Pierce Iii, Edward Stacey (“Ted” Or “Tedd”)

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004

    Along with Warren Foster and Michael Maltese, one of the writers with the longest tenure at WB. Pierce is listed in the first cartoon to carry a story credit, The Lyin’ Mouse (Freleng, 1937). Pierce was teamed for a time in the mid-1940s with Maltese for such cartoons as:

        Holiday for Shoestrings (Freleng, 1946)
        Rhapsody Rabbit (Freleng, 1946)
        A Hare Grows in Manhattan (Freleng, 1947)
        Slick Hare (Freleng, 1947)
        Bugs Bunny Rides Again (Freleng, 1948)
        Back Alley Oproar (Freleng, 1948)
        Buccaneer Bunny (Freleng, 1948)
        Rabbit Punch (Jones, 1948)
        A Pest in the House (Jones, 1947)

    Pierce teamed up with Foster for Room and Bird (Freleng, 1951).

    Solo writing credits for Chuck Jones include:

        The Night Watchman (1938)
        Case of the Missing Hare (1942)
        The Dover Boys (1942)
        Super-Rabbit (1943)
        The Aristo Cat (1943)
        Odor-Able Kitty (1945)
        Hair-Raising Hare (1946)
        Knight-Mare Hare (1955)
        Rocket Squad (1956)
        The Abominable Snow Rabbit (1961)

    Pierce also received solo story credit for the following Friz Freleng shorts:

        Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips (1944)
        Hare Force (1944)
        Duck Soup to Nuts (1944)
        Life With Feathers (1945)
        High Diving Hare (1949)
        Mouse Mazurka (1949)
        All A-Bir-r-r-d (1950)
        Bunker Hill Bunny (1950)
        Mutiny on the Bunny (1950)

    Starting around 1951, Pierce began to write almost exclusively for Robert McKimson. Credits for McKimson cartoons include:

        Hillbilly Hare (1950)
        Early to Bet (1951)
        Who’s Kitten Who (1952)
        The Super Snooper (1952)
        Cat-Tails for Two (1953)
        Design for Leaving (1954)
        Little Boy Boo (1954)
        The High and the Flighty (1956)
        Stupor Duck (1956)
        Tobasco Road (1957)
        Pre-Hysterical Hare (1958)
        The Mouse That Jack Built (1959)

    His last credited film is Hawaiian Aye Aye (with Bill Daunch for Gerry Chiniquy, 1964). A gap in credited work during 1954 and 1955 can probably be explained by work at UPA during that period.

    According to Jones, Pierce added the second “d” to his name after puppeteer Bil Baird dropped an “l” from “Bill”. Pierce is said to have insisted the dropped “l” was the next to last. Screen credits until about 1943 list him as “Ted”.

    Pierce is caricatured as the tall, thin castaway in Wackiki Wabbit (Jones, 1943) providing the voice for his own character, along with fellow writer Mike Maltese. Pierce is also said to have provided the shadow of the theater patron shot by Egghead in Daffy Duck and Egghead (Avery, 1938), and the stool-pigeon theatergoer who tips off the police in Thugs With Dirty Mugs (Avery, 1939).

    References to Pierce can be seen in Bugs Bunny Rides Again (Freleng, 1948) as one of the names carved in the pillar that Bugs leans on, as well as in Rocket Squad (Jones, 1956) as one of the known criminals listed on the crime computer. Note also “Dr. Pierce’s Mild Pills” in Stupor Duck (McKimson, 1956).

    Pierce did a fair amount of vocal work as well; he was probably responsible for the Babbit voice in cartoons like A Tale of Two Kitties (Clampett, 1942), the father quail in Quentin Quail (Jones, 1946), and possibly as the Gildersleeve character in Hare Conditioned (Jones, 1945). (Some of the characterizations, credited to Pierce in Funnyworld #17 are open to question, the Gildersleeve character in particular.)

    Pierce also worked for other cartoon studios. He worked at the Fleischer studio in the late 1930s and early 1940s on both shorts and the feature film Gulliver’s Travels (1939). Pierce is credited with at least one Superman short, The Arctic Giant (1942). Qualification, perhaps, for Super-Rabbit!

    Pierce also did voice work at Fleischer’s, in such cartoons as Stealin’ Ain’t Honest (1940) in which he played Bluto, as well as providing voices for other characters. I have also seen him credited as the voice of C. Bagley Beetle from the studio’s ill-fated feature film Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941).

    Pierce worked on a part-time basis at Screen Gems (Columbia) around 1946-47, and at UPA in 1954-55 where he contributed to an Academy Award winner, When Magoo Flew (1954). He also had stints with Walter Lantz around 1960, and at MGM in the Gene Deitch era, for Tall in the Trap (1962).

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