Monday, February 19, 2007

Introducing Porky Pig

The animated cartoon character Porky Pig was introduced in the Merrie Melodies short I Haven't Got a Hat, which was released on March 2, 1935. The character was designed by animator Bob Clampett and was originally voiced by Joe Dougherty. Porky's name apparently came from the nicknames of two childhood classmates of director Friz Freling: "Porky" and "Piggy." Porky Pig got his stutter from Dougherty, who really had a stuttering problem. Mel Blanc won an audition for the character in 1937 and voiced Porky until his death in 1989.

According to the commentary for I Haven't Got a Hat on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Vol. 3 dvd, this cartoon version of the popular Our Gang films was intended to create a new generation of cartoon "stars" after the departure of the successful character Bosko with his creators in 1933. While I like the adorable twin puppies Ham and Ex the best, Porky clearly stole the show, setting him up for a long and distinguished career as both a star and a sidekick.


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