Looney Tunes a History of Laughter
Welcome to our house, its Saturday morning 1983, my favorite day of the week. The kids are up, (all five of them) and the old RCA mahogany styled valved colored TV is gently warming up in the corner of the room.
Yes, back in those days, televisions needed time to spring into action. There were no remotes just a large black knob with the words on and off stamped onto its dial.
However, just like our family, our TV was one of a kind and required plenty of tender loving care. It needed space, cool temperatures, and the occasional prayer to keep it running.
However, there were days when no matter how we treated it, it would just sputter and close up shop, and to make matters worse; it would generally be on a Saturday morning.
What to do? We would abandon any pretence of health and safety and simply move it away from its normal corner confines, remove its back cover and sit and stare at its inner confines.
Inside it was like an Alladin's cave; Odd-looking bright lamps glowed in its dusty chamber, some imitating strange beckoning crackling sounds, the meaning of which we had no idea.
Was our old faithful asking for help? We had no idea, but one thing was clear, it looked as if this Saturday there would be no Looney Tunes, Mel Blanc the man of a thousand voices would not be with us, we looked at each other in despair, even the dog staggered off into the kitchen, yes indeed it was a sad day.
Then, just as we had given up all hope with a loud pinging sound, our old family friend sprang into life, and the sounds of Saturday morning cartoons filled the house with five hours of mirth, entertainment and sheer undulating fun.
Melvin Jerome Blanc, the voice of Looney Tunes, was born on May 30, 1908, and would have a career spanning over 60 years. During this career, he would become known as the voice of Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny, and most of the other characters from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.
This above period would become to be known as the golden age of American cartoon animation.
The Looney Tunes animated comedy series and its sister company Merrie Melodies sprang into life following the success of Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies.
Known for its vast array of cartoon figures Looney Tunes has, and is still one, of the most widely watched cartoon syndicated series in the world.
However, because of new broadcasting regulations, some of its most famous cartoons are no longer permitted to be broadcasted because of so-called material which may be offensive to particular religions or ethnic backgrounds.
One such character to be wrenched from its archives was the famous Speedy Gonzales character because he was, according to individual rights activists, demeaning to Mexicans.
However, we do know now that indeed, Speedy Gonzales was in-fact an extreme favorite of most of the Mexican population. Unfortunately, the powers that be have stuck to their guns and banned him from modern-day cartoon syndications.
Other cartoon characters to meet the same fate are Pepé Le Pew, Tasmanian Devil, the Road Runner, and Wile E. Coyote because they are a too dangerous and apparent lousy influence on our young. Ba-humbug, I would say.
Even with this unfortunate abandonment of some of Looney Tunes favorite characters, the company has gone on to become one of the world's leading franchises, spawning many television series, comic books, music albums, video games, and even amusement park rides.
One of its characters and perhaps its most famous, Bugs Bunny, has become known by many as a literal cultural icon and even has his star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Couple the above with the fact that several Looney Tunes cartoons Duck Amuck, One Froggy Evening and What's Opera, Doc are all considered to be the most famous animated cartoons of all times, its no wonder we all like to sit and watch them.
Authors note: I am not a lover of the annual debacle named the Academy Awards; however I must just once congratulate them for awarding statutes to both Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies for five of there cartoons.
Duck Amuck, One Froggy Evening What's Opera, Doc (Merrie Melodies) and Knighty Knight Bugs, For Scent-imental Reasons, (Looney Tunes) for once you got it right.
I mean where else can you find screenplays like the one played out below featuring a cat named Sylvester, his rather mean owner Emma, and a canary-bird called Tweety.
Our story begins on a frigid and snowy winter day with Sylvester stalking Tweety who for some reason, is outside in the snow warming herself over a glowing cigar.
Just where the lit cigar came from is anyone's business; however, just as our slightly naughty cat comes into striking distance, Emma sees him, pounces on him, whacks him on the head with an old corn broom, and takes Tweety back into the warm house.
Not to be outdone, our scheming Sylvester climbs up onto the roof before descending the chimney only to find that the dastardly Tweety Bird has lit a fire which she then adds gasoline to stop the cat getting in.
What transcends is a giant explosion which sends Sylvester flying back up through the chimney into a freezing bucket of water. Yet again our mischievous cat has been thwarted.
Can't say I did not warn you, you definitely can't make up these stories, but with a good storyteller like the man of a thousand voices Mel Blanc, Looney Tunes can, and I for one am certainly glad.
My sincere thanks go to you all for taking the time for reading this short but hopefully enjoyable narrative, and also to my hosts for giving me the platform to write upon, America's favorite place to shop online in 2020.
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