|Directed by||Isadore Sparber|
Al Eugster (uncredited)
|Story by||Irv Spector|
|Narrated by||Jackson Beck|
|Music by||Winston Sharples|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|January 23, 1953|
The cartoon starts when Christopher Columbus discovers America, arrives at the new land, and is immediately greeted by native Americans recording a newsreel for Paramount and interviewing Columbus. The Pilgrim story of The Courtship of Miles Standish follows; when John Alden delivers Myles Standish's proposal to Priscilla Mullins, she counters why Alden didn't propose on his own behalf; Alden explains that he is more interested in Dorothy Lamour. Then the tale of John Smith and Pocahontas is told; as Smith is being burned at the stake, Pocahontas begs Chief Powhatan to spare Smith's life, but when Pocahontas is revealed to be morbidly obese, Smith panics and puts himself back onto the stake. Peter Stuyvesant is then portrayed with a peg leg that, when he is attacked by natives with bows and arrows, returns fire like a machine gun. Through the efforts of these early pioneers, the East Coast is transformed into the thirteen original states (though Rhode Island is initially squeezed out before forcing itself back into place).
Benjamin Franklin's kite experiment is depicted. The experiment initially fails, before Franklin uses the key to re-enter his house and is immediately struck by lightning. The cartoon skips forward to the California Gold Rush; upon James W. Marshall's discovery of gold, the Internal Revenue Service arrives in a helicopter to seize the nugget. Finally, Alexander Graham Bell is seen building the first telephone, but upon using it, learns his new device is a payphone when the operator asks for fifty cents.
The cartoon closes with the Statue of Liberty, who comes to life and instructs the audience to sing-along to "The Yankee Doodle Boy." Fireworks, which transform into the Paramount logo in the uncut version, close out the cartoon.
- Jackson Beck as Narrator / Native-American Reporter / John Alden
- Jack Mercer as Christopher Columbus / Native-American Reporter / Native-American Chief / Benjamin Franklin / James W. Marshall / Alexander Graham Bell
- Mae Questel as Priscilla / Pocahontas / Phone Operator
- Hysterical History at IMDb
- The short film Hysterical History is available for free download at the Internet Archive.