The year of the Great 1929 Wall Street Crash also gave birth to one of the most American pieces of media ever known — Looney Tunes. In an effort to compete with Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse animated shorts, Warner Bros. concocted a series of animated shows specifically to highlight their recently acquired music catalogue. Bosko, a sort of monkey-cat thing, proceeded to silently awe people while jamming out to tunes and hanging out in his bathtub. Logistical and contractual disputes occurred, Bosko and his creator went their separate ways from Warner Bros., a brief few years had a strange humanoid figure named Buddy, and then the likes of directors Tex Avery, Friz Freleng, and Bob Clampett were brought on.
Porky was the first official, lasting Looney Tunes star, soon to be closing the credits of every cartoon with his signature “Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!” Shortly after, in 1937, came Daffy Duck, in Porky’s Duck Hunt, where the pig plays the soon-to-be Elmer Fudd role, and 1940 brought us Fudd himself and Bugs Bunny. Bugs, with his talent for drag and impersonations, and joy of breaking the fourth wall, has become an international cartoon phenomenon, and even has his own star along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Looney Tunes are everywhere now — they have their own mascots, theme park rides, swag, and, of course, tattoos. So, so many tattoos. They inspire a lot of people in a lot of ways — Marvin the Martian wants you to destroy the world, and Daffy wants you to question your existential self. The Looney Tunes have a power over our media that very few characters have, and they are 100% American-made. They’ve come a long way since 1929, but the Looney Tunes have taught us one timeless, lasting thing: the proper way to sign off writing about Looney Tunes. Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!