The gophers, named Mac and Tosh, are small and brown with tan bellies and buck teeth. The Goofy Gophers were created by Bob Clampett, but Eddie Selzer fired him for unknown reasons. Arthur Davis finished "The Goofy Gophers" planned by Clampett. (Norm McCabe had used a pair of gophers in his 1942 short "Gopher Goofy", but they bear little resemblance to Arthur Davis' characters). The cartoon features the gophers' repeated incursions into a vegetable garden guarded by a dog whom they relentlessly, though politely, torment. Mel Blanc plays Mac and Stan Freberg Tosh. Both speak with high-pitched English accents like those used in upper-class stereotypes around at the time. After classic cartoons, Joe Alaskey played Mac. After Freberg and Alaskey died, Rob Paulsen, best known for voicing Yakko Warner, Pinky, and Dr. Otto Scratchansniff, voiced Mac from 2003-2015, while Jess Harnell, best known for voicing Wakko Warner, voiced Tosh from 2003-2015. They are currently voiced by Jeff Bergman and Matt Craig.
Some sources claim that Bob Clampett intended The Goofy Gophers to be a spoof of Disney's chipmunk characters, Chip and Dale. Others,
however, point out that this seems unlikely given the two pairs of characters are so different in characterization. The only real similarities are the fact that the characters are rodents, are paired up and have puns for names. The gopher's mannerisms and speech, patterned after Frederick Burr Opper's comics characters Alphonse and Gaston, which in the early 1900s engendered a "good honest laugh". The crux of each four-frame strip was the ridiculousness of the characters' over-politeness preventing their ability to get on with the task at hand. Mac and Tosh's dialogue is peppered with such over politenesses as "Indubitably!", "You first, my dear," and "But, no, no, no. It must be you who goes first!" Clampett later stated that the gophers' effeminate mannerisms were derived from character actors Franklin Pangborn and Edward Everett Horton.
Davis would direct one other Goofy Gophers short, 1948's "Two Gophers from Texas". This time, the dog from the first film pursues the gophers with a gopher cookbook in hand.
Robert McKimson was the next Warners director to utilize the characters after Davis' animation unit had disbanded in late 1947. He pitted them against Clampett and Arthur's dog once again in the 1949 film "A Ham in a Role" wherein the dog's efforts to become a Shakespearean actor are foiled by the rambunctious rodents.
The Gophers lay dormant for two years until Friz Freleng made a series of four shorts beginning with 1951's "A Bone for a Bone", another dog-versus-gophers short. This was followed by "I Gopher You" in 1954, featuring the Gophers in their first cartoon without the dog, and attempting to retrieve their vegetables from a food processing plant; "Pests for Guests" in 1955, which has the pair of gophers counter-antagonize the helpless Elmer Fudd when he buys a chest of drawers that they found appropriate for nut storage; and "Lumber Jerks" later that year, where the Gophers visit a sawmill in an attempt to retrieve their stolen tree home.
After Freleng finished with the characters, they would star in two more cartoons, once again directed by McKimson. These two cartoons, "Gopher Broke" in 1958 and "Tease for Two" in 1965, pit the Gophers against Barnyard Dawg and Daffy Duck, respectively. Both gophers were voiced by Mel Blanc in the latter short instead of one by Blanc and the other by Freberg.
The Goofy Gophers were largely forgotten by Warner Bros. in the years since the animation studio's closing in 1967. However, in recent years, they have made a few cameos in various Warners projects. They are seen briefly in the 1996 movie Space Jam, for example, and they feature prominently in episodes of the animated series The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries ("I Gopher You") and Duck Dodgers ("K-9 Kaddy"). In the latter they are reinvented as green-furred, six-limbed Martian gophers.
However, they had a greater role in The Looney Tunes Show (voiced by Rob Paulsen and Jess Harnell) in where they were owners of an antique store. They also later appeared in the 2015 DTV movie Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run (voiced by Rob Paulsen and Jess Harnell)
The Goofy Gophers appeared in the New Looney Tunes Season 3 episode Fool's Gold in where they watch Daffy and Red Omaha trying to blow up a mine and later tricked them into thinking the rocks were gold.
The classic shorts:
- The Goofy Gophers (1947) LT, planned by Bob Clampett, finished by Arthur Davis
- Two Gophers from Texas (1948) MM, Davis
- A Ham in a Role (1949) LT, Robert McKimson
- A Bone for a Bone (1951) LT, Friz Freleng
- I Gopher You (1954) MM, Freleng
- Pests for Guests (1955) MM, Freleng
- Lumber Jerks (1955) LT, Freleng
- Gopher Broke (1958) LT, McKimson
- Tease for Two (1965) LT, McKimson
The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries episode:
Duck Dodgers episodes:
The Looney Tunes Show episodes:
- S1E01 Best Friends
- S1E08 Devil Dog
- S1E09 The Foghorn Leghorn Story
- S1E12 Double Date (only in Merrie Melodies)
- S1E13 To Bowl Or Not To Bowl
- S1E23 The Float (only in Merrie Melodies)
- S1E24 The Shelf
- S2E01 Bobcats on Three (cameo)
- S2E02 You've Got Hate Mail (cameo)
- S2E03 Itsy Bitsy Gopher
- S2E10 A Christmas Carol
- S2E11 We're in Big Truffle
- S2E12 Dear John (only in Merrie Melodies)
- S2E14 Spread Those Wings and Fly (cameo)
- S2E17 Gribbler's Quest (cameo in Merrie Melodies)
- S2E18 The Grand Old Duck of York (cameo in Merrie Melodies)
- S2E20 The Shell Game (cameo in Merrie Melodies )
- Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run
- S3E24 Fool's Gold
- The two gophers are referenced in the Gilmore Girls episode Dead Uncles & Vegetables. In the town hall meeting scene when Lorelai says to Rory "We certainly are entertaining, Mac" and Rory replies, "Indubitably, Tosh!"
- Main article: Goofy Gophers/Gallery