Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes remember when you could set down on Saturday morning and enjoy these zany, crazy characters that made everything seem possible. Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, the ultimate prey and hunter, are always a blast. No matter how often it seemed Elmer had Bugs dead to rights, Bugs Bunny always turned the tables. Bugs Bunny could always make Elmer Fudd look like a klutz.
Let’s not forget the alien from outer space who was always trying to blow up the planet, Marvin the Martian. How in the world could Bugs Bunny always be exactly where this little character turned up. If Marvin was on the moon, then Bugs Bunny somehow ended up as the “space monkey” in the rocket to the moon. When Marvin the Martian was sent to find “intelligent life” on our planet, how is it that Bugs Bunny happened to be the one he found? Bugs Bunny had a knack for being at the right place at the right time to always save the world.
Who is Daffy Duck and what does he do? He is the ultimate moocher and is freeloading off of someone all the time. He is also a know it all, if you haven’t noticed. Daffy Duck always knows how to do everything but he does absolutely nothing. It seems that Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd are his targets of choice. They are constantly in trouble because of him. However, he is also the comic relief in a lot of the situations. Like most of the bad guys in a show, he plays a necessary role in every show that he appears in.
Did you know that Elmer Fudd did not start out as Elmer Fudd. He actually started as a character named Egghead. The character did not have much appeal. The character had a lot of transformations over the long decades from Egghead to the heavy overweight businessman and hunter. Then from the overweight hunter to the professional homeowner who has slimmed down a bit. However, Bugs Bunny is still giving him trouble.
What can I say about Yosemite. He is the ultimate outlaw, with a Napoleon complex. He only stands about 3 feet high but talks and walks like he is a giant. Yosemite Sam did not let anyone, no matter the size or shape, get to him. Sam is short and short-tempered. He’s a liar, a cheat and a sore loser, but at least he’s consistent.
While he’s capable of becoming an unstoppable, whirling tornado of destruction, the Tasmanian Devil is usually content just causing trouble and trying to eat anything in his path, especially rabbits. His constant pursuit of food whenever he gets loose of his cage is hilarious and guess who is always around. Yep, Bugs Bunny. Taz is always trying to stew or roast, barbecue, or eat on a sandwich one Bugs Bunny. Somehow Bugs always gets away.
Porky Pig is portrayed as the mild mannered comic relief you has a tendency to stutter profusely. He is usually the butt of many jokes and pranks without any reciprocation. However, it has happened on one or two occasions where he has lost his temper, usually with Daffy Duck and showed the audience what was underneath all that calm. Porky became the face for ending the show when he could not say ” The End” and his stutter would not allow him to get the words out. So he ended up saying “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!!” and it stuck. In my opinion, that was harder to say.
Pepe Le Pew
This guy is the original Casanova, even in the cartoon world. As with most people and characters who have an offensive body odor, one never can smell themselves or they are so use the aroma it no longer bothers them. I wonder which is the case with Pepe. Pepe has a French accent and refined sense of taste that makes him irresistible to women, so he thinks. Like Bugs, he always gets what he wants. However, the female is usually always trying to get away. Nevertheless, he has on Achilles heel with a certain cat that he could not get away from. You can see it in the 1949 short For Scent-imental Reasons and Wild over you in 1953.
Speedy Gonzales is quick and quick-witted. He is portrayed as “The Fastest Mouse in all Mexico” with his major traits being the ability to run extremely fast, speaking with an exaggerated Mexican accent and also speaking Spanish. He is the hero in all his shows rescuing his fellow mice from Sylvester the cat and getting to the cheese or trying to keep his home safe from, you guessed it, Daffy Duck, and stocking up his food stores.
Then you have the “couples” pairing that are constantly trying to either eat each other or just outdo one another. Over the years, they have given all of us laughs and excitement. Here are my favorites.
Wile E Coyote and the Road Runner
Wile E Coyote, the super genius, and the Road Runner are one of the most famous duos in the cartoon industry. Since they were small, the coyote has been chasing the roadrunner for his food. Instead of his animal instincts, the Coyote uses absurdly complex contraptions (always supplied by ACME Corp) to pursue his prey, which comically backfire with the Coyote often getting injured in slapstick fashion.
One running gag involves the Coyote trying in vain to shield himself with a little parasol against a great falling boulder that is about to crush him. Another running gag involves the coyote falling from a high cliff. After he goes over the edge, the rest of the scene, shot from a bird’s-eye view, shows the coyote falling into a canyon so deep, his figure is eventually lost to sight. This is followed a second or two later by the rising of a dust cloud from the canyon floor as the coyote hits.
Why he does not speak
Did you know that the coyote once spoke when he was a kid? In an early episode, Little Go Beep, his father was explaining how to catch his food and told him that he would not speak until he caught the roadrunner. He eventually catches his but guess what, Wile E has shrunk and the roadrunner is too big for him to consume. He later appeared in skits with Bugs Bunny.
Sylvester and Tweety
Although both Sylvester and Tweety both were stars in their own right performing with several other stars over the years, when then became a duo they really soared.
Sylvester Cat is a lisping, inept, and often loud-mouthed cartoon alley cat with a penchant for chasing elusive mice and a weakness for various types of fowl, especially an innocent-looking but feisty yellow canary named Tweety, whom Sylvester would like nothing better than to roast and eat.
Sometimes along with Spike as his protector, Tweety is constantly trying to stay out of the clutches and stomach of Sylvester. Sylvester is always trying to find ways to steal Tweety from the safety that Granny has placed him so that he can eat him. The things he goes through to get to this bird are unbelievable. However, he always fails but he never gives up trying.
Foghorn Leghorn and Dog
How did Foghorn Leghorn come about? Foghorn Leghorn is depicted as a large, anthropomorphic white adult Leghorn rooster with a stereo-typically Southern accent, a “good ol’ boy” speaking style, and a penchant for mischief. In addition to being a reference to the Senator Claghorn character, the first half of his name is a joke about him being loud and obnoxious, while the second half refers to a breed of chicken, a leghorn.
Many of the gags involved Foghorn and a canine nemesis (formally known as The Barnyard Dawg within Warner today, though on early model sheets his name is given as George P. Dog) engaging in one-upmanship through a series of pranks. Unlike other Looney Tunes rivalries, Foghorn is often the initial aggressor out of self-amusement and subsequently on the ‘losing’ end of gags (although the dog sometimes initiates). However it ends, the formula for how it begins is usually the same.
Foghorn, humming “Camptown Races” to himself and carrying a wooden fence post, sneaks up on Dawg while he is sleeping. Leghorn then pulls the Dawg up by his hindquarters and uses the fence post to give him a thorough spanking. Dawg, now angry, chases after Foghorn barking angrily but can only go as far as the rope he is tied to can stretch. Thus, when the rope becomes taut and he cannot move, he is either yanked back or stopped. (In some cartoons, there’s a sign Foghorn stands to one side of saying “Rope Limit” and Dawg stops just shy of it.) My question is why didn’t the dog take the rope off?! Throughout most of the story he is without his collar and able to get even with Foghorn. But as my husband always says, it wasn’t in the script.
Foghorn also appeared with some other characters where he is an lonely, freezing, and starving bachelor in need of a warm place to sleep and food. He then engages with the widowed hen Miss Prissy, often by babysitting her bookish son and sometimes a sneaky, conniving, troublemaker son, Egghead, Jr.
The Loud mouthed rooster also appears with another banty rooster who is a swinger of the 60’s and trying to get into his hen house and claim his females,and a weasel who is out to eat him. Also, let’s not forget about the diminutive Henery Hawk’s attempt to catch and eat Foghorn on several occasions.
These are just the main characters that I can remember. However there are some memorable supporting roles that stand out.
Michigan J Frog is an icon among the looney tune characters. He was not very big and didn’t have many episodes, but the ones he did have were amazing and hilarious.
Cecil Turtle is another memorable character who seemed to be the only character to ever get the best of Bugs Bunny. No matter how many times Bugs Bunny came up against him, he could never get the best of Cecil Turtle. The only other character who got Bugs Bunny’s goat was another bunny, The Easter Bunny. The title of this episode was Easter Yeggs.
Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes Today
Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes have been in homes entertaining both young and young at heart for over 50 years. I grew up watching these zany and witty looney tune characters. They kept you entertained as well as portrayed some relevant stories about current events.
Today the new Bugs Bunny and Looney Tunes are too modern and too politically charged. Cartoons are about getting away from the day to day grind and be young and naive again. To let your problems go for a while and be a kid again. Relive the fact that the laws of gravity may or may not exist for these lovable characters. We should be able to enjoy watching with the eyes of a child and not be blasted with all the problems of the world showing up in our favorite cartoon characters.
In my opinion, leave that kind of stuff to the news and reporters and the newspapers and leave my Looney Tunes alone. Let me have fun and image I am a child once again and watch the coyote fall off the cliff and not get hurt. Allow me to watch Taz get bested by a rabbit. As a matter of fact, let me see a small, cotton-tailed rabbit, beat out a hunter, a wild animal and even a martian.
These are cartoons!! They do not need jobs and all the worries that comes with it. Nor do they need to live in the suburbs and drive cars. Life is hard enough without our favorite pastimes reflecting that as well.
So give me my old cartoons and let me remember when times were simpler and dreams were fairy tales come true. I will get back to the real world later.
Anyway that is just my opinion. Go watch a cartoon and be a kid again.