Why does Mickey Doyle sound so familiar to this middle aged Brit?
March 12, 2014 11:35 AM   Subscribe

Watching S4 Boardwalk Empire I’m struck by how much the imagery, characters and music recall childhood memories of American cartoons. Mickey Doyle’s way of speaking is really familiar to me, why is that?

I’ve noticed that a lot of the cartoons I watched as kid reference postWW1 America either because they were contemporary - eg Tom and Jerry, Betty Boop or because they referenced characters from that era eg Top Cat essentially being the Phil Silvers Show.

So whilst watching Boardwalk I get all these little childhood fuzzy feelings, during the scenes in Chalky’s theatre I keep expecting one of the patrons to morph into a wolf and start howling for example.

Its been bugging me from season 1, Mickey Doyle sounds really familiar to me, was there a cartoon character that also spoke like that? Maybe it’s the laugh? I might be thinking of Benny from Top Cat but having dug up some clips of Benny he’s not quite as high pitched as Mickey. Is Mickey an example of a specific accent or archetype that was popular in the media at the time?

Im a 39 year old Brit who apparently watched a lot of Hanna Barbera cartoons growing up.
posted by Ness to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Bugs Bunny?
posted by Sweetie Darling at 11:38 AM on March 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

He sounds a litttttle like Popeye...
posted by lovableiago at 11:39 AM on March 12, 2014

Well, Cagney too. Or any Warner Brother's cartoon where someone is aping Cagney.

So Bugs Bunny.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:40 AM on March 12, 2014

Curly Howard from the Three Stooges?
posted by neroli at 12:17 PM on March 12, 2014

Oh it could be Bugs, actually it could be Mel Blanc in his high range. A quick romp around You Tube and Bugs, Slyvester Jr and maybe Daffy are sounding like they might be whats familiar.

So why does Mel as Bugs sound like Mickey? Is Mickey a Bronx accent like Bugs?

I don't think my association is with the Three Stooges, they weren't on British TV when I was a kid, (but Laurel and Hardy was shown a lot).
posted by Ness at 12:35 PM on March 12, 2014

Might also be a number of the bit characters that show up in Looney Tunes cartoons. I can't think of anybody specific though.

Also maybe Porky Pig minus the stutter?
posted by furiousthought at 1:02 PM on March 12, 2014

Rocky and Mugsy?
posted by artychoke at 3:43 PM on March 12, 2014

FYI Mickey Doyle is supposed to have a Phildelphia(n?) accent.
posted by lovableiago at 11:42 AM on March 13, 2014

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