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|Looney Tunes character|
Beaky Buzzard in Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid (1942)
|First appearance||Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid (July 11, 1942)|
Kent Rogers (1942–1944)|
Stan Freberg (1945)
Eddie Bartell (1945)
Mel Blanc (1950)
Rob Paulsen (1990–1994)
Jeff Bennett (1997)
Joe Alaskey (2003–2005)
Jim Cummings (2011–present)
He is a young turkey vulture (commonly called a "buzzard" in the United States) with black body feathers and a white tuft around his throat. His neck is long and thin, bending 90 degrees at an enormous Adam's apple. His neck and head are featherless, and his beak is large and yellow or orange, depending on the cartoon. The character is depicted as simpleminded with drawled speech, a perpetual silly grin, and partially-closed eyes.
The character first appeared in the 1942 cartoon Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid, directed by Bob Clampett. The cartoon's plot revolves around the hopeless attempts of the brainless buzzard, here called Killer, to catch Bugs Bunny for his domineering Italian mother back at the nest. Beaky's voice was reminiscent of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's character Mortimer Snerd (his in-studio name was in fact "Snerd Bird", bestowed by Bob Clampett himself; he was not named "Beaky" on-screen in this first appearance). The voice itself was provided by voice actor Kent Rogers.
Clampett brought the character back in the 1945 film The Bashful Buzzard, a cartoon that closely mirrors its predecessor, only this time featuring Beaky's hapless hunting (contrasted with warlike formation flying and dive bombing of his brothers) without Bugs as an antagonist. Rogers reprised his role as the character's voice for the film, but he was killed in a Naval aviation training accident at Pensacola, Florida before finishing all his dialogue, so Stan Freberg was brought in to finish the work (as was Eddie Bartell, according to some sources). Beaky Buzzard was revived in 1950 one more time for one more cartoon called "The Strife With Father." Clampett left the studio in 1946, ending Beaky's career for a time. The character was eventually brought back in the 1950 Friz Freleng film The Lion's Busy, now voiced by the versatile Mel Blanc. Freleng made the buzzard smarter, pitting him against a dim-witted lion named Leo. Bob McKimson also featured the character in a film that year, Strife with Father. McKimson's Beaky is again back to his idiotic self, this time under the tutelage of his adoptive father, a sparrow who is trying to teach Beaky how to survive in the wild.
Later minor appearances
Most recently Beaky Buzzard has had minor roles in various Warner Bros. projects, such as Tiny Toon Adventures, where he plays the mentor of the character Concord Condor, and the movies Space Jam (1996, As a team player; he was the only player except for Taz without a number, wearing only a question mark), being unvoiced in the film and 2003's Looney Tunes: Back in Action as an Acme pilot, voiced by Joe Alaskey.
Beaky Buzzard appeared in the video game Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time and was used as an enemy in Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 4. He also appeared in The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries in the episode "3 Days & 2 Nights of the Condor", where he was voiced by Jeff Bennett. Beaky's mother, who appeared in many of his original shorts, also appeared in an episode of the show (voiced by Tress MacNeille). Beaky was put in one episode of Duck Dodgers.
Beaky Buzzard appears in The Looney Tunes Show episode "Ridiculous Journey" voiced by Jim Cummings. He is shown to rescue anyone who is lost in the desert and rides a hot air balloon. This is what Beaky did when he found Sylvester, Tweety, and Taz. While getting them across the desert, Beaky's balloon is attacked by the tracker Blacque Jacque Shellacque who was pursuing the three animals. Beaky tries to rescue them only to be incapacitated by a net shot by Shellacque.
Comics and merchandising
Beaky Buzzard is featured in several issues of Dell Comics' Looney Tunes comic book series, usually paired with another minor player, Henery Hawk, and additionally appeared in a print spinoff of Space Jam in 1997. The character was licensed for Looney Tunes merchandise such as a metal coin bank, and, in 1973, a collectible Pepsi bottle.
Warner Films theatrical short subjects
- Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid (1942)
- The Bashful Buzzard (1945)
- The Lion's Busy (1950)
- Strife with Father (1950)
- Consumer video
- Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006)
- Tiny Toon Adventures (1990—1994) (various episodes)
- "3 Days & 2 Nights of the Condor" (1997) (Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries episode)
- The Looney Tunes Show (in "Ridiculous Journey")
- Audio recordings
- Video games
- Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time (1999)
- Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 4
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- Bugs Bunny in Storyland (Video) (Vinyl record with printed picture book). KiddieRecordsWeekly. January 30, 2011. Event occurs at 6:56. Retrieved November 9, 2015.[better source needed]