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Porky Pig is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of animated cartoons. He was the first character created by the studio to draw audiences based on his star power, and the animators, particularly Bob Clampett, created many critically acclaimed shorts using the sapient porcine.

Even after he was supplanted by later characters, Porky continued to be popular with audiences and, more importantly, the Warners directors, who recast him in numerous everyman and sidekick roles. He is known for his signature line at the end of each short, "Th-Th-Th-That's All Folks!" but in fact, this slogan has been used by both Bosko and Buddy and even Beans at the end of every Looney Tunes cartoon. In contrast, the Merrie Melodies series used the slogan: So Long, Folks! until the late 1930s when it was replaced with the same one used on the Looney Tunes series.

History

Early appearances

I Haven't Got a Hat - 01

Porky as he first appeared in "I Haven't Got a Hat"

The character was created by Freleng and developed/animated by Bob Clampett in the short "I Haven't Got a Hat" (First released on March 2, 1935), directed by Friz Freleng. Studio head Leon Schlesinger suggested that Freleng do a cartoon version of the popular Our Gang films. Porky only has a minor role in the film, but the fat little stuttering pig easily stole the show. Porky's name came from two brothers who were childhood classmates of Freleng's, nicknamed "Porky" and "Piggy".[3]

Since Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising had left the studio in 1933, taking the studio's star character Bosko with them, Looney Tunes had been kept afloat by cartoons featuring the unpopular Buddy. Porky's introduction ushered Buddy out the door and pointed to things to come. Unlike previous Looney Tunes characters before him, such as Bosko or Buddy, Porky was a distinctive character.

Tex Avery was hired to the studio in 1935, and his film "Gold Diggers of '49" reused much of the cast from "I Haven't Got a Hat", albeit in wildly different roles. Porky transitioned from a shy little boy to an immensely fat adult. Though he was still in a supporting role, Porky got most of the laughs. The directors realized they had a star on their hands.

Friz Freleng claims to have given Porky Pig the stutter. "I used the stuttering because I thought it would give him (Porky Pig) something different, some character," Freleng told Joe Adamson, an interviewer.[4] Freleng and the staff hired Joe Dougherty to play Porky because he had an actual stuttering problem. However, production costs became too high when Dougherty could not control his stutter and many more takes would have to be made. Warner Bros. let him go in 1937 and the versatile Mel Blanc, who just came into a contract with Leon Schlesinger, won the audition for the character in 1937, beginning his long career with the studio. Blanc continued the stutter; however, it was reduced for a comic effect.[5]

Clampett's Porky

Porky starred in dozens of films in the late 1930s. The directors still didn't have a grasp on the character, however; his appearance, age, and personality all varied from picture to picture. Bob Clampett would finally pin Porky down, making him cuter, smarter, and less of a stutterer. Clampett's Porky was an innocent traveler, taking in the wonders of the world — and in Clampett's universe, the world is a very weird place indeed.[6] This principle is perhaps best demonstrated in Porky in Wackyland (1938), a film that sends

Clampett-Porky

Bob Clampett's version of Porky Pig in the intro of a Looney Tunes cartoon.

Porky on a quest to find the last of the Dodo Birds. This cartoon was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry in 2000.[7]

You Ought to be in Pictures (51)

Porky as Sidekick

Porky's post at the pinnacle of the Warners' pantheon was short-lived, however. In 1937, Avery pitted Porky against a plucky black duck who would soon be christened Daffy and would become the studio's biggest star (until replaced himself by Bugs Bunny). In fact, Friz Freleng would satirize this very phenomenon when he directed '"You Ought to Be in Pictures" (1940). The film features up-and-comer Daffy convincing Porky to quit his job at Warner Bros. to find better-paying work elsewhere. In turn, Porky convinces studio head Leon Schlesinger to release him from his contract. After a highly unsuccessful foray into the real world, Porky returns happily to the studio that created him.

Porky always remained a sentimental favorite of the Warner directors. His mild-mannered nature and shy demeanor made him the perfect straight man for zanier characters such as Daffy Duck. He still starred in a few solo cartoons, as well, such as Frank Tashlin's "Swooner Crooner" (1944). The last solo cartoon starring Porky Pig in the golden age of animation was "The Wearing of the Grin" (1951).

Other cartoons dumbed Porky down and cast him as a hunter after Daffy or another animal, largely paralleling the Elmer Fudd/Bugs Bunny pairings. One of these early encounters, being a prankster gray rabbit from "Porky's Hare Hunt", marked the first appearance of a mischievous rabbit in the series that would later bought the rise of Bugs Bunny.

Porky, of course, also kept his trademark line, "Th'-th'-th'-th'-th'-th'-that's All, Folks!" that became the signoff for many Looney Tunes cartoons. Prior to Porky's arrival, the line had often been spoken (without the stutter) by a cartoon court jester. Sometimes Bugs Bunny would also do the honors; in those closing segments, Bugs would munch on a carrot and say, "And dat's de end!" Despite the drum ending sequence being retired by 1946, Porky's closing line was so memorable that Mel Blanc had it carved on his own headstone upon his death in 1989.

Chuck Jones' Porky

Chuck Jones perfected the Porky-as-straightman scenarios, pairing the pig with Daffy in a series of film parodies such as "Drip-Along Daffy" (1951), "Deduce, You Say" (1956), and "Robin Hood Daffy" (1958). Jones also paired Porky with Sylvester in a series of cartoons in the late 1940s and early 1950s, in which Porky plays the curmudgeonly owner of the cat and remains clueless that Sylvester is constantly saving him from homicidal mice, space aliens, and other threats.

Friz Freleng's Porky

Despite being his creator, Friz Freleng would rarely use Porky after the early 1940s, as Freleng began to focus on the more popular characters at the time. A later interview with the director stated that Porky was "a bit of a square", hence why the character's popularity with the directors diminished over the years.[8] As a result, Porky would be retired from Freleng's cartoons in 1952, with "Cracked Quack", co-starring Daffy Duck, being the last Porky cartoon directed by Freleng.

Robert McKimson's Porky

Robert McKimson would also continue using Porky as a side character with Daffy Duck after seeing Chuck Jones' success with the character. Among those include several that parody popular TV shows at the time, such as "Boston Quackie" (1957) and "China Jones" (1959).

Other directors

Porky would make up a significant portion of Arthur Davis's short-lived filmography, depicting him as an everyman. He is often seen in his house, where he is often taunted by smaller characters such as mice and termites.

Frank Tashlin showed disdain towards using Porky over the more popular characters such as Daffy and Bugs, stating that he was inflexible and came off as one note compared to the latter two.[8]

Later years

Porky would rarely be used in the 1960s Golden Age cartoons. He would make his last major role at the Termite Terrace studio in McKimson's "Daffy's Inn Trouble" (1961), being reduced to a short cameo in his final Termite Terrace cartoon appearance, "Dumb Patrol" (1964). Despite being mostly retired with majority of the classic cast in the DePatie-Freleng Enterprises era, Porky would have one final appearance in Irv Spector's "Corn on the Cop" (1965) as Daffy's less-than-bright assistant police officer. He would be fully retired after this cartoon, outside of a cameo in "Mucho Locos" (1966) via reused animation from "Robin Hood Daffy".

Post-Golden Age

Porkypigshow

Porky Pig, as seen in the opening title sequence of The Porky Pig Show

As did the rest of his Looney Tunes co-stars, Porky enjoyed regular rotation in television syndication beginning in the 1960s. In 1964, Porky got his own Saturday morning cartoon, The Porky Pig Show which ran until 1967. In 1971, he would star in another show, Porky Pig and Friends.[9] Both of these programs were collections of old theatrical shorts not seen on the Bugs Bunny / Road Runner anthologies. Another such collection was the 1986 film, Porky Pig in Hollywood, which ran in art and college theaters.[10]

In the 1990s animated series Tiny Toon Adventures, Porky appears as the mentor of Hamton J. Pig.

Porky also appears as the Eager Young Space Cadet in the animated television series Duck Dodgers.

In 1991, the National Stuttering Project (NSP) of San Francisco picketed Warner Bros. demanding that they stop "belittling" stutterers and use Porky as an advocate for child stutterers. The studio refused the NSP, but eventually agreed to grant $12,000 to the Stuttering Foundation of America for a 1994 conference. After continued pressure from NSP member Ira Zimmerman, Warner Bros. released a series of public service announcement posters featuring Warners characters, including Porky himself, speaking out against bullying. Despite these recent protests, Porky continues to feature in new Warner Bros. animation to this day. An alternate school of thought is that the morally upright and ever-optimistic Porky provides a positive role model for stutterers.[11]

Porky appears in the movie Space Jam (1996) and collaborates with Bugs Bunny and the rest of the other major Looney Tunes characters in challenging the Nerdlucks to a basketball game. He tries to get Michael Jordan's autograph when the basketball star is first recruited to join the team and later plays for the Toon Squad in the game itself, scoring one basket. In the post-credits scene, Porky tries to end the movie with his famous line, but is prevented through the combined efforts of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and the Nerdlucks. Additionally, the early version of Porky, in his wedding attire from "Porky's Romance", appears on one of the several portraits in the movie depicting 1930s era Looney Tunes characters.

Porky appears in Space Jam A New Legacy, once again a part of the Toon Squad.

PorkyPigBig

In the movie Looney Tunes Back in Action, Porky makes a cameo appearance alongside Speedy Gonzales, where they both lament their politically incorrect status. At the end of the movie, he also fails to deliver his ending quip before the studio closes, and just tells the audience to go home.

Porky is the star of the Super NES video game Porky Pig's Haunted Holiday.

Porky also has a cameo at the end of Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), where, paired with Disney's Tinkerbell, has the duty of closing the movie with his famous "That's all Folks!" line.

A baby version of Porky appears in Baby Looney Tunes' musical numbers.

Porky has a descendant in Loonatics Unleashed (2005–2007) named Pinkster Pig (who was also voiced by Bob Bergen) who started off as an old ally and friend of Danger Duck (Daffy Duck's descendent) but became a villain when he was adopted by Stoney and Bugsy (descendants of Rocky and Mugsy).

Porky also appears as a regular in Cartoon Network's animated sitcom The Looney Tunes Show (2011–2014), voiced by Bob Bergen. He is still friends with Daffy and often sucked into Daffy's schemes. In some episodes, Porky wears pants. Porky is also Bugs' nervous, fall-guy buddy, similar to their relationship in classic comic books. It is also revealed in the show that, in his high school years, he bullied Daffy. Porky also appears in the direct-to-video movie Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run (2015).

Porky appears in New Looney Tunes (formerly Wabbit) voiced again by Bob Bergen. He is shown to be an immensely fat pig, similar to his first few appearances in the mid-1930s. Porky was first mentioned in "Dust Bugster", where he told Bugs about a TV series whose name was not mentioned that led to Bugs binge-watching it. He made his debut in "Airpork Security". He is typically paired with either Bugs, Daffy or Gabby.

Porky appears in HBO Max's Looney Tunes Cartoons voiced again by Bob Bergen, where his more modern classic design is re-used, as opposed to the original mid-1930s "fat Porky" design previously used in New Looney Tunes. Like in the original shorts and New Looney Tunes, he is often paired with Daffy. He is also sometimes paired with his mischievous nephew, Cicero Pig.

Porky appears in the preschool series Bugs Bunny Builders.[12] His catchphrase is Porky Perfect as he prefers everything the way he think should be.

Porky appears in Tiny Toons Looniversity as the head of ACME Looniversity's financial department.

Blooper

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Porky_Pig_Blooper

Porky Pig Blooper

A short black-and-white blooper was made in 1939 as part of the Warner Bros. Breakdowns of 1939 blooper reel, directed by Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton. It was shown on the Warner Bros. 50th Anniversary TV show.[13] Porky is doing some carpentry work, pounding nails when he smacks his thumb with the hammer. Grimacing in pain, he cries, "Oh, son of a bi-bi-, son of a bi-bi-, son of a bi-bi-bi-... gun!" He then turns to the camera and laughs before stating if the audience thought he would actually say "son of a bitch", inadvertently doing so in the process.[14]

This short, so-called "blooper" can also be found on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 4 of 2006, under the title Porky's Breakdowns (with only the Porky clips from the breakdown reel), on an Each Dawn I Die DVD box set, also released in 2006, and on the Porky Pig 101 set.

Voice Actors

Filmography

Main article: List of Porky Pig cartoons

Notes

Gallery

Main article: Porky Pig/Gallery

References

  1. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0394947/fullcredits/?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm
  2. 2.0 2.1 https://wsvn.com/entertainment/lebron-james-space-jam-castmates-dish-about-new-sequel-at-socal-party/
  3. Beck, Jerry. Audio commentary for "I Haven't Got a Hat" on the Warner Brothers DVD set Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Volume 3. (2005) citing Freleng's autobiography.
  4. Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in its Golden Age p.329
  5. Barrier, Michael (1999). Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-516729-0. 
  6. Maltin, Leonard. Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons (Revised Edition), 1987, Plume ISBN 978-0-452-25993-5 (Softcover) ISBN 978-0-613-64753-3 (Hardcover).
  7. List of National Film Registry (1988-2003).
  8. 8.0 8.1 https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1994-03-18-va-35638-story.html
  9. imdb.com - The Porky Pig Show.
  10. Maslin, Janet. "SCREEN: PORKY PIG IN HOLLYWOOD", The New York Times, November 28, 1986. Retrieved on November 20, 2011. 
  11. https://books.google.com/books?id=1uXTDQAAQBAJ&pg=PT345&lpg=PT345&dq=national+stuttering+association+warner+bros&source=bl&ots=guz5LhwvPl&sig=51x7hW7QZKM0JeDXnhTfYvqlwx4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiwu5f4t-3TAhUJzWMKHVRTBV0Q6AEIPTAC#v=onepage&q=national%20stuttering%20association%20warner%20bros&f=false
  12. https://www.animationmagazine.net/tv/warnermedia-upfronts-cartoonito-launches-on-hbo-max-with-20-series/
  13. Toon Zone - LT & MM: The Early Years - Other Videos
  14. Porky Pig "blooper"
  15. https://cartoonresearch.com/index.php/who-was-count-cutelli/
  16. https://www.behindthevoiceactors.com/tv-shows/Tiny-Toon-Adventures/Porky-Pig/
  17. http://likelylooneymostlymerrie.blogspot.com/2012/03/121-plane-dippy-1936.html?showComment=1330849570438#c2022256339305867202
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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