I’m a great fan of Tony Sarg. He’s perhaps best known today for his work on the first Macy’s Thanksgiving balloons; but he also made animated silhouette films, designed children’s books (often with elaborate inserts and paper engineering), mounted a memorable sea serpent hoax, and pioneered puppet theater in the US. There’s not much about him on the Internet; a revival is in order.
I was delighted to find this film on YouTube, documenting one of his marionette shows from 1929. It’s a charming piece, typical of the naive orientalism then in vogue. To my surprise, it opens with a song (uncredited) by Bobby Edwards — one of his signature numbers, “The Sultan’s Wives Have Got the Hives (From Eating Anchovies and Chives).” I’ve often seen it quoted, but never heard it. Well, here it is, sung by a puppet character to his two donkeys.
(Posted by Doug Skinner. Sarg’s self-portrait is from Tony Sarg’s Treasure Book, 1942.)