Gossamer (Looney Tunes)

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Gossamer
Gossamer restored.jpg
First appearance Hair-Raising Hare (1946)
Created by Chuck Jones
Voiced by Mel Blanc (1946-1989)
Frank Welker (Tiny Toon Adventures)
Joe Alaskey (The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, Tweety's High Flying Adventure, video games)
Jim Cummings (Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas)
Kwesi Boakye (The Looney Tunes Show)
Information
Species Monster

Gossamer is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. The character is a hairy, orange monster. His rectangular body is perched on two giant tennis shoes, and his heart-shaped face is composed of only two oval eyes and a wide mouth, with two hulking arms ending in dirty, clawed fingers. The monster's main trait, however, is bright uncombed orange hair. In fact, a gag in the 1980 short Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24½th Century lampoons this by revealing that Gossamer is, in fact, composed entirely of hair. He was originally voiced by Mel Blanc and has been voiced by Frank Welker, Joe Alaskey, Jim Cummings, and Kwesi Boakye.

The word "gossamer" means any sort of thin, fragile, transparent material — in particular, it can refer to a kind of delicate, sheer gauze or a light cobweb. The name is meant to be ironic, since the character is large, menacing, and destructive.

History[edit]

Animator Chuck Jones introduced the monster character in the 1946 cartoon Hair-Raising Hare. In it, Bugs Bunny is lured to the lair of a mad scientist (who resembles Peter Lorre) as food for Gossamer. The monster (Gossamer) serves as the scientist's henchman.

Part of this plot was repeated in the 1952 Jones cartoon Water, Water Every Hare, in which the monster's character is referred to as "Rudolph". The mad scientist, in need of a live brain for his giant robot, releases Rudolph from his chamber on a mission to capture Bugs Bunny; Rudolph shows a sudden burst of joyousness and quickly sets out when the mad scientist promises the reward of "spider goulash" for capturing the rabbit. The monster next appears in Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24½th Century in 1980. This is the first cartoon where the character is called "Gossamer", and is so named by Marvin the Martian. Jones gave the monster this name "because he's the opposite looking of gossamer. He's a big, hairy thing."[1]

Later appearances[edit]

Gossamer has also appeared in a cameo role in a number of recent Warner Bros productions.

  • He appears briefly in the 1996 movie Space Jam (in a car before the big game and after Bugs gets crushed by one of the Monstars named Pound who was meant to crush Lola), and he has also been featured in a number of episodes of The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries.
  • Gossamer appeared in the Aaahh!!! Real Monsters episode "Monsters are Real" where he was shown on the Gromble's monitor as one of the best monsters to scare people and animals.

In recent years, Warner Bros marketers seem to have seized upon the character. Gossamer's image is available on all sorts of Warner's merchandise, from T-shirts to ball caps to plush toys. This sort of marketing helped propel The Tasmanian Devil to new-found stardom, and it is seemingly helping Gossamer's popularity to some extent.

  • In 2001, Gossamer returned in the Sheep Raider video game.
  • He (or a descendant) also appears in the Loonatics Unleashed series as a wrestling rival for Slam Tasmanian named Gorlop, who hails from "the planet Gossamer." A younger Gossamer appeared in an episode of Baby Looney Tunes as a helper in Pepe Le Pew's garden.
  • A clip in the deleted-scenes featurette on the Looney Tunes: Back in Action DVD features Gossamer being harassed by Kate Houghton (Jenna Elfman), suggesting that Gossamer was planned to make an appearance in the film, but it was deleted. However, a full look at this scene is not shown in the full deleted scenes clips on the DVD-ROM.
  • Gossamer appeared in The Looney Tunes Show episodes "Monster Talent", "Newspaper Thief", "Sunday Night Slice" and "The Muh-Muh-Muh-Murder" voiced by Kwesi Boakye. Strangely, Witch Lezah is somehow his mother. Gossamer is a child in this incarnation, a lonely boy who just wants to make friends. To that end, he seeks the dubious advice of Daffy Duck much to the dismay of Witch Lezah. In "Monster Talent," he makes his debut. In "Newspaper Thief," he appears as a guest at the Dinner with Witch Hazel, Granny, and Yosemite Sam. In "Sunday Night Slice," he is a client of the Pizzariba. In "The Muh-Muh-Muh-Murder," he appears at Pizzariba for Daffy's surprise birthday party.
  • Gossamer also made a cameo in the MetLife commercial "Everyone" that was first seen during Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Korkis, Jim (volume 1 number 7). "The Return of Duck Dodgers". Outré magazine. p. 86.