"The Road Runner's response is insane and also involves a wig."
December 21, 2017 12:21 PM   Subscribe

Almost all of the Road Runner cartoons are available via the @BoomerangToons app.

I subscribed for $5 & decided I'm gonna watch & tweet about 'em all in chronological order, even the later, terrible ones, for which I have an irrational affection.

Here we go.
Actor/Comedian Connor Ratliff (Search Party, Orange is the New Black) is attempting to watch and tweet about every Warner Bros. Road Runner/Coyote cartoon ever made. [Twitter thread]
posted by Atom Eyes (94 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
Best line so far:

"It is clear, watching these now, that the coyote's curse is that he cannot win but he also cannot die. He is in HELL."
posted by Space Coyote at 12:29 PM on December 21, 2017 [15 favorites]


I can't recall where but I remember years ago reading a piece of writing from someone, perhaps an academic, who had been discussing the Road Runner cartoons with a group of others and found a substantial generation-based divide between those who identified with the road runner and those who identified with the coyote.

I remember thinking, at the time: Wait a minute.. There are people who identify with the road runner? What is wrong with them?

I still stand by that..
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:37 PM on December 21, 2017 [39 favorites]


Great stuff! Now I really want to watch these cartoons while reading the tweets.

Regarding the May 24, 1952 cartoon "Beep, Beep": The gradual speeding back up after the freeze frame is so iconic but I think it only really happens in the early shorts, IIRC.... I love the way this part looks and sounds. (link to tweet including a 9 second video clip). Much of the sound is a turbine engine starting up (so futuristic!) which I think might come in at the same pitch as some some string instruments — very cool.
posted by exogenous at 12:41 PM on December 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


I... I think I identify with Acme Corp.

Hmm.
posted by Leon at 12:48 PM on December 21, 2017 [19 favorites]


I just need to know if I'm the only one who growing up saw absolutely no humor at all in this genre and still does not to this day. As a little kid I just saw people getting hurt and I hated it. Still do. Yes I'm a millennial and I'm here to ruin your childhood the same way you ruined mine.
posted by bleep at 12:50 PM on December 21, 2017 [19 favorites]


Oh, this is going to be fun! Do young people today exhibit a "Wile E. Coyote Effect" when predicting what an object will do when it falls off a cliff, or was that really the result of watching Road Runner cartoons every Saturday morning, as my generation did?
posted by queensissy at 12:50 PM on December 21, 2017 [3 favorites]


It's sad that the millennials killed anvils in cartoons
posted by thelonius at 12:50 PM on December 21, 2017 [21 favorites]


This thread is interesting though and it's giving me a newfound appreciation that there was some thought put into these and it's not just heavy things falling on people.
posted by bleep at 12:52 PM on December 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


It's sad that the millennials killed anvils in cartoons

Its OK - don't tell them about pianos or safes. They have no point of reference because of MP3 players and bitcoin wallets.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:57 PM on December 21, 2017 [18 favorites]


I just wondered what this place was that had all these cliffs in it.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:58 PM on December 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


The Acme super outfit scene kills me every time. Wile E. leaps off the cliff, strikes the pose on the box exactly...and plummets.

It's the vim and vigor with which Wile E. hits that pose that gets me. He really puts his back into it! He truly believes it's gonna work!

And then it doesn't. *whistling sound...distant THUD*

Count me as someone (a Gen-Xer!) who relates to the Road Runner. If you're gonna chase a critter down to eat it, you can't complain when it fights back with everything it's got (including Reality Itself, if it has that ability).
posted by magstheaxe at 12:59 PM on December 21, 2017 [13 favorites]


I don't want to rain on any Millenial self-righteousness—god knows I love my own Gen X version of same—but there are plenty of Gen X-ers that didn't find these particularly funny. You're neither alone, nor responsible for the death of fun. I can't speak for the Boomers, but I think we all know which one they identify with no? *nudge, nudge*
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 12:59 PM on December 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


Did he get to the episode where they directly take on the "which do you identify with?" thing?
posted by tobascodagama at 1:05 PM on December 21, 2017


Millennial, Gen X, or whatever generation you identify with, if you don't think Chuck Jones is funny I'm not sure there's any help for you. Do you grimace at Buster Keaton gags because the most famous ones see him narrowly avoiding serious injury? Do you watch Jackie Chan action movies and think, "I don't see amazing stunts and fights; I just see an OSHA-noncompliant working environment and it makes me anxious"?
posted by Mothlight at 1:08 PM on December 21, 2017 [50 favorites]


I can't recall where but I remember years ago reading a piece of writing from someone, perhaps an academic, who had been discussing the Road Runner cartoons with a group of others and found a substantial generation-based divide between those who identified with the road runner and those who identified with the coyote.

Yes, here it is, and previously. I'm still a bit gobsmacked by it all.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:08 PM on December 21, 2017 [11 favorites]


I just wondered what this place was that had all these cliffs in it.

Google "Monument Valley" and "Valley of the Gods".
posted by notsnot at 1:09 PM on December 21, 2017 [4 favorites]


I just wondered what this place was that had all these cliffs in it.
New Mexico and Utah.
posted by The_Vegetables at 1:10 PM on December 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


Huffy Puffy: I just wondered what this place was that had all these cliffs in it.

I would generally say the US southwest (home to such stark, gorgeous deserts, and roadrunners), but Wikipedians go above and beyond and have (loose) citations:
... it is stated that the Road Runner is from Texas, insofar as the race announcer calls it the "Texas Road Burner." That suggests that most of the Road Runner and Coyote cartoons could take place in Texas. However, in To Beep or Not to Beep, the catapult is constructed by the Road-Runner Manufacturing Company, which has locations in Taos, Phoenix, Santa Fe, and Flagstaff, suggesting that it takes place in or near the Four Corners (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado) region, specifically Monument Valley.
And then there's discussions of the more abstract landscapes of later cartoons.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:10 PM on December 21, 2017 [4 favorites]


My absolute favorite Wile E. moment comes in "There They Go Go Go!," in which Wile E. meticulously crafts a boulder trap, only to see it fail because the rocks are jammed too tightly together. After trying several remedies, he stands under the boulders, poking at them with a stick. It's only when a few tiny pebbles start falling on his face that he realizes his folly and holds up a sign reading "IN HEAVEN'S NAME -- WHAT AM I DOING?" At that point, of course, the boulders fall and pulverize him.

That, in a nutshell, was what was funniest to me about the Road Runner cartoons: the realization and reaction to impending disaster. But it wasn't funny because we liked seeing the coyote get hurt; rather, it was us sympathizing with him, because we'd all had that terrible feeling.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 1:12 PM on December 21, 2017 [34 favorites]


> fights back with everything it's got (including Reality Itself, if it has that ability).

Trickster God.
posted by Leon at 1:12 PM on December 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


So, does this include the one Wile E. Coyote/Bugs Bunny crossover where Wile E. talks? Because that is one of my favorite cartoons of all time. I still think about ordering business cards that say "Super Genius" as my official title.
posted by briank at 1:15 PM on December 21, 2017 [9 favorites]


Do you grimace at Buster Keaton gags because the most famous ones see him narrowly avoiding serious injury? Do you watch Jackie Chan action movies and think, "I don't see amazing stunts and fights; I just see an OSHA-noncompliant working environment and it makes me anxious"?

Let me tell you, I grew up without a TV but when we visited my grandparents my grandfather would watch pro wrestling. I was probably 7 and no one told me it was fake. It upset me deeply and I would leave the room and cover my ears to not see it. I still can hardly stand it to this day because of all that time I thought it was real.
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:15 PM on December 21, 2017 [3 favorites]


> I just need to know if I'm the only one who growing up saw absolutely no humor at all in this genre and still does not to this day.

Do you have a sense of rhythm? It's the timing that makes the jokes, rather than the splats. Without that it's just a long sequence of pratfalls.
posted by Leon at 1:17 PM on December 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


I remember thinking, at the time: Wait a minute.. There are people who identify with the road runner? What is wrong with them?

I still stand by that..
posted by Nerd of the North at 3:37 PM on December 21 [9 favorites +] [!]

I can't recall where but I remember years ago reading a piece of writing from someone, perhaps an academic, who had been discussing the Road Runner cartoons with a group of others and found a substantial generation-based divide between those who identified with the road runner and those who identified with the coyote.

Yes, here it is, and previously. I'm still a bit gobsmacked by it all.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:08 PM on December 21 [+] [!]


WHAT. IS. WRONG. WITH. BOOMERS.
posted by edbles at 1:20 PM on December 21, 2017 [6 favorites]


So, does this include the one Wile E. Coyote/Bugs Bunny crossover where Wile E. talks?

“And remember, ‘mud’ spelled backwards is ‘dum’!”
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 1:22 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


Needs more Instant Hole (TM)...

I very much liked the one where the two young boys are watching and one asks the other, "Why does he want to catch the roadrunner, anyway?" and Wile E. stops and explains that every bit of the roadrunner tastes like a different delicacy...

Also, in college, we had a drinking game called "Cartoon Physics," deriving from that moment where Wile E. only falls when he realizes there's no ground beneath him.

Finally, National Lampoon once ran a three-part story, "Cliff-Hanger Justice," in which Wile E. sues the Acme company. He loses, but before he does, the negative publicity drives down the value of Acme stock. It is revealed that Wile E. has bought enough at the prerecovery price to become the controlling shareholder, from which he can make new forays into roadrunner catching...
posted by AJaffe at 1:30 PM on December 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


... it is stated that the Road Runner is from Texas, insofar as the race announcer calls it the "Texas Road Burner."

There are places in TX that look like Roadrunner cartoons, but they don't really have highways passing through them the same way and much of Texas is fenced along highways unlike other southwestern states. He could be just passing through and like Bugs Bunny taken a wrong left turn at Albuquerque.
posted by The_Vegetables at 1:30 PM on December 21, 2017


Who the hell identifies with the Road Runner? He is annoying. The whole point of the cartoon is hoping against all odds that the coyote finally gets that smug bastard, even though you know it will never happen. But I'm Gen X, so whatever.
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:36 PM on December 21, 2017 [7 favorites]


I didn't necessarily identify with the Road Runner, but I did root for it. Because hey, it was just doing its thing, living its little happy Road Runner life, and has to deal with this coyote constantly trying to blow it up or drop boulders on it! (I am also Gen-X.)
posted by sarcasticah at 1:37 PM on December 21, 2017 [3 favorites]


My Boomer parents also preferred the coyote, but then my dad is an engineer and viewed Wile E as an unofficial patron saint of engineers.
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:38 PM on December 21, 2017 [18 favorites]


WHAT. IS. WRONG. WITH. BOOMERS.

What gets me about that piece isn't that they identify with the Road Runner but that they seem totally mystified why younger people would see themselves in a figure who struggles eternally to feed himself only to be defeated time and again when reality itself bends to snatch the prize away.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:39 PM on December 21, 2017 [45 favorites]


Millennial, Gen X, or whatever generation you identify with, if you don't think Chuck Jones is funny I'm not sure there's any help for you. Do you grimace at Buster Keaton gags because the most famous ones see him narrowly avoiding serious injury?
Well. . . yeah, more or less. I don't grimace when Buster Keaton narrowly avoids injury, so much as I can't be bothered to care, because his characters are all so thoroughly uninteresting. It's a pretty good choice for comparison to the cartoons: they're both notable only for being thoroughly dull. To grimace, for either Keaton or Coyote, would require some sort of reason to care about them.

I'm glad the roadrunner and coyote cartoons make lots of people happy. But, I'm not about to side with either one; the sooner they both die in a rockfall, the sooner we can move on to an engaging cartoon short.
posted by eotvos at 1:39 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


Welp, there ya go, from TFA, you are supposed to root for the coyote:

"Warner Bros. creator Chuck Jones, who laid down "disciplines" for the cartoon when he began producing them in 1949 . . . five of the disciplines were: "The cartoons are set in the desert of the American Southwest; the Road Runner never leaves the road; never is there dialogue; the Coyote is never injured by the Road Runner; and the audience's sympathy must remain with the Coyote.""
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:44 PM on December 21, 2017 [22 favorites]


Wait. There were only 30 Road Runner cartoons?

I (GenX) was always pro Road Runner, and now I want to believe that is because subconsciously, I knew the man wanted me to root for the Coyote.
posted by COD at 1:50 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


and the audience's sympathy must remain with the Coyote

Is there a concept called the Roadrunner's paradox? Because for our sympathy to remain with the Coyote, it must not catch (kill) the Roadrunner or the Coyote would no longer be sympathetic. We must always root for the Coyote, and the Coyote must never succeed.

I suppose being sympathetic doesn't necessarily mean we share its goals, but still.
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:54 PM on December 21, 2017 [10 favorites]


Wile E Coyote, Super Genius, Modern Sisyphus.
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:59 PM on December 21, 2017 [12 favorites]


I always rooted for the Roadrunner. He's just going about his business while this asshole moves heaven and earth in an attempt to kill him, for no good reason! Note that the Roadrunner never initiates and never retaliates. He simply allows Wile E.'s evil schemes to collapse under their own weight (and then knock him off a cliff).
posted by praemunire at 2:05 PM on December 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


I don't know that I "identify" with either one, honestly. It's more the classic trickster/trickee dynamic. They're both just... doing what they do. Playing their roles.
posted by brundlefly at 2:12 PM on December 21, 2017 [8 favorites]


Meep meep.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:13 PM on December 21, 2017 [4 favorites]


The fact that we're supposed to be rooting for the self-destructive short-sighted endless pointless violence driven by broken technology tells me a lot about the current state of the US.
posted by bleep at 2:14 PM on December 21, 2017 [3 favorites]


my dad is an engineer and viewed Wile E as an unofficial patron saint of engineers.

I would convert to Catholicism in a heartbeat if they could somehow make that official.
posted by 7segment at 2:18 PM on December 21, 2017 [3 favorites]


You know the part when the Coyote has rushed over the cliff and slowly realises what he’s done and waves to the audience while awaits the inevitable calamity?

That’s Brexit that is.
posted by gnuhavenpier at 2:20 PM on December 21, 2017 [22 favorites]


Now I'm reminded of Road Runner's Death Valley Rally for the Super NES in which players control the Road Runner and try to dodge and outwit the Coyote during a road race. The game incorporates a lot of gags and gimmicks from the cartoons including the classic blueprints for each of the Coyote's contraptions and, of course, signage.
posted by Servo5678 at 2:23 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


“It is clear, watching these now, that the coyote's curse is that he cannot win but he also cannot die. He is in HELL."

Grant Morrison’s Coyote Gospel agrees.
posted by gnuhavenpier at 2:35 PM on December 21, 2017 [6 favorites]


To grimace, for either Keaton or Coyote, would require some sort of reason to care about them.

Bart: Nothing you say can upset us. We’re part of the MTV generation.
Lisa: We feel neither highs nor lows.
Homer: Really? What’s it like?
Lisa: Eh.
posted by 445supermag at 2:45 PM on December 21, 2017 [16 favorites]


Wile E Coyote, Super Genius, Modern Sisyphus

One must imagine the coyote happy.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:59 PM on December 21, 2017 [11 favorites]


As a little kid I just saw people getting hurt and I hated it. Still do.
posted by bleep at 12:50 PM

not sure if it's beep or meep, but it's definitely not bleep.

scody (the now-inactive mefite whose anecdote was linked in the 'Meep meep' comment) was my greatest Metafilter Crush, after I met her at a meetup and she told me of her family connection to Chuck Jones. I grew up reading the credits on cartoons and had a massive amount of admiration for Jones, who created those desert-dwelling characters and directed the most and the best of the RR&C cartoons. As an alleged grown-up, I had attended an animation festival in the 1980s in which the absolute highlight was a Chuck Jones event where he had a live conversation (they called it an interview) with one of his friends... Ray Bradbury! The striking thing about the then-70+-year-old Chuck Jones was how when he smiled, he resembled Bugs Bunny, and when he frowned, he looked like Wile E. Coyote. (I later realized that, when I saw them, both Jones' and Bradbury's best creative years were behind them... if you have any love for anything related to Looney Tunes, DO NOT watch the 1990 'sequel' to "Duck Dodgers" that Jones directed.)
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:00 PM on December 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


Came for the Morrison reference, was not disappointed.
posted by mkhall at 3:15 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


Around 2005 or so I was the director of a graphic/web design program. My students were taking the program full-time which meant 5 days a week, approximately 6-7 hours a day for 8 months, all in the same room day after day. So to break up the routine I would randomly pop into the classroom for a "mandatory" work break and play a Road Runner/Coyote cartoon.

No Bugs, no Daffy, just the Road Runner. The classroom was in a semi-public space so other administrators and teachers would be passing through and one day the head of the school came to my office.

"Jeremias", he said "There was an admissions tour the other day and they came by while you were playing cartoons, doesn't look good. What's the deal?"

Thinking quickly I said, "Oh there's definitely an ulterior motive, you see, the structure of the Road Runner cartoons is always the same, right? Coyote chases the Road Runner. Road Runner escapes. Shit happens along the way."

"So it's basically an analogy of graphic/web designer. Every project you get looks the same at first, but the details are so different that it becomes an entirely new thing. Basically I'm preparing them for a career in finding creativity through repetition and if they can't see the absurdist humor in that, they may not be cut out for this profession."

He looked at me uncertainly, but I can play the straight man like a motherfucker. So after a moment he said, "That's great, just keep an eye out for tours OK?"
posted by jeremias at 3:24 PM on December 21, 2017 [16 favorites]


One of my favorite poems, "Midnight, the Coyote, Down in the Mouth" by Tim Seibles, is an extended exercise in identifying with the coyote. It is so good (and worth listening to him read!).
posted by invitapriore at 3:30 PM on December 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


Sufferin’ succotash. You Road Runner sympathizers probably root for Tweety Bird over Sylvester as well.
posted by fimbulvetr at 3:33 PM on December 21, 2017 [6 favorites]


New Mexico's state bird is the roadrunner. I've seen more of them in the flat, southeast part of the state and not so much in the (like the cartoons) Four Corners area, but that's probably selection bias. It really is cool the way they run. Y'all should google some videos.

As a member of the cadre that falls right at the transition between the Boomer and X generations, I can't say that I strongly identify with the Roadrunner, but I do "root" for him because, well, Coyote wants to murder him. I don't root for Coyote any more than I do Elmer Fudd. You guys identify with Fudd and not Bugs? Bugs is much, much more smug than Roadrunner -- the latter is just doing his thing, minding his own business. Fudd is the aggressor against Bugs, but Bugs takes sport in humiliating him. I mostly root for Bugs for the same reason as Roadrunner (not being murdered), but I like Bugs in spite of myself (he's kind of a jerk).

Identifying in these cartoons is a bit odd to me. I identify a little bit with most of the characters, from time to time. But not strongly, I think.

"Sufferin’ succotash. You Road Runner sympathizers probably root for Tweety Bird over Sylvester as well."

Yes, for the same reason. But I sympathize with the loser characters. I don't like the smugness of the winners and I don't like the murderous desires of the losers.

So what about Daffy? He's kind of a loser character, but not trying to kill anyone. Between he and Bugs, I identify slightly more with Daffy. I root for him, too, except that all the time I'm wishing he were less self-involved. Daffy, for me, was kind of a caution.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:48 PM on December 21, 2017 [4 favorites]


And it's not like the Road Runner is a totally innocent victim, either; there are times where he obviously intentionally tried to harm (well, harmed, since it always worked) the Coyote, and others where it could be argued that he deliberately lured the Coyote into hurting himself.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:51 PM on December 21, 2017 [3 favorites]


Not to mention that as Acme is a ”wholly owned subsidiary of road runner corporation”, you could argue Road Runner was out to get Wile E by selling him shoddy products.
posted by fimbulvetr at 3:55 PM on December 21, 2017 [8 favorites]


In the "Duck Season/Rabbit Season" debate, most of us are wholeheartedly Team Bunny. Daffy started out as a kindofacopy of Bugs but with more open wackiness (the good Daffy), but slowly evolved into The One Who Ordered Around Porky Pig, the egomaniac and the avaricious "Mine! Mine! All Mine!" shouter (the bad Daffy). When Bugs was involved, he could not be a sidekick (even though they tried a couple times), he had to become an adversary...

Then there was the sadly underutilized Pete Puma, who was at a double disadvantage being voiced by Stan Freberg at a time when Mel Blanc's contract specifically stated that he be the only voice actor to get an on-screen credit... and as the Smothers Brothers made perfectly clear, there are no pumas in North America. Pete was the truly tragic Looney Tunes character who would probably be clobbered by any anvil that missed Wile E. Coyote.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:12 PM on December 21, 2017 [4 favorites]


Let us not forget these guys. They work together. It's literally their job.
posted by Splunge at 4:38 PM on December 21, 2017 [6 favorites]


There is no Road Runner. He is a phantom dream we all chase to our doom, but can't help trying for. We are all the coyote.

I thought everyone knew that.
posted by emjaybee at 4:52 PM on December 21, 2017 [13 favorites]


Has anyone used one of those twitter thread extractors on this because holy crap trying to read this on my computer is almost as bad a hell as the one the Coyote is stuck in.
posted by egypturnash at 4:52 PM on December 21, 2017


GenX Coyote sympathizer, by the way. In no small part because of the one where he went up against Bugs.
posted by egypturnash at 4:53 PM on December 21, 2017


Let us not forget these guys. They work together. It's literally their job.
posted by Splunge at 7:38 PM on December 21 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]


I always thought Ralph Wolf was Wile E. Coyote's day job, and he just pursued Road Runner during his time off.
posted by Cookiebastard at 4:59 PM on December 21, 2017 [8 favorites]


The fact that we're supposed to be rooting for the self-destructive short-sighted endless pointless violence driven by broken technology tells me a lot about the current state of the US.

That's what some of the quoted Boomer Road Runner Apologists are going for, and I totally get that perspective. I can definitely see why 60s counterculturists would identify with the Road Runner in that formulation (and why mainstream Boomers would steal that later on and claim it as their own, like they did with so much other counterculture stuff).

But, at the same time...

I always rooted for the Roadrunner. He's just going about his business while this asshole moves heaven and earth in an attempt to kill him, for no good reason!

He's a fuckin' coyote, man! Coyotes gotta eat to live.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:47 PM on December 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


Road Runner is the American Dream, and Coyote is the hapless working stiff who is fated to be repeatedly clobbered in his or her pursuit of it. I think Marx said that.
posted by um at 5:59 PM on December 21, 2017 [16 favorites]


He's a fuckin' coyote, man! Coyotes gotta eat to live.

People get really mad at me when I say that I frequently empathize more with the predator than the prey in those chase segments in nature documentaries. It’s not that I don’t feel for the deer that’s about to suffer a violent and painful death, but, like, predators are often a few missed meals away from starving to death. They didn’t choose their place in the ecosystem and they don’t have vast fertile pastures to nosh on, the stakes are way higher!
posted by invitapriore at 6:05 PM on December 21, 2017 [7 favorites]


I think the Wile E. Coyote cartoons are nearly perfect as physical comedy. They work with almost no dialogue and a very lean formula where the gag has to do all the work, and the execution was a rousing success.

I saw a video a couple of years ago (I think it was linked on the Blue) that said that Chuck Jones would use the short turnarounds on Coyote shorts to do his epic Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoons like “What’s Opera Doc” and “Duck Amok”. The average short took 5 weeks but a Coyote cartoon was done in 3 weeks on a short budget and the Bugs or Daffy cartoon would get 7 weeks of work, allowing him to accomplish some of the best shorts of the period.
posted by graymouser at 6:34 PM on December 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


Oh, I don't root for Tweety Bird. Even when I was a little kid I found that bird creepy and smug. (And what's with the giant head?! How does that mutant thing perch upright??)
posted by sarcasticah at 6:52 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'm absolutely gobsmacked that anyone would ever identify with the Roadrunner. Such a though never could have occurred to me!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:44 PM on December 21, 2017


I'm absolutely gobsmacked that anyone would ever identify with the Roadrunner. Such a though never could have occurred to me!

Not that I agree with this, but I couldn't resist
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:00 PM on December 21, 2017


Boomer here. Team Coyote!

(To this day, when I go to the Acme grocery store, I cannot help but think about those cartoons.)
posted by AugustWest at 9:38 PM on December 21, 2017


Boomer. Totally identified with Coyote -- except when he was up against Bugs.

Occasionally known to quote, "Coyote. Wile E. Coyote. Genius." when passing out my business card (to friends, anyway).
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:41 PM on December 21, 2017


I don't grimace when Buster Keaton narrowly avoids injury, so much as I can't be bothered to care,

But do you make way for Harold Lloyd?
posted by rough ashlar at 10:13 PM on December 21, 2017


Coyotes gotta eat to live.

Well, roadrunners gotta live to live, so there's that...

MFer tries to kill me repeatedly and fails, you better believe I'll be "meep meeping" him as I speed by.
posted by praemunire at 10:50 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]




I actually saw my first road runner in the wild a year ago. This was near Temecula, California.
I was irrationally excited, all because of a cartoon, really.
posted by vacapinta at 3:02 AM on December 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


I get the Roadrunner being (ironically?) the trickster character. I don't think that's invalid. But Chuck himself said one is meant to sympathize with the Coyote's eternal frustration.

(By the way this millennial thought these were the best cartoons ever growing up.)
posted by atoxyl at 3:07 AM on December 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


The striking thing about the then-70+-year-old Chuck Jones was how when he smiled, he resembled Bugs Bunny, and when he frowned, he looked like Wile E. Coyote.

I read somewhere that Wile E. Coyote's features were loosely inspired by a Warner Bros. animator - not Chuck Jones, though.
posted by atoxyl at 3:22 AM on December 22, 2017


Tom & Jerry is the mean/dark timeline version of Roadrunner/Coyote.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:37 AM on December 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


*wakes up to 76 comments about the coyote and the roadrunner a couple days before Christmas, loves Metafilter even more*
posted by Melismata at 4:57 AM on December 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


Well, roadrunners gotta live to live, so there's that...

Tell that to the lizard. It's predators all the way down.

Does the knowledge that roadrunners are predators change your opinion of the roadrunner/coyote dynamic? Why or why not? 20 pts.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:02 AM on December 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


I would convert to Catholicism in a heartbeat if they could somehow make that official.

Discordianism may be more appropriate.
posted by acb at 5:26 AM on December 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


One must imagine the coyote happy hungry.

FTFY
posted by acb at 5:28 AM on December 22, 2017


I never really liked the roadrunner/coyote cartoons much because I felt the frustration of all those wacky traps never working very acutely. It was actually kind of stressful for me to see them blow in the coyote's face because of terrible QA on the part of ACME corporation. Plus, I was even more upset that coyote KEEPS ORDERING SHIT FROM THEM!!! Like buddy, after about the fifth time, what's wrong with you that you keep falling for their lies? THEIR SHIT DONT NEVER WORK MAN!
posted by some loser at 6:44 AM on December 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


... as the Smothers Brothers made perfectly clear, there are no pumas in North America

CRAVASSES!!!!!
posted by DrAstroZoom at 6:56 AM on December 22, 2017 [1 favorite]




I was even more upset that coyote KEEPS ORDERING SHIT FROM THEM!!! Like buddy, after about the fifth time, what's wrong with you that you keep falling for their lies? THEIR SHIT DONT NEVER WORK MAN!

Because the Coyote, as a Super Genius, deep down inside believes that he is the problem. He is a perfectionist that subconsciously doubts his own perfection. He also knows that if he ever catches the Roadrunner there is nothing else to be done. He would have reached his peak, his apex. Perfection can be reached for, but never grasped. So the Acme devices are exactly what he wants.
posted by Splunge at 8:46 AM on December 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


Plus, I was even more upset that coyote KEEPS ORDERING SHIT FROM THEM!!! Like buddy, after about the fifth time, what's wrong with you that you keep falling for their lies? THEIR SHIT DONT NEVER WORK MAN!

If you've ever done any work in consumer protection, you will marvel at the amazing level of realism embedded in this simple cartoon.

If the show was about the roadrunner remorsely hunting lizards through the landscape, I'd probably root for the lizards. But it's not. Also, the roadrunner doesn't set up elaborate death traps for the lizards.
posted by praemunire at 8:52 AM on December 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I identify with whoever delivers the boxes from Acme. Always off screen, yet a necessary part of the pointless, never ending attempts at death, destruction and mayhem.
posted by signal at 8:57 AM on December 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I identify with whoever delivers the boxes from Acme. Always off screen, yet a necessary part of the pointless, never ending attempts at death, destruction and mayhem.

So the Amazon drivers in those white vans, basically.
posted by jeremias at 9:18 AM on December 22, 2017


Acmezon
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:17 AM on December 22, 2017


Looks like nobody has yet posted Chuck Jones' Rules for Writing Road Runner Cartoons, including "No outside force can harm the Coyote -- only his own ineptitude or the failure of Acme products. Trains and trucks were the exception from time to time" and "The Road Runner must stay on the road -- for no other reason than that he's a roadrunner."

And there's a relevant filksong: Tom Smith's Operation: Desert Storm.

(I identify with the kid who's going to grow up to be a p-sychiatrist when he grows up. Or maybe a p-sychoanalist.)
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:51 AM on December 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


He did try ordering from Ajax a couple times.
posted by 445supermag at 11:02 AM on December 22, 2017


Tom & Jerry is the mean/dark timeline version of Roadrunner/Coyote.
T&J predated R/C, but after MGM shut down their animation studio and Hanna & Barbera started their own company (making limited animation for TV work with very talky characters in contrast to the mostly wordless style of T&J), MGM realized their mistake and tried reviving their signature characters, first with UPA/Terrytoons veteran Gene Deitch*, then with Chuck Jones, who had just been let go from his long tenure at Warner and who "had trouble adapting his style to Tom and Jerry's brand of humor". This was the same time Jones made the classic "Grinch" cartoon with Dr. Seuss.

*who I serendipitously sat in the audience right behind during a "UPA Salute" at the same Animation Festival where I saw Jones and got Deitch's autograph after he was introduced to the crowd... it was the cartooniest week of my life.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:35 AM on December 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


So, does this include the one Wile E. Coyote/Bugs Bunny crossover where Wile E. talks?

It does, and I was surprised to learn that Operation: Rabbit was the second-ever Wile E. Coyote cartoon.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:46 PM on December 22, 2017


I recommend the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD sets, which have the original unedited versions of the cartoons.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:47 PM on December 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Obligatory mention of Ian Frazier's Wile E. Coyote v. Acme Company (originally from The New Yorker).
Mr. Coyote states that on eighty-five separate occasions, he has purchased of the Acme Company (hereinafter, 'Defendant'), through that company's mail order department, certain products which did cause him bodily injury due to defects in manufacture or improper cautionary labeling. Sales slips made out to Mr. Coyote as proof of purchase are at present in the possession of the Court, marked Exhibit A. Such injuries sustained by Mr. Coyote have temporarily restricted his ability to make a living in the profession of predator. Mr. Coyote is self-employed and thus not eligible for Workmen's Compensation.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:54 PM on December 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


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