I was thinking about what to do for the letter R. I knew I wanted to do something fun with it, so I thought of cartoon characters. The double letter score happened completely by accident on this one.
The characters of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner were brought to life in 1948 by Chuck Jones. It was created as a parody to the Tom and Jerry cartoon series. Both cartoons have a similar cat and mouse or catch me if you can motif.
The character of the Coyote was inspired by a book written by Mark Twain called Roughing It. It was published in 1872 as a prequel to Innocents Abroad, his first non fiction work. It’s the travel journal of two brothers going to Nevada, one to work as the Secretary to the Governor and one to search for riches in the mining industry, or to search for gold. In this book, Twain describes the coyote as “a long, slim, sick and sorry looking skeleton” that is “a living, breathing allegory of want. He is always hungry.”
I remember seeing the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote on the Looney Tunes cartoon shows on Saturday mornings growing up. I would have a bowl of cereal, on a tv tray, sitting on the living room floor while watching the show. This was in the time before VCR and DVR recording. So, if you didn’t watch the show when it was broadcasted on TV, you would just miss it.
Remember all of the things the coyote ordered from the Acme Corporation to try to catch the road runner? For those of you that don’t know, Acme was the fictional corporation in the cartoon where the coyote ordered all sorts of devices and traps to try to catch the road runner. The name Acme was created in the 1920s, when the Yellow Pages phone book was the only way to find contact numbers and addresses for businesses. So, a company would want to be found first in the book, so they would name their company with the letter A.
Did you ever wonder how he was able to pay for all of the stuff that he ordered? Well, there are a couple of thoughts out there about that one. It was said in the Looney Tunes: Back in Action movie in 2003 that he was an employee of Acme Corporation. Another explanation was that he was a “beta” tester for the products sold by Acme.
How about the fact there were was no talking dialogue in the show? Just the sound effects. The “beep-beep” of the road runner, the sound of things falling from the sky, or the music that was played when they transitioned scenes. I guess that it is a statement of real life, since animals typically don’t have voices to carry on a conversation like we humans do. It kind of reminds me of the movies created during the silent era (1895-1929).
The first cartoon of a total of forty-eight, “Fast and Furryous” was released on September 17, 1949.