Dave Fleischer left Miami based Fleischer Studios in 1942 and bolted to the west coast where he was offered the job of producer, replacing Frank Tashlin, at Columbia’s Screen Gems studio. Two years later, Fleischer would be out of that job. He went on to spend the rest of his professional life as an in-house trouble shooter at Universal Pictures. But briefly, between jobs in 1944, Fleischer surfaces in two obscure B-movies released by Republic Pictures.He first appears, on screen, in a gag cameo appearence in Trocadero (which was released April 24th, 1944). This dreary low-budget melodrama centered around the famed Hollywood night club. This being a Republic picture, the film stars Ralph Morgan along with future kiddie-show host Johnny Downs, and is stocked with several low-level celebrity cameos.This first clip (below) introduces Dave, who happens to be sitting alone at the club (a shabby set on the Republic Pictures lot), minding his own business. The clip begins with comic M.C. Eddie Bartell and band leader Eddie LeBaron introducing Dave. Band leader Bob Chester and Cliff Nazarro also appear in this segment.
The next clip features double talk comedian Cliff Nazarro in conversation with Dave. Dave utters his only syllable of dialogue here. Nazarro was a well known radio personality and mimic who can be heard in several Warner Bros. cartoons, including BELIEVE IT OR ELSE (as Ripley), SLAP HAPPY PAPPY (as Eddie Cantor) and PORKY’S PREVIEW (as Al Jolson). It seems clear from this clip that Trocadero’s producers had hoped to get someone like Walt Disney, or Max Fleischer himself, thus the gag involving a “Koko the clown” like character – credited in the opening titles as “Snippy”!
This final bit (below) is the last scene in the film! Dave gets to close the film with “Snippy” (unfortunately this TV print obliterates the original end title – but you get the idea).
After Trocadero Fleischer became an associate producer (and provided a brief animation segment) for another “B”, That’s My Baby! (released by Republic on 9/14/44). But that’s another story for another time.