Love the Looney Tunes? Here's 10 Things You Should Know
Mel Blanc was the voice of nearly every major Warner’s Brother cartoon character including Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and of course Bugs Bunny. An automobile accident once left Blancs in a coma.
Doctors tried unsuccessfully to make him talk until one doctor who was a fan of his work tried; “Bugs, bugs bunny? Are you there?” to which Blanc replied “What’s up, Doc?” in Bugs Bunny’s voice. The doctors then began to experiment with several others of his characters and Mel responded similarly. Eventually, the Doctors managed to lead him out of the coma by systematically going through characters until they asked for him.
He survived his scare with the car crash in 1962, and lived until 1989, shortly after turning 81. His headstone reads “That’s All Folks!”
Mel Blanc was, ironically, allergic to carrots. So much so, that whenever he had to act as Bugs Bunny chewing one, he would record those clips LAST. The sound technicians would take those clips and edit them into the right places.
Nimrod is actually a biblical figure. He was a king that appeared in the books of Genesis and Chronicles. He is referenced in the Bible as a "mighty hunter before God." Since then, he had been used as the ultimate comparison for a mighty hunter. And then Bugs Bunny happened.
In one of the Looney Tunes cartoons, Bugs Bunny refers to Elmer Fudd as 'a nimrod.' He was making a sarcastic comparison of Fudd's abilities to the ones of the great biblical hunter. Year later, the term changed in American English to be a derogatory term, and a synonym for idiot, or stupid.
Bugs Bunny might've popularized the usage of nimrod as a synonym, but he might've not been the first to use it as such. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the first usage of nimrod in a sarcastic / derogatory way to a 1933 writing that predates Bugs Bunny's by 5 years. Either way, it's interesting that a cartoon character can have so much influence, not just in pop culture but in language as well!
Bugs Bunny was originally “happy rabbit”.
The cartoon rabbit character didn’t have a real name yet, so they just referred to him as the “happy rabbit”. His first appearance in “Porky’s Hare Hunt” features Porky the Pig and his dog hunting for rabbits, and the as-yet-unnamed rabbit outsmarts him to avoid getting caught. At the time, his appearance and personality hadn’t been completely decided upon yet. He had a lot of the same mannerisms as Daffy Duck and later, Woody the Woodpecker would be based on this unnamed rabbit character. Bugs also went through numerous redesigns through his first appearances. He used to be white instead of gray, his body looked a lot more like a an actual rabbit, and they alternated between giving him huge buck teeth and no teeth at all.
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This momentous occasion took place for about 30 seconds during the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Getting these cartoon colossi together took some doing, however. Fortunately, the man who was able to accomplish this task was none other than acclaimed director and producer Steven Spielberg. Several years prior, Michael Eisner had taken on the expensive budget for the Spielberg flick Raiders of the Lost Ark. Newly-elected as the CEO of Disney, Eisner hoped Spielberg would return the favor with Roger Rabbit.
As Eisner had believed, Spielberg was able to deliver in a very big way. He was able to get the rights to all the non-Disney cartoon characters for dirt cheap - only $5,000 per character! The one caveat was that Warner Bros. demanded that Bugs Bunny only be featured in scenes opposite Mickey Mouse and that the pair had to speak the same number of words of dialogue.
This historic pairing of the world-famous rabbit and mouse can be seen below:
Porky Pig once swore in a Looney Tunes cartoon!
A short black-and-white cartoon starring the stuttering swine was made in 1938 for a Warner Bros gag reel. It was later aired on the studio’s 50th anniversary television special. Porky is shown doing pounding some nails, when he hits his thumb with the hammer...and hilarity ensues.
Check it out below...but be warned, one of your beloved childhood icons does say a naughty word:
The closing tagline for every Looney Tunes cartoon is a most appropriate epitaph for Mel Blanc, who provided the voice for beloved characters Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, and Elmer Fudd, among countless others.
In 1980, in an episode titled \"Soup or Sonic\", thirty-one years after the Road Runner cartoons debuted, Wile E. Coyote finally catches the Road Runner. He then holds up a sign saying, \"Okay, wise guys, you always wanted me to catch him. Now what do I do?\"
This was because in this case, Wile E. Coyote had shrunk, and had now caught a giant Road Runner.
Did you know that Wile E. Coyote could talk? He usually speaks by holding up signs. However, in some cartoons, especially in cartoons where tries to catch Bugs Bunny (e.g. \"Operation: Rabbit\") instead of the Road Runner, he can actually talk. He has a British accent and he refers to himself as \"Wile E. Coyote: Super Genius\".
When Tweety Bird was first created, he was completely naked!
His creator, animator Bob Clampett, said in the documentary Bugs Bunny: Superstar that Tweety was based on his own naked baby picture! Clampett produced a total of three cartoon shorts starring the naked baby bird, but left behind a fourth uncompleted one when he left the studio. This project, which pitted Tweety against a lisping black-and-white cat (who would later be given the name ‘Sylvester’), was then picked up by the cat’s creator, Friz Freleng. Freleng gave Tweety large blue eyes and an overall cuter appearance, also adding yellow canary feathers in order to satisfy the censors who had objected to the character’s chronic nudity. The first short to match Tweety against Sylvester, called “Tweety Pie”, earned Warner Bros. its first Academy Award for Best Short Subject!