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Elmer Fudd

The fictional cartoon character Elmer Fudd first appeared in the 1936 Tex Avery cartoon The Isle of Pingo Pongo. The character was named Elmer, and he was later given a full name of Elmer Fudd; however, he did not look or sound like the Elmer Fudd that is known and loved by audiences today. Avery took this character and renamed him "Egghead," starring him in several cartoons of his own. The more famous character, voiced by Arthur Q. Bryan, made his first appearance in a 1939 Chuck Jones short entitled Elmer's Candid Camera. A prototypical Bugs Bunny drives Elmer insane. A year later, in Tex Avery's A Wild Hare, Bugs reappears, but this time with carrot, Brooklyn accent, and "What's Up, Doc" all in place for the first time. Elmer has a better voice and a trimmer figure, too.

Elmer's role in these two films, that of would-be hunter, dupe and foil for Bugs, remains his main role forever after. Although Bugs Bunny was called upon to outwit many more worthy opponents, Elmer somehow remained Bugs' classic nemesis, despite (or because of) his legendary gullibility, small size, short temper, and shorter attention span. Somehow knowing, not only that Elmer would lose, but knowing how he would lose, made the confrontation, counterintuitively, more delicious.

Fudd was originally voiced by the radio actor Arthur Q. Bryan, but after Bryan's death in 1959 was reluctantly assumed as yet another voice by the versatile Mel Blanc. The best known Elmer Fudd cartoons include Chuck Jones' classic What's Opera, Doc?, the Rossini parody Rabbit of Seville, and the "Hunter Trilogy" of "Rabbit Season/Duck Season" shorts with Fudd, Bugs, and Daffy Duck.

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