This Daffy Duck cartoon is a hilarious homage to classic Dick Tracy comics

“The Great Piggy Bank Robbery” is full of references to the iconic, square-jawed detective.

Eight years before Batman made his first appearance in a 1939 issue of Detective Comics, another hardboiled crimefighter debuted in newspaper strips: Dick Tracy. While the two shared some similarities, like cool gadgets and outlandish villains, Tracy was always more grounded in reality. He preferred a high-collared trench coat over a cape and mask.

By the 1940s, Dick Tracy was one of the most popular comic strips in the country. His tough, no-nonsense style and noir aesthetic made him an icon. And like many household names of the day, he was parodied in Looney Tunes cartoons, specifically “The Great Piggy Bank Robbery” from 1946. 

The short starts off on an idyllic farm. An anxious Daffy Duck can’t wait for his next Dick Tracy comic to be delivered, even exclaiming, “Suffering succotash!” Though the phrase became most associated with Sylvester, Daffy also spits it out a few times in early cartoons.

When the postman finally arrives with a stack of mail, including a letter addressed to animator Rod Scribner, Daffy eagerly grabs his comic book and rushes off to read it. He tells the audience that he “can hardly wait to see what happens to Dick Tracy.”

Unfortunately, Daffy literally knocks himself out with excitement after reading about his favorite detective’s adventures. The rest of the short involves Daffy’s kooky, bizarre, noir-tinged dream as crimefighter Duck Twacy.

Right away, there’s a blink-you’ll-miss-it reference to Dick Tracy’s famously sharp jawline. As Daffy, or should we say Duck Twacy, paces around behind his office door, his silhouette morphs quickly into the instantly recognizable shape seen in the image above.

Though the title of this short seems to indicate a Daffy-Porky team-up, Porky only has a small cameo as a streetcar driver with a mustache. Daffy rides the streetcar right to the hoodlum's well-labeled hideout. 

After falling through a trapdoor into the villains’ house, Daffy turns to the audience and asks, “Was that trip really necessary?” It’s a reference to a publicity campaign from World War II asking Americans to hold off on unnecessary travel to conserve gas and other resources. In 1946 when this cartoon debuted, it was most likely a policy gone but not forgotten.

The direct Dick Tracy references really ramp up when Daffy finally stumbles upon a group of thugs near the short’s end. Snake Eyes, a mobster with dice for eyes, is a play on the Dick Tracy villain B-B Eyes while someone with a mouth full of piano keys who Daffy calls “88 Teeth” is a play on the piano-playing Tracy villain 88 Keys. 

Other funny villains that Daffy sees are Doubleheader, a baseball player with two heads, Bat Man, an anthropomorphic baseball bat and Jukebox Jaw, a man with a speaker for a mouth and a turntable for a hat. 

Another clear Dick Tracy reference is the scowling man with a head flat enough that miniature planes can take off from it. We told you this cartoon is a little out there. He is no doubt a nod to the famous Tracy adversary, Flattop.  

Perhaps less well known than “What’s Opera, Doc?” or “Rabbit Seasoning,” “The Great Piggy Bank Robbery” is a fantastic Looney Tunes outing worthy of similar praise. The surreal visuals are a perfect match for Daffy’s wacky personality and the many homages to one of pop culture’s greatest detectives make this short even more memorable.

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WGH 12 months ago
I'm a big fan and I don't recall ever having seen this particular cartoon. I'll have to do a YouTube search.
Susan00100 22 months ago
The early Daffy Duck toons were hilarious.
The later ones, not so.
Besides being crudely drawn, Daffy was usually cast as an unfunny villain, especially when paired with Speedy Gonzales.
PatHorgan 26 months ago
check out the song "Neon Noodle" released 2009 by Pat Horgan & Thunder Road.
Delmo 27 months ago
The team behind BATMAN:THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD series homaged the Daffy Duck cartoon in the episode LEGENDS OF THE DARK MITE starring Bat-Mite! Here's a link to it. Unfortunately the dialog had been screwed with but at least you can enjoy the visuals...
BillyDenhamSpringsLA 28 months ago
I have gotten to a point where I can't/won't watch "Toon In With Me" during the early morning weekdays any longer. Cartoon Curator Bill's ongoing sketches with his "stand up comedy friends" are AWFUL. What a huge embarrassment to the Weigel Broadcasting Company. How about just running the 'toons every morning WITHOUT Bill and that @#% fish?
MarkSpeck 28 months ago
To quote the last line in that cartoon..."I LOOOOOOOVE that duck!"
KevinButler 28 months ago
Vinman is wrong.."Porky Pig"appears briefly in this "Daffy Duck"animated parody of"Dick Tracy".."Porky"played the mustached trolly car conductor..who takes"Duck Twacy"("Daffy")to the villain's hideout.
vinman63 28 months ago
Probably the best of Daffy Duck no Porky no Buggs.
james_richter vinman63 28 months ago
I am for the NO Bugs
vinman63 james_richter 28 months ago
I don’t like Buggs.
WGH vinman63 12 months ago
Shut up shutting up rabbit!
WGH vinman63 12 months ago
Is there a doctor in the house?
Yes I'm a doctor!
What's up doc?

How can you not love bugs bunny? And of course you realize that Dis Means War!
vinman63 WGH 12 months ago
Actually I have a beef with WB with Buggs being a narcissist, Daffy for being insane, Porky pig stuttering, Marvin for being a warlord, Elmer with rhotacism.
cperrynaples 28 months ago
How can you forget Neon Noodle? Daffy twisted him to say "Eat at Joe's"! BTW, was this an inside joke as it appears in many Looney Toons?
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LoveMETV22 justjeff 27 months ago
Well justjeff we enjoy your comic styling's. MeTV did a story years back on Dickie Goodman:
justjeff LoveMETV22 27 months ago
What the MeTV article didn't note, and was openly spoke of by his son (Jon) is that Dickie was a compulsive gambler, and that is what drove him to suicide. Goodman's former partner (Bill Buchanan) died of lung cancer. Before his passing he wrote a very impassioned letter about the evils and effects of cigarettes on health.
Moverfan justjeff 27 months ago
Don't forget Energy Crisis '74!

I have Golda Meier of Israel on the other line. What should I tell her?

🎵Won't you tell her that I love her?🎵 (Charlie Rich, The Most Beautiful Girl)
justjeff Moverfan 27 months ago
I used to collect "break-in novelty" records, and in the 1970s I'd even produced, wrote, recorded, edited and/or voiced five of my own... none being successful. Two were commercially released on a small local label, two others were put out [mostly] for collectors and the exception was the last one - for a local singer [now deceased] who was also a Superman fanatic.

When I found out that "techncially" there might be some legality issues with the recording - even though none were "hits", I dumped my master tapes. I still have my vinyl copies and a CD-R of them.

Here's a link to the last one, called "Superstang"...

The flip side was two old demo tapes Larry had lying around. He gave the record out at gigs. Only about 200 pieces were pressed due to an issue with the pressing quality. The label (and logo) was designed/named by me for a former girlfriend...

Larry was the second cousin to character actor Arnold Stang...
Runeshaper 28 months ago
This episode sounds EXCELLENT! (-:
Andybandit 28 months ago
I liked how Dick Tracy had a wrist band radio. I reminds me of the smart watch that are around today.
justjeff Andybandit 28 months ago
I've often said that someone dreams up an idea, and others make it a reality...

Jules Verne's airship became a reality thanks to Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin...
The Two-Way wrist radio (and later wrist TV) invented by Chester Gould for DIck Tracy became Apple Smart Watches...

In fact, Milton Caniff, the creator of "Steve Canyon" once recalled a story about being visited by government men because they were curious as to how he "knew" of a particular weapon being devised. It turns out, Caniff's imagination drew a weapon in the comic strip that paralleled the goverment's own invention!

About 25 years ago, when I was working at a local record label/recording studio I told one of my employers that I believed that one day they'd find a way to make computer hard drives electronic rather than mechanical. They have.

I also once mentioned that some day they's find a way to turn a monaural recording into true stereo. Now DES (Digitally Extracted Stereo) does exist, and some of the results arne mind-blowing. Look up the form on YouTube, if you're curious...

Two great ideas of mine... but neither the money nor the know-how to have implemented them... and I'm sure most people would even doubt I was telling the truth, but believe me... I was. I'm just happy *someone* was thinking along those same lines as me...
Zip justjeff 28 months ago
Yes, and let's not forget Star Trek and their flip-open communicators. I swear, if someone made a replica flip cell phone like that I would buy one, smart phone be darned.
bruceisloose justjeff 28 months ago
Don't you just hate it when you come up with a great idea but don't follow through and then someone else invents it 20 years later and no one believes you had that idea a long time ago!
justjeff bruceisloose 28 months ago
Not for me, because I'd made those comments only in passing. However, the employer I made my comments to showed me a proposal he had once devised for a "video jukebox" type of television program. He never followed it through, because he was busy as an in-demand sound engineer. Someone else came up with MTV...
Moverfan justjeff 27 months ago
And Midnight Special...and Friday Night Videos...
Andybandit 28 months ago
That is so cool. I used to love Dick Tracy comics. When I used to read the comics in 70's and 80's.
Pacificsun 28 months ago
These cartoon artists and writers had a lot of imagination and humor!
No wonder there are so many cartoon fans!
MrsPhilHarris Pacificsun 28 months ago
I was just thinking the same thing. So clever!
RobertM 28 months ago
They forgot to mention Mouse Man--"Come on out, you rat!"
cperrynaples RobertM 28 months ago
"GO BACK IN AGAIN!"...LOL! He was huge!
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