Porky Pig first appeared in 1935 in the Warner Bros. cartoon, “I Haven’t Got A Hat”. He was originally paired with Beans the Cat, forming a partnership called Porky and Beans. The public fell for the cute, stuttering pig right from the start, and within two years Porky starred in more than 30 cartoons and became Warner Bros.’ top performer.
Porky Pig’s voice was first by Joe Dougherty, who himself had a stuttering problem. In 1937, Mel Blanc took over, and changed the way Porky Pig talked. Instead of hearing him stutter all the time, it was usually heard at the beginning of his sentences. Porky either finished the sentence by finally getting the word out, or he changed the troublesome word mid-sentence. He might say something like, “Good muh-muh-muh” (morning) and then change it to, “eh, Hello”.
In the early days, Porky Pig’s appearance and personality changed with each film. At first, he was a chubby, little, naive pig. He later morphed into a fat adult, intelligent and capable of logical thinking in a cartoon world of absurd happenings.
In the late ’30s, a character was introduced to the Porky Pig cartoons that would overshadow Porky and become the next Warner Bros. star. Daffy Duck became so popular that Porky was used as a supporting character, or sidekick to the zany duck. Porky’s logical plans to thwart enemies complemented Daffy’s spontaneous actions, and made for a very funny team.
Through the years, Porky was seen primarily as a co-star of Daffy, Bugs Bunny, and sometimes Sylvester the Cat. From time to time, though, he’d still be a main character. In 1944 he received an Oscar nomination for “The Swooner Crooner” theatrical short.
Porky Pig appeared in Dell Comcis’ Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies comic books, which ran from 1942 to 1962. He also had his own comic book – Porky Pig – published by Gold Key Comics from 1965 to 1969.
In the late ’60s, Porky starred in The Porky Pig Show, which aired on television from 1964 to 1967.
For decades, Porky continued to appear in movies and theatrical shorts. In 1986 a compilation of shorts were used for the film Porky Pig In Hollywood. He also made a cameo appearance in 1988’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and was seen in the 1996 movie Space Jam.
Were you a Porky Pig fan when you were a kid?