Friday, May 23, 2008

Porky Pig

The most underrated movie star of this or any other era. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Good ol' Porky. He's been around forever - well, at least since 1935. He made his debut in I Haven't Got a Hat, animated by Bob Clampett and directed by Friz Freleng with the idea of creating a cartoon character along the lines of Chubby from the Our Gang series. The name came from a couple of boyhood pals of Freleng's who were nicknamed Piggy and Porky. Such schoolyard appellations would not be countenanced in this day and age. Grown-ups are so touchy. Actor Joe Dougherty, who was a stutterer, provided the voice.

Porky proved an immediate success despite his stutter being the only consistent characteristic. The flexible pig was put in any and all types of stories. 1937 was a banner year. Mel Blanc was hired to voice Porky as he could harness the stutter and save production costs. Tex Avery put Porky in a 'toon entitled Porky's Duck Hunt teaming him with the riotous Daffy. It was magic! The slimmed down look and the humourous Blanc gave Porky a new lease on life and endless possibilities within a defined character lay ahead of him.

My favourite Porky period is when Chuck Jones made him the Frank McHugh of the animated set in the late 40s/50s, ably supporting Daffy in such shorts as Drip Along Daffy, Duck Dodgers in the 24th & 1/2th Century, Dedeuce, You Say and Robin Hood Daffy.

Despite protests in the 90s regarding Porky's stuttering as being inappropriate for the screen, Porky continues as the hard working character actor he is, currently voiced by Bob Bergen.

1938s Porky in Wackyland, Bob Clampett and Porky Pig's tribute to the bizarre was preserved by the National Film Registry in 2000.


3 comments:

  1. Porky! What can be said about this pig among men? I've heard that he originally had a stutter, overcame it, then went back to stuttering just fot he sake of comedy. What a guy.

    I left you a Porky video on my blog and I am adding your blog to my list of friends (with your blessing).

    There should be more Caftan Women in this world.

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  2. Thanks. I must make a list of my blogging pals. You are there.

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  3. "...protests in the 90s regarding Porky's stuttering as being inappropriate for the screen..."

    What wasn't protested in the early 90s? Ya gotta love this pig!!

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