Directed by: Tex Avery
Written by: Heck Allen
Release date: April 7, 1945
Running time: 7 minutes
Available on: VHS

Jerky Turkey is a Thanksgiving-themed theatrical animated short, originally released by MGM on April 7, 1945.


In 1620 7/8, Pilgrims, riding a caricatured Mayflower with a number of World War II-era anachronisms (such as a navy gunnery deck, a Henry J. Kaiser nameplate and a fuel rationing card) land at Plymouth Rock and establish a colony, where they quickly separate into "Ye Democrats" and "Ye Republicans." The Pilgrims all stand in line for cigarettes (some are caricatures of Avery's animation crew), while the town crier bemoans that he has been made eligible for the draft "1-A".

A pear-shaped Pilgrim, who speaks with the milquetoast mannerisms of Bill Thompson (who was unavailable and had to be impersonated because of his being inducted into war service), emerges from his dilapidated teardrop trailer home and goes hunting for a turkey for a Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey, seeing an easy mark and speaking in an impersonation of Jimmy Durante, offers himself to the pilgrim, only to use this as the start of a series of rapid-fire gags that stretch the limits of even cartoon physics, with the turkey consistently getting the best of his increasingly befuddled and frustrated opponent. Eventually the two make up and decide to "eat at Joe's," following the advice of a clapboard-wearing bear advertising his steakhouse that appears throughout the film. When they reach Joe's steakhouse, the door closes, loud thuds are heard, and the bear is seen grinning and picking his teeth, as the swallowed-whole turkey and pilgrim sulk in the bear's stomach. The pilgrim closes the cartoon holding up a sign of his own: "DON'T eat at Joe's."

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