Posted ByDavid M. Lynch on March 08, 2003 at 04:11:31:
In Reply to: Phil and the Confederate States of America??? posted byMike on February 27, 2003 at 04:26:46:
: The internet movie database biography of Phil Harris ( http://us.imdb.com/Bio?Harris,%20Phil%20(I) ) says that he "always seemed to imply allegiance to the former 'Confederate States of America.'" Does anyone know anything else about this? I know that most people back then would be considered racist (or sexist, etc.) by today's standards, but what exactly was Phil's deal in this regard? Also, I was surprised that he was born in Indiana -- never would've guessed it!
: (And who names their child "Wonga"?!)
My personal belief is that the writer of the IMDB bio was a bit confused, probably due in no small part to Phil's being identified with "That's What I Like About the South!"
In the early to mid-20th century, there was still a supply (admittedly dwindling) of people who had fought in or otherwise remembered the Civil War. In many people's minds, being from the South -- even in spirit, as I don't believe Indiana was part of the CSA :) --meant you were a "reb." For that matter, two or three generations of Southern-born Americans grew up thinking "damnyankee" was one word.
But much moreso than Phil being a "reb" was Kenny Delmar's character of Senator Claghorn, from the Allen's Alley segment of the Fred Allen Show. Now there was a true CSA sympathizer (not to mention the vocal role model for Warner Brothers' Foghorn Leghorn character)!
Complicating the Claghorn/Harris confusion would be (and I'm working from dim memory here, so any help in identifying the show in question would be appreciated, folks!) a parody Jack Benny's show did of Allen's Alley, wherein Philsie took on the Claghorn role.
So perhaps, for any or all of the reasons above, the IMDB biographer was a tad confused. Besides, I just can't see Phil in one of those rebel caps; it'd muss his hair, dad!