Foghorn Leghorn
Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies character
Foghorn Leghorn.png
First appearanceWalky Talky Hawky (1946)
Created by
Voiced by
In-universe information
SpeciesRooster
GenderMale
Family
  • Harold Leghorn (father; deceased)
  • Unnamed grandson
Significant otherMiss Prissy
NationalityAmerican

Foghorn Leghorn is a cartoon rooster who appears in Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons and films from Warner Bros. Animation. He was created by Robert McKimson, and starred in 29 cartoons from 1946 to 1964 in the golden age of American animation.[1] All 29 of these cartoons were directed by McKimson.[2]

Foghorn Leghorn's first appearance was in the 1946 Henery Hawk short Walky Talky Hawky.[3] Foghorn's voice was created and originally performed by Mel Blanc and was later performed by Jeff Bergman, Joe Alaskey, Greg Burson, Frank Gorshin, Jeff Bennett, Bill Farmer, and Eric Bauza.

Inspiration

Foghorn Leghorn was directly inspired by the character of Senator Claghorn, a blustery Southern politician played by Kenny Delmar on Fred Allen's popular 1940s radio show. Foghorn adopted many of Claghorn's catchphrases, such as "I say..." and "That's a joke, son!" Delmar's inspiration for Claghorn was a Texas rancher who was fond of saying this.[4]

According to Leonard Maltin, the character's voice was also patterned after a hard-of-hearing West Coast-only radio character from the 1930s, known simply as The Sheriff, on a radio program called Blue Monday Jamboree.[5] The accent has similarities to that of another Mel Blanc voice: Yosemite Sam (a strictly Friz Freleng character); and even more similar to a proto-Sam character in Stage Door Cartoon.

Biography, characteristics and personality

Physically, Foghorn Leghorn is depicted as a very large rooster with a non-rhotic Southern accent; he is easily the tallest of all the regular Looney Tunes characters. He has a bombastic and somewhat unrefined personality, and shows a penchant for mischief. Aside from the Senator Claghorn reference, his first name "Foghorn" is indicative of his loudmouthed personality, while his surname "Leghorn" refers to a particular Italian breed of chicken.

Foghorn often fancied himself a mentor figure to the smaller and younger characters he encountered, particularly Henery Hawk, tossing off bits of self-styled sagacity interjected with phrases like "Pay attention, son", or "Look at me when I'm talkin' to ya, boy", both of which borrowed heavily from Senator Claghorn's vernacular. But this proves to be Foghorn's worst trait, as his loud and fast mouth and propensity for over-explanation eventually annoys his intended subjects so much that, completely fed up with him, they end up hitting him over the head with a blunt object, yelling "Ahhhhh, SHADDAP!" and leaving in a huff.

"Camptown Races"

Beginning with the 1949 cartoon Henhouse Henery, Foghorn would perform a verse from the Stephen Foster song "Camptown Races", softly humming the lyrics while loudly singing the refrain "Doo-Dahh! Doo-Dahh!", and ending the verse, again loudly, with "Ohh, Doo-Dahh Day!" He often hummed the song more than once in a given short, though in the 1950 cartoon The Leghorn Blows at Midnight, he hummed "Camptown" only at the beginning, but then hummed "Old MacDonald" in two later scenes. On occasion, he would also sing his own lyrics if they were related to what he was doing at the time. "Camptown Races" essentially became Foghorn's signature tune and one of the most widely familiar uses of the song in popular culture. The final theatrical film in which the "Camptown" is scored for Foghorn is Mother Was a Rooster (1962).

Rivalry with Barnyard Dawg

Foghorn Leghorn and George P. Dog (Barnyard Dawg) in The EGGcited Rooster (1952).
Foghorn Leghorn and George P. Dog (Barnyard Dawg) in The EGGcited Rooster (1952).

Many of Foghorn's cartoons involve his perennial prank war with Barnyard Dawg (who often addresses Foghorn as "Foggy"), though it is never revealed how or why their feud started in the first place. Foghorn is often the initial aggressor, but unlike most of the other Looney Tunes rivalries, Foghorn pranks Dawg out of sheer self-amusement and Dawg is usually the one with the winning hand in nearly every short they appear together, although both lost in Walky Talky Hawky, Of Rice and Hen, and Mother Was a Rooster. But for all of Foghorn's pranks, Dawg is just as adept at retaliation.

Most of the Leghorn cartoons began the same: Foghorn, humming "Camptown Races" to himself and carrying a wooden plank, sneaks up on Dawg while he is sleeping, often facing into his doghouse with his back protruding out the entry hole. Foghorn then pulls Dawg up by his tail and uses the plank to give him a whacking on his rear (in nearly every cartoon Foghorn gives Dawg eight whacks), at which point the angered Dawg chases after Foghorn barking, but can only go as far as the rope to which he is tied, which either yanks him back or stops him. In the latter case, he keeps barking at Foghorn who tells him, "Aah-h, sha-daahhp!" or does something to Dawg to force him to stop.

Despite their feud, Foghorn and Dawg manage to get along in a few instances, usually joining forces to defeat somebody who caused problems for both of them (e.g. Daffy Duck in The High and the Flighty or a fox in Fox-Terror).

In the 1958 short Feather Bluster the prank feud was passed down to Dawg's and Foghorn's respective grandsons, and the now-elderly Foghorn was puzzled as to why the little leghorn was behaving the way he was, but the elderly Dawg was only too happy to point out there's nothing wrong with him, except that "he takes after you."

"Foggy" and others

Other recurring themes throughout the cartoons included the attempts of the naive and diminutive Henery Hawk to catch and eat a chicken and Foghorn usually tricking him into believe that he is another animal and that Dawg is a chicken; and Foghorn's own efforts to woo the widowed hen Miss Prissy, often by babysitting her studious son, Egghead Jr. Foghorn was joined in a few episodes by a weasel called "Bill" who initially attempted to eat him but ended up joining forces to outwit the aforementioned canine.

Cartoon appearances

Shorts (1946–1964)

All of the 29 shorts from 1946 to 1964 were directed by Robert McKimson

  1. Walky Talky Hawky (1946)
  2. Crowing Pains (1947) – with Sylvester
  3. The Foghorn Leghorn (1948)
  4. Henhouse Henery (1949)
  5. The Leghorn Blows at Midnight (1950)
  6. A Fractured Leghorn (1950)
  7. Leghorn Swoggled (1951)
  8. Lovelorn Leghorn (1951)
  9. Sock-a-Doodle-Do (1952)
  10. The EGGcited Rooster (1952)
  11. Plop Goes the Weasel (1953)
  12. Of Rice and Hen (1953)
  13. Little Boy Boo (1954)
  14. Feather Dusted (1955)
  15. All Fowled Up (1955)
  16. Weasel Stop (1956)
  17. The High and the Flighty (1956) – with Daffy Duck
  18. Raw! Raw! Rooster! (1956)
  19. Fox-Terror (1957)
  20. Feather Bluster (1958)
  21. Weasel While You Work (1958)
  22. A Broken Leghorn (1959)
  23. Crockett-Doodle-Do (1960)
  24. The Dixie Fryer (1960)
  25. Strangled Eggs (1961)
  26. The Slick Chick (1962)
  27. Mother Was a Rooster (1962)
  28. Banty Raids (1963)
  29. False Hare (1964) – with Bugs Bunny
Miscellaneous
  1. Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the Groovie Goolies (1972) - voiced by Mel Blanc
  2. Bugs Bunny's Christmas Carol (1979) - voiced by Mel Blanc
  3. The Yolk's on You (1980) voiced by Mel Blanc
  4. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) – voiced by Joe Alaskey, (cameo appearance)
  5. Superior Duck (cameo appearance) (1996) – voiced by Frank Gorshin
  6. Space Jam (1996) – voiced by Bill Farmer and Greg Burson
  7. Pullet Surprise (1997) – voiced by Frank Gorshin
  8. Tweety's High-Flying Adventure (2000) – voiced by Jeff Bennett
  9. Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) – voiced by Jeff Bennett
  10. Cock-A-Doodle Duel (2004) – voiced by Jeff Bennett
  11. GEICO commercial (2011) – voiced by Jeff Bennett
  12. Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) – voiced by Eric Bauza
  13. Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (cameo appearance) – (2022)

Later appearances

Voice actors

In other media

This section has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Foghorn Leghorn" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This article appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated references to popular culture. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject's impact on popular culture, providing citations to reliable, secondary sources, rather than simply listing appearances. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Appeared in several Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials.[43]

References

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  2. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 81–82. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  3. ^ Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1989). Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Co. p. 170. ISBN 0-8050-0894-2.
  4. ^ ""It's a joke, Son!"", AFI Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, vol. 1, University of California Press, 1971, p. 1190, ISBN 9780520215214
  5. ^ Scott, Keith (2008). The Origin of Foghorn Leghorn Archived 2018-01-16 at the Wayback Machine, cartoonresearch.com
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  9. ^ "Tyson". Behind The Voice Actions. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
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  13. ^ "'Looney Tunes Cartoons': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all you need to know about the classic Warner Bros franchise's revival". meaww.com. Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  14. ^ Weiss, Josh (July 15, 2021). "'TINY TOONS' REBOOT ON HBO MAX WILL FEATURE A 'DUMBLEDORE'-ESQUE BUGS BUNNY, RETURN TO LOONIVERSITY". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved August 6, 2021.
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  23. ^ "Spectacular Light and Sound Show Illuminanza". Facebook. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
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  27. ^ "Kentucky Fried Chicken". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2020-09-28.
  28. ^ "Kraft Shake n Bake - TV Ad - Australia 1996". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  29. ^ "Shake 'n' Bake". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  30. ^ "New Looney Tunes show unveiled at Movie World". Leisure Management. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  31. ^ "That Wascally Wabbit". Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
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  33. ^ "Keith Scott: Down Under's Voice Over Marvel". Animation World Network. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  34. ^ "Keith Scott". Grace Gibson Shop. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  35. ^ "Keith Scott-"The One-Man Crowd"". Retrieved September 28, 2020.
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  37. ^ "You Don't Know Doc! ACME Wise Guy Edition - Bugs Bunny". AllMusic. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
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  41. ^ "Ani-Mayhem". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
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