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11

The Origins of Tweety Bird

Anyone who has ever watched the original Warner Brothers cartoons will recognize the image above. It's Tweety, the avian equivalent of Bugs Bunny, created in 1942 by cartoon director and animation genius Robert Clampett, whom we last saw in here as the creator of Beany and Cecil.

Seldom has a more appealing and beloved cartoon character ever been created. Tweety was my mother's and sister's favorite, and I have to admit that Tweety kind of grew on me too, even though I was a Yosemite Sam man myself. Maybe it was because Tweety was such a badass bird - just ask Sylvester the cat.

A larger version of the above image is available here. See the nude baby in the lower left corner? That's Robert Clampett, and it was his gazing at this, his own baby picture, that inspired him to create Tweety, an original character if ever there was one. Robert Clampett at the time of Tweety's creation is seen in the upper right corner.

Tweety's debut is available on YouTube and is embedded below. In case the young'uns here don't know, the two cats are caricatures of Abbott and Costello, comic actors that were popular about the time your great-grandfathers were in short pants. And the bit at the very end is a wartime Air Raid Warden reference - it was 1942.


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I wonder if the Jack-in-the-box spring thing came from Acme? Or the ladder? Or the anvil? This was the precursor of so many things - even the Roger Rabbit movie used the "Ran out of piddies" line.
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