Gossamer (Looney Tunes)
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|Looney Tunes character|
|First appearance||Hair-Raising Hare (1946)|
|Created by||Chuck Jones|
|Voiced by||Mel Blanc (1946–1980)
Frank Welker (1990)
Maurice LaMarche (1995)
Jim Cummings (1996–2006)
Joe Alaskey (2000–2001)
Kwesi Boakye (2011–2014)
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. A gag in the 1980 short Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24½th Century lampoons this by revealing that Gossamer is composed entirely of hair. He was originally voiced by Mel Blanc and has been voiced by Frank Welker, Maurice LaMarche, 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.
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."
Gossamer has appeared in various recent Warner Bros. productions, including cameos in the 1996 film Space Jam and as a playable character in the video games Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal and Looney Tunes: Back in Action.
- Korkis, Jim. "The Return of Duck Dodgers". Outré magazine. 1 (7). p. 86.