History & Facts
The Creation of Yosemite Sam
short-tempered opponent, largely of Bugs Bunny, for a number of classic Friz Freleng
shorts. There is some speculation that Sam was based on Freleng himself, both being short,
red-haired chaps with risable tempers; Freleng himself seems to have been a little
equivocal as to whether he was the model for the character. Mike Maltese originally
considered calling the character Texas Tiny, Wyoming Willie, or Denver Dan, but then
settled on the final name.
While Sam had a wide variety of roles, as desert sheik, prison guard(!),
English lord, and shifty small town mayor, his two best known roles were as Western
outlaw, which was his metier in his first few cartoons, and as a pirate in some of the
finest entries in the Bugs Bunny series. Interestingly, the Freleng unit maintained his
black mask, even in roles that did not require it.
Freleng developed the character as a counterpoint to Elmer Fudd, who he felt did not
provide enough of a challenge to Bugs. The southern sheriff in Stage Door Cartoon
(Freleng, 1944) can be seen as something of a dry run for the character. Mel Blanc has
pointed out that the character, whose name dervies from a California locale, has the voice
of a Texan."
(Taken from the Warner
Brothers Cartoon Companion site)
Another source says: "Yosemite Sam - Modeled from a movie character along with a
popular radio and television character, Yosemite Sam was brought on screen opposite Bugs
because one of the directors felt that Elmer Fudd wasn't strong enough. Elmer Fudd was
thought to be so dumb that a chicken could outsmart him. What the director wanted was a
tiny guy with a huge voice." (Looney Tunes Upper Deck Trading Card Data).
My Favourite Yosemite Sam Cartoons
The Most - Shown Yosemite Sam Cartoons
1. Hare Lift
2. Big House Bunny
3. Honey's Money
4. Bugs Bunny Rides Again
5. Ballot Box Bunny
1. Southern Fried Rabbit
2. Bunker Hill Bunny
3. Ballot Box Bunny
5. From Hare to Heir
6. Wild and Wooly Hare
Yosemite Sam's Many Violent Deaths
I will eventually be compiling a list of the painful and gruesome ways that Yosemite
Sam has met his end. People will be able to vote on their favourite death.
Other Links Featuring Yosemite Sam