Mel Blanc would get love letters from women — for Pepé Le Pew

Apparently, the skunk was a hunk.

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters are ™ of & © WBEI

The internet seems to be the place where subtlety goes to die, so let's get honest: How many times have you had a crush on a fictional character in a television series? Follow-up question, was that character a cartoon skunk?

Maybe we lost you a bit there, but for a certain percentage of Mel Blanc's fanbase, the answer was apparently a resounding "Yes," or rather, "Oui."

As an actor who weaves a vocal tapestry of nearly every cartoon character that we hold near and dear to us, it's no wonder that Mel Blanc received fan mail. Sometimes, that fan mail was even in praise of a specific character that Blanc had voiced. But in an interview with the Copley News Service, Blanc revealed that one character in particular receives a surprising amount of fan mail from a decidedly female audience. He stated, "You won't believe this, but I get fan mail — amorous fan mail - from women for my Pepé Le Pew, which is, you know, very Parisian. They probably think he really exists. And if they could see that it's just me!"

Many fans, us included, are inclined to think that "just" Mel Blanc is pretty darn great, but Blanc was fairly clear that while his voice was attached to an array of characters, that didn't mean that his personality was as well.

For example, Blanc's most famous character, Bugs Bunny, is not how Blanc was, but more how he wished to be. Of the character, who he said in the article was his favorite voice, Blanc stated, "The things that Bugs does I'd like to do but I don't have the nerve — or the self-confidence.

So no worries if you have a crush on a fictional character. But if you have a crush on a fictional cartoon skunk, maybe just keep that between you and your fan letters to Mel Blanc.

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justjeff 6 months ago
In our modern day, overzealous world where people try to make *everything* politically correct, Warner Brothers has "retired" Pepe Le Pew... It seems that some folks just don't get that he's an over-the-top, buffoonish *cartoon character* created for laughs...

Some see him as a stalker, predator and misogynist - always terrorizing that female feline... They've even forgotten that in one particular cartoon, the tables were turned and she started to pursue him relentlessly...

Someday they will force into that same "retirement" Porky, Daffy and Elmer because *someone* will say the're being disrespectful to those with speech impediments - despite the fact the *original* voice for Porky (Joe Dougherty) stuttered in real life... They've already forced out Speedy Gonzales as being a Mexican stereotype (despite the fact that I've *never* met a Mexican mouse that talked) and this could go on and on...

We've forgotten how to laugh both at and with ourselves, and that's sad. Humor is a salve for our daily problems. I don't condone overtly racist, scatalogical, religious or sociological humor that is used to marginalize and put down any group of people... but c'mon folks... cartoon characters?

Does anyone *really* believe that every stand-up comedian who ever made wife or mother-in-law jokes hated their spouses or in-laws? What about dialecticians? Myron Cohen did great Yiddish humor complete with the dialect. I *never* was offended by those jokes...

I think some people should pick their battles more wisely...
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JoeStrike justjeff 5 months ago
Are we laughing at ourselves -or at the "other"? When I was a kid, there were cartoon characters like "Go-Go-Gomez," "Joe Jitsu," the "Frito Bandito," etc; I suspect the people the people who made those cartoons were not of those ethnicities, but thought those characters were funny because they were "different" and talked with "funny" accents. (Several decades ago I was in a Chinese restaurant where some teens were talking out loud in cartoony "ching-chow" type accents because they thought it was "funny." And good God, 1930's/40's movies were filled with Black actors acting out ghastly "sho'nuff, feet gets a'movin'" Black stereotypes; is it bad we don't see that anymore - even if they were "just" cartoon animals speaking like that?

They may "only" be "cartoon characters" and not people, but they REPRESENT people. Sometimes that terrible, terrible "political correctness" (or as it's now known, "woke") simply means HAVING RESPECT FOR PEOPLE DIFFERENT FROM YOURSELF.

Try watching Pepe's cartoons as if the cat were the star - and the female being stalked and grabbed by a relentless male character is TERRIFYING. They may "only" be "cartoon characters" - but a kid who didn't know any better learned from those cartoons that skunk or not, it's okay to behave that way towards women. (And the lady cats who turned the tables and chased him - he always ran away in a frenzy, which led me to suspect Pepe might actually be a closet case who puts on a "great lover" act to deny the truth to himself - and his other cartoons all ended with the cat cornered with no escape - and one of them even ends with a heavy chain attached to her leg!

All that an adolescent, I had a crush on Pepe myself: like myself at the time, he didn't seem to have any friends and I wished we could be each other's pal. I still like the guy a lot; all he needs is a good deodorant and some consciousness-raising. (In the scene cut out of Space Jam a (human) woman pours a drink over his head when he comes onto her - they should've left THAT in the movie!)

And those women who wrote love letters to Pepe back in the day...they didn't know it, but they were actually furries, WAY ahead of their time!!!
JoeStrike justjeff 5 months ago
Who's to say he wasn't? Maybe he just liked to dress in drag. (Oh my, but THAT'S terrible now, 'grooming' kids to become drag queens!) You rarely saw them onscreen together, and when they were it could've been special effects or something!
JoeStrike LoveMETV22 5 months ago
In the first episode of "The Looney Tunes Show," Pepe shows up as a wedding planner and says "your wedding day is the most important day of your life - and I should know, I've been married seven times," which I thought was a PERFECT updating: he's still a romantic idiot, but now at least seven women have ditched him for being a thoughtless jerk. And if you'll forgive me for going on a little bit more, a few years ago there was a mobile phone commercial where the cat is painting the stripe on herself to be more attractive to him - and her heart does the thumping out of her chest gag when he calls!
justjeff JoeStrike 5 months ago
While I certainly can agree with you that demeaning *any* race, religion, ethnic group or culture is nothing more than a cheap-shot opportunity at others' expense, you'll notice that I *did not* embrace Joe Jitsu or Go-Go-Gomez for their ethnic extremes. I still politely maintain that "in general" we are over-correcting our society at a frightening pace.

As Whoopi Goldberg [in her introduction to the Warner Brothers Looney Tunes Collection] said... ""Removing these inexcusable jokes and images from this collection would be the same as saying, 'They never existed'... So they are presented here to accurately reflect a part of our history that cannot and should not be ignored."

With that in mind, we need to stop force-editing our world. I have no liking for Sidney Toler as Charlie Chan nor Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor and - yes - even Bing Crosby in blackface... I have no desire to force myself on a woman who has rejected my advances, and no, "political correctness" or "woke" does not, in my opinion, translate to ... "HAVING RESPECT FOR PEOPLE DIFFERENT FROM YOURSELF" as you've put it. I feel that respecting and embracing ALL people for their differences is what is only right and fair... and we all have so much culturally and socially we can share and learn from by sharing our differences... but you cannot legislate common sense and decency - and those who lack both of those traits will never submit to social pressure... To lump many [not all] cartoon characters into the same mix of political correctness as human behavior is really pushing the boundaries.

After all, animation is really the "theater of the absurd", and I strongly suspect that most folks [except those who are racists, misogynists and other social miscreants] will simply view a cartoon and laugh at the STUPIDITY of the character acting out of the norm...

Yes, in today's world many things we'd once accepted as "OK" in past generations are not tolerated now... but it seems that [especially in America] there seems to be a wave of impositions telling us which jokes to laugh at, which religion to follow, which way to vote, how to think, how to act, what parts of history are "real" or "false"...

Don't get me wrong - I respect what you've written and your point of view... I just do not accept 100% of the reasoning... but that's still a good thing - we get to share contrasting views in a civil way...
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