Heavens to Murgatroid origin

Posted by Bruce Macintyre on October 08, 2005

There is an old discussion about where the cartoon cat Snagglepuss got the phrase "Heavens to Murgatroid."

My nephew John MacIntyre told me today that he heard Bert Lahr in the 1944 Dick Powell Lucille Ball movie Meet The People exclaim, "Heavens to Murgatroid." I then found the following at www.toonopedia.com

"Snagglepuss's voice was patterned after that of actor Bert Lahr (who is famous for playing another lion, the cowardly one in the 1939 production of The Wizard of Oz), and was provided by Daws Butler (an old hand at mimicking real actors for cartoon characters - his Peter Potamus sounded like Joe E. Brown, and his Wally Gator like Ed Wynn). But his catch-phrases ("Exit, stage left" and "Heavens to Murgatroyd") were his own. Butler was so good at the Lahr imitation that when the character was used as a spokestoon for Kellogg Cereals, Lahr sued, and the commercials had to give Butler a credit line so nobody would think it was Lahr plugging the cereal."

Evidently, the phrase was not Daws Butler's but Bert Lahr's though I still don't know where he got it.

See: the meaning and origin of the phrase 'Heavens to Murgatroyd'.