Looney Tunes is certainly a childhood staple for everyone who grew up before the internet and Netflix took over. In the Golden Age of American animation, Warner Bros produced the cartoon between 1930 and 1969. Many now-iconic characters stemmed from Looney Tunes and its sister program Merrie Melodies, such as Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Wile. E. Coyote, and so many more!
Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were the most popular animated shorts in theaters, but Looney Tunes proved to be timeless as it continued to attract new generations of fans and has since become one of the largest worldwide media franchises with television shows, video games, merchandise, rides, an entire amusement park, and more.
It’s time to take a trip down memory lane and look at the most classic cartoon and its beloved characters.
The Tasmanian Devil
I don’t know if it was because I felt like I could relate to him, but the Tasmanian Devil (Taz) is definitely my favorite Looney Tunes character. He is so memorable in my mind that you would assume he has always been a staple of the show. As it turns out, Taz wasn’t such a significant part of the original series.
He made his television debut in 1954, ten years before the studio close, and was only featured in five shorts. But his popularity exploded in the 1990s when my generation of 90’s kids noticed his character making television appearances. There was Taz merchandise everywhere, and he even had his own show, Taz Mania.
The Word “Nimrod”
Bugs Bunny popularized the word “nimrod” when he used it in the cartoon to describe Elmer Fudd. Bugs always managed to escape the hunter and humiliated him in the process. Bugs would regularly say, “What a Nimrod,” when referring to Elmer. But most viewers didn’t pay attention to what the word actually meant.
It was intended to be a back-handed statement because, in the Book of Genesis, Noah’s great-grandson is named Nimrod and was called “a mighty hunter,” something Fudd clearly wasn’t. Audiences automatically assumed it meant dumb, slow, or dim-witted. That has become the definition most people use now.
That’s all, folks!