Pepé Le Pew, Joyeux Anniversaire! Happy Anniversary! Happy Birthday! Born January 6th, 1945?

odor-able-kitty

 

Ah… the aroma of success! For decades dear reader we have been told that the malodorous Casanova was first seen on Saturday, January 6, 1945, which would have been in Troy, New York at the Warner American Theatre. Even the Chuck Jones website states the same; who are we to disagree with the venerable Mr. Jones? Yet, the facts are inescapable, Pepé did not depew debut when first thought.

The_Troy_Record_ Troy, New York, Fri__Jan_5__1945_

Troy Record, Troy, New York, January 5, 1945

 

But something smells afoul! This iconic Merrie Melodies received its copyright on December 26, 1944 and was ready for distribution. This then leads us to one other verifiable first viewing of Odor-able Kitty: Sunday, December 31, 1944 at the midnight showing at the State Theatre, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.[1] The odiferous animated cartoon opened for, Hollywood Canteen.

The_Evening_News_ Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Sat__Dec_30__1944_

Evening News, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, December 30, 1944

 

So, 70 years ago today, 70 years and 6 days ago little “Stinky” (as first known) was born in Odor-able Kitty; conceived and directed by Chuck M. Jones. Mel Blanc provided the voice for the (a myriad of vocality) tainted-odor-diffusing Pepé, based on Charles Boyer’s Pépé le Moko from Algiers (1938), which in turn was a remake of the 1937 French film Pépé le Moko. Pepé Le Pew was perpetually prancing, prattling pitifully, practically put, pestering persistently, passionately pursuing after the purring Penelope; ah, love in the spring and winter too!

 

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Chuck M. Jones

pepemel-blanc

Mel Blanc

 

Pepé Le Pew’s film resume in chronological order:

Odor-Able Kitty (1945)

Scent-imental Over You (1947)

For Scent-imental Reasons (1949) Oscar winner for Best Short Subject, Cartoons

Scent-imental Romeo (1951)

Little Beau Pepé (1952)

Wild Over You (1953)

Dog Pounded (1954)

The Cats Bah (1954)

Past Perfumance (1955)

Two Scent’s Worth (1955)

Heaven Scent (1956)

Touché and Go (1957)

Really Scent (1959)

Who Scent You? (1960)

A Scent of the Matterhorn (1961)

Louvre Come Back to Me! (1962)

 

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By C. S. Williams

 

[1] Evening News (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) December 30, 1944

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