Hamateur Night is a seven-minute animated short film released to theaters by Warner Bros. on January 28, 1939. Directed by Tex Avery and written by Jack Miller, the film was a part of the Merrie Melodies series produced by Leon Schlesinger and distributed by The Vitaphone Corporation. The premise of the film is rather simple; it features a vaudeville-style amateur talent night (see, for example, the contemporary and still-ongoing "Amateur Night" competitions at the Apollo Theater) with a format that resembles the much later television program The Gong Show in that it features a judge who strikes a gong to stop the performance of any entertainer whom he deems bad. The primary character of this short is Egghead, a prototype of Elmer Fudd who lacks the speech impediment of the character he evolved into.
The cartoon entered the public domain in 1967 when its last rightsholder, United Artists Television (successor-in-interest to Associated Artists Productions), failed to renew the original copyright within the required 28-year period.
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