Transparent Kane

Boop-Boop-a-Doop is a scat lyric which was used by Helen Kane who classes herself as the originator of Boop Boop a Doop. She interpolated the scat lyric in Oscar Hammerstein's 1928 show Good Boy. The Scat lyric is most associated with the song I Wanna Be Loved By You, which Helen had sung in the show, which made her name go up in lights. Where as Boop-Oop-a-Doop is Betty Boop's trademark catchphrase. The catchphrase was made popular by Helen Kane in the 1920s. Helen Kane claimed to be originator of the unique ad-libs and attempted to sue the Fleischer Studio and Paramount who she had previously worked for but had taken her style from another. Meaning she was not the first person to Boop in the business.

Differences Between Kane & Boop

Helen Kane is known as the Boop-Boop-a-Doop Girl where as Betty is known as the Boop-Oop-a-Doop Girl

Also Known As

  • Boop-Boop-a-Doop
  • Boop-Boop-e-Doop
  • Boop-Oop-e-Doo
  • Boop-Oopy-Doop
  • Boop-Boop-Be-Doop
  • Poop-Poop-a-Doop
  • Poop-Poopy-Doop
  • Poop-Oop-a-Doo
  • Poop Poop Padoop (Helen Kane's original perception of the scat sound which was not Boop)

Other Boop Boop a Doopers

The unique scat lyrics have a long controversy behind them. Many people have used similar or claim to be the originator of the phrase Boop-Oop-a-Doop. Today Boop-Oop-a-Doop and the word Boop are trademarked by Betty Boop.  And cannot be used for merchandising, even though the Boop in Betty was created and boosted by others. Although Booping can be used in songs.

Felix Mayol:

The first person to utter similar syllables was Felix Mayol  who had used similar scat lyrics Bou-Doo-Da-Ba-Boo in his recording Bou Dou Ba Boum (1913) . This was brought up in the $250,000 suit where Kane was asked if she had heard the song, Kane denied that she had heard the song.

Baby Esther Jones:

Baby Esther Jones was an African American performer who used Boo-Boo-Boo's and Doo-Doo-Doo's, Wha-Da-Da's, Do-Ho-De-Wa-Da-De-Da in her cabaret shows in the 1920s in Harlem. Footage of Esther was used in court to confirm that Kane was not the first person to utter the famous scat lyrics in court. 

Esther continued to Boop in live shows up until 1930, she was later known as the Chocolate Helen Kane. Even though she was the originator. But due to being African Amercan never got the publicity she deserved and was dubbed an imitator when she was an active Booper.

When the trial took place she did not attend. Her manager had claimed she has perished. but details given by her "ex-manager 'who was paid by Paramount to attend in their defencewas not 100% accurate. Meaning Esther might have not died. As her death is not listed. There is no Esther Jones (African American) death certificates dating from 1925-1934.  The footage of Jones is apparently lost in time. 

A woman by the name of Gertrude Saundersclaimed to have been the real identity of Esther Jones and claimed she was the original originator of Boop Boop a Doop in late 1934. And again in 1938-1939. And was tributed as the originator in African American newspapers up until 1950. It is unknown if this is true of false information because there is no Esther Jones on any databases, her existance is nill. Meaning Gertrude might have been Jones under a pseudonym. As Gertrude Saunder's earlier career is not as featured as her later one. Gertrude claimed she performed in the Cotton Club in Harlem in the early 20s. 

Edith Griffith:

During the suit against Kane a man claimed that a singer by the name of Edith Griffith had booped in 1927

Helen Kane:

Helen Kane known as the Original Boop-Boop-a-Doop Girl due to her fame, and everyone wanting to be like her in the 1920s-1930s.  Helen Kane made Boop-Boop-a-Doop famous after she added Boop to her performance of I Wanna Be Loved By You in the show Good Boy and became famous overnight.  

Originally Kane's scat lyrics were a number of Da-Da-Da's and Bu-Du-Da-Do's. Similar to that of Baby Esther Jones.  Listen to Kane's first recording That's My Weakness Now for comparison. 

According to information, Kane adapted the scat lyrics to Boop. Originally she adapted them to Poop but the media did not understand, they thought she was saying Boop so she changed the scat lyrics. Listen to her earlier recordings from 1927-1928

Her popularity came with a bag full of imitators, girls who wanted to be just like her. From 1920s-1930s Helen Kane decided to hold look and sound-a-like contests to find her double. Many girls entered and won first place. Most notably Mae Questel who had won first place and is best known as the voice of Betty Boop and most favorite, Margie Hines the original voice of Betty Boop who had also won a contest, Little Ann Little who was also a RKO Discovery and Kate Wright who was then hired in 1929 by Columbia Records to record Helen Kane knock-off recordings. Each of these girls later went on to provide the voice for Betty Boop.

Other scat lyrics she used in song were Bup-Bup-a-Dup, sometimes adding in  the word Lup. After she had lost against the Fleischers in court, she continued to Boop but quit show business in 1935 due to the death of her mother and a breakdown. Helen Kane returned in the 1950s when Betty Boop was retired and was dubbed the Queen of Boop Boop a Doop until she died in the 1960s where she was mistaken as the voice of Betty Boop.

Clarence Williams:

Clarence Williams was a African American composer and song writer. During the Helen Kane suit he claimed he had invented the word Boop in 1915. Claiming they were 'Hot Licks' with scat lyrics such as What-Da-De-Da with a occasional Boop thrown in.

Other artists who used similar methods of adding scat singing in song were, Cab Calloway with Hi-De-Ho.  Bing Crosby with Boo-Boo-BooJimmy Durante with Ha-Cha-Cha.  Another would be Vo-Do-Do-De-O a scat lyric which was first used in 1926 by Irving Aaronson and the Victor Commanders.


  • Boop-Boop-a-Doop can also be known as Boop-Oop-a-Doop.
  • Betty Boop uses the scat lyric as her main phrase.
  • Helen's original scat lyric was Poop-Poop-Padoop, but the media misunderstood so instead she changed it to Boop-Boop-a-Doop.
  • Baby Esther, was the first person to utter the scat lyrics in songs at a cabaret, Helen Kane saw Baby's act in 1928 or the early 1920s at the Harlem Cotton Club, and used the scat lyrics but changed them in her up coming show. Esther was known to do a variety of scat sounds along with funny facial expressions.
  • Boop-Boop-a-Doop can also mean something sexual as a opposed to being a scat lyric, (For example in Helen Kane's song That's My Weakness Now the one later adapted in the 1930s (And he likes Boop-Boop-a-Doop, And I never cared for Boop-Boop-a-Doop But he likes a Boop-Boop-a-Doop, So, That's My Weakness Now!), (Indicating wanting to have sex) Same occurs in Betty Boop's Cartoon "Boop-Oop-a-Doop" which was released in 1932, Betty Boop performs the song  "Dont Take My Boop-Oop-a-Doop Away" when a perverted ringmaster is trying to have his way with her, both show that the scat lyric of "Booping" also means something more risque.
  • Boop-Boop-a-Doop is linked to Flapper Culture & The Roaring 20s, in which the time when it was a craze which was boosted and or made famous by Helen Kane.

See Also

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