Excelsior! Cartoons = Life

I was disappointed to learn that “excelsior” is just that straw-like packing material and not a Roman declaration of superlative achievement.

I’ve always loved that word, and sometiems declare “excelsior” at various proud moments, imagining myself holding a streaming banner. I think I got this from Bugs Bunny. I realized the other day how often I still reference cartoons. Here was the situation: I had an appointment at a hospital. I walked into the lobby and couldn’t find the room I was looking for. I asked the lady at reception and she said: “You’re at the wrong hospital. It’s down the street.”

At that moment, I pointed to my head and said, “Kidneys.” A nanosecond later I thought, this lady has no idea what I’m talking about. I’m in the wrong hospital and now clearly suffering from organ confusion. But actually the line, I think, comes from Bullwinkle. Some spacemen meeting Moose and Squirrel indicated their intelligence by pointing to their heads and saying  “kidneys!” I thought it was hilarious when I was 9 and it turned into a lifelong habit.

All those people saying “D’oh!” and “Mmmmm, doughnuts” should understand this.

So, how have cartoons influenced your behavior?


  1. As much as I watched the old Bugs Bunny cartoons as a child, I can’t remember Bugs Bunny saying “Excelsior.” I’ve always heard that word used very often by Stan Lee, who created Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and just about every other major Marvel Comics character from the 1960s. He still uses that word frequently to this day.

  2. One of my favorites has always been “Say, DO I have brass knuckles?” uttered by Daffy Duck – I don’t even really remember what the cartoon was about. Also Bugs Bunny: “What a maroon! What a nin-COW-poop! What a gulli-BULL!” Another of my favorites was a Woody Woodpecker episode where the narrator kept saying, “If Woody had gone straight to the police, none of this would ever have happened!”

      • I just found this:
        My favorite Daffy was when he was a salesman and wanted to sell SOMETHING, anything to the bank robber. I can still quote it line for line!

        Robber: Ok, chum, do ya got any brass knuckles?
        Daffy: Brass knuckles, brass knuckles?? Do I have BRASS KNUCKLES??? (To himself) Say, do I have brass knuckles?

        Later in the dark, he holds a candle and confronts the robber:

        Daffy: I see ya there, dark, hulking, hideous, criminal type, ya, beady little eyes, why your nothing but a nincomPOOP!!!

        (At the word POOP, he had turned on the light and found himself looking in the mirror.)

        It was posted here by someone named Frankenette.

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