1926-1927 1927-1928 1928-1929 1929-1930 1930-1931 1931-1932 1932-1933 1933-1934 1934-1935 1935-1936 1936-1937 1937-1938 1938-1939
12 Curiosities (1rl) 12 Curiosities (1rl) 26 Curiosities (1rl) 26 Color Sensations (1rl) 12 Curiosities (1rl) 13 Believe It or Not (1rl) 8 Curiosities (1rl) 2 As a Dog Thinks (1rl) 20 Dumb-Bell Letters (1rl) 1 Novelty (1rl) 8 MGM Miniatures (1rl) 13 MGM Miniatures (1rl) 6 Lew Lehr's Kindergarten (1rl)
6 Guess Who? (1rl) 12 Lyman H. Howe's Hodge-Podge (1rl) 4 Embarrassing Moments (1rl) 7 Gramercy Novelties (1rl) 12 Humanettes (1rl) 10 Curiosities (1rl) 6 Do You Remember? (1rl) 6 Goofy Movies (1rl) 4 Goofy Movies (1rl) 20 Paramount Varieties (1rl) 20 Paramount Paragraphics (1rl) 13 Paramount Paragraphics (1rl) 9 MGM Miniatures (1rl)
12 H. Howe's Hodge-Podge (1rl) 26 MGM Oddities (1rl) 13 Laemmle Novelties-Snappy Comedies (1rl) 12 Lyman H. Howe's Hodge-Podge (1rl) 12 Lyman H. Howe's Hodge-Podge (1rl) 6 Lyman H. Howe's Hodge-Podge (1rl) 6 Great Hokum Mysteries (2rl) 7 Goofytone News (1rl) 13 Life's Last Laughs (1rl) 13 Pepper Pot Novelties (1rl) 13 Stranger Than Fiction (1rl) 3 Strange as It Seems (1rl) 13 Paramount Paragraphics (1rl)
12 Rarebit Series (1rl) 12 Lyman H. Howe's Hodge-Podge (1rl) 9 novelties (1rl) 7 novelties (1rl) 3 Novelties (1rl) 14 Lyman H. Howe's Hodge-Podge (1rl) 12 MGM Oddities (1rl) 26 Paramount Varieties (1rl) 6 Stars of Tomorrow (1rl) 11 Treasure Chests (1rl) 13 Stranger Than Fiction (1rl) 13 Stranger Than Fiction (1rl)
26 MGM Oddities (1rl) 4 Novelties (2rl) 13 Pepper Pot Novelties (1rl) 7 MGM Oddities (1rl) 10 Minute Mysteries (1rl) 26 Pepper Pot Novelties (2rl) 13 Stranger Than Fiction (1rl) 13 Vitaphone Novelties (1rl) 10 Treasure Chests (1rl) 6 Technicolor Specials (1rl)
26 Radiograms (1rl) 13 Strange as It Seems (1rl) 12 Screen Souvenirs (1rl) 12 Movie Tintypes (1rl) 26 Pepper Pot Novelties (1rl) 13 Pete Smith Oddities (1rl) 11 Treasure Chests (1rl) 6 Unusual Occupations (1rl) 6 Unusual Occupations (1rl)
8 Strange as It Seems (1rl) 26 Pepper Pot Novelties (1rl) 13 Screen Souvenirs (1rl) 3 Screen Souvenirs (1rl) 13 Vitaphone Novelties (1rl) 12 Vitaphone Varieties (1rl)
1 Universal Brevity (1rl) 13 Screen Souvenirs (1rl) 9 Strange as It Seems (1rl) 13 Spice of Life (1rl)
11 Strange as It Seems (1rl) 9 Treasure Chests (1rl) 13 Stranger Than Fiction (1rl)
5 Universal Brevities (1rl) 10 Treasure Chests (1rl)

 

Few categories are as symptomatic of the often bewildering diversity of short-subject content during the sound era as the novelty, a designation that covered any short or short-subject series of unusual appeal. Although hardly without precedent before sound’s advent, the novelty short achieved particular utility in the 1930s for exhibitors seeking to sustain variety in their film programs. Some novelty series were thematically consistent, with a sustained focus on an unclassifiable topic (e.g., Educational’s As a Dog Thinks series, which offered “human interest stories about dogs,” or RKO’s Dumb-Bell Letters, one-reel compendia of odd letters received by American businesses). Others followed a more grab-bag approach, combining a handful of entertainment odds and ends into a single reel (e.g., Warners’ Pepper Pots, Educational’s Hodge-Podge shorts). Others still pursued a somewhat more serious-minded approach, such as MGM’s Miniatures, where the “Miniatures” designation was used as a shell category encompassing both amusing one-offs (e.g., Robert Benchley’s MGM debut, How to Sleep [1935]) and occasional sub-series of informative interest (e.g., the Historical Mysteries miniseries [1937-1938]).