Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004
Constant prey of Wile E. Coyote. Largely a cipher, since the character never speaks, only fairly infrequently using signs to communicate with either the audience or the Coyote. In spite of the fact that the Roadrunner startles the Coyote on numerous occasions -- inncocently, of course -- by moving in quietly behind and abruptly beep-beeping; the Roadrunner demonstrates a sporting nature by not beep-beeping the frazzled beast at the end of Zoom and Bored (Jones, 1957), as well as by breaking his fall with a spring in Fastest With the Mostest (Jones, 1960).
Legend has it that background artist Paul Julian inspired the dialogue for the Road Runner by passing Chuck Jones and Mike Maltese at a crucial moment with his arms full of drawings, saying “Beep Beep.” Both Jones and Maltese viewed this as something not short of divine inspiration.