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Foghorn Leghorn is an anthropomorphic rooster appearing in Warner Bros. cartoons.

Origin[]

Foghorn Leghorn was directly inspired by the popular character Senator Claghorn, a blustery Southern politician played by Kenny Delmar who was a regular character in The Fred Allen Show, a popular radio show of the 1940s. The rooster adopted many of Claghorn's catchphrases, such as "That's a joke, I say, that's a joke, son." Delmar had based the character of Claghorn upon a Texas rancher who was fond of saying this.[3]

A “Leghorn” is a breed of chicken (since it was an Italian breed that makes him Italian-American), and “Foghorn” describes the character's loud, overbearing voice. At its most raucous, it sounds similar to that of another Blanc voice: Yosemite Sam (an almost exclusive Friz Freleng character). Both parts of the name suggest the association with "Senator Claghorn." According to Leonard Maltin, the character's voice was also patterned after a hard-of-hearing West Coast-only radio character from the 1930s, known simply as The Sheriff, in a radio program called Blue Monday Jamboree.[4]

Foghorn debuted on August 31, 1946 in the Henery Hawk short Walky Talky Hawky.

History[]

Foghorn is a large, anthropomorphic adult rooster with a red head, long red tailfeathers, and yellow talons with short yellow claws. He has a Virginian accent, a "good ol' boy" speaking style, and a penchant for mischief. He has a knack of saying, "I say" as a form of interjection in his speech. All of the motion picture Foghorn Leghorn cartoons were directed by Robert McKimson, and the rooster vies with the Tasmanian Devil as the most popular character associated with the director. Many of the gimmicks involve Foghorn and Barnyard Dawg engaging in one-upmanship through a series of pranks. Unlike other Looney Tunes rivalries (with the notable exception of the Wile E. Coyote & Road Runner series), Foghorn is often the initial aggressor out of self-amusement and subsequently on the "losing" end of gimmicks. However, in his and Dawg's debut, it's revealed that the Dawg is the one who started their unstoppable fight.

Most commonly, Leghorn's taking up a plank of wood, while ambling along humming "Camptown Races", coming to the sleeping Barnyard with his front half inside his doghouse, picking up his tail and rapidly whacking (almost always with eight strokes) his exposed rear end. Occasionally, Foghorn sings the song, but replaces "Camptown ladies sing this song..." with "Lump-teen-dozen and a-doo-dah day...". He does not sing any other part of the song, reverting to humming after the DOO-Dah's. Barnyard would give chase, usually with his leash still attached to his collar, until the leash stretched tautly and his barking was replaced by an anguished shriek.

At times, when the dog would continue to bark, he would also yell, "AAAAAAAHHH, shaddap!" In rare cases, Barnyard starts the series of pranks; as such it is somewhat difficult to tell who started the feud. This gag was passed down to Leghorn's grandson in "Feather Bluster", where Foghorn was puzzled as to why the youngster was behaving that way and Barnyard was all too happy to remind him: "Ain't nothin' wrong with 'im, Foggy, 'ceptin' that he takes after you." He was joined in a few episodes by a weasel called "Bill" who initially attempted to eat him but ended up joining forces to outsmart Barnyard.

Other recurring themes throughout the cartoons included the attempts of the diminutive Henery Hawk to catch and eat Foghorn, and the rooster's efforts to woo the widowed hen Miss Prissy (often by babysitting her bookish son, Egghead, Jr.). Foghorn's voice was created by Mel Blanc and was later performed by Joe Alaskey, Frank Gorshin, Bill Farmer, and Jeff Bennett. Later, some of Foghorn's characteristic catch-phrases were drawn from the character of Senator Claghorn, a blustering Southern politician who was a regular character on the Fred Allen radio show. The rooster adopted many of Claghorn's catchphrases, such as "That's a joke, I say, that's a joke, son." The references to Claghorn were obvious to much of the audience when the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons first premiered, but like many of the references in WB cartoons of the era, they have since become dated.

A toddler version of Foghorn made appearances in short music videos of Baby Looney Tunes. He starred in only one episode of the show, in which he was trying to fit in with a gang of cool roosters and employed the help of Tweety and his friends before Lola Bunny suggested to just be himself, which came in handy when Barnyard Dawg chased the cool roosters.

Foghorn Leghorn made numerous appearances in Tiny Toon Adventures in numerous roles as Acme Looniversity's Professor of Hound Teasing, Baseball Coach and an obnoxiously loud Librarian. Foghorn appeared in an episode of The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries entitled "Family Circles" and was voiced by Billy West. The rooster appeared in two Chuck Jones shorts of the 1990s, "Superior Duck" (1996) and "Pullet Surprise" (1997), voiced on both occasions by Frank Gorshin. He was part of the Toon Squad team in Space Jam, and was a croupier at Sam's casino in Looney Tunes Back in Action. In addition, Foghorn appeared in commercials for KFC, McDonald's, and GEICO. A character named Mr. Leghorn, based on Foghorn himself, made a pair of appearances in Loonatics Unleashed.

In The Looney Tunes Show, Foghorn is the CEO of Enormocorp. In Bugs Bunny Builders, he is the Mayor of Looneyburg.

In 2024, Foghorn Leghorn became the subject of an internet meme in which he lectures anime characters.[5]

Work[]

Charlie1

Foghorn Leghorn is considered a significant Looney Tunes character, appearing in 28 cartoons, plus one cameo, in the Golden Age of American Animation. All 29 cartoons Foghorn Leghorn appeared in the Golden Age were directed by Robert McKimson, the animator who created him.

Foghorn-Leghorn

Quotes[]

  • "That, I say, that woman has a mouth like an outboard motor. Put-Put-Put-Put-Put-Put-Put."
  • "Go, I say, go away, boy, ya bother me!"
  • "That, I say, that boy's about as sharp as a bowling ball."
  • "Boy, I say, boy has got a mouth like a cannon. Always shooting it off."
  • "Don't, I say, don't bother me, Dog. Can't you see I'm thinkin'?"
  • "Hey, whatcha making there boy? Looks like sodi-pop. Hyuk yuk! Watch it fizz!!" KA-BLAM
  • "Keep your shirt on, Prissy. He's just, I say just stirring the wagering pot."
  • "Looks like our fine feathered friend is heading into Venetian territory...of Venice, Italy, that is."
  • "That dog's as subtle as a hand grenade in a barrel of oatmeal."
  • "Nice kid but doesn't listen to a word you say."
  • "Nice kid but a little dumb."
  • "That boy's as strong as an ox. And just about as smart."
  • "That dog, I say that dog is lower than a snake full of buckshot."
  • "Smart boy. Got a mind like a steel trap - full of mice."
  • "Now cut that out boy, or I'll spank you where your feathers are thinnest."
  • "Pay attention to me boy. I'm not just talking to hear my head roar."
  • "This boy's more mixed up than a feather in a whirlwind."
  • "That woman's as cold as a nudist on an iceberg."
  • "Some days, it don't pay to get outta bed!"
  • (sniffs air, imitates Tarzan calls, but coughs, then sings) "This is the way we bounce the ball, bounce the ball, bounce the ball, this is way we bounce the ball early in the mornin'"
  • "That dog, I say that dog, is strictly G.I. - Gibbering Idiot, that is."
  • "Secure last section of Pipe G, stretch Elastic X laterally."
  • "Boy's so dumb, you put his brain on the sharp edge of a razor blade, it would look like a marble rolling down a four-lane highway."
  • "Speakin' of figures, I put two n' two together and come up with a four-legged smart-aleck mutt!"
  • "The screwball in the back pocket!"

Filmography[]

Main article: List of Foghorn Leghorn cartoons

Voice Actors[]

Gallery[]

Main article: Foghorn Leghorn/Gallery

References[]

Characters
Main Characters
Bugs Bunny (Prototype Bugs Bunny) Daffy Duck Elmer Fudd Foghorn Leghorn Lola Bunny (Honey Bunny) Marvin the Martian (K-9) Pepé Le Pew (Penelope Pussycat) Porky Pig Road Runner Speedy Gonzales Sylvester (Sylvester Jr.) Taz Tweety Wile E. Coyote Yosemite Sam
Recurring Golden Age Characters
1930s debuts

Bosko Honey Bruno Foxy Piggy Goopy Geer Buddy Cookie Beans Little Kitty Oliver Owl Ham and Ex Petunia Pig Piggy Hamhock Gabby Goat Egghead Big Bad Wolf Little Red Riding Hood Yoyo Dodo Mrs. Daffy Duck The Two Curious Puppies Sniffles Inki Minah Bird

1940s debuts

Willoughby Three Little Pigs Cecil Turtle Beaky Buzzard Mama Buzzard Leo the Lion Babbit and Catstello Conrad the Cat Hubie and Bertie Claude Cat A. Flea The Three Bears Schnooks Hector the Bulldog The Drunk Stork Gossamer Rocky Barnyard Dawg Henery Hawk Charlie Dog Bobo the Elephant Goofy Gophers The Dog Wellington Gruesome Gorilla Hippety Hopper The Talking Bulldog The Crusher The Supreme Cat Playboy Penguin

1950s debuts

Melissa Duck Frisky Puppy Granny (Proto-Granny) Miss Prissy (Emily the Chicken) Sam Cat Nasty Canasta Marc Anthony and Pussyfoot Chester Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog Toro the Bull The Weasel Witch Hazel Tasmanian She-Devil Ralph Phillips Egghead Jr. Mugsy Jose and Manuel The Honey-Mousers (Ralph Crumden, Ned Morton, Alice Crumden, Trixie Morton) Instant Martians Slowpoke Rodriguez Pappy and Elvis Blacque Jacque Shellacque

1960s debuts

Cool Cat Colonel Rimfire Merlin the Magic Mouse Second Banana Bunny and Claude

One-Off Golden Age Characters
1930s debuts

Owl Jolson

1940s debuts

The Gremlin The Dover Boys (Tom Dover, Dick Dover, Larry Dover, Dora Standpipe, Dan Backslide) Mr. Meek Russian Dog The Little Man from the Draft Board Colonel Shuffle Giovanni Jones

1950s debuts

The Martin Brothers Pete Puma George and Benny Babyface Finster Michigan J. Frog Shropshire Slasher Mot Pablo and Fernando Charles M. Wolf Señor Vulturo Mighty Angelo

1960s debuts

Hugo the Abominable Snowman Nelly the Giraffe Count Bloodcount Spooky Rapid Rabbit and Quick Brown Fox

Post-Golden Age Characters
Tiny Toon Adventures

Buster Bunny Babs Bunny Plucky Duck Hamton J. Pig Fifi La Fume Shirley the Loon Sweetie Bird Elmyra Duff Montana Max

Taz-Mania

Jean Hugh Molly Jake Dog the Turtle Drew

Pinky and the Brain

Pinky The Brain

Baby Looney Tunes

Floyd Minton

Duck Dodgers

Dr. I.Q. Hi Captain Star Johnson Commander X2

Loonatics Unleashed

Ace Bunny Lexi Bunny Danger Duck Slam Tasmanian Tech E. Coyote Rev Runner

The Looney Tunes Show

Tina Russo

New Looney Tunes

Squeaks the Squirrel Bigfoot Barbarian Boyd Cal Carl the Grim Rabbit Claudette Dupri Dr. Clovenhoof Eagle Scout Elliot Sampson Horace the Horse Ivana Jack Thes Leslie P. Lilylegs Miss Cougar Pampreen Perdy and Paul Perdy Rhoda Roundhouse Shameless O'Scanty Sir Littlechin Slugsworthy the First Squint Eatswood Tad Tucker Trey Hugger Viktor Winter Stag

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