Mel Blanc wasn't just a voice acting icon — He was a hero to the voice actors that came after him
Blanc was an inspiration.
LOONEY TUNES and all related characters are ™ of & © WBEI
You know the phrase, "Leave it better than you found it?" In many cases, it just means to take care of your own space or to try to make the world a bit better than it was when you arrived. Someone like Mel Blanc excelled at this rule because, before he arrived, iconic cartoon characters were few and far between. Blanc went beyond working as a voice actor; With the way he performed, he turned his performance into an art form.
Not only did Blanc leave this world better than he found it, but he, in turn, was able to use his gift to inspire others who would carry on his mission. In an interview with The Pittsburgh Press, Jeff Bergman spoke about his early beginnings as a voice actor. Bergman is well-known for his work in voice acting, particularly in several of the Looney Tunes. In fact, Bergman was the first to take over the voice of Bugs Bunny after Mel Blanc's death in 1989.
However, Bergman was lucky enough to meet Blanc much earlier in 1981, when he was able to watch Blanc perform at the University of Pittsburgh. At that time, Bergman was a speech major and actually managed to find Blanc afterward to perform a few of his own voices for the great. Bergman stated that Blanc remarked after forty-five minutes, "You're going to go somewhere. I'm going to remember your name."
For Bergman, this was a game changer. He told the Press, "That was a turning point for me. It changed my direction. I started to do all of the Warner Bros. characters. I wanted to be Mel Blanc."
Bergman also spoke about the death of Blanc, and stated, "I couldn't work for, like, two whole days. I was freaking out. It was so weird when that happened."
Still, Bergman was determined to carry on Blanc's legacy and was eventually given the opportunity to fill his hero's shoes. Of the experience, Bergman said, "If I can continue all the characters so that people never even know the difference — if I can do that, I think I will have achieved something."