THAT'S NOT ALL FOLKS! by Mel with Philip Bashe Blanc

THAT'S NOT ALL FOLKS!

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mr. Bugs Bunny (a.k.a. Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, Woody Woodpecker, Porky Pig, Tweety Pie, Barney Rubble, etc.) limns his life in a lightweight memoir that's gentler--and more bland--than any of the quicksilver cartoons he's vivified through his magical, polymorphic voice. Blanc's such a gentleman that he spells his expletives like so: F**K. Such manners charm, but when they mean not saying a bad word about anyone, they also bore. As Blanc tells it, his life--from boyhood in Oregon to radio emceeing to doing cartoon voices for Disney and Warner Brothers to joining Jack Benny's troupe--has been spent shaking hands with one saint or genius after another. Even when he took Woody Woodpecker inventor Walter Lantz to court over a dispute as to who owned Woody's voice, Blanc ""considered Lantz a friend; still do, in fact."" Luckily, Blanc includes sufficient anecdotes here about famed cartoon and real-life characters to avoid complete pasteurization. Cartoon buffs will be intrigued to learn that Bugs' original name was Happy Rabbit; that the first voice of stuttering Porky Pig belonged to an actor who stuttered for real; that in the classic Warner cartoons, visuals were tailored to already laid-down sound tracks. Comic buffs will enjoy Blanc's witty retellings of classic Burns & Allen, Abbott & Costello, and Jack Benny routines. And Blanc admirers can learn about his near-fatal 1961 auto accident (after which, in a ""semi-coma,"" he failed to respond to questions addressed to Mel Blanc, but answered those directed to Bugs Bunny or Porky Pig!), his ownership of the world's first watch (a 1510 timepiece he bought for $300 in the 50's and was later appraised at $200,000), his adoration of wife and son, and his Masonic activities. What's memorable here? The delightful, copious black-and-white photos and drawings of good-hearted Blanc and his many human and cartoon pals. And that's all, folks.

Pub Date: Aug. 29th, 1988
Publisher: Warner