Do You Remember Pepe Le Pew?

It’s Valentines Day, and what better than to write an article about one of the most adorable, romantic and downright funny charters to ever hit the small screen….Mr Pepe Le Pew. I really am hoping no-one is saying “who?” but considering I was born in the 1970’s, some of you may not be aware of who this kinky little character was. If you have no idea, don’t worry, you soon will. For those of you who do remember, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane 🙂

When I was a little girl, every Saturday morning I would make a bowl of Weetbix, throw my doona onto the lounge room floor like a picnic blanket and settle in for some light-hearted entertainment. Between my little sister, my two brothers and myself, we never fought over the channel. We were more than happy to sit together and watch our favourite tv characters.

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My brothers and I

Looney Tunes, also known as Merrie Melodies, featured some of the most famous cartoon characters ever created. Bugs Bunny “Whats up doc?”, Daffy Duck “It’s duck season!” and Porky Pig “Ble, Ble, Ble…that’s all folks.” But my favourite characters were the cute little Tweety Bird “I taut I taw a puddy tat”, the most unlucky coyote to ever exist Wile E Coyote and my absolute favourite – Pepe Le Pew….

Pepe was one of the most smooth talking of all of Looney Tunes characters. A promiscuous, frisky french skunk who spent most of his time chasing after the quiet and shy Ms Penelope. From the moment Pepe saw Penelope relaxing in the meadow, he became completely enamoured. He tried everything to win her heart, even if that meant being the biggest pest in all of France. In fact, the word stalker would be a good description for the debonaire character. But back in the 1970’s he was in love, and all around the world children including myself loved watching his antics. Whether he was tip toeing through the tulips or chasing the poor cat around the street of Paris, I simply couldn’t get enough of him.

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The adorable Pepe Le Pew was first created in 1945, long before political correctness took hold of everything. The brainchild of Chuck Jones, an American animator, cartoon artist and director of animated films for the Warner Bros Cartoons studio, Pepe was apparently based on his younger self. Chuck wanted to create a cool, sophisticated character looking for l’amour (french for love). To make things a little more interesting, and funny for viewers, Chuck decided to make him a skunk. What could be funnier than watching a skunk try to woo the opposite sex?!! Poor Pepe had two huge turnoffs, his damn awful scent, and his refusal to take “no” for an answer.

Throughout many of the shows, Pepe is blissfully convinced that Penelope is simply playing hard to get. Even when she rejects his advances to the point of physically assaulting him, Pepe never gives up. With comments such as “I get a ‘kick’ out of her”, he dusts himself off and renews his pursuit for love. Constantly catching his “true love” and peppering her with kisses had me in hysterics as a young child. Even as an adult, with children of my own, I still enjoy watching Pepe’s quests.

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When Pepe finally wins her love and discovers that Penelope is in fact not a female skunk, but a cat who had the misfortune of being masked with a white paint brush, he is not at all fussed. He is more than happy to “spend the rest of our lives making love”. For young children, we found him to be very funny. As an adult, even more so now that I understand all the innuendo 🙂 So this Valentines Day, relax with your loved one, watch the clip, and enjoy the romantic tale of Pepe Le Pew and Penelope the cat.

x x x

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