Wheeler and Woolsey: Say It With Flowers


Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey were a vaudeville and early movies comedy team with at least one vocal hook that’s still sort-of remembered-ish, in that if you see a guy wearing big, Harold Lloyd style glasses and going “WhooOOO-oh!” that’s Woolsey getting referenced. Their movies feature a lot of moderately aggressive, Groucho Marx-ish dialogue in which conversation gets reduced to nonsense. They’re not as sentimental as the Marx Brothers(!), which results their rampaging chaos being more surprisingly mean-spirited when it gets taken out on an undeserving victim, so they’re harder to enjoy, but I do.

This is an exchange from 1934’s Kentucky Kernels, with Woolsey courting Margaret Dumont, who’s playing against type as the Margaret Dumont character.


Woolsey: Good morning, Mrs Baxter, you look perfectly charming this morning.

Dumont: Oh, do you really think so?

Woolsey: No, but I had to say something. And I always say it with flowers. [ He takes a rose out of his jacket and gives it to her. ]

Dumont: Only one rose?

Woolsey: Well, you know me; I don’t talk much.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

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