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Looney Tunes Porky Pig
Looney Tunes Porky Pig is yet another star from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies golden age. For generations, audiences have been entertained by a particularly portly, stuttering animated swine known to us all as Porky Pig. As one of the better-known celebrities of Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes fame, Porky Pig has appeared in as many as 152 different cartoons and is listed among TV Guide's list of top 50 animated characters of all time. As one of the earliest creations of the famed studios, Porky Pig enjoys a rich, long history as a superstar.
Often portrayed as a stuttering sidekick, Porky is perhaps best known for a single line of dialogue present at the end of many Looney Tunes' cartoons. "Th-th-th-that's all folks!" is a simple catch phrase that only Porky Pig can deliver. This slogan helps keep him a recognizable figure that endures throughout generations; his charm even earning him a descendant in more modern cartoons, such as Loonatics Unleashed.
Photo used under Creative Commons from MNicoleM
I Haven't Got A Hat
Originally designed by Bob Clampett, Porky Pig's debut in the 1935 short, I Haven't Got a Hat, comes as the result of director Friz Freleng strategically working to create a cartoon version of the Our Gang shorts.
Having had two former classmates nicknamed "Porky" and "Piggy", Freleng named the character after his own childhood memories.
Though only having a minor role in his debut appearance, audiences were immediately and unmistakably smitten with Porky Pig's stuttering charm.
Porky Pig's Stutter
Today, Bob Bergen gives voice to Porky, but Joe Dougherty, whose stuttering delivery was actually authentic, supplied his original voice.
Ironically, however, it was Dougherty's natural stuttering that would eventually cause him to be replaced by Mel Blanc from 1937 until Blanc's death in 1989.
Dougherty's recording sessions took too long to complete and cost the studios too much to continue. Since Blanc was not a natural stutterer, his contrived effects were of a more comedic nature, which is precisely what the studio was aiming for.
Porky Pig Controversy
One of the more odd, but endearing points about Porky's stuttering is that he frequently experiences difficulties pronouncing simple words and substitutes them with more complex synonyms with ease. For instance, in his co-starring role in A Connecticut Rabbit in King Arthur's Court, the cartoon's star, Bugs Bunny, has difficulties pronouncing "porcupine", of which Porky Pig is able to effortlessly interject the correct pronunciation.
Porky's stuttering has not been without controversy, however. The National Stuttering Project took issue with their perception that Porky Pig was being belittled because of his stuttering. The group felt Porky would be more useful as an advocate for children who stutter and subsequently picketed the Warner Bros. studios in an effort to change his image. After refusing to modify Porky's character, Warner Bros. eventually granted a $12,000 award to the Stuttering Foundation of America to host their 1994 conference. The studio also published a series of anti-bullying posters featuring Porky and other Looney Tunes characters.
You Ought To Be In Pictures
Though always a sentimental favorite, Porky only maintained his position of top star until the creation of Daffy Duck in 1937. In the 1940 short, You Ought To Be in Pictures, the studio made light of this in a storyline where Daffy convinces Porky to leave Warner Brothers in search of more lucrative offers elsewhere.
The conspiring Daffy Duck even convinces studio boss, Leon Schlessinger, to grant Porky an early release from his contract. After having enough doors slammed in his face in the real world, however, Porky returns to Warner Brothers where he witnesses Daffy auditioning for top star billing. After begging for his old job, his contract is reinstated and, the normally mild-mannered Porky, goes on to beat Daffy up for scheming to get rid of him.
Looney Tunes Porky Pig
While other characters would eventually nudge Porky further from of his no.1 status, nevertheless, he has continued to enjoy stardom as a straight man to Daffy Duck, Sylvester and everyone's reigning favourite, Bugs Bunny. For a while between 1964 and 1967 Porky was even the star of The Porky Pig Show. A few years later, he was also the star of the famed Porky Pig and Friends show. He has appeared in multiple compilations and, in 1986, Porky starred in Porky Pig in Hollywood, which was shown in various college and art theaters.
In the 1990s, audiences that had grown up with Porky Pig were pleased to find him a part of the hit animated series Tiny Toon Adventures and making guest appearances in other more modern popular series, such as Animaniacs and Histeria, and playing a supporting role in Duck Dodgers. He is the star of the Super NES video game named after him, Porky Pig's Haunted Holiday, and closes 1988's runaway hit, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, with his signature "Th-Th-Th- That's All Folks!" line. Overall, Porky Pig is one of the most unforgettable Looney Tunes' characters and remains a favourite of cartoon fans of all ages.
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