There was only one voice that stumped Mel Blanc
Blanc only had an issue with one character.
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Mel Blanc is known as the Man of a Thousand Voices, but he makes each look easy. Apparently, looks aren’t deceiving, as Mel explained his creative process and his journey to find a character’s voice. He spoke to The Age, where he admitted that his vocalizations began at an early age. He said, “I used to do funny voices in assembly which got me a lot of laughs and a lot of lousy marks from the teachers.”
In fact, one teacher reportedly told Blanc, “When you grow up you’ll amount to nothing — just like your name.” While a harsh remark, especially for a child to hear, Blanc obviously didn’t let it break his stride on the road to success. However, he commented, “I just wish she was still around so I could remind her of it.”
While many of Blanc’s animated characters are zany and larger than life, his process to create their voice actually begins in realism. He said, “It’s easy to do. Just show me a picture of the character and tell me what he does in the cartoon. For Porky, I went off to a farm for a couple of weeks and wallowed with the pigs. When I came back I told the producer that Porky should talk with a sort of grunt. He told me to go take a shower.” Blanc continued, “Bugs was different. He was a tough little stinker who needed a tough little voice so I asked myself which was the toughest accent, Brooklyn or the Bronx. They’re both tough, so I put them together and Bugs speaks with a combination of the two.”
There’s just one character that gave Blanc pause when he was developing it: Taz. Blanc explained, “I was asked to do an animal called the Tasmanian devil. But no one had ever seen or heard one, so I had to create a voice.” Still, Blanc was proud of the finished product. He said, “I think it sounds pretty good — well, I defy anyone to tell me it doesn’t sound like a Tasmanian devil!”