Asks Dr Weevil.
"A weevil is any beetle from the Curculionoidea superfamily. They are usually small, less than 6 millimetres... and herbivorous." Sounds delicious!
Dr Weevil. A nice portmanteau pseudonym. Combines Dr. Evil with our theme-of-the-day: pests.
Let's listen to Tex Ritter and Mantan Moreland:
10 things I judge to be interesting:
1. The term "portmanteau" originated in "Through the Looking-Glass," as Humpty Dumpty explains "Jabberwocky," within which, for example, "slithy" combines "lithe and slimy" and "mimsy" combines "flimsy and miserable." "You see it's like a portmanteau—there are two meanings packed up into one word." (The word "portmanteau" already meant suitcase.)
2. "Portmanteau" comes from French — combining words for "carry" and "coat" — but the French don't say "portmanteau" to refer to "suitcase words." They say mot-valise — which they came up with by making a literal translation of the English term "suitcase word." That makes "portmanteau" something that's called a "false friend" (a term I did not know).
3. Tex Ritter's real name was Woodward Maurice Ritter. You'd think if he needed a nickname, Woody would have popped up. Think of all the Woodys that that had to stretch to get to "Woody." Woody Allen, for example, was named Allan Stewart Konigsberg. I can't discern how he got to Woody from his Wikipedia entry, which says: "It the age of 17, he legally changed his name to Heywood Allen." That sounds like he was setting up a knock-knock joke: "Heywood who?"
4. Now Woody Guthrie got to Woody quite directly. He was named Woodrow Wilson Guthrie. Born in 1912. You might say: Woodrow Wilson! Woodrow Wilson didn't even become President of the United States until 1913. Yes, but he was Governor of New Jersey. No matter that Woody Guthrie was born in Okemah, Oklahoma. It would be like somebody today living in some state that's not New Jersey naming their new baby Chris Christie Smith or Chris Christie Jones or whatever.
5. Back to Mantan Moreland, the other guy in the Tex Ritter "Boll Weevil" video. Looking at his Wikipedia page, I see he was in a surprising number of movies, including many movies I'd never heard of like "Freckles Comes Home" (1942) and "King of the Zombies" (1941). "He is perhaps best known for his role as chauffeur Birmingham Brown in Monogram's Charlie Chan series. (The lyrics of The Coasters' 1963 song 'Bad Detective' are sung from the first-person perspective of Birmingham Brown, Mantan Moreland's character in the Charlie Chan movie series.)" There's some very heavy racial context here. Spike Lee's movie "Bamboozled" appropriates some things about Moreland. And the Beastie Boys sampled something of his about mashed potatoes, and you can listen to the original (NSFW) here.
6. Moreland "was briefly considered as a possible addition to the Three Stooges when Shemp Howard died in 1955." And he was in the 1957 Broadway stage production of "Waiting For Godot." He played Estragon, the role played by Bert Lahr in the original production of the play.
7. In the "Waiting for Godot" with Moreland, Geoffrey Holder played the character Lucky.
8. You may remember Geoffrey Holder from 1970s-era 7-Up commercials.
9. The New York Dolls recorded "Bad Detective" — replete with the opening notes that you may well recognize as the music that was always used in the past to signify: This is Chinese.
10. Mantan Moreland was known for his "Incomplete Sentences" comic routines. They went like this (from some Charlie Chan movies):