I’ve agreed to this interview as you and I share a common interest.
We both perceive a greater value within the history of our cartoons
then most of our kind do. For this, I applaud you. Before I begin,
I will state the terms of our discussion. You will ask no questions.
I will not be relating any backstage tales, gossip or other slanders;
I am sure you can find plenty of those without turning to me. I will
give you an overview of my career, strong on the highlights, glossing over
the less memorable moments, and my current interests and projects.
Agreed? Good. Is your tape recorder on? Oh, it is all ready, well, umm …
all right then …

I was born to a family with a history of male pattern baldness. What was
a painful affliction throughout childhood became part of my persona. This
is the source of the constant conflict I have playing Elmer and I think that
comes through. Elmer is conflicted. In fact, I would suggest Elmer is the
deepest character within the firmament of cartoonkind. So many others
project a limited range of character. In fact, the bit players depend on it.
There are not too many who come to mind that express a range of emotion.
Donald is one who has found a depth of feeling and expression in his character.
My hat has always been off to him. Yes, I have heard the rumours, No, I do not
pay attention; my admiration has always been for the thespian. It is unfortunate
he attracts so much bad press. Daffy, on the other hand will insist to anyone
that he is a great actor, which is not only implausible, but in most cases, impossible.
He has no training! Only a crude style learned on the boardwalk where vulgarity reigned.
His trademark raspberry is a despicable attack on those who suffer
from speech impediments around the world, and not just my good friend Porky.
Porky also redeemed a childhood affliction and turned it into a successful career.
I always thought there was more to Daffy’s joke than just a laugh, I believe
if it was not aimed directly at Porky, it was meant as an affront and insult to him.
That is who Daffy Fuck is, an amateur. Unlike him, I studied. As you know, my
older brother Egghead had already experienced some success in Hollywood
and I was eager to follow in his footsteps. I had read Stanislavski and it was only
logical to move to New York, where I searched for and found Lee Strasberg.
Mr. Strasberg helped me discover how to dig deep within myself to create.
As a result of his help, my craft grew and matured. Mr. Strasberg was so
pleased, I was rewarded with a couple of walk–ons for the Group Theatre.
“Something to start your career,” were his very words. See, who else can tell
you that out here! Mr. Strasberg and I have stayed in touch and I can tell you
he is very proud of my career. Every time we talk he always has suggestions!
(Chortles) This leads me to my most important point, the point I started with,
cartoonkind does not realize the impact we have had on the American Dream.
I may not care for his company, but Bugs has captured America like very few
actors have. His get-up and go attitude, the devil may care swagger, all those
qualities now exist in everyday Americans. I’m not sure those qualities were
there before, but if they were, they were inchoate and unfelt before Bugs.
Our films became blueprints for action and comedy. My job has always been
to frame those qualities in Bugs and magnify them. This is how Elmer’s inner
conflict really informs my performance, a performance that I would suggest
resonates due to the personal pain that I draw upon to inhabit the character.
There is a difference to mincing on stage and blowing a raspberry, and
setting up a joke that will entertain and expand horizons. That is my other point—
we educate America to what is possible. The dreams of our characters are big
dreams and it is big dreaming that makes America great! How do we educate?
Think about my character, Elmer Fudd for a moment. It is no mistake I am
first introduced as the Common Man. I fight my creative self, my urge to change,
by trying to enact judgment upon my nemesis, Bugs — who is really created
by my struggle between Eros and Thanos. I frame and magnify the rabbit,
and his endless optimism! That is what makes our comedy great, the conflict
that is the heart of the boundless energy of America! The vigor of endless contest
is all we really portray, and all that needs to be said. Interview over.
Show yourself out.
(The Bunny’s loveable nemesis first appeared in Elmer’s Candid Camera, 1940. Later confusions with Egghead are, I believe, entirely unfounded. As related, Egghead is Elmer’s brother. GG)