This is true of the main characters. But every character who said anything had to have a voice, and usually it was Blanc who supplied it. Characters such as Sam the Sheepdog, the bartender in Dripalong Daffy and Brody the Bridge jumper had more or less normal voices, or at least voices without much of an affectation. In creating characters (and their voices), it seems obvious that the more unusual they are, the more memorable and subsequently recognizable they will be. Even if they’re not given an accent or a speech impediment, a change in tone makes them memorable. The fact that Marvin the Martian speaks from way in the back of his throat makes his voice memorable, even though he doesn’t have an “accent.” (well, ok, maybe a Mars accent…)
Marlene Dietrich, Kay Francis and “Baba Wawa” all suffered from Elmer Fudd Syndrome (EFS).
Kay Francis was known to be troublesome on her sets, and screenwriters delighted in giving her lines with plenty of Rs in them (“Mawy, pwepawe a woom fow my bwothew!”). One of Marlene Dietrich’s finest moments onscreen was in “Shanghai Express” (in which she played “Shanghai Wiwwy, the notowious white wose of the Owient”), when she gazes dolefully at Clive Brook and says, “Go. I am wee-wee of you now.”
And let’s not forget Wiwwy Wangtwee…
“I’m not a wabbit, I need some west.”
I can’t post it the way it would sound but use your imagination and listen to Elmer Fudd as “The Borg” from Star Trek, Next Generation… Resistance is futile, you will be assimulated.
That’s one of the funniest damn things I’ve ever heard.
Lieu, dear, I think you mean Wiwi Von Schtupp . . . THIS was Wiwi Wangtwee:
Unless my memory has completely fritzed out in a shower of sparks, I recall an interview with Chuck Jones, in which he claimed the wacky cartoonists were cautioned not to make fun of the speech of one of their bosses. So, naturally, he said, Elmer was born. Ironically, the Fudd-speaking boss loved Elmer.
–Nott, the large
Wait till Biggus Dickus hears of this!
I will not have my fwiends widiculed by the common soldiewy. Anybody else feel like a little… giggle… when I mention my fwiend… Biggus… Dickus?
What about you? Do you find it… wisible… when I say the name… ‘Biggus’… ‘Dickus’?
No, no, no! That was Daffy Duck! His voice was based on Leon Schlesinger, the guy in charge of the Warner Brothers cartoons at the time. The cartoonists didn’t think about what they’d done until he came to see the new cartoon. Turns out, though, he didn’t even get it, but he loved the voice. He was quoted as saying after viewing the first Daffy cartoon, “Jethuth Chrith, That’th a funny voith! Where’d you get the voith?”
Evidently, there may be another more historical precedent for this. In a recent Masterpiece Theater rendition of Charles Dickens’, Our Mutual Friend, one of the highborn ladies speaks with this exact same accent. I am unwilling to believe that the producers of this estimable show inserted this as a lark and am therefore led to believe that this exists as some sort of speech pathology or genuine dialect. Any takers on this?
That’s odd. He appears in two cartoons which combined live action with animation, and he doesn’t sound like Daffy at all.
One of the funniest things I ever heard was a parody duo of the song “Feelings” (it came out Feelwings) by Barbara Walters and Elmer Fudd…damn near pissed my pants I was laughing so hard.
I’m partial to Robin Williams’ rendition of Elmer Fudd imitating Bruce Springsteen.
Huh. Curse these links. You can try going to that .wav file through this page: http://www.geocities.com/onehourphoto2004/robinsounds.html
Well, that’s the story I’ve read in several places. I guess the idea of the lisp came from Schlesinger’s voice. I’ve heard that Mel Blanc’s real voice is basically the same as Sylvester’s voice, and Sylvester’s voice is about the same as Daffy’s. Daffy’s is just a little bit higher and faster than Sylvester’s, so Daffy could be a combination of Mel Blanc’s voice and Leon Schlesinger’s combined. I don’t have the inside information, I’m just repeating what I’ve read.
Is anyone else subjected to Time Warner Cable commercials that feature WB cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny and Yosemete Sam? I find them painful to watch, almost like seeing Mel Blanc’s dessicated corpse propped up and his sticklike limbs being flailed about on strings, while his jaw is worked up and down mechanically a la Charlie McCarthy.
At about the time of the Crimean War, ca. 1850, it was fashionable for wealthy young English bloods, and especially cavalry officers, to affect the Elmer Fudd W for R speech pattern and to lisp to boot. There is a reference to this in Cecil Woodham-Smith’s The Reason Why, along with a Punch cartoon in which one cavalry officer says to an other, “I say, Old Fellah–Do you think it pwobable the infantwy will accompany us to Sebastopol?” Some how this confirm all my suspicions about the early Victorians.
Ah HAH! I may have misunderstood the nature of Monty Python’s humor in the scenes with Pontius Pilate/Biggus Dickus. From what you say, instead of giving the two Romans nonsensical speech impediments, they were actually parodying recognizable attributes of an upper-class twit. Can any Brits confirm or deny this?
For “nonsensical speech impediments”, please read “speech impediments that actually carried some parody value, rather than being merely nonsensical”.
Oh Eve, bewing cowwected by woo is wike bewing fwogged by a hewd of fwench tickwerrs.
::stumbling off into backyard carrying a remote, lamp, ashtray, chair, paddle game & my little dog… grrrrrrr… well, I guess not my little dog::
And he has a wife, you know…Do you want to know what she’s called?