by E.O. Costello
- EAGER BEAVER
Character who appeared in only one cartoon: The Eager Beaver (Jones,
1946). Beck and Friedwald speculate that Jones might have been
attempting to create a new recurring character. This theory is
buttressed by the fact that the studio took the step of copyrighting
the character before the release of the cartoon (No. G 45347, May 28,
1945), which it ordinarily did only for recurring characters.
- EDDIE GANDER
Caricature of Eddie Cantor in The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos (Tashlin, 1937).
Rather odd character with a Joe Penner-like voice, created by Tex Avery. Generally regarded as the predecessor to Elmer Fudd. This ancestry is evidenced by the fact that in A Feud There Was (Avery,
1938) Egghead rides a scooter whose sign identifies him as “Elmer Fudd,
Peacemaker”. In his book, Schneider reproduces model sheets bearing
marks from when Avery, Clampett
and an unidentified gag man worked on making Egghead more appealing,
transferring certain elements of the existing character, including the
derby and high collar, to Fudd. These characteristics were used in what
is arguably the first true Fudd cartoon, 1940’s Elmer’s Candid Camera (Jones). Based on recent research by Hames Ware, published in Animato! #32, the voice for Egghead is now credited to vocal specialist Dave Weber.
Egghead’s character was rather bizarre -- perhaps a little too much so. Witness the hat-and-head-tipping bit in Cinderella Meets Fella (Avery, 1938). Egghead would often be seen drifting in and out of a cartoon, dispensing commentary as in Believe It or Else (Avery, 1939), or just acting goofy as in Hamateur Night (Avery,
1939), in which he bursts in at various times singing “She’ll Be Comin’
Round the Mountain” -- to the eventual delight of a theatre full of
The Egghead filmography follows. Except where noted otherwise, all films were directed by Avery.
- Egghead Rides Again (1937)
- Little Red Walking Hood (1937)
- Daffy Duck and Egghead (1938)
- Cinderella Meets Fella (1938)
- A-Lad-In-Bagdad (Howard/Dalton, 1938)
- The Isle of Pingo-Pongo (1938)
- A Feud There Was (1938)
- Johnny Smith and Pokerhuntas (1938)
- Count Me Out (Hardaway/Dalton, 1938)
- Hamateur Night (1939)
- A Day at the Zoo (1939)
- Believe It Or Else (1939)
As noted in the entry for Acme,
Egghead has the privilege of being the first Warner Brothers character
to utilize the services and products of the now-legendary Acme firm.
- EGGHEAD JR.
No relation to the character of the previous entry. This was the silent, poker-faced little chick who appears in a handful of Robert McKimson’s Foghorn Leghorn shorts. His unusual tastes in reading material include books such as Splitting the Fourth Dimension. Deliberately
or not, he manages repeatedly to make a complete idiot out of Foghorn
Leghorn, who is usually attempting to teach the boy some simple game or
trick that he improves on in amazing ways.
Filmography follows. All directed by McKimson.
- Little Boy Boo (1954)
- Feather Dusted (1955)
- Crockett-Doodle-Doo (1960)
- ELLINGTON, DUKE
Stylish master of the jazz piano and, like his contemporaries Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, a figure of reverence among millions of jazz fans around the world. He can be seen as one of the modern angels in Clean Pastures (Freleng, 1937). He is also referred to in Knight-Mare Hare (Jones, 1955) and Napoleon Bunny-part (Freleng, 1956) along with other jazz greats like Count Basie and Earl Hines.
- ELMER J. FUDD
arch-patsy of Bugs Bunny in dozens of cartoons. Usually, though not
always, he appears in the role of hunter versus prey. Two of Chuck Jones’ finest cartoons, The Rabbit of Seville (1950) and What’s Opera, Doc? (1957)
play on this relationship with outstanding results. Incidentally, the
middle initial is used in only one cartoon. It is in the famous
sequence from Hare Brush (Freleng, 1955) in which the shrink
gets Bugs to repeat the phrase “I am Elmer J. Fudd, miwwionaiwe; I own
a mansion and a yacht” endlessly.
Fudd evolved from Egghead, a character created by Tex Avery, who was used on a number of late 1930s cartoons. The evolution is clear, based on the facts that
- Egghead appeared as a hunter in one film: Daffy Duck and Egghead (Avery, 1938);
- Egghead was identified by name as “Elmer Fudd” in A Feud There Was (Avery, 1938); and
- Egghead was identified as Elmer on at least one lobby card for The Isle of Pingo-Pongo (Avery, 1938), as shown in the first volume of Chuck Jones’ autobiography.
By the time of Elmer’s Candid Camera (Jones, 1940), Egghead had been redesigned, though he keeps the bulbous nose, stiff collar, and derby used in Little Red Walking Hood (Avery, 1937). A model sheet from Little Red Walking Hood (Schneider, p. 165) shows check marks next to the features placed there by Avery and Clampett during the redesigning process. Significantly, it was in Candid Camera that Arthur Q. Bryan first provided the distinctive voice of Elmer.
The author considers Elmer’s Candid Camera to be the character’s debut, as it is the first cartoon to feature Elmer in a readily recognisable form. Adamson suggests that A Wild Hare (Avery,
1940) is the cartoon in which Elmer is truly born and fully fleshed
out. I would contend that while the drawing and animation in A Wild Hare is undoubtedly better, the only significant change to the character himself is that in Wild Hare Elmer
is given hunting clothes and a rifle, instead of a camera, with which
to hunt Bugs. Other than the new props, the changes made to Elmer in Wild Hare are primarily stylistic in nature; his character remains exactly the same as in Candid Camera.
Fudd’s appearance underwent some more tinkering in 1941 and 1942, with Wabbit Twouble (Clampett, 1941), the special War Bonds promotion known as Any Bonds Today? (Clampett, 1942), The Wabbit Who Came to Supper (Freleng, 1942), and The Wacky Wabbit (Clampett, 1942). In these cartoons, Elmer is stockier and rather pear-shaped, perhaps modeled on Arthur Q. Bryan himself. Fudd permanently reverted to his more familiar appearance in Fresh Hare (Freleng, 1942).
described Fudd as being less a true villain than a pitiful character,
stating that there was no special credit due to someone who could
outsmart him. This is part of the reason Freleng developed Yosemite Sam
as a foil for Bugs. Be that as it may, Fudd’s “simpy charm” enabled the
character to adapt over the years, and continue to be used with great
effectiveness, particularly as the hero (?) in What’s Opera, Doc? (Jones, 1957), the waiter in Slick Hare (Freleng, 1947), and as the hunter in the so called “Hunter’s Trilogy” of 1951-1953. Clampett used Fudd in a sharp spoof of Deems Taylor (and apparently Emmett Kelly) in the Fantasia spoof A Corny Concerto (1943). On occasion, Fudd was even able to turn the tables on Bugs and get the better of him, as in The Hare-Brained Hypnotist (Freleng, 1942), or Hare Brush (Freleng, 1955).
Foolish chicken easily duped by slick Romeo types in three cartoons of Friz Freleng: Let It Be Me (1936), Boulevardier from the Bronx (1936), and A Star is Hatched
(1938). She initially spurns, but later returns to a hayseed boyfriend.
There is also an Emilyesque chicken who is pursued by Daffy in The Stupid Cupid (Tashlin, 1944).
The thought has occurred to the author that Emily could be the mother of Miss Prissy,
the lovesick chicken so enamored of Foghorn Leghorn. There is a family
resemblance, no? Certainly, there is a shared element of man hungriness.
- ERNIE BEAR
Caricature in The Woods Are Full of Cuckoos (Tashlin, 1937) of Ernie Hare.
magazine which was best known in the 1940s for publishing “cheesecake”
drawings of sexy dames, especially by the artist Vargas. The little
brat Percy/Butch in Brother Brat (Tashlin, 1944) is reading “Esquire Junior”, which features infant versions of Vargas dames. Bugs utilizes the drawings in Esquire to drive Elmer wild in The Unruly Hare (Tashlin, 1945), and keeps himself occupied as a castaway reading Esquire and singing “Trade Winds” in Gorilla My Dreams (McKimson, 1948).