On the Love Skunk

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A Warner Brothers, Looney Tunes, and Merrie Melodies cartoon character

A French skunk who is constantly seeking love

Storylines typically involve Pepé in pursuit of what appears to be a female skunk (“la belle femme skunk fatale”)

Has two big turnoff: his odor and his inability to take “no” for an answer

Created by Chuck Jones (1945)

A short video with Chuck Jones on Pepé

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17 shorts; first – Odor-able Kitty, last – Louvre Come Back to Me (1962)

1949 Academy Award winner: For Scent-imental Reasons

First voiced by Mel Blanc, who based the voiced on Charles Boyer’s Pepé le Moko (Algiers, 1938)

In first short he was named Stinky, but revealed to by a philandering American skunk named Henry with wife and children

Odor of the Day (1948) is the only cartoon in which Pepé is not a “lovebird” nor does he have a French accent; but not directly by Chuck Jones (but Arthur Davis)

Memorable Lines

  • Do not come wiz me to ze Casbah – we shall make beautiful musicks togezzer right here!
  • I am ze locksmith of love, no?
  • I am the broken heart of love. I am the disillusioned. I wish to enlist in the Foreign Legion so I may forget. Take me!
  • I like it! Come back! Ze corned beef does not run away from ze cabbage!
  • How is it that she can sleep when I am so near? We must stoke the furnace of love, must we not?

Links with Pepé sound clips
From Soundboard
From Megawavs

Enjoy this episode: The Cats Bah

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76 thoughts on “On the Love Skunk

    • LouAnn,
      Some say many cartoons of that era were actually written for adults … that is the adults got the inside jokes while the kids just laughed. Now that is quite the art. Nonetheless, with this series I try to do just what you wrote – remind one of Saturday mornings for our youth. Glad you enjoyed Pepe … and thanks for visiting.

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  1. Like all the others, Pepe is a reminder of our innocent (or not) youth. While I liked him, I preferred to see blustery Foghorn Leghorn, especially when he was outwitted by the smart little kid he got hornswoggled into watching. I’ll click the link above, and see what I can find.

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  2. Pepé! What girls can resist a line like “I like it! Come back! Ze corned beef does not run away from ze cabbage!” lol! Pepé was recently the subject of a trivia question in a trivia contest that M and I stumbled in on. They wanted to know the name of the cat that Pepé pursued.

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    • Robin,
      I believe his pursuit in his first short was Penelope Pussycat – but not sure if there were other cats. Meanwhile, the corn beef & cabbage line is a great one. Glad you enjoyed this … and thanks for commenting.

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  3. Oh, how I love Pepe. Or I did. Then one day I arrived at work in my new black dress with the white stripe down the front. I looked gorgeous. My long mane of air was pulled back, I was young, elegant.

    “Hey Elyse,” said my friend Ed. “You look just like Pepe le Peu!”

    Shit.

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  4. Ah Pepe, so determined in his love pursuit. He was my second favorite. My first is of course the Taz! (tazmanian devil) Thanks for the fun this morning!

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  5. Pepe was definitely one of my Saturday morning favorites. I loved the accent and that no matter what…he always had a positive outlook that things were going his way. Loved his persistence!

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  6. Classic! Loved it. Pepe Le Pew – very charming! I love the part in the video where he lets her off the leash and says, ” I have released you from your bonds of slavery!” too funny…there was nothing better than growing up with Saturday morning cartoons.

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  7. oh god I had a deprived childhood because we didn’t have TV so I didn’t grow up watching Saturday morning cartoon so I didn’t know Pepe … 😥

    Thank you for including the interview with the cartoonist – it was fascinating to see him drawing and hear his story. The name Pepe le Pew is brilliant.

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  8. Excellent choice Frank! When I was a kid I was always hoping that there would be one cat or skunk out there that would return Pepe’s affection, but Pepe has so much love to give, it doesn’t seem to faze him much that it’s not returned. Nowadays Pepe would be considered a serial stalker and sexual harasser. Still, he’s so likeable!

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    • Binky,
      Now comparing him to Bugs is a bit unfair, after all, Bugs is a true icon who would be on a Mt. Rushmore of cartoon characters. But at least you’ve learned more about Pepe. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  10. Frank,
    Honestly, I love ALL the Warner Brothers characters. Bugs Bunny, Pepe le Pew, Tweety Bird to name just a few. As a kid, you would find me glued in front of the TV and tuned to Looney Tunes. Chuck Jones and Mel Blanc – what an amazing team! Thanks for the memories.
    Cathy

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