Do you remember the lovable Pepe Le Pew? I am going to take a trip down memory lane as I provide a fun recount of Pepe for all of us who have grown up with him.

Who is Pepe Le Pew?

Pepe Le Pew was the loveable skunk on Looney Tunes. Pepe is known for his stereotypical French accent and demeanor. He, as is the case with most Loony Tunes characters, is always in pursuit of something that he never gets. In Pepe's case he was always in pursuit of true love. 


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His love interest in most episodes was the wonderful Penelope Pussycat. Pepe tries and tries but never quite gets to have Penelope. Part of the humor of the story is that Penelope was not really a skunk at all, as Pepe thought, but rather was a cat with white paint on her back. [1]

Who was behind Pepe?

As with all cartoon characters there was an unsung actor behind the scenes. The actor who did the voice for Pepe was Mel Blanc. He did the voice of Pepe beginning in 1945 in Pepe's début

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episode titled "Odor-Able Kitty". He continued voicing in all appearances until 1988 where Mel Blanc had his last appearance in "Bugs Vs. Daffy: Battle of the Music Video Stars.[2]

Mel Blanc performed voices of most Looney Tunes Characters throughout his career. In addition, Mel Blanc was also well know for playing Jack Benny's antique automobile named "Maxwell" as well as some Flintstone Characters.[3]  He was born in San Francisco on May 30th of 1908 and passed away July 10th, 1989. He was one of the first "Vocal Characterizationists" to be credited on screen and began a new trend for others in the field. On his tombstone it says "that’s all folks".[4]

A few others have played Pepe in the years since 1988. This list includes Greg Burson, Maurice LaMarche, Joe Alaskey, Bruce Lanoil, Kevin Shinick, Rene Auberjonois and Jeff Bergman.[2]

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Where Did Pepe Come From?

Chuck Jones created Pepe. He has said that the idea of the character came from the person he wanted to be when he was younger and "unattractive". The inspiration for Pepe's voice was from Charles Boyer's Pepe Le Moko from Algiers, which was a remake of the 1937 French film Pepe Le Moko. [1] Pepe Le Moko was about a French criminal who is  hiding out in Casbah, Algiers and being pursued by Inspector Slimane.[5]

Where Did Pepe Go?

In fact, Pepe has been there all along. He has starred in shows as recent as 2012 in "The Looney Tunes Show". Some highlights for Pepe are can be found below.

The first Space Jam movie was the big screen debut for Pepe and his Looney Tunes friends. It starred Michael Jordan, along side the Looney Tune characters, battling Aliens to save Planet Earth.

At one point Pepe was set to have his own movie. He was supposed to be voiced by Mike Myers and have the movie released in 2013. Unfortunately, as of the day of writing it has not happened.[1]

There is another potential soon to be appearance by Pepe. Space Jam 2 has been bouncing around the rumour mill for some time now. It has been said that LeBron James will be the star alongside the entire cast of Looney Tunes Characters. At this point, however, it is still a rumor and nothing definitive has been reported.[6]

What are Pepe’s Famous Phrases?

To make him sound French the writer added "le" to English words. Some of his most famous lines are "sacre maroon", "my sweet peanut of brittle" and "come to me, my little melon-baby collie", “mon cherie”.[1] Everyone has their personal favorite, what is yours?

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Why Do I Like Pepe?

Pepe represents the person who tries really hard but never quite gets what they want. He is the underdog, or ‘under skunk’ I suppose, so how can you not root for him. Also, in the scope of Looney Tunes characters, Pepe is one of the lesser known and does not get a lot of attention which makes you feel for him even more. 

Make sure to include some Pepe Le Pew in your life for a trip back to childhood. Enjoy and have fun.