Stage Hoax is the 40th animated cartoon short subject in the Woody Woodpecker series. Released theatrically on April 21, 1952, the film was produced by Walter Lantz Productions and distributed by Universal International.
Woody Woodpecker, tired and perspiring, is walking down a dusty road of the old West carrying a heavy suitcase. Hearing a stagecoach approaching, he stands in the road thumbing a ride, but the stage passes him by in a swirl of dust. He opens his suitcase, which contains an assortment of artificial limbs used to display women's stockings, wigs, dresses, etc. Woody transforms himself into a young woman by putting on artificial limbs, a wig and a dress. Wally Walrus, driver of a stagecoach, approaches Woody in the road. Woody coyly lifts his skirt to display the shapely limbs. Wally quickly stops the stage, and Woody enters. Woody, in the coach's dining room, orders a sumptuous meal from Wally, now dresses as a waiter. Woody's wig falls off. Wally realizes his mistake, and he hands Woody a check for $30. Woody and Wally argue over the price, and Wally pulls a lever, which ejects Woody over the stagecoach roof. Woody jumps from the stagecoach and runs away. Woody then drives the stagecoach and meets the real "Buzz Buzzard the Bandit" astride a horse. Buzz forces Woody to drive to his hideout cottage. Woody, again disguised as a woman, causes Buzz's heart to flutter as he hastens to put his house in order, dress in "full dress and silk hat," and get ready to welcome Woody. A giant commotion emanates from the cottage. Woody rushes out the door with Buzz in full chase. Woody jumps into the stage, with Buzz making a close second.
- There is no director's credit for this film. Lantz himself has claimed to have directed Stage Hoax.
- Though she is only providing the voice of Woody in drag, Stage Hoax marks the first occasion Grace Staffordprovided dialogue for Woody. In the previous eight cartoons, Stafford was restricted to supplying the woodpecker's trademark laugh. This also marks the first time Dal McKennon provided actual dialogue for Wally Walrus, other than the usual "Yeow" (he yells "Whoa!!" when he stopping the stage coach to pick up the disguised Woody).
- Stage Hoax marks the last time Woody wore yellow colored gloves in the series (Woody began wearing them in Wicket Wacky). Woody went back to wearing white gloves in Woodpecker in the Rough.