Mel Blanc was so dedicated to his craft he went to a pig farm to get the voice of Porky right

There is one sure-fire way to know what a pig sounds like, and Mel Blanc wasn't afraid to get a little dirty for this 'Looney Tunes' voice!

They didn't call him "the man of a thousand voices" for nothing. Mel Blanc's many voices continue to live on in some of the best known cartoons ever created. 

Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Barney Rubble and countless others are all some variation of Blanc's voice, each with their own quirks and oddities, making them unique.

Upon hearing any of the voices provided by Blanc, it's easy to assume each one came naturally and without thought. Blanc was so talented he made these several hundred voices sound so authentic, like he didn't have to think about it at all. 

But, those voices didn't come out of thin air. Blanc put deep thought and effort into his characters. He needed to, as all he was given was a basic rundown of what the character was like overall, not what writers and producers wanted them to sound like. That was up to Blanc.

Blanc told David Letterman in a 1981 interview that he only got a small glimpse of what Bugs Bunny was set to do in a scene and a brief description. 

"They show me a picture of the character and then...they show me a storyboard, which shows me what the character is going to do in the cartoon. From this, I have to create the voice" he said.

"With Bugs, [who] they say was a tough little stinker, so I thought which is the toughest voice in this country the Brookyn or the Bronx." He changed his tone and said, "So you put the two of them together and that's how I got the voice for Bugs, doc," in a classic Bugs voice. 

Beyond just thought, Blanc was dedicated to projecting the best voice he could, to best represent whatever character he was portraying at the time. When it was time to voice the iconic Porky Pig, he went right to the source for inspiration. 

"[For] Porky, they said [he] was a timid little character, so I went out to a pig farm and wallowed around with the pigs. I wanted to be authentic. When I went back to the studio, they kicked me out and said go home and take a bath. I said, if a pig could talk, he'd talk with a grunt." 

Individualism was a big key to Blanc's success. His wide vocal range, creative tones and ability to quickly adapt allowed each voice to have its own personal twist, making each one recognizeable. 

"I've worked on five thousand different cartoons and actually I do about 400 different voices and each dialect you can do many different voices." When asked if any of those several hundred voices run together, Blanc said, "They're not similiar. I mean, you can recognize each one differently." 

Blanc's voice continues to live on in the millenial number of characters that use it to speak. We hope for his case, he only had to visit the pig farm once. 

Watch Bugs Bunny and Friends on MeTV!

One Full Hour

Saturdays at 9 AM

*available in most MeTV markets
 
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

23 Comments

RichLorn 3 months ago
I'm in total agreement with all the positive posts about Mr Blanc. But he was also a semi-regular on the Jack Benny Program currently airing on the Antenna TV station in the wee hours of weekday mornings. He sometimes does a deadpan mexican character that is so hilarious, it even breaks up Benny on camera. "Si"... "Sy"... "So"... "Sue". LOL You gotta see it.
MichaelVegas 3 months ago
It was amazing how many voices he did, I mean he even did twiki on Buck Rodgers
JohnGrant 3 months ago
The one and only Mel Blanc...how did he keep track of hundreds of voices. Daffy, Sylvester and Porky are my favorites by a mile...I watch every one.
royleon 3 months ago
Mel Blanc was the greatest. He will live forever in the voice of all his characters. Love ya Mel.
dmirarh 3 months ago
Mel was a real odd dude. Lots of talent.. stone cold weirdo
Nala92129 3 months ago
Did he tune out the screams, groans and moans of those poor animals?
purplemintpatty Nala92129 3 months ago
Seriously? This article led you to animals screaming?
McGillahooala 3 months ago
Where else would he go, the bus station?
ronnylovesmusic 3 months ago
Mel Blanc was one of the best voices ever….you just knew that voice that went with each character…💙💙💙💙💙❤️💯
F5Twitster 3 months ago
“They didn't call him ‘the man with a thousand voices’ for nothing.”

Maybe they didn’t call him that at all, because Blanc was actually known as The Man OF a Thousand Voices.”
djw1120 3 months ago
As the "man of a thousand voices" there was only one...Mel Blanc.
You name it, he did it.
The most recognizable of his voices were, of course, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
Of these two characters, the most memorable scene was when Elmer was out hunting, and Bugs and Daffy went back and forth between "Duck Season" & "Rabbit Season." Back and forth with Daffy getting his beak blown all the way around his head each time.
And then of course each of them had their own famous first and last lines.
Bugs saying, "What's up doc?" and Daffy saying, "You're despicable." Of course, Sylvester used to say it too and both of them would spit while saying it.
timothys71 djw1120 3 months ago
Likewise, "Sufferin' Succotash" (or is that "Thufferin' Thuccotash?) is Sylvester's catchphrase, but Daffy Duck occasionally says it too.
tootsieg 3 months ago
Bugs Bunny was not “Bugs Bunny” until
Mel Blanc came along.
Patsy 3 months ago
His work on the Jack Benny show is rarely mentioned. A glaring oversight IMHO.
lavender023 Patsy 3 months ago
I agree. I looked to see if it was mentioned. I loved his part as a salesman when Jack was shopping for a Christmas gift.
daDoctah 3 months ago
Mel's greatest voice work, to me, was the character he played for Jack Benny (and later for others) whose only lines were "Si" and variations changing up the vowel.
MrsPhilHarris 3 months ago
He did voices on a number of old time radio shows such as Jack Benny and his own show.

There is a nice interview with his son talking about Elvis dropping by and going out on the boat.
Runeshaper 3 months ago
Very cool story. That's dedication!

Thanks for sharing, MeTV!
justjeff 3 months ago
Thufferin' Thuccotash! That'th Mel for ya!
Barry22 3 months ago
Interesting story. Blanc was great. But I don't think Porky Pig sounds like a pig
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?