Director: Dave Fleischer
Release Date: March 2, 1934
Stars: Betty Boop, Koko the Clown
Rating: ★★★★½
Still from 'Ha! Ha! Ha!' featuring Koko the Clown having a tootache and Betty Boop

‘Ha! Ha! Ha! was the last cartoon to feature Koko the Clown.

It opens with supposedly Max Fleischer’s hand drawing Betty Boop on a sheet of paper. When Max leaves the studio, Koko comes out of the inkwell for the very last time, and starts eating the candy bar Max had left on the table.

Almost immediately he develops a tootache, so Betty draws a dentist room to operate him, herself acting as the (most sexy) dentist. She first tries to pull Koko’s tooth, but when that doesn’t work, she tries laughing gas.

The laughing gas soon pervades everything, causing not only Koko and herself to laugh, but even the clock, the typewriter, and outside – in the real world – the mailbox, the cars and real people. Even a bridge and some graves join in.

This enjoyable and weird cartoon mixes animation, photographed backgrounds and live action to great results, and it forms a great finale to Koko’s long career, which had lasted fifteen years. Although Koko never had any great roles near Betty, he would be missed, for without Koko and Bimbo (who had his last screen appearance in ‘I Heard‘ from September 1933), Betty became a surprisingly inoffensive and boring character, and none of her remaining 62 films evoked the same fun as ‘Ha! Ha! Ha!’.

Watch ‘Ha! Ha! Ha!’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Betty Boop cartoon No. 26
To the previous Betty Boop cartoon: Red Hot Mamma
To the next Betty Boop cartoon: Betty in Blunderland

‘Ha! Ha! Ha!’ is available on the French DVD Box Set ‘Betty Boop Coffret Collector’