Miss Cud, a cow who is the school teacher, Beans, who is caught defiantly eating from a jar of jam, Porky Pig and Oliver Owl, who are both shown at once, and twin puppies Ham and Ex are sponsoring a musical and recital for the benefit of teachers and parents.
The talent show first features Porky Pig reciting the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem "Paul Revere's Ride", but with his excessive stutter causing him to recite his part with incredible strain and sweat on some moments. Porky points to offstage students to provide sound effects for his next poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade", using the underside of a turtle's shell for a drum, and falling light bulbs for gunfire. However, he points to the wrong student, but the intended student takes his cue, and Porky points to the correct one. The class children whistle and cat-call which makes several stray dogs burst into the schoolhouse and chase poor Porky out.
Little Kitty attempts to recite "Mary Had a Little Lamb". She is so nervous that she forgets a couple of lines, even confusing snow for corn flakes, and then proceeds with the rhyme but gradually speeds up her voice to a high pitch. Throughout her performance she is fidgeting and crossing her legs in a way to suggest she urgently needs the toilet. She reaches the end of the rhyme as she makes a hasty exit to the school outhouse.
Ham and Ex sing the song "I Haven't Got a Hat". During this performance, Oliver Owl haughtily refuses to share a bag of candy with Beans, who is angered by Oliver's snobbery. When Oliver goes up for his piano recital, Beans decides it is time for payback and sneaks a stray cat and dog into the piano. Their commotion creates a virtuoso performance of Franz von Suppé's Poet and Peasant overture to riotous applause. When the animals jump out of the piano, with the cat chasing the dog rather than vice versa, the ruse is revealed to the audience's disapproval and Oliver, humbled and vengeful, covers Beans in green ink from his pen, causing Beans to fall off his ladder and launch a pail of red paint onto Oliver. Caught in the same predicament, they shake hands.
VHS - The Golden Age of Looney Tunes: Volume 2, Firsts
LaserDisc - The Golden Age of Looney Tunes: Volume 1, Side 2, Firsts
DVD - Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 3, Disc 3
DVD - Porky Pig 101, Disc 1
This is the debut appearance of Porky Pig, Beans, Little Kitty and Oliver.
Struggling against other animation studios, WB were desperate to find a character as successful, as other studios' mascots (such as Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Bosko and Buddy not being as popular), and so Friz designed several potential characters.
Porky was named after a childhood friend of Friz Freleng.
Many of the characters used in this cartoon were given their own short, in order to see if they were a good recurring character, but WB particularly focused on Beans, to no avail. Due to Porky's popularity, Tex Avery (and Bob Clampett, two years later) decided to focus on Porky Pig, and Porky became the first true Warner Bros. cartoon star.
Beans and Oliver don't speak in their first appearances.