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Bryan, Arthur Q.

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on January 30, 2004

(1899-1959)

    Note: some sources list his last name as “Bryant”. I follow Schneider’s spelling in this instance.

    The man who provided the inimitable voice of Elmer J. Fudd. Bryan had actually done the voice prior to its being associated with Fudd in Dangerous Dan McFoo (Avery, 1939) and Nutty News (Clampett, 1942). In A Pest in the House (Jones, 1947), Bryan not only provides the voice of Fudd, but, using his real voice, plays the tired hotel guest who is relentlessly harassed by Daffy Duck. With the exception of The Scarlet Pumpernickel (Jones, 1950), Bryan would continue to provide the voice of Fudd until his death.

    Others tried to do Elmer’s voice, including Mel Blanc (reluctantly, by his own account) and Daws Butler, but none ever captured what Schneider has called the “simpy charm” that Bryan brought to the character.

    Bryan also provided a physical model for Fudd around 1941-1942, when a chunkier, rounder Fudd was used in a few cartoons.

    Curiously, the best known role of Bryan on radio was as a much more aggressive character, the feisty pseduo-intellectual Doc Gamble on the Fibber McGee and Molly program. Bryan also played Floyd the Barber on a spin-off of that show, The Great Gildersleeve.

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