“She threw me a glance and planted some ants in my South American pants.”

So goes the line, which plays a part in our story in a short while.

We’ve spoken before about L.O.L. Productions, the cheapest of the concerns that provided Soundies during the period of the recording ban. Consider this: L.O.L. produced each Soundie for $1,200, which included talent, studio time, all of the technicians required to film the short, titles, one 35mm composite negative and probably a 16mm screening copy. Add in a bit for support of and in the company office. There was obviously not a lot of room for profit here. The shoddiness can be seen in this Soundie, although the film has both historical value, and is entertaining to this day.

Henny Youngman was known as the “King of One-Liners,” an apt description of a very funny standup comedian whose routine consisted of dozens of one-line jokes laid end-to-end. But that type of routine would not work for Soundies, where the noise of the setting would likely make it difficult to hear the patter. Presumably Youngman was using an occasion comic song in club and radio appearances, hence this Soundie, “Our Teacher.” (The actual song title is “In Brazil,” written by Dave Shapiro, a New York songsmith. For the record, the music was arranged by Leon Sandow and recorded by a small combo of non-union musicians on March 3, 1943.)

So, picture yourself in the studio on the day following the soundtrack recording. It is time to film to playback. The set is minimal, a “classroom” in which the props, such as they are, were assembled from what was available at the studio in New Jersey. During filming, at around two minutes thirty seconds, Henny sings the lyric referenced at the beginning of this Soundie description. The camera is pointed at a young lady who is clearly put-off by the rude lyrics. Her negative reaction is painted clearly on her face. But suddenly she breaks into a huge smile, possibly when director Arthur Leonard yells something like, “You need to smile, honey!!” Which she does. But as Leonard Maltin has noted, Soundies directors were unfamiliar with the concept of “another take,” especially when the entire budget is $1,200. So, the mistaken “reaction shot” is used in the finished film. Did anyone care? Probably not. The Soundie was out there, and that was what mattered.