If you were born under a rock in Uzbekistan, you may not ever have heard the voice of Mel Blanc. But if you’ve ever seen a Warner Brothers Cartoon that featured Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester the Cat, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Speedy Gonzales, Wile E. Coyote, Pepé le Pew, Marvin the Martian, or the Tasmanian Devil, you’ve heard just some of the wizardry of Mel Blanc.
Just to refresh your memory, here’s a little sample:
This afternoon Martine and I went to Hollywood Forever cemetery where many of the greats of Hollywood are buried. There you can find Rudolf Valentino, film moguls like Harry Cohn and Jesse L. Lasky, directors like Cecil B. DeMille and Edgar G. Ulmer, members of the Little Rascals like Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer and Darla Hood, and literally hundreds of Russians, Armenians, and Jews who have decided to spend a part of eternity at 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard. There is even the grave of aspiring starlet Virginia Rappe, who died of being raped at a famous party hosted by silent film star Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle.
But the best epitaph award clearly goes to Mel Blanc. After his death, Warner Brothers tried to find a replacement, but no one could match Melvin Jerome Blanc. He had a million voices, all of them clearly distinguishable one from the other, and they were all great.