Friday, December 21, 2007
Happy New Year and Chuck Jones
Well 2008 is at the door and knocking like an impatient delivery man. Did I order pizza? I am not ready to open the door to the new year just yet. I have to wrap up 2007 first and I am not sure what kind of bow I should use. Probably another Chuck Jones story would be just right. Again, just like the Thanksgiving, a story from a lecture Chuck Jones gave at Boston University sometime in the mid 1970's. Wouldn't mind opening that door again and letting that year in. At any rate, Chuck told another great story about his experiences producing cartoons for Warner Bros. He told a tale concerning the production of the first Daffy Duck cartoon. Several of the other directors and animators were sitting around and wondering what Daffy would sound like, how would he talk and what would be funny. An animator by the name of Cal Howard jokingly suggested that Leon Schlesinger's voice would be perfect. Leon, the head cheese of the cartoon division did have an unusual lisp to say the least, and Mel Blanc could do a remarkable impression. So Daffy was born and to Chuck and many others it was a source of great enjoyment during the production of the cartoon. Unfortunately, Mr. Schlesinger was accustomed to screening the cartoons upon their completion, a fact , that Chuck and his partners in crime had forgotten during their intense production schedule. So Leon sat in the screening room on his throne, yes, an actual throne from one of the Ben Hur movies, apparently he enjoyed the power it seemed to convey. The animators and a terrified Chuck Jones sat scattered about in their folding chairs sure that they would soon be looking for another job. Leon screened the short and sat silently through out the film. After the screening was complete, Leon called for Chuck and loudly proclaimed in his natural Daffyr voice, "Where did you get the voithe of that duck? Where on earf did you get that voithe?" (Leon had no clue it was based upon him.) Chuck was stunned, but he still had a job!