Monday, March 01, 2010


The animated fellow above is one Daffy Duck, and today is not really his birthday, but a dearth of any real, life human being to be the hero, Daffy has to step up to the podium. Truth be told, today was not just a people kind of day anyway. Several, real, life human beings made me want to bash their heads in, and made me consider a career as a hermit. Not sure what kind of career path a hermit has, but early this morning I was willing to give it a shot. Either way, Daffy, our duckish hero made his first appearance April 17, 1937 in "Porky's Duck Hunt." Daffy was voiced by Mel Blanc for 52 years, making him the longest characterization of an animated character by his original actor. The voice that Blanc gave to Daffy included a lisp, there are different versions on how, or why Daffy got his trademark lisp, but it is as part of his character as his tail feathers. Daffy would appear in 129 shorts during the golden era of the Looney Tunes, third behind Bugs Bunny's 166, and Porky Pig's 152. He was voted 14 on TV Guides list of top 50 animated characters of all time, not a bad feat for a duck that is usually in Bugs Bunny's shadow. Daffy has under gone quite a number of character changes in his long career from the early, zany duck, to the lankier, taller duck that was Bugs Bunny's rival in the early 1960's. Even at his meanest, there was no real malice in Daffy. Most of his plots to gain the spotlight back from Bugs Bunny usually ended up with singed tail feathers and dignity for Daffy. It takes a while to learn to love Daffy, but once you realize he is what he is, and that is all you can ever ask him (or any other character to be) then you will under why, of all things, a duck is a hero. For those 129 wildly different appearances in the cartoons of my childhood, Daffy Duck (March 1st-present), you are my (187th), hero of the day.

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