Mel Blanc was so dedicated to his craft he went to a pig farm to get the voice of Porky right
There is one sure-fire way to know what a pig sounds like, and Mel Blanc wasn't afraid to get a little dirty for this 'Looney Tunes' voice!
They didn't call him "the man of a thousand voices" for nothing. Mel Blanc's many voices continue to live on in some of the best known cartoons ever created.
Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Barney Rubble and countless others are all some variation of Blanc's voice, each with their own quirks and oddities, making them unique.
Upon hearing any of the voices provided by Blanc, it's easy to assume each one came naturally and without thought. Blanc was so talented he made these several hundred voices sound so authentic, like he didn't have to think about it at all.
But, those voices didn't come out of thin air. Blanc put deep thought and effort into his characters. He needed to, as all he was given was a basic rundown of what the character was like overall, not what writers and producers wanted them to sound like. That was up to Blanc.
Blanc told David Letterman in a 1981 interview that he only got a small glimpse of what Bugs Bunny was set to do in a scene and a brief description.
"They show me a picture of the character and then...they show me a storyboard, which shows me what the character is going to do in the cartoon. From this, I have to create the voice" he said.
"With Bugs, [who] they say was a tough little stinker, so I thought which is the toughest voice in this country the Brookyn or the Bronx." He changed his tone and said, "So you put the two of them together and that's how I got the voice for Bugs, doc," in a classic Bugs voice.
Beyond just thought, Blanc was dedicated to projecting the best voice he could, to best represent whatever character he was portraying at the time. When it was time to voice the iconic Porky Pig, he went right to the source for inspiration.
"[For] Porky, they said [he] was a timid little character, so I went out to a pig farm and wallowed around with the pigs. I wanted to be authentic. When I went back to the studio, they kicked me out and said go home and take a bath. I said, if a pig could talk, he'd talk with a grunt."
Individualism was a big key to Blanc's success. His wide vocal range, creative tones and ability to quickly adapt allowed each voice to have its own personal twist, making each one recognizeable.
"I've worked on five thousand different cartoons and actually I do about 400 different voices and each dialect you can do many different voices." When asked if any of those several hundred voices run together, Blanc said, "They're not similiar. I mean, you can recognize each one differently."
Blanc's voice continues to live on in the millenial number of characters that use it to speak. We hope for his case, he only had to visit the pig farm once.