Doing some research for my shortfilm, I went through the first twenty of the 49 Wile E Coyote and Road Runner short films and it saddens me to say….. I didn’t break one laugh.
The worst is that those were all directed by animation legend Chuck Jones, a man that is wildly accepted as one of the funniest men in the animation industry.
Despite the great Carl Stalling soundtrack, gorgeous stylized Maurice Noble backgrounds, the crazy animation, brush work and comedic timing, nothing helped. I might have smiled few times to how Chuck Jones played with our expectation on the final gag but I didn’t find anything worthy of a laugh.
The Wile E. Coyote series came out at the end of the 1950s and was probably really funny at that time but I feel that the humor didn’t age well.
Would this be due to the fact that, he … invented it all? So many variations have been seen for the past 50 years that maybe we have now become desensitized to the original material?
If you want to do the same test you are in luck, Youtube user CoyoteAndRoadRunner uploaded pretty much all the shortfilms, by chronological order, to his channel .
While watching the shorts, one thing struck me…. For some reasons, Youtube kept suggesting the viewing of a series of candid/hidden camera gags and I eventually did.
Man, I didn’t expect what would follow.
After only watching one video, I was in stitches.
“Just for Laughs Gags” is an hilarious Canadian secret camera show using all the comedic elements of cartoony pantomime. The gags are beautifully set up, staged and acted by a cast of very likable characters. Even with the inevitable “background laughs” muted, it is impossible to resist laughing hysterically.
For comparison, here is a selection of Chuck Jones directed “Wile E. Coyote” short films followed by “Just for laughs gags”. See what you respond the most to. Maybe you will differ from me but if not, we need to rethink what constitutes comedy in animation.
Coyote and RoadRunner – Gee Whiz-z-z-z (05.05.1956)
Coyote and RoadRunner – Chariots of Fur (21.12.1994)
Infinite Ice Cream
Honking At Hookers
Worker Stuck In Ceiling
Mall metal detector
Stretcher In Water Prank