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Friday, 10 July 2020


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.

Apropos of Nothing #81 – 10 July 1989

The sublime voice actor, Mel Blanc, died at 81 on 10 July, 1989.  He was, is and will forever be the cartoon king, at least to my generation.  He was the voice of (deep breath):

Bugs Bunny
Daffy Duck
Tweety Bird
Sylvester the Cat
Pepe Le Pew
Porky Pig
Yosemite Sam
Wile E. Coyote
Road Runner
Foghorn Leghorn
Barney Rubble
Mr Spacely
Woody Woodpecker

and many, many others in the golden age of TV cartoon shows.

He was born in San Francisco in 1908. He started out on a radio career in 1927, using his talent for voices in variety shows, including those of Jack Benny, Abbott and Costello and Burns and Allen. He built a reputation as a versatile voice actor and was snapped up by Warner Brothers (Looney Tunes) and later, Hanna-Barbera (The Flintstones and The Jetsons). His place in television and cinema history is secure. There was no one like him and today, I salute him for his talent and for the hours and hours of entertainment he provided with all those quirky, unforgettable voices.

He died on 10 July, 1989 and is buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery. This is his gravestone.

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