That GEICO Commercial Featuring Elmer Fudd
This is hilarious.
It’s only started running here in Mad City, but every time I see it, I’m laughing my ass off. I know, I know, I am being politically incorrect here. You are not supposed to make fun of a guy with a speech impediment. But hell, it is Elmer Fudd, not cousin Randy. It’s cracked me up so much that once the tears stood in my eyes. And it makes me miss the Golden Age of Warner Bros. Cartoons even more.
For all of you virgins out there who have no idea who Elmer Fudd is, Wiki explains it all for you.
Elmer J. Fudd is a fictional cartoon character and one of the most famous Looney Tunes characters, and the de facto archenemy of Bugs Bunny. He has one of the more disputed origins in the Warner Bros. cartoon pantheon (second only to Bugs himself). His aim is to hunt Bugs, but he usually ends up seriously injuring himself and other antagonizing characters. He has a speech sound disorder that makes his tongue slur. This usually results in him replacing his Rs with Ws, so “Watch the road, Rabbit,” is replaced with “Watch the woad, wabbit!” Elmer’s signature catchphrase is, “Be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting wabbits”, as well as his trademark laughter, “huh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh”. In one episode he declares himself vegetarian, hunting for sport only.
Elmer was voiced by the following men: Arthur Q. Bryan (1940-1959), Hal Smith (1960–1961), Mel Blanc (1972–1989), Jeff Bergman (1990–1993), and Greg Burson (Tiny Toons). He is now voiced by Billy West (1996-present). Again, from Wiki:
He nearly always misplaced the letters R and L with W (a trait that also characterized Tweety Bird) when he would talk in his slightly raspy voice. This trait was prevalent in the Elmer’s Candid Camera and Elmer’s Pet Rabbit cartoons, where the writers would give him exaggerated lines such as, “My, that weawwy was a dewicious weg of wamb.” to further exaggerate his qualities as a harmless nebbish. That characteristic seemed to fit his somewhat timid and childlike persona. And it worked. The writers often gave him lines filled with those letters, such as doing Shakespeare’s Romeo as “What wight thwough yonduh window bweaks!” or Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries as “Kiww the wabbit, kiww the wabbit, kiww the wabbit…!” or “The Beautifuw Bwue Danube, by Johann Stwauss”, or the name of actress “Owivia deHaviwwand”. Elmer’s speech impediment is so well known that Google allows the user to change the search engine language to “Elmer Fudd.”
Part of the joke is that Elmer is presumably incapable of pronouncing his own first name correctly. Occasionally Elmer would properly pronounce an r or l sound, depending on whether or not it was vital for the audience to understand what the word was. (For example, in 1944’s The Old Grey Hare, he clearly pronounces the r in the word “picture”.)
Well, I’ll probably get over the commercial’s specialness and nostalgic value soon. But probably not soon enough for some people, like my neighbors. It was really hard to restrain myself when it came on at 6 a.m. this morning while I was getting ready to go to work.