Daws Butler, the voice actor for Hanna Barbera cartoon characters, patterned the voice of the lion Snagglepuss after Bert Lahr, who played the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. Butler took Snagglepuss's catchphrase "Heavens to Mergatroid" from Bert Lahr's having said it in the movie Meet the People.
A further Lane/Harburg song, "Thank You, Columbus" was recorded but not used. "Song of the Bayou" by Rube Bloom was also planned for inclusion, but not used.
In a radio interview, Spike Jones stated that the ape that plays Hitler is the same ape that appears in the Tarzan movies.
Some cast members in studio records/casting call lists did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. These were (with their character names): George Lloyd (Heckler), Creighton Hale (Hotel Clerk), Kay Deslys (Landlady) and Lee Phelps (Workman). Several actors announced as cast members in contemporary news items also did not appear in the movie: Victor Borge, Lena Horne, Nancy Walker and Dewey Robinson.
The play initially was performed in Los Angeles. It opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 25 December 1940, and closed on 10 May 1941 after 160 performances (considered a moderate hit). The opening night cast included Jack Albertson, Nanette Fabray, Jack Gilford, Peggy Ryan and Doodles Weaver.
This movie was shown overseas to servicemen before it was released in the United States.