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Yosemite Sam is a Looney Tunes character, and one of Bugs Bunny's nemeses. Yosemite Sam is a more violent character than Bugs' most famous antagonist Elmer Fudd, given that Sam has a tougher accent, a higher fierce voice, and a more violent spirit. He is also quicker to learn from his mistakes and never falls for the same ploy twice. Despite his aggressive and hot-tempered nature, he doesn't prove much brighter than Elmer in his encounters with Bugs. His noise contrasts to the calmly cocky rabbit. Sam's own cockiness gets the best of him, portraying him as a bumbling idiot, and Bugs can see he is incapable of turning down a challenge.

Sam starred in 33 Golden Age cartoons, with nearly all except "Honey's Money" also starring Bugs Bunny. The majority of his cartoons were directed by his creator, Friz Freleng.

Physical appearance[]

Yosemite Sam is a small fellow with a big mouth. He has a temper as short as he is, often drawing his guns on anyone who dares to defy him. He is much like a character from a Western movie, wearing a cowboy hat, bandana and cowboy boots; in his initial short in "Hare Trigger", the bandana appears like an eyemask and is prominent around his eyes; but as his design evolved, his facial hair including eyebrows and mustache ultimately cover the bandana making it almost like he isn't wearing anything over his face. His small size is lampooned in the short "Hare Trigger", where a train he tries to hold up passes right over him without him being harmed. He is reckless, very stubborn, and hates it when he is wrong; so much so, in fact, that he shoots bullets at random targets, but never hits anyone. He possesses a mean and somewhat vindictive streak. However, he has taken the roles of several other positions, such as a knight and mayor, but the miniature outlaw is best known for his Western cartoons, even though his non-Western "Knighty Knight Bugs" cartoon won an Academy Award.

Sam usually has a full head of hair when he is not wearing a hat, except in "Southern Fried Rabbit" and in Looney Tunes Cartoons, where he is mostly bald with a few strands of hair and a liver spot. However, later shorts started depicting him with a full head of hair again.

History[]

Golden Age[]

Yosemite Sam made his debut in "Hare Trigger". He bears a resemblance to Red Ryder, a cowboy character in "Buckaroo Bugs", which could be seen as a prototype. Michael Maltese claims that he made Yosemite in the likeness of director Friz Freleng. When majority of Bugs' previous enemies were deemed to be too soft to pose a threat to the rabbit while also having Bugs be the provoker in most cases, Freleng created Yosemite Sam to create a tougher opponent for the rabbit while making him unsympathetic to make theater audiences root more for Bugs.[6]

A running gag is that sometimes Yosemite Sam tells Bugs "Open up this door open it up now!" and Bugs opens it when Yosemite Sam is in its way of opening and then closes it, leaving a raging Yosemite Sam flattened. Another gag involves Sam yelling 'Whoa!' at whatever mode of transportation he was using, only to whack it when it refuses to stop.

In addition to his fiery temper and violent nature, Sam is also very abusive towards animals, as he often violently beats his animal minions such as horses (e.g. in "Wild and Woolly Hare"), camels (e.g. in "Sahara Hare"), elephants (e.g. in "Prince Violent"), dragons (e.g. in "Knighty Knight Bugs"), etc. every time when they refuse to stop in their tracks or when they annoy him in the slightest such as sneezing or roaring at him, or forcing them to attack Bugs for him. Unfortunately these proved to be his undoing most of the time, as the animals often either retaliate with violence or make the situation even worse for him. For example in "Prince Violent", the elephant betrays Sam and defects over to Bugs' side as revenge for all the abuse it endured from Sam.

In some cartoons, such as "From Hare to Heir", "Honey's Money", and "Dumb Patrol", he has a rather foul mouth, as sometimes he cusses unintelligibly when angry, saying things like "rackin' frackin' varmint," either loudly or when mumbling to himself.

Yosemite Sam only appeared in cartoons directed by Friz Freleng during the golden age, with three exceptions: Robert McKimson's "Dog Tales" (where he appears as a cameo via reused animation from "Piker's Peak"), Ken Harris's "Hare-abian Nights", and Gerry Chiniquy's "Dumb Patrol".

Occupations[]

Yosemite Sam is notable in that he is depicted in several occupations depending on the cartoon, with a different persona in several cases. Among them include:

  • Cowboy: His most common persona, he is originally portrayed as a violent outlaw, although in one case, he is an entitled customer to a high diving show. He is portrayed as such in "Hare Trigger", "Bugs Bunny Rides Again", "High Diving Hare", and "Wild and Woolly Hare"
  • Pirate: A trilogy of three cartoons, "Buccaneer Bunny", "Mutiny on the Bunny", and "Captain Hareblower" had Sam portrayed as a plundering pirate.
  • Warden: In "Big House Bunny", Yosemite Sam is a prison guard working at a fierce prison. He is named Sam Schultz in this appearance.
  • Hessian: In "Bunker Hill Bunny", he is the defender for his superfort during a battle against "American Minuteman" Bugs. He is called Sam von Schmamm here.
  • Prospector: He has been depicted as a countryside hillbilly in "Rabbit Every Monday", "The Fair Haired Hare", and "14 Carrot Rabbit".
  • Political candidate: He tries to become mayor to kill off every rabbit in "Ballot Box Bunny".
  • Bank robber: He is known for robbing banks in "Hare Lift".
  • Gold digger: Sam attempts to marry just to get their victim's money in "Hare Trimmed" and "Honey's Money".
  • Confederate soldier: Believing the Revolutionary War is still ongoing, he tries to defend the southern borders from intruders in "Southern Fried Rabbit".
  • Arab Sheikh: In "Sahara Hare", he attempts to exterminate trespassers like Bugs who enters the Sahara Desert.
  • Roman Captain of the Guard: He is forced to a find a victim for a Coliseum fight in "Roman Legion-Hare"
  • Islander: In "Rabbitson Crusoe", Sam gets stranded on an island and craves for rabbit meat after being limited to just eating coconuts.
  • Mountain climber: He attempts to climb the Schmatterhorn to win fifty thousand kronkheits in "Piker's Peak".
  • Black knight: He is the guardian of the singing sword in "Knighty Knight Bugs".
  • Sultan: In "Hare-abian Nights", he sets up a talent show as a trap to get attendees to be dumped in an alligator pit.
  • Indian chief: In "Horse Hare", Sam is an Indian chief that leads an army of Indians to capture US Cavalry Sergeant Bugs' base.
  • Duke of Yosemite: He is a spoiled duke with a hot temper who is desperate for cash when his uncle cuts off his allowance in "From Hare to Heir".
  • Alien agent: In "Lighter Than Hare", Yosemite Sam is sent by an alien potentate to fetch an Earth creature. After junking the robots Sam sends out and exploiting an Achilles' heel in Sam's "indestructible" tank, Bugs tricks Sam into bringing back a fake rabbit that contains a time bomb.
  • Viking: He tries to pillage Bugs' castle in "Prince Violent". He is known as Sam the Terrible in the aforementioned cartoon.
  • Chef: He is the chef for a spoiled king who must cook hasenpfeffer or be executed in "Shishkabugs".
  • Devil's servant: After being sent to Hell following a botched bank robbery in "Devil's Feud Cake", he is commanded by the Devil to capture Bugs for him to allow Sam to exit.
  • World War I German baron: He is a pilot for the German side during World War I in "Dumb Patrol". He is named Baron Sam Von Shpamm in this cartoon.

Gallery[]

Main article: Yosemite Sam/Gallery

Filmography[]

Main article: List of Yosemite Sam cartoons

Notes[]

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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