The Screwdriver is the second animated cartoon short subject in the Woody Woodpecker series. Released theatrically on August 11, 1941, the film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures.
The plot has the wacky bird driving a car (hence the title of the picture), with a series of gags about the jalopy he's driving and his attempts to speed and to elude a persistent policeman.
- Like most of the early 1940s Lantz "cartunes", The Screwdriver carried no director's credit. Lantz himself has claimed to have directed this film, which features animation by Alex Lovy and Ralph Somerville, a story by Ben Hardaway and Jack Cosgriff, and music by Darrell Calker.
- The song, performed by Mel Blanc at the beginning of the film, would make a reappearance in Hot Rod Huckster, performed by Grace Stafford.
- Everybody thinks I'm screwy!
- Screwy as a loon, that's me!
- When I get on the driving spree,
- The coppers all get panicky!
- Honk my horn!
- Strip my gears!
- So I'm screwy, what, what, what can I do?
- I ask you!
- The Screwdriver marks the first time Ben Hardaway provided the voice for Woody, although Mel Blanc would provide his singing voice as well as the voice of the cop in this short (the last one in which he would record any new material for the series). However, Woody's famous laugh and "Guess Who?!" signature line (provided by Blanc) would continue to be recycled in the succeeding shorts. In addition, this would be the last time Hardaway would provide Woody's dialogue until 1943 as Danny Webb and Kent Rogers would portray Woody over the next year.
The scene where Woody dressed up as a Chinese stereotype to trick the cop was removed.
(Woody ask a question about women to the cop.)
- WOODY:: What's the color of Jeannie's light brown hair? (Turns to audience) No coaching from the audience please!