Foghorn Leghornin his natural environment.


Medium: Theatrical Animation
First Appeared: 1946
Released by:
Warner Bros.

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Foghorn Leghorn first appeared in the Warner Bros. cartoon Walky Talky Hawky (released August 31, 1946), which was directed by Robert McKimson. Officially, he was only …

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… a foil for Henery Hawk, who had been established several years earlier — but his brassy voice (created by voice actor Mel Blanc, but based on Kenny Delmar's "Senator Claghorn" from the Fred Allen radio show) and utter indifference to his listeners made him, in fact, the star. It also garnered that cartoon an Oscar nomination. (Delmar, by the way, also did cartoon voices, and echoes of Claghorn could be heard in The Hunter and Commander McBragg.)

The overbearing rooster quickly graduated to his own series, all directed by McKimson. He received star billing in Crowing Pains (1947), and appeared regularly through the rest of the 1940s and '50s. His last appearance was in Banty Raids (1963). Henery Hawk was reduced to occasional appearances as Foghorn's foil. More often, Foghorn was pitted against either the farmer's dog (called George P. Dog on model sheets, tho the only time the name was used on-screen was on the Bugs Bunny TV show) or a fellow denizen of the henhouse.

Because his humor depended so heavily on his voice, Foghorn Leghorn never made it big outside of cartoons. So when the Warner Bros. animation unit was phased out, he was reduced to between-cartoon fillers on TV and an occasional gig in a commercial. As the 1970s and '80s wore on, he would appear once in a while on a TV special or in a compilation movie, but never again as a headliner. Blanc's death in 1989 ensured that he would never quite be his old self again.

He was never forgotten, however, because it requires only a small exposure, via any TV station that carries one or more of the "Looney Tunes" cartoon packages, for that voice to be imprinted forever in the viewer's memory.

Foggy made a cameo in Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1988. Then, along with Tweety, Porky and other Warner Bros. stars, he appeared in the 1996 movie Space Jam, starring Michael Jordan. He was also in a new theatrical short, Pullet Surpises, that same year. Since then, he's been seen in occasional commercials with Jordan. But with Mel Blanc gone, he is simply not able to recapture his old glory.


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Text ©1999-2004 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Warner Bros.