"Thanks! I Needed That!"

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 22 01:22:49 UTC 2010

There is a discussion of cartoons on the Straightdope bulletin board
that mentions a scenario with a slap followed by thanks. The poster
claims the scenario appeared in Goofy Gophers with the characters Mac
and Tosh. If Tosh was voiced Freberg as claimed then the time range is
probably from 1947 to 1958 according to Wikipedia. In this case fear
is not the cause of the behavior.


Begin excerpt:

teela brown 10-18-2005, 03:56 PM

Not mice, they were the Goofy Gophers Mac and Tosh, and yep, Freberg
played Tosh.

The one that consistently cracks me up is their foray into a furniture
factory when their home tree is cut down. Mac (or is it Tosh?) is sent
into a planing machine and comes out a bit addled and with curly wood
shavings on top of his head:

Mac: "There was a little girl who had a little curl right in the
middle of her forehead."

Tosh: <SLAP!>

Mac: "Thank you. I daresay I needed that."

I think that Frasier and Niles Crane could step right into the roles
of these two gophers without anyone realizing that anything had

End excerpt

If I were planning to investigate movies then I would try to examine
the works of Abbott and Costello. A scenario in which Abbott slaps
Costello and Costello thanks Abbott would be consistent with their
film characters I think. I vaguely remember a scene in which something
like this happens, but I could be wrong and the scripted words might
be different.

The only example I could locate in Google books that shows Costello
saying "Boy, I sure needed that" to Abbott concerns sleep. It is not
related to a scenario with slapping:

Abbott and Costello in Hollywood by Bob Furmanek and Ron Palumbo


On Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 7:09 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "Thanks! I Needed That!"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I haven't researched this, and don't recall seeing anyone else discuss it.  The earliest I see on ProQuest is Los Angeles Times, Sep 25, 1969, where a slap is not specifically mentioned but the context is analogous.  Like Jon, I imagine this is older than 1969.
> Fred
> ________________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Jonathan Lighter [wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM]
> Sent: Saturday, August 21, 2010 6:27 PM
> Subject: "Thanks! I Needed That!"
> Anybody know the source of this allusion?  Allegedly it appeared in an old
> movie, the context being that fear is turning one character into a jelly
> blob. The hero slaps him once or twice and he's back to normal.
> I remember a TV commercial for God knows what (Aquavelva?) that used the
> phrase and the slap some forty years ago, but I'll swear I knew the allusion
> before that.
> Google Books was of no help.
> JL
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
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