The self-described “meanest, roughest, toughest hombre that’s ever crossed the Rio Grande, the hootin’est, tootin’est, shootin’est, bob-tail wildcat, in the west!, the fastest gun north, south, east, aaaaaaaand west of the Pecos!,” Yosememite Sam, will no longer have a pistol in each hand.
The rabbit-hunting Elmer Fudd, whose rifle has been like an appendage since the character’s inception in the late 1930s, will no longer be hunting with a gun.
That’s because the new producers of the HBO Max reboot of the series say they’re going to stop using guns in the new episodes — but dynamite, explosions, and safes landing on character’s heads are all still fair game.
While the cartoon has used gratuitous violence as a means of comedy since the show was created in 1930, including much gunfire and even lots of characters killing themselves with guns, the series executive producer Peter Browngardt, told The New York Times “We’re not doing guns, but we can do cartoony violence — TNT, the Acme stuff. All that was kind of grandfathered in.”
Browngardt didn’t elaborate on why the guns had to go but the other violence can stay in, but it’s hard to imagine the show without characters blowing each other up, without the road runner tricking Wild E. Coyote off of a cliff, or even without Elmer Fudd trudging around with his rifle — out hunting “wabbit.”
Other Than Relinquishing Characters’ Use of Guns the New Series Tried to be True to The Originals
Browngardt told the NY Times he wanted to have the new series be like the originals. He said, “There was something about the energy of those early cartoons…They literally invented a language of cinema.”
But times have changed. So while the gags and “visually vibrant stories” will be a hallmark of the new episodes, according to HBO, the gun-toting by characters who fire rounds indiscriminately has to go.
The new episodes will feature characters in their classic pairings: Sylvester and Tweety Bird; The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote; Porky Pig and Daffy Duck, and of course Bugs Bunny is still the star who manages to get out of every situation no worse for the wear. The new show also includes minor characters like Marvin the Martian and Beaky Buzzard.
The episodes are animated shorts of different lengths and “includes adapted storylines for today’s audience” HBO said.
The New Looney Tunes Episodes are the Number 1 Streaming Show on HBO Max
HBO Max is a new streaming service by the channel that includes TV shows like Friends and Rick and Morty. It’s a “platform offered by WarnerMedia that features 10,000 hours of premium content bundling all of HBO together,” according to the site.
After it’s May 27 launch, Looney Tunes was the number one streamed series on the streaming station, according to Cinema Blend. That might not be surprising considering the long history of the cartoon and the nostalgia it holds for many Americans, whether they are parents or not.
According to the NY Times, “Looney Tunes, combined with their sister series Merrie Melodies, have been nominated for 22 Academy Awards, winning five; four have been inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.”
The show was originally created to run as shorts ahead of movies in the theatre before making the jump to being on TV in the 1960s, and ingraining itself into the fabric of American pop culture as part of Saturday morning cartoons.