Do you believe in omens? This morning, when I went outside to retrieve the Sunday paper from a mud puddle or the bushes (depending on the weather and/or the aim of the paper-route guy), I heard woodpeckers pecking away front and back. One or the other isn’t unusual, but to hear this clatter coming from both directions simultaneously was a first. What, if anything, did this portend?

It turns out that on this day 21 years ago (March 22, 1994), Walter Lantz died at the age of 94. Who was Walter Lantz, you ask (unless you already knew or don’t give a damn)? Well, I’m glad you may have asked, otherwise I would feel like a useless pile of wood chips. Walter Lantz was the creator of Woody Woodpecker, that’s who. And the story of how it happened is a riveting one — get it? Hahahahaha:

From 1928 to 1940, Lantz had been producing cartoons (principally Oswald the Lucky Rabbit) for Universal Studios. In 1940, he and his new wife (actress Grace Stafford) were on their honeymoon, and kept hearing a woodpecker pecking constantly on their roof. Lantz had been seeking a fresh new character for a cartoon series, so his wife suggested a woodpecker, and the rest wood be history. It is also worth noting that the legendary man-of-a-thousand-voices, Mel Blanc, supplied Woody’s voice for the first three cartoons. After Blanc left for Leon Schlesinger/Warner Bros., others supplied Woody’s voice, but Blanc’s unique laugh continued to be used throughout the cartoons.

Want more Woody? Here’s an early clip (1941, 3rd in the series) titled PANTRY PANIC:



  1. martafrant says:

    hm I wrote about Woody Woodpecker 2 days ago in my post “Are you there, Humor…?” amm do you believe in omens? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ladysighs says:

    Memories of Saturday afternoon at the movies. But only after doing my chores. 😦 I didn’t miss too often. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. arekhill1 says:

    Saturday morning cartoons for me.


  4. mistermuse says:

    Those were the days, my friend.
    Too bad they had to end.
    But end they did
    though I’m still a kid
    in part
    at heart.


  5. Joseph Nebus says:

    There was a time in my childhood when Woody Woodpecker was extremely important to me. Now, I look back, and … I can see most of that, but also I can see where they made the same cartoon over and over a lot.


  6. mistermuse says:

    Woody wasn’t one of my favorites, but I’ve always gotten a kick out of that laugh. I kinda dig that 1941 cartoon too.


  7. Don Frankel says:

    This is priceless. You can bet they don’t make cartoons like that anymore. It is hardly politically correct. Ahh the poor Moose.


  8. mistermuse says:

    Don, you got that right. I just watched the cartoon again, and the more I watch it, the funnier it gets. And I thought we had “hard water’ around here!


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