Mel Blanc truly embodied his characters

When the voice actor felt empty, Bugs filled in the Blanc.

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I scream, you scream, we all scream like Mel Blanc!
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Image: The Everett Collection. LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

In 1976, Mel Blanc was in the middle of a popular college tour. By that point, the demand for new characters had subsided, as had the demand for new adventures of his established roles. Sure, Bugs Bunny appeared in a few animated specials, but they were infrequent. A lot of the Looney Tunes output in the late Seventies amounted to rereleases of already-recorded material. So, Mel Blanc was free to give plenty of interviews regarding his job.

"I love my characters," Blanc told the Greensboro Daily News, adding that coworkers often took pictures as his appearance changed as he switched from one to the next.

While lots of voice actors are also skilled impressionists, Blanc never recycled someone else's schtick for his 400+ voices. "I don't copy anybody," he said. "I like to create whatever voice I do."

Blanc knew the power of his characters and their unique ability to brighten a day and bring a smile. "This is a thing that I like to do—I like to spread it around." He spent as much time as he could at hospitals bringing joy to folks who needed it.

This was a direct result of the time Blanc himself spent in a hospital, recuperating from a terrible auto accident. Nothing seemed to work in attempts to wake Blanc up from a 21-day coma. Nothing, that is, except for Bugs Bunny.

"The surgeon came in, finally, and said, 'Bugs Bunny, how are you?'," Blanc recalled. "I really did say, 'Just fine, doc, how are you?'" Bugs Bunny brought Mel Blanc back to life, just as Blanc had brought laughter to millions of fans."

"I realized then how people love the characters," said Blanc. In all, he was sent more than 20,000 fan letters wishing him a speedy recovery."

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GTNeal 8 months ago
Mel did some radio commercials for Clark service stations in the early 60s which featured a character named “Fizzbee.”
This voice was very close to Bugs Bunny. I imagine when you do 400 voices, there will often be variations of the same ones.
His autobiography, “That’s not all Folks,” is a good read.
MrDaGuy 8 months ago
""I don't copy anybody," he said"
Mel just wants to pretend Joe Dougherty doesn't exist.
Junebizzle MrDaGuy 8 months ago
He didn't copy Joe Dougherty. Dougherty's Porky and Blanc's Porky sound NOTHING alike.
Deleted 8 months ago
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MrsPhilHarris 8 months ago
I agree Zookie is Porkyish.
justjeff 8 months ago
It's amazing how the dialogue between Mel and the surgeon changes from story to story. One has it that the surgeon said to Mel somethign to the effect of "Bugs, are you there?" and Mel replied "Nyaa... What's up, Doc?". I don't know which version to believe...
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