Cinema: Again, Boop

In 1923, a plump, impudent artfully infantile young woman named Helen Kane began to appear in vaudeville. In her songs she usually replaced the lyrics with extraordinary noises. Presently her favorite noise, "boop-boop-a-doop," became a recognized word in vaudeville's nonsense language. By 1928, Helen Kane had innumerable imitators. In 1931, there appeared in animated cinema cartoons a character called Betty Boop.

Helen Kane grew fatter. Her infantilism grew less appropriate and profitable. Betty Boop remained babyish, alert, and so prosperous that her name has lately become almost as familiar in Manhattan courtrooms as that of Ella Wendel. Last month, Producer Max Fleischer...

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