Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 5, 2004
Rather odd character with a Joe Penner-like voice, created by Tex Avery. Generally regarded as the predecessor to Elmer Fudd. This ancestry is evidenced by the fact that in A Feud There Was (Avery, 1938) Egghead rides a scooter whose sign identifies him as “Elmer Fudd, Peacemaker”. In his book, Schneider reproduces model sheets bearing marks from when Avery, Clampett and an unidentified gag man worked on making Egghead more appealing, transferring certain elements of the existing character, including the derby and high collar, to Fudd. These characteristics were used in what is arguably the first true Fudd cartoon, 1940’s Elmer’s Candid Camera (Jones). Based on recent research by Hames Ware, published in Animato! #32, the voice for Egghead is now credited to vocal specialist Dave Weber.
Egghead’s character was rather bizarre -- perhaps a little too much so. Witness the hat-and-head-tipping bit in Cinderella Meets Fella (Avery, 1938). Egghead would often be seen drifting in and out of a cartoon, dispensing commentary as in Believe It or Else (Avery, 1939), or just acting goofy as in Hamateur Night (Avery, 1939), in which he bursts in at various times singing “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain” -- to the eventual delight of a theatre full of Eggheads.
The Egghead filmography follows. Except where noted otherwise, all films were directed by Avery.
- Egghead Rides Again (1937)
- Little Red Walking Hood (1937)
- Daffy Duck and Egghead (1938)
- Cinderella Meets Fella (1938)
- A-Lad-In-Bagdad (Howard/Dalton, 1938)
- The Isle of Pingo-Pongo (1938)
- A Feud There Was (1938)
- Johnny Smith and Pokerhuntas (1938)
- Count Me Out (Hardaway/Dalton, 1938)
- Hamateur Night (1939)
- A Day at the Zoo (1939)
- Believe It Or Else (1939)
As noted in the entry for Acme, Egghead has the privilege of being the first Warner Brothers character to utilize the services and products of the now-legendary Acme firm.