ELMER J. FUDD is a fictional cartoon character and one of the most
The best known
* 1 Egghead * 2 Elmer emerges * 3 Fat Elmer * 4 Elmer-speak * 5 Later appearances
* 6 Portrayal
* 6.1 Other voice actors
* 7 In popular culture * 8 See also * 9 References * 10 External links
Tex Avery introduced a new character in his cartoon short Egghead
Rides Again , released July 17, 1937. Egghead initially was depicted
as having a bulbous nose, funny/eccentric clothing, a voice like Joe
Penner (provided either by radio mimic Danny Webb or actor Cliff
Nazarro) and an egg-shaped head. Many cartoon historians believe that
Egghead evolved into Elmer over a period of a couple of years.
However, animation historian Michael Barrier asserts, "The
Egghead-Elmer story is actually a little messy, my sense being that
most of the people involved, whether they were making the films or
publicizing them, not only had trouble telling the characters apart
but had no idea why they should bother trying." Egghead made his
second appearance in 1937's
Little Red Walking Hood and then in 1938
One animation history suggests that the Egghead character was based
on Ripley\'s Believe It or Not! cartoonist and entertainer Robert
Ripley , while the name
Egghead has the distinction of being the first recurring character
In the 1939 cartoon
Dangerous Dan McFoo , a new voice actor, Arthur
Q. Bryan , was hired to provide the voice of the hero dog character.
It was in this cartoon that the popular "milk-sop" voice of Elmer Fudd
Elmer Fudd, resembling Egghead early in his career, is annoyed by a rabbit in Elmer\'s Candid Camera .
In 1940, Egghead–Elmer's appearance was refined, giving him a chin
and a less bulbous nose (although still wearing Egghead's clothing)
and Arthur Q. Bryan's "Dan McFoo " voice in what most people consider
Elmer Fudd's first true appearance: a
Chuck Jones short entitled
Elmer\'s Candid Camera . The rabbit drives Elmer insane. Later that
year, he appeared in
Friz Freleng 's
Confederate Honey (where he's
called Ned Cutler) and
The Hardship of Miles Standish where his voice
and Egghead-like appearance were still the same. Jones would use THIS
Elmer one more time, in 1941's Elmer\'s Pet
Elmer's role in these two films, that of would-be hunter, dupe and foil for Bugs, would remain his main role forever after, and although Bugs Bunny was called upon to outwit many more worthy opponents, Elmer somehow remained Bugs' classic nemesis, despite (or because of) his legendary gullibility, small size, short temper, and shorter attention span. In Rabbit Fire , he declares himself vegetarian, hunting for sport only.
Elmer was usually cast as a hapless big-game hunter , armed with a double-barreled shotgun (albeit one which could be fired much more than twice without being reloaded) and creeping through the woods "hunting wabbits". In a few cartoons, though, he assumed a completely different persona—a wealthy industrialist type, occupying a luxurious penthouse , or, in one episode involving a role reversal , a sanitarium —which Bugs would of course somehow find his way into. In Dog Gone People , he had an ordinary office job working for demanding boss "Mister Cwabtwee". In another cartoon ( Mutt in a Rut ) he appeared to work in an office and had a dog he called "Wover Boy", whom he took hunting, though Bugs did not appear. (Elmer also has a hunting dog in To Duck or Not to Duck ; in that film, the dog is named Laramore.)
Several episodes featured Elmer differently. One (What\'s Up, Doc? , 1950) has Bugs Bunny relating his life story to a biographer, and recalling a time which was a downturn for the movie business. Elmer Fudd is a well-known entertainer who, looking for a new partner for his act, sees Bugs Bunny (after passing caricatures of many other famous 1940s actors (Al Jolson, Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor, Bing Crosby) who, like Bugs, are also out of work). Elmer and Bugs do a one-joke act cross-country, with Bugs dressed like a pinhead, and when he does not know the answer to a joke, Elmer gives it and hits him with a pie in the face. Bugs begins to tire of this gag and pulls a surprise on Fudd, answering the joke correctly and bopping Elmer with a mallet , which prompts the man to point his rifle at Bugs. The bunny asks nervously: "Eh, what's up doc?", which results in a huge round of applause from the audience. Bugs tells Elmer they may be on to something, and Elmer, with the vaudevillian's instinct of sticking with a gag that catches on, nods that they should re-use it. According to THIS account, the common Elmer-as-hunter episodes are entirely staged.
One episode where Bugs "lost" in the hunting was
Hare Brush (1956).
Here, Elmer has been committed to an insane asylum because he believes
he is a rabbit (though it is also revealed that he is a millionaire
and owns a mansion and a yacht ).
Bugs Bunny enters Fudd's room and
Elmer bribes him with carrots , then leaves the way the real rabbit
entered. Bugs acts surprisingly (for him) naïve, assuming Elmer just
wanted to go outside for a while. Elmer's psychiatrist arrives, and
thinking Fudd's delusion has affected his appearance, drugs Bugs and
conditions him into believing that HE is
The Bugs–Elmer partnership was so familiar to audiences that in a late 1950s cartoon, Bugs\' Bonnets , a character study is made of what happens to the relationship between the two when they each accidentally don a different selection of hats (Native American wig, pilgrim hat, military helmets, bridal veil and top hat, to name a few). The result is comic mayhem; a steady game of one-upmanship that ultimately leads to matrimony.
For a short time in the 1941–1942 season, Elmer's appearance was modified again, for five cartoons: Wabbit Twouble ; The Wacky Wabbit ; The Wabbit Who Came to Supper ; Any Bonds Today? ; and Fresh Hare . He became a heavy-set, beer-bellied character, patterned after Arthur Q. Bryan's real-life appearance, and still chasing Bugs (or vice versa). However, audiences did not accept a fat Fudd, so ultimately the slimmer version returned for good.
This time period also saw a temporary change in Elmer's relationship with Bugs Bunny. Instead of being the hunter, Elmer was the victim of unprovoked pestering by Bugs. In Wabbit Twouble , Bugs plays a number of gags on Elmer, advising the audience, "I do dis kind o' stuff to him all t'wough da picture!" (A line somewhat ironically would later be said by Cecil Turtle as he and his friends cheat Bugs out of winning a race). Another short, The Wacky Wabbit , finds Elmer focused on prospecting for gold which would be used to fund the World War II effort. Elmer sings a variation of the old prospector's tune "Oh! Susanna " made just for this cartoon (complete with the phrase "V for Victory"), with Bugs joining in just before starting to hassle Elmer. He made a later appearance in an episode of The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries as a Russian version with a simple name "Boris" who owns another comedy club in Russia.
He nearly always vocalised consonants and , pronouncing them as
instead (a trait that also characterized
Tweety Bird ) when he would
talk in his slightly raspy voice. This trait was prevalent in the
Elmer\'s Candid Camera and Elmer\'s Pet
Part of the joke is that Elmer is presumably incapable of pronouncing his own first name correctly. Occasionally Elmer would properly pronounce an "r" or "l" sound, depending on whether or not it was vital for the audience to understand what the word was. (For example, in 1944's The Old Grey Hare , he clearly pronounces the "r" in the word "picture".) Usually, Elmer pronounces the "r" and "l" when one of those letters is in the last syllable of the word (such as "rascal", which he says as "wascal"). This doesn't occur in one-syllable words like "last" ("wast") or in common words like "hello" ("hewwo").
Elmer would also appear frequently on the animated series Tiny Toon Adventures as a teacher at Acme Looniversity, where he was the idol and favorite teacher of Elmyra Duff , the slightly deranged animal lover who resembles Elmer in basic head design, name and lack of intellect. On the other hand, a younger version of him makes a single appearance in the episode Plucky's Dastardly Deed, and is named "Egghead Jr", the "smartest kid in class".
Elmer also had a guest starring appearance on
Histeria! in the
episode "The Teddy Roosevelt Show", in a sketch where he portrayed
Gutzon Borglum . This sketch depicts Elmer/Gutzon's construction of
Mount Rushmore , accompanied by Borglum's son Lincoln, portrayed by
Loud Kiddington . Elmer made another appearance on Histeria!, this
time in his traditional role, during a sketch where the bald eagle
trades places with the turkey during
Fudd also appeared on The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries in the first-season episode A Ticket to Crime as detective Sam Fudd; at the end he took off his clothes and turned into Elmer.
Elmer appears as part of the TuneSquad team in
Space Jam . In one
part of the game he and
Elmer took on a more villainous role in Looney Tunes: Back in Action
, in which he is a secret agent for the
Acme Corporation . In his
scene, Elmer chases Bugs and Daffy through the paintings in the Louvre
museum, taking on the different art styles as they do so. At the end,
Elmer forgets to change back to his normal style after jumping out of
the pointillism painting Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande
A four-year-old version of Elmer was featured in the Baby Looney Tunes episode "A Bully for Bugs", where he kept taking all of Bugs' candy, and also bullied the rest of his friends. He was also shown with short blond hair. He appeared in most of the songs.
An even more villainous Elmer appeared in two episodes of Duck
Dodgers as THE MOTHER FUDD, an alien who would spread a disease that
caused all affected by it to stand around laughing like Elmer (a
parody of the Flood in Halo and the Borg in
In Loonatics Unleashed , his descendant, ELECTRO J. FUDD, tried to prove himself the universe's greatest hunter by capturing Ace Bunny , but settled for Danger Duck instead. Elmer himself also makes an appearance in the form of a photo which shows he presumably died at the hands of a giant squirrel .
On June 8, 2011, Elmer starred in the 3-D short "Daffy's Rhapsody"
In the 2017 DC Comics/
Fudd was originally voiced by radio actor Arthur Q. Bryan , but three times in Bryan's lifetime the voice was provided by the versatile Mel Blanc : in To Duck or Not to Duck , Blanc spoke as Fudd saying "that one", in The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950), only a single line was needed, and bringing in Bryan was not cost effective, and in What\'s Opera, Doc? , Elmer's furious scream "SMOG!" was dubbed by Mel Blanc, although Bryan had voiced the rest of the part. Later, during the musician's union strike of 1958, another artist did the voice for Elmer's co-starring appearance in Pre-Hysterical Hare . There is no documented reason for Bryan's absence, leaving some fans to speculate that he refused to cross the picket lines.
In 1959, Bryan died aged 60, and Hal Smith was selected to replace him as Elmer, but after just two cartoons were recorded by the new actor, and another was made in which Fudd has no lines and therefore no voice, the character was soon retired. Although in more recent years other voice actors have alternated as Elmer's voice, Bryan's characterization remains the definitive one. He was never credited onscreen, because Blanc had a clause in his contract that required him to receive a screen credit and, perhaps inadvertently, denied the same to other voice performers.
Blanc would take on the role regularly in the 1970s and 1980s, supplying Elmer's voice for new footage in compilation feature films and similar TV specials, as well as some all-new specials. He admitted in his autobiography that he found the voice difficult to get "right", never quite making it his own. In Speechless, the famous lithograph issued following Blanc's death, Elmer is not shown among the characters bowing their heads in tribute to Blanc.
OTHER VOICE ACTORS
Besides Arthur Q. Bryan , other actors have voiced Elmer:
* Danny Webb or Cliff Nazarro (as Egghead; 1937-1939; sources
Roy Rogers (singing voice in
A Feud There Was )
Mel Blanc (Saying "That one" in the hand-shaking scene in To Duck
or Not To Duck ,
The Scarlet Pumpernickel , screaming "SMOG!" in
What\'s Opera, Doc? ,
IN POPULAR CULTURE
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