Almanac Comedy: Favourite Comedies #11

 

#11 – Loony Tunes (1930-1969)

 

Well over a decade ago, I received a visit from my younger brother Glen from WA and we found an old VHS that had some classic Looney Tunes cartoons on them.

 

We are both extra-large men with boof-heads, and the sight of the two of us hugging and crying with laughter on the couch,  produced somewhat bemused looks from my daughters who were about 12 and 9 at the time.

 

We tried to explain how much these cartoons meant to us as kids. How articulate the animators were, how ingenious the man behind the voices Mel Blanc was, the brilliance of the musicians and what the vision of the directors, most notably Charles (Chuck) Jones was like.

 

The team at Warner Brothers must have had so much fun making these, and you can’t tell me they didn’t target the parents of the kids when they created them!

 

Remarkably the golden era under Chuck Jones was in the 1950’s so to think these are 70+ years old gives credence to their quality and attention to detail. This one is a short version of the cartoon Glen and I watched that day.

 

 

 

Bugs Bunny was probably my least favourite despite being the star in a sense, but this is a clip from Baton Bunny, when he famously conducts an orchestra. Like this video, the actual cartoon was used by several orchestras globally for performances, using the animation on a big screen as they played live.

 

It contains trademark nuances that Chuck Jones was famous for in all his work. Using the eyes, fingers, toes, facial expressions and mannerisms that you would see with your own pets,  in conjunction with music and sound effects.

 

 

 

 

I probably loved Daffy Duck the most. I have a deep affinity for hapless fools that try hard (like myself :)) with the other being Sylvester the Cat.

 

The first clip here is classic Daffy getting ahead himself and the second clip is one of my all-time favourites of Sylvester having to get past a yard full of dogs to get to Tweety Bird. Most of the Looney Tunes characters yelled, “Ahh…Shaddup!” at some stage, most notably Foghorn Leghorn. It was a term we used frequently in the playground at school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The giant Southern, smart ass chicken, Foghorn Leghorn was absolutely aimed at adults. I’ve attached a clip with many of his colloquialisms which unfortunately is missing my favourite, “The boy’s about as sharp as a bowling ball.” One very funny chook.

 

 

 

The Roadrunner and Coyote tended to split people down the middle. I think anyone on the side of seeing the Roadrunner finally caught was missing the irony. The Coyote was that loveable loser that I adore and his ridiculous schemes were genius in their ineptitude.

 

Again, the animators grabbed the adults with the opening of every episode with their Latin translations of the Roadrunner and Coyote names. So clever, and I always looked forward to the first reactions of the Coyote after the Roadrunner escapes at the start. I’ve had to put a couple down here but they are abbreviated in the interest of time.

 

 

 

 

 

There were a number of fascinating characters that played just as important roles like Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Marvin the Martian, Porky Pig, The Tassie Devil, Speedy Gonzales, Pepe Le Pew and bit part players like this one, Marc Antony the dog.

 

This is another classic Chuck Jones production which sadly I can’t play in it’s entirety but there’s enough here to remind us just how incredible this studio of artists were.

 

My only wish? That cinemas played a Looney Tunes cartoon before a movie to break up the thirty minutes of mind numbing ads. Just a suggestion.

 

 

 

 

The subtleties in Looney Tunes cartoons have influenced comedians, animators and directors for decades. I’m eternally grateful to have had a childhood intertwined with these works of art unlocking our creative juices each day. Timeless.

 

 

 

Part 1: #27 – #20 can be read HERE

 

Part 2: #15 – #19 can be read HERE

 

Part 3: #12 – #14 can be read HERE

 

 

Read more from Ian Wilson HERE

 

 

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About Ian Wilson

Former army aircraft mechanic, sales manager, VFA footballer and coach. Now mental health worker and blogger. Lifelong St Kilda FC tragic and father to 2 x girls.

Comments

  1. They are all pure genius, Ian.

    And the greatest of all is the “Three Little Bops”.

  2. I’m a massive fan too, Ian and I agree with Smokie.

    We’re fortunate enough to be going to Italy in April and my wife, Claire, asked me if we should investigate attending the opera in Milan. My reply, ‘Sure, why not? Or we could just watch Bugs Bunny in ‘What’s Opera, Doc.’

  3. thanks Smokie and Mickey. Yes 3 Little Bops is an all time classic as is What’s Opera Doc? I’d still take the trip to Italy! many thanks gents much appreciated

  4. george smith says

    The Bugs Bunny show featured Pepe le Pew in his smoking jacket giving us a tour of his beloved Paris.

    One of the most bizarre scenes featured “Pig Alley” (Pigalle) where artists sketched and couples drank wine at tables – and they were all pigs!

    One giant pig sailor says suggestively to his equally large lady love:
    “I neverr get enough of you.”
    To which his girlfriend replies:
    “You peeeg!” and knocks him into the middle of next week!

  5. Shane John Backx says

    WHAT!!! NO GWAVY????? The Singing frog is the greatest cartoon ever!

  6. Yes Shane it’s absolute ripper! Cheers

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