works at the same time, and each picture had around 5,000 drawings. So, it would take five weeks for a story—for a six-minute cartoon—five weeks to lay the picture out, which was my job of doing three or four hundred drawings, then they had maybe five animators [who] would take five weeks. It's the same today as it was then. A good animator with a top-notch assistant, maybe two top-notch assistants, can do what amounts to fifteen seconds of screen time a week. That's fifteen seconds. Now, Disney—you can boil that down—made it in maybe six seconds a week for a good Disney animator. Well, you wonder—someone once described animation as bordering on, I mean, carving the Lord's Prayer on the head of a pin on an assembly-line basis. (Laughter) And when you think about it, it is. It doesn't seem like very much, does it? And so, that's why it takes so many animators to do it. It's true, as true today as it was then. Though eventually the question will come up: what about computers? And I have to cover a lot of a ground here in a very short time.

Today, the computer is a valuable assistant. It has nothing to do with creativity as such. Because a computer basically will do for you what in England they call “donkey work.” That is, work that doesn't require much creativity. A lot of ladies used to do the donkey work in houses—maids and so on. And the donkey work would be, for instance—when we did 101 Dalmatians, I don't know whether you knew that they actually only animated about eight different dogs. Then they put them in the computer. It was early use of computers. But they were able to put them into computers, and then the computer would multiply the number. But, however, the animators animated white dogs, and then an assistant would come along and put the spots on them. (Laughter) Now, there's a job to conjure with. (Laughter) Because each dog had a different kind—a different pattern. So, can you imagine spending all your day putting spots on dalmatians? (Laughter) Then meeting with a friend at a cocktail party and he says, “What have you been doing today?” “Oh, putting spots on dalmatians.” (Laughter) Well, in The Lion King, when they had that great stampede of the animals—the wildebeests, or whatever they were—Rob Minkoff, who was a student of mine at Caltech, CalArts [California Institute of the Arts], rather—I was just visiting as a lecturer—he directed it, and he told me how they did that. But I think they animated twenty different animals, and twenty different kinds of runs. And they put [them] in the computer and instructed the computer to be sure that they wouldn't run into each other or pass through each other and so on. It's an incredible tool.

In fact, the hardest thing that an animator has is what we call secondary action. Secondary action is something that is not generated. Like, for instance, a horse would be a primary action; he would be a walking one. But the coat I'm wearing—when I stop, the coat will move a little further, then come back. That's called secondary action, and it's very important, and you may notice it.

I know that when my daughter was a little girl, she was talking about Terrytoons and I said, “Well, do you guys like Terrytoons?” And she says, “Well, we don't like it because whenever there's a splash, the water disappears.” It wasn't believable, right? So after that I was very careful, by golly. (Laughter) If the bucket’s full of water and that water spills, the drops did not disappear; they went someplace.

So you can't fool all the children all of the time. And you shouldn't fool any of the children any of the time. I'd like to say that. I do not believe... I believe that you owe your very best for any audience. You have no right to be doing it if you can't do the best that you can. If you're faced with limitations, that's fine. Those are disciplines and you must live within them. But it's surprising what you can do with very simple tools. In live action, if you only have two actors, don't try the Peloponnesian Wars. (Laughter) Do the poster, because you can do that with two actors. So, I think that's one of the rules that you should do. I mean, I did 101 Dalmatians. If I had made one of the dogs named Spot, they wouldn't have let me do it: animating a white dog with one spot. So, those were my limitations.

Now, let me tell you another thing about Warner Bros. cartoons, which may be of use. Not because you're going to do it, but because it was different in this respect. All the other wealthy studios, like MGM and Disney, could overshoot scenes, and sometimes they would shoot a whole scene and then take it out of the picture completely. But at Warner Bros., when Leon Schlesinger was our producer, our first producer, they used to make pictures that were, like, seven or eight minutes long, because everybody was paid so little, it really didn't make much difference. But after a while, people got more expensive simply because cartoons became more desirable. Wages went up, by a matter of demand. And Leon Schlesinger, whose brain was not particularly admirable in any way, still could add—up to a point! (Laughter) But he did realize that if he made the picture shorter, it wouldn't cost as much. Brilliant move, or concept. It almost broke his brow, but he managed it. (Laughter) So he started demanding they make them shorter and shorter.

He finally came down to six minutes, and at that point, he ran into a force he could not conquer. And that was the exhibitor. The exhibitor said, “We want six-minute cartoons because we make a two-hour program composed of a feature, a short-subject, a cartoon, a newsreel, and what they call a ‘coming attraction,’ to build out to a two-hour program. We can have them longer than that; we can't have them any shorter.” And so Leon said, “Therefore, if they ought to be six minutes, they're going to be exactly six minutes, buddy.” And so, there we were.

So, we learned something that no other studio really ever did learn, with few exceptions, and that was, the director had to time every picture exactly to 540 feet (which is 6 minutes). We might swap over by a half-a-second, but you had to learn to time it to that length. We couldn't make them shorter because the exhibitor didn't want them shorter. We couldn't make them longer because Leon Schlesinger wouldn't let us. Well, the result was that we learned to time. So, in these pictures, there's no editing. The editing was all done in the director's head; the timing was all done on bar sheets or on what we call exposure sheets. So, every bit of timing in there you had to learn. Some of my earlier pictures are very sloppy and slow. Well, I was learning the trade. But these cartoons you've seen here were laid out at exactly that length. They weren't any longer and they were not edited. So when we use the term editor on, on the credits, that was the man who cut the sound effects—that was Treg Brown—but he did not edit the picture, he merely spliced it. It was done when he got it. I just took it for granted that's the way he made a living. (Laughter) But I found out later that he was sorely put upon. It's terrible to be put upon and not know it. (Laughter)

But in a Coyote and Road Runner, you have to figure out: how far should he fall? Like, you have him falling off—and it was always eighteen frames—falling off into the distance, then he disappeared for twelve frames—half a second—and then you heard that “pop.” (Laughter) You may believe it. I do not believe that it would have been funny if had been fourteen frames. Fourteen frames, half a second. But you must get to think that way.

SCHWARTZ: (Repeats audience question) In the mid-1950s when Warner Bros., for a brief period, fired a lot of the animators, how were you able to keep the people you were working with?

JONES: Oh, I didn't keep them. I had to get them back. But let me preface that by saying the reason for that was that the reason that everybody [was] laid off at that time… I wasn't. I quit because I was under contract, as Friz Freleng was. There wasn’t any point in my staying there—everybody else was out. First of all, that was the time when Jack Warner made House of Wax three-dimensional, and he figured animated cartoons couldn't be made in three-dimensional, and they can't, really. They start out flat. So, you can't make something round that is flat.

Well, I have to let you in on something, to give you some idea of the depth of wisdom that Jack Warner had. Making a picture that’s three-dimensional, right? So he looked around among his cadre of directors and picked out a man named André De Toth to direct the picture. And André De Toth was interesting because he only had one eye! (Laughter) Jack Warner, he was the head of the company, he was brilliant—and he had to look hard to get André De Toth! (Laughter) He shot the first three-dimensional picture—he never saw it! (Laughter) Putting on his glasses doesn't help him any because they all look red to him because his green eye...! (Laughter, applause) Oh, it was a rich time.

So, Leon shut down in the studio and everybody went a-packing and it was funny—kind of cute, too—because he called all the people in and said, “I want you all to go out and get jobs.” “Sure, by all means. It's easy work.” And so, I went over to the Disney studios—it was a very traumatic experience for Walt. (Laughter) I was there for a short time.

But coming back—you're quite right. When House of Wax did well, but they made another one of them that wasn't any good, and so he realized that he had to get the people back again. So, what he had to do is pay them more. We insisted that they get the good people back [or] they wouldn't get the kind of pictures that would make money. Most of them had gone to companies at that time, were making some medical pictures and that kind of thing. A few of them had gone to Disney. It wasn't a good thing to go to Disney. Disney's was set at the very top all the way down. And so, yeah, that's exactly what happened. He had to pay more money and it was a very good thing for everybody and it actually made the union possible. Because things got so bad at one time throughout the industry, they were paying girls to ink and paint—and today men and women both ink and paint, and in the same sense men and women both animate. But they were paying them as low as six dollars a week, which, at that time—you couldn't live on it, but you could at least eat enough to know you were starving. (Laughter)

SCHWARTZ: (Repeats audience question) What was the working process for making Chariots of Fur— whether the computer was used or the old-fashioned…?

JONES: Well, because I like to preserve the line, I didn’t like to do away with inkers, because they're a lot of nice people, but unless you're doing really beautiful, artistic inking, the way they did in Fantasia, you really didn’t need it. So you were able to Xerox the original drawing right onto the cel, and then our stuff is still hand-painted. But with the drawings, the original drawings of the animator and clean-up man were Xeroxed onto the cel and turned them over and painted them.

SCHWARTZ: (Repeats audience question) We want your opinion about Warner Bros.'s current television output.

JONES: Well, let me put it this way: If my sister was a moron, would I admit it? (Laughter, applause)

SCHWARTZ: How did Mel Blanc's career get started and how did that work?

JONES: Mel Blanc started as a night radio man, which—if you worked hard, you could get to do it for nothing. (Laughter) There, there, there was nobody named Rush Limbaugh or anything like that, or Howard Stern or so on. They were guys who'd put a record on, they'd talk about local stuff, and they'd just discuss anything that came to their mind.

Those early days, like when they first had radio, they had an outfit called the Mercury Theater which is where so many of the, the great people that we know—Orson Welles and people like that—came out of.

And when they started out, they were so delighted with this thing they had that they would, uh... They'd say, I tell you, they'd say, what do we do today? Because (Inaudible) Declaration of Independence. It wouldn't be a bad idea. So, they did read it, and, uh, it wouldn't be a bad idea if someone read it today, would it? (Laughter)

So, Mel Blanc then came down here to Southern California. He thought he’d come down here—he'd done a lot of voices, various kinds of voices. Imitating animals and that kind of thing. And so, he came down to Los Angeles, and he came and he heard that Warner Bros. were doing characters, and so he came up and talked to one of the men who was hiring and said, “I do a lot of voices. Would you listen to me?” And the guy says, “No, come on. We have all the voices we need.” Which was not true, because they were all bad. (Laughter) I was animating at that time, I wasn’t directing, so I animated for both Friz Freleng and Tex Avery, and they survived. (Laughter) But anyway, so he said he'd [spent] a couple of years when he did a few little spots for television and for radio. And then, finally, the guy died that was doing some of our voices—a hell of a way to get in, but worthwhile. I didn't say whether Mel killed him or not, but… (Laughter) I think that's one of those secrets of Hollywood you read. (Laughter)

Anyway, so then Friz was making a picture called I Haven't Got a Hat. It was 1937. And he had a little pig there who stuttered. It was a gag, really, because it was like a graduation ceremony from kindergarten. And the little characters got up and did little things, you know, and recited things. And so, this little pig got up to recite, and he was supposed to recite “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” [“Paul Revere’s Ride”]. And the little pig started to recite it, and obviously knew it, but he—well, he never got out “Paul Revere.” And then, it was obvious by his actions that he had to go to the toilet. (Laughter) Well, the combination of having to go to the toilet and stuttering is obviously a kind of… It's the finality about it that eventually sends you to your grave. We thought it was funny. Mel Blanc came in to see Friz, and he said, “Can you do a stuttering pig?” But the reason he wanted a stuttering man was that in those simple days, for some reason (it sounds ridiculous), Friz first hired a man who stuttered naturally. And so, this guy got up before the microphone and he's going “nyeh-nyeh-nyeh.” And in those days, we recorded on film, which you couldn't use again, as far as we know—so it kept going and going and going, using up all this wonderful film, which you could not recover. So when he called Mel in, he said, “Can you stutter?” Mel says, “Oh, yes, I can s-s-stutter.” There was a [hesitation], and Friz says, “Can you stop stuttering?” (Laughter) So that's how he got his first job. It really was. And the stories he used to tell them! He did do a drunk bull, which very few people can do. (Laughter) It's a good way to get into the movies.

SCHWARTZ: (Repeats audience question) Do you still pose the whole picture?
JONES: Yeah. Yes, I do. I do all about three or four hundred layouts and time the entire thing. In this case, I wrote the whole thing. All those gags. So if you didn't like some of them, you can blame me. If you like some of them, you can tell me I'm a nice fellow. (Laughter) I was particularly, uh, uh, I was particularly pleased with the, with the ightning [in What’s Opera, Doc?]. We’re using “The Blue Danube,” you know, when that spring went off. And that was done right to the music—did you notice that? I lay out all my pictures in musical terms, even if there isn't a musical. And when, when we're actually doing a musical—such as What's Opera, Doc? or The Rabbit of Seville—we play the music straight; we do not fool around with the music. We figure what's happening in front of it is what makes—hopefully will make—it funny. In the case of the Road Runner and Coyote, of course, the music is all Spike Jones kind of stuff. Oh, many of you probably don't recognize it; I didn't for years myself. That’s one of the basic themes—that kind of fast theme that he uses in there is actually the theme from Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride.” And I always wanted to call it “The Battered Bird.” (Laughter) But yes, the director still does that, yeah.

SCHWARTZ: (Repeats audience question) Will the [TV series] Curiosity Shop ever come on tape?

JONES: I believe it does, but I'm making a new, but I'm making a new frog. Yeah, it's going to be Another Froggy Evening, and... (Applause) It starts with a Neanderthal, actually Cro-Magnon guy chasing a prehistoric chicken, and the chicken dives under a rock. He reaches under the rock and pulls out a can. It opens and a frog comes out of it singing "Hello, My Baby." (Laughter) So we’re following him through history. Next he ends up in Rome, and then he ends up in the Spanish Court, and Paul Revere's ride—and manages to mess everything up. Then he finally disappears into the imperium [sic]; he disappears into outer space.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Does that come out soon?

SCHWARTZ: (Repeats audience question) Is that coming out...?

JONES: It will be out this year, this coming year, yeah. And they’re using the frog. The frog will be on the new Warner Bros. network. He’s the figurehead. (Laughter) So you'll see him. I, I never understood him. I thought—he was a very strange critter to me. Once I had him, I couldn't get rid of him, but he was...with that “blurrrp” of his... (Laughter)

Let me tell you something about that because, well, there are really two—in full animation, there are kind of two—basic forms. One of them is with the... Well, for want of a better word you might call it… Well, when I did Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, and when Disney did Bambi or 101 Dalmatians, and those things, right? The ones where the creature moves like the real creature. In Bambi: all the characters. The same thing with The Lion King. They were pretty much like the real animal moves—the only thing is, they can talk to each other. Curiously enough, all the animals understand each other, which seems kind of odd, that a snail can talk to a lion, I suppose.

But anyway, but then, you have what you might call the humanized characters: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Donald Duck, Mickey, and so on. Characters who do not move like mice and ducks, and so on. But are kind of—move like animals in the ancient tradition of La Fontaine and Aesop and Kipling and so on….anyway—not like Kipling, no. Kipling falls into the other one.

Well, now, with the frog we had this problem. The man is a regular guy; he's doing something, in this case demolishing a building, right? And then he discovers this frog. Well, he had to be believable as a frog. Or it would not be surprising when he—if he was like Bugs Bunny and started dancing, you'd take that for granted. But a dumb frog… So I had him—when they pick him up, you know, he's all slippery, and he has a... He's this one little mound [of] body. And, you know, frogs don't have necks. John L. Lewis one time, describing William Green, said, "Green doesn't have a head," he said, "His neck just grew up and haired over." (Laughter)

But, of course, the frog doesn't have hair, but he doesn't have a neck, either. And when you pick the frog up, if you're a boy—I don't know how many girls picked up frogs—you picked it up and the legs just hang down, dangle. So, what I had to have is a frog who is believable as a real frog, so when he jumped up and started singing, he would be astonishing to everybody! (Laughter)

SCHWARTZ: (Repeats audience question) The question is about your impression of the new animators. Do they differ from…?

JONES: My opinion of them? Well, as I told you, Rob Minkoff, one of the directors of The Lion King, is a friend of mine, and I think he's an excellent animator, but he's been working animation for ten years. I think these guys are excellent animators.

But what I want is something different. I want the spirit of the way the characters were the way we designed them. And I don't think I could animate at Disney. The characters are generally too nice. (Laughter) Bugs Bunny is really the only really nice character we have. I mean, Pepé Le Pew, yes; but, but Bugs Bunny always has to be provoked. All comedy has limitations. All comedy must be run in tight. Bugs Bunny[’s limitation] is that he must never do anything unless he's provoked. As I say, in the very first picture he was crazy, and we’ve realized that it's much more fun for him to play like he's crazy than to be crazy. Nobody understands craziness. So with Bugs Bunny, you have to have him minding his own business in every picture, and then somebody comes along and disturbs his equanimity. So at that point, he's very much like Professor Higgins in My Fair Lady, and then somebody tries to disturb him and he rises to the occasion and fights back. But [with] Daffy, you don't have to do that. I mean, Daffy, as I said, is Leon Schlesinger. (Laughter) And Leon Schlesinger used to say, “I don't have to be nice with people going up because I'm not coming back down.” (Laughter) Well, I can understand that. It's natural, isn't it?

I mean, when I did How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, I realized, boy, I had one there I could understand. (Laughter) Everybody hates Christmas a little bit. It's a terrible thing to say this time of the year, but maybe you don’t hate Christmas leading up to it—but if you're a kid, you're going to hate it when they say, “You answer those letters. You've got to thank all your aunts and uncles for that jackknife,” or whatever they gave you. Something to hurt yourself with. (Laughter) Like the skates they get from the Acme Corporation. (Laughter)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Mr. Jones, first of all, I want to tell you you’re the greatest thing that’s happened to cartoons and animation. And I’m just wondering, for all of the young people today who want to follow in your footsteps: What advice would you give them, and is there any direction that you would recommend in terms of schooling, or things of that nature?

JONES: Do you want to repeat the question so they can hear it?

SCHWARTZ: I think you heard that you're the greatest animator, ever, from him. (Laughter) But I want to remind you that…

JONES: Did you say that? (Laughter) You're supposed to shout that! (Laughter) You’re supposed to write it down and send it to Warner Bros.!

SCHWARTZ: Okay. I mean, in addition to you—again, to repeat—being the greatest animator, what advice would you have to young people who want to get into the field today?

JONES: Well, they very well [could] do what I did. And I didn't do it on purpose (though you can do it on purpose). First of all, there were no schools of animation, right, in the 1920s. So, I got so disgusted with high school, and my father realized I was bored to death because I had read every book that they gave me before I was a freshman. And so, I managed to get through to my junior year, then he pulled me out and sent me to—I was a dropout. And I dropped in to Chouinard Art Institute [which] later became California Institute of the Arts. And I there concentrated on drawing the human figure and learning it, and learning something about it. And getting a rough idea of what the bone structure is. I wasn't going to become a doctor, but I wanted to know why the hand worked and how it worked and what it would do.

But mainly, I wanted to learn how to draw and to follow people that I admired, starting with—way back with—the cave painters in Altamira in France and Spain. Those guys drew beautifully; Picasso adored them and so did Michelangelo, because they learned to draw with a single line, as you do in animation—although I didn’t know it at the time. But the most important study that you can have is to learn how to draw the human figure. Now, I’m suggesting if you're an alligator, learn how to draw alligators. But learning how to draw alligators if you're a man or a woman—they're important, too. You, you learn how to draw it so you can live with a single line, and you go clear back in history. Every one of them, including modern people like Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Jackson Pollock—no matter what they do later, they did it after they learned how to draw. If you come to me with good drawings of the human figure and simple lines—eight or ten of them—then I will hire you on that basis. If you come to me with a bunch of drawings of Bugs Bunny, I'd say, “Look, gang, go back and learn how to draw the human body, because then you can learn to draw anything.” If you look at a book—I'm not selling my book, but you can borrow mine if you can't get one any other way—you'll learn that, that if you draw the human figure, you can learn how to do anything. I'll give you an example, though I know I'm using up too much time! But when we were doing The White Seal, I wanted to help the animators to learn how to animate without saying, “Seals are completely different.” They're not. Seals have the same bones we do. Even a snake has hips. Really. They're very—they're little vestigial hips in there. But the bones are named the same. The humerus, the ulna, the rest of the junk. You can call them anything you like, you know. I give you permission. You can call them Fred and Tom, George and, you know, so on. (Laughter)

So I said, "Well, why are they [seals] different?" I went down to the San Diego Zoo and, and watched them, you know? Looked at these guys laying out beside the pool. They... I wanted to take and put a piece of colored cloth around their lines, stick a cigar in their face because they look like producers in Palm Springs, right? (Laughter) All you need are some beautiful chicks lying around. (Laughter)

But I looked down at their feet. (These are my, my hands, in case you don't know which hand is which.) Right where my thumbs are, they even have fingernails—so those are feet! They're like ours; they're feet! And, and a little tail. They're at the end of their backbone. This much of their bone structure sticks out of the fat, right? This bone is in here, it's inside, but they don't use it. So, I got, uh, my two grandsons—they were about eight and ten at that time and wonderful swimmers. So I got them both and I put a rope around them and tied their legs to their body. (Laughter) And tied their knees together, and tied their ankles together, and put swim fins on their hands and on their feet, and threw them into the pool. (Laughter) And I, I would see whether they would drown or learn to swim. (Laughter) You know, what's he doing at the bottom of the pool? (Laughter) Can’t get anything from that. But within five minutes, they were swimming the only way they could swim—that's like a seal does. And when they wanted air, they had to come up and get it; when they went down, they were using their fins like this. They could turn by putting [one] one way and one the other and, and, uh, it was very simple. I looked at the head of a seal and I thought, now wait a minute, that guy looks very much like a dachshund without ears. So, I made a drawing of one of them with the ears pulled back, and sure enough, they were able to draw the whole thing without going through the terrible thing of… In the New Yorker one time they had that situation [in a cartoon] where the kid is standing right square in front of an elephant and he says, "Yes, mommy, I see the elephant." (Laughter) How, how could he miss it, huh? (Laughter)

So it's the sameness that gives you the ability to draw. Our guys are drawing lions. Well, okay, they studied—they studied the cat. If you can show the animator the skeleton of any animal, he can tell you how it has to move. And that goes for Bugs Bunny. Any character. And Bugs Bunny has a kind of incipient thing: he can only do what he can do. We never let him extend the way they do with some of those characters, like Ren and Stimpy, whoever they are. (Laughter) They may be funny, but they're not believable. Right? That's right. Some girls can tell you there are a lot of men that way. (Laughter)

SCHWARTZ: I want to thank you for being funny and believable today, and for giving us all your time. (Applause)