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Hullabaloo

Hullabaloo(1940)

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Frank Forrest Merriweather, an unemployed Vaudevillian actor with mounting debts, goes to radio station AJN's New Talent Bureau to audition his histrionic talents. Frank fails to get an audition, but meets young Laura Merriweather, another rejected performer, who thrusts Frank upon Talent Bureau Vice-President Bob Strong and insists that he let Frank show him his "dramatic novelty." Bob, a professional golfer, resents having been forced to become a "swivel-chair jockey" by his manipulative sweetheart Wilma, whose father, Arthur Jay Norton, heads the Talent Bureau at the station. Realizing that his only ticket out of the radio business is to come up with a great novelty radio show, Bob hires Frank to perform his one-man show, in which he impersonates all twenty characters in a fake news broadcast about invaders from Mars. When Frank neglects to interrupt his "Battle of the Planets" broadcast with advertisements, the hoax results in nationwide panic and he is fired. Desperate to get his job back, Frank courts the widowed Lulu Perkins, who is a part-owner with her brother-in-law, Clyde Perkins, of the radio station's richest sponsor. While doing his impersonation of Charles Boyer for Lulu, Frank is visited by one of his three ex-wives, Arlene, and is shocked when she introduces Laura as his estranged daughter. Shortly after, Frank's second wife Sue appears with their daughter Judy, demands an alimony payment and calls him a "road company Casanova." Before Frank can explain the situation to the bewildered Lulu, Penny, his third wife, arrives with their son Terry. While Frank's ex-wives conspire to marry Frank to the wealthy Lulu in order to get their alimony money, Frank develops an affection for his grown children and joins them in recreating the song and dance numbers that their mothers performed with him in the past. Frank then promises never to leave his children again and always to be a real father to them. When Judy, Laura and Terry learn that Frank is broke, they band together and decide to get their father back on the air. Laura goes to AJN to tell Bob how angry she is with him for firing her father, but as soon as she realizes that Bob is leaving the company, she takes back her accusations and accompanies him to an amusement park. After Bob and Laura fall in love, Bob decides to take his job back and reinstate Frank's show. In the meantime, however, Frank's ex-wives delight in Frank's decision to marry Lulu, and the newspapers carry their wedding announcement. Later, Bob, with the help of Frank's celebrity voice impersonations, tricks Clyde into letting him have his show back and the wedding is called off. Just as the show is about to return to the air, Frank steps up to the microphone to introduce his show and then impersonates the voices of Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and Claudette Colbert in his rendition of a scene from the movie Boom Town . Because Perkins has withdrawn his sponsorship of the show, Frank advertises his own prouduct, "Jing," and calls from druggists soon light up the radio station's switchboard. When Perkins takes a drink of "Jing," he becomes drunk and signs the Merriweather family to a five-year contract. The show is a hit, and Frank closes it with a big finale that includes his three children.