|“||Survival of the fittest. And besides, it's fun.||„|
|~ Daffy showing his villainous nature in Rabbit Fire.|
|~ Daffy Duck's famous catchphrase.|
Daffy Duck is the deuteragonist of the Looney Tunes franchise. He is also one of the main characters of Looney Tunes: Back in Action. He has been a regular cast of the mainstream heroes of Looney Tunes, but he is not always a hero. He is more accurately termed as an anti-hero and at times can even become a leading villain. That said, as with most of his fellow Looney Tunes, how mean he is depends on the era.
Daffy can be credited with some rather cruel and unusual incidents throughout his career and has antagonized several notable heroes, such as Bugs Bunny and Speedy Gonzales.
- From 1937 to 1989, he was voiced by the late Mel Blanc.
- From 1990 to 1993, he was voiced by Jeff Bergman.
- From 1990 to 2014, he was voiced by the late Joe Alaskey.
- Since 1991, he was voiced by Maurice LaMarche.
- From 1993 to 1997, he was voiced by the late Greg Burson.
- Since 1996, he was voiced by the late Frank Gorshin.
- From 1996 to 2016, he was voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
- From 2001 to 2006, he was voiced by Samuel Vincent.
- Since 2004, he was voiced by Jeff Bennett.
- Since 2018, to this day, he is voiced by Eric Bauza.
Daffy Duck has gone one step further than Bugs Bunny or Foghorn Leghorn and actually passed from the occasional anti-hero to the occasional villain as he is often portrayed as a selfish, mean-spirited and attention-stealing braggart and mostly as a greedy con-artist who craves for fame and riches and who does not really care about honesty. He used to be a crazy and eccentric screwball. His designated victim is the gullible Porky Pig, whom he tricks in selling him many useless things, often with the goal of causing him troubles so that he could sell him a more expensive and not more useful "remedy". He also hates Bugs Bunny, and in Chuck Jones' "hunting trilogy", consisting of Rabbit Fire, Rabbit Seasoning and Duck! Rabbit, Duck!, Daffy repeatedly tried to get Bugs killed by Elmer Fudd.
While many of Daffy's antagonistic stints have been mostly comedic due to his general incompetence and tendency to get himself punished, usually either out of being too greedy or trying too hard to one-up rivals like Bugs, some of the cartoons where he was paired up with Speedy Gonzales during the DePatie/Freleng era turned him into a more serious, straight-out villain who was astonishingly cruel, even for his standards, and for little reason. For one particularly good example, in the cartoon Well Worn Daffy, Daffy's mean-spirited nature is taken to its extremes and he outright denies a group of mice access to desperately needed water out of sheer malice: this is without a doubt one of the most blatantly cruel things that Daffy has done (and, to be fair, is slightly out of character). On a similar note, he also whipped and berated poor mice, then declared war on all poor people in Assault and Peppered because the mice were "starving on his property", even though they were simply desperate to eat and wished to ask if they could try some of his home-grown food.
It should still be remembered that, while Daffy may be anti-heroic or villainous at times, he has done plenty of heroic acts that have shown that he usually has a good side to him. In Duck Dodgers, for example, he is always the hero. An idiot hero, but still certainly not an anti-hero (there are two exceptions, see below). Also, in general, while he's usually not a completely clear-cut hero or villain, exactly how good or bad he is varied wildly depending on the nature of the cartoon or movie he appeared in, and in the case of the former, who was writing it.
- Daffy's earliest dip into outright villainy was "The Ducksters" where Daffy runs a crooked game show called "Truth or AAAHHH", where the contestant, Porky Pig has to answer near impossible questions or face dangers such as being tied to a conveyor belt with a buzzsaw or being attacked by a killer gorilla. Additionally, in a moment of black humor gag, an offscreen member of the gameshow's audience tries to warn Porky Pig that Daffy's gameshow is rigged, leading to Daffy shoots the man with a hunting rifle.
- Harasses Conrad the Cat despite never being provoked in "Conrad the Sailor".
- Attempts to hunt down and kill Bugs Bunny to get rich quick in "The Iceman Ducketh".
- The aforementioned "Well Worn Daffy" has Daffy as a wealthy oasis owner in an otherwise barren Desert. When three starving and lost mice, including Speedy Gonzales, come across Daffy's well and Oasis, they ask the Duck for some water, Daffy denies them any water out of cruelty and chases them away with a shotgun. Not only does Daffy shoot any mice who come near his well, but he also taunts the mice by wastefully taking a shower with the Oasis water in front of them. Finally, when Daffy has loaded all the water he needs from the well, he then attempts to blow it up with dynamite, so no one else will ever get to have the water.
- In "Moby Duck", Daffy and Speedy are starving on a deserted island, with the Duck rejecting Gonzales' attempts at friendship. When several big crates of canned food wash up on the Island, Daffy claims them all for himself, refusing to let Speedy have even a crumb from a single can. When Speedy tries to bargain with Daffy, offering a can opener in exchange for less than a quarter of food, Daffy refuses and tries to murder Speedy. Finally, when Speedy gives Daffy the can opener out of pity for the insatiable Duck, Daffy shows no gratitude and still claims Speedy won't even get a crumb.
- "Assault and Peppered" casts Daffy as an evil land Baron who whips several mouse beggars for starving on his property under the pretense of them lowering the value and declaring a war on poor people even after the mice had apologized. When Speedy Gonzales arrives to rescue the poor, Daffy tries to attack him with various firearms.
- In "Chilly Corn Corny", Speedy Gonzales befriends a crow who is starving to death who is begging for some corn. Daffy shows no gratitude and attempts to murder anyone who even gets a piece of corn on the field, including Speedy and his crow friend. Later on, Daffy makes a deal with the crow to give all the corn to him only to have Speedy get shot and killed, much to their friendship in ruins.
- "Mexican Mousepiece" begins with a group of mice who are poor and starving invading Daffy's home to borrow a quantity of food. When Daffy finds out that many foreign cats are starving and are about to go extinct, he attempts to gain their trust pretending to be nice and generous to the mice only to be locked up by Daffy's package to be sent to the seas so that the starving cats can eat them. Speedy Gonzales becomes aware of Daffy's scheme and comes to the rescue. Unusually Daffy's cruelty towards the poor mice was out of altruism for poor foreign cats, making him an anti-villain in this cartoon.
- "Go Go Amigo" begins with Daffy as a simple grouchy store owner trying to prevent Speedy from listening to Radios in his building for free, however midway through the cartoon, Daffy goes insane and becomes a villain. Taking a pistol, Daffy invades the radio station Speedy was listening to and holds the DJ hostage at gunpoint, forcing the station to play off-tune records instead, until Daffy is foiled by Speedy leading to the Loco Duck's arrest.
- In "Speedy Ghost to Town", Speedy is searching for buried treasure in a ghost town leading to the avaricious Daffy trying to steal his treasure maps using various cartoon weapons.
- In "Daffy's Diner", Daffy is running a diner that sells overpriced Mouse burgers, which in addition to having stale bread, axle grease, insecticide, and too much hot sauce, has a (not safe for consumption) rubber mouse in place of a real one; making his burgers a safety hazard as well as a ripoff. When a customer, or as Daffy called him "a sucker", discovers the ruse after choking on a rubber mouse, he threatens Daffy into getting a real mouse. Daffy then tries to trick and cook Speedy to serve to the customer.
- In "Snow Excuse", Speedy is freezing to death and asks Daffy if he can kindly borrow some firewood from him, but the ever-greedy duck stubbornly refuses and tries to murder Speedy, prompting Speedy to steal some wood so he can survive. He's also shown to be a hypocrite by the end of the episode, as Daffy expects to gain shelter from Speedy in return from his success of being cozy and warm at last, when Daffy was the reason why Speedy couldn't get any in the first place giving him the idea of stealing wood from him. Speedy was close to dying of hypothermia that he essentially endangered himself.
- "Tease For Two" casts Daffy as a fortune hunter looking for gold that accordingly is indicated to where the Goofy Gophers live. He furthermore antagonizes the honest and innocent gophers by using violent means to selfishly get rid of them, prompting them to fight back.
- In "The Astroduck", Daffy rents the cheapest house he can find to relax for the summer. As Speedy Gonzales kindly introduces that he lives there and so has his family for many generations, Daffy selfishly demands that he leave and claims the house for himself, refusing to accept Speedy's will to share the house and even tries to murder Speedy.
- "A Squeak in the Deep" begins with Daffy hoping to win a yacht race to earn as much money as possible. As the race begins, he cheats his way against Speedy in order to claim the whole prize to himself to win the race, and selfishly even refuses Speedy's bargain to share the prize with him. He later redeems himself and joins forces with Speedy to win the contest and fairly share the prize.
- "The Spy Swatter" starts with Speedy sending a secret strength formula for mice to the Mouse Factory. Daffy has been sent by the rivaling cat agency to stop him, using various traps.
- In "See Ya Later, Gladiator", Daffy was instructed to guard a time machine while being instructed to not pull the chain. Unlike a few other shorts where Daffy's reason of being angry towards Speedy's antics can be justified (examples such as in "Swing Ding Amigo" or in "The Music Mice-tro" or in "Go Away Stowaway"), here, he goes far onto actually sending Speedy back in time just because of his "corny music". Later on, he redeems himself by teaming up with Speedy Gonzales to thwart the lions in Ancient Rome and get back to the present. With shorts like in "Fiesta Fiasco" and in "Skyscraper Caper" dialing back his flanderized character in this era, Daffy has thankfully massively redeemed himself as a likable character once again after the DePatie-Freling and Seven Arts era ended.
Bugs Bunny Rabbit Rampage
Believe it or not, Daffy Duck is featured as the final boss and the main antagonist of the video-game "Bugs Bunny Rabbit Rampage". In this version of events, Daffy has taken his rivalry with Bugs to a whole new level and gained the power of the artist in a similar fashion to Elmer Fudd during a famous Looney Tunes cartoon.
Using his newfound powers, Daffy Duck causes all manner of mischief for Bugs Bunny, but is ultimately resigned to his usual defeat at the hands of his rival.
It is very likely that Daffy Duck was also trying to exact revenge on Bugs Bunny for pulling a similar trick on him in the Looney Tunes cartoon "Duck Amuck".
In Duck Dodgers, Daffy Duck (aka Duck Dodgers) serves to protect the galaxy alongside Porky Pig (aka The Cadet) from Marvin the Martian.
While still lazy, dimwitted and sometimes coward, Daffy maintains a heroic status on that series, with there being only two exceptions. In "Detained Duck", Duck Dodgers makes the claim that he sold Cadet's sister to a sausage factory leading to the Cadet siding with dodger's criminal doppelganger, Drake Darkstar (who was also disgusted by Dodgers assertion), and Dodgers going to prison at the end of the episode, though it should be noted this incident is never brought up again in the series where Dodgers is once again out of prison and on friendly terms with the Cadet.
The other example was in the two-part episode "Of Course You Know This Means War and Peace" in which Dodgers sabotages a peace treaty to prevent losing his job, an act for which the Cadet takes the blame. Dodgers later regrets the sabotage, saves the Cadet from prison and publicly admits his guilt.
Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas
On that TV special adapted from A Christmas Carol, Daffy plays the role of the greedy, heartless and abusive owner of a mega-store who changes his behavior and becomes a generous fellow after being visited by three spirits on the Christmas Eve night; as happened with Ebenezer Scrooge in the original story.
The Looney Tunes Show
|“||Sometimes you have to treat others wrong to treat yourself right.||„|
|~ Daffy in "We're in Big Truffle".|
Daffy returns as a main character in this 2011 spin-off of the Looney Tunes. He sometimes has villainous roles. Furthermore, he also more openly mean towards others despite mellowing out during the second season.
- The most notable example is "The Float", where he bankrupts Porky Pig by lying about a kidney transplant just to buy a yacht eventually crossing the Moral Event Horizon. He shows no remorse for this, and continues acting like a jerk towards Porky even after the latter donates his kidney to Daffy after he gets injured.
- In "Members Only", he uses Walter Bunny's membership number to get into the country club. This results in him getting punched in the face and banned after Walter finds out.
- He commits a littering crime in "Jailbird and Jailbunny" by throwing a soda can into the Grand Canyon. This escalates into him and Bugs going to jail for a year for contempt of court.
- In "Off Duty Cop", he impersonates his favorite actor and arrests innocent people doing it for pointless reasons (like arresting a man for supposedly stealing a woman's ring when the man was proposing to her or handcuffing two children harmlessly playing with water guns).
- He also accuses several of his neighbors of stealing his newspaper in "Newspaper Thief". In truth, he forgot to renew his subscription.
- In "The Shelf", after being invited to stay with Porky (due to his home needing renovations), he quickly takes advantage of Porky's hospitality, turning him into his butler and making him wait on him hand and foot to the point where he verbally and even physically abuses him if he gets his outrageous demands wrong.
- In "Customer Service", he becomes the supervisor of a cable company and fires the other employees for no reason. He redeems himself by firing Cecil Turtle, the main antagonist of the episode. Daffy himself is then fired for firing everyone else.
- He develops a hatred against Porky in "French Fries" for eating fries that were allegedly for him. Soon he finds out the fries were actually for the table. After this, however, he becomes a total hypocrite by eating Porky's pizza. On top of this, he showed little regard for his petty nature would affect Porky's friendship with Bugs.
- In "Best Friends Redux", he grows jealous of Bugs' former best friend Rodney. So he time travels to ensure the two never met, only to realize he had erased Bugs' memory of him. Thus Daffy fixes his mistake to restore his friendship with Bugs, learning a valuable lesson along the way. However, this is balanced out with more positive portrayals, such as in "Bobcats on Three" where he goes out of his way to help a children's water polo team win. "Best Friends" where he goes to extreme lengths to try and prove he's a good friend to Bugs (their rivalry turned down to more of a competing friendship, that Daffy always loses, in this adaptation). Perhaps the best example is "We're in a Big Truffle" where he willingly gives up a fortune to save Porky. These traits prevent him from ever becoming the villain of the series.
New Looney Tunes
Daffy finally appears again after "Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run" (2015) in a New Looney Tunes clip from "Porky's Duck-Livery Service", his only appearance in season 1. Daffy appears more in seasons 2 and 3. This Daffy retains his original pre-Chuck Jones characteristics and wild, zany screwball character as perfected by Tex Avery and Bob Clampett. He was voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
He has shown to be an antagonist sometimes, such as harassing Porky in several episodes, tormenting Bugs on an computer sketching him (similar to "Duck Amuck" and in revenge for what Bugs did to him in that cartoon), and trying to steal the spotlight but normally just tends to want to see smiles come to peoples faces and does help save the universe.
- Daffy's earlier appearances in the cartoons were much more different than in later cartoons. In the late 30s and early 40s, he was a crazy duck who jumped around and yelled "Whoo-whoo-whoo-whoo-whoo-whoo!!!". In the late 40s and 50s, however, the late Chuck Jones made him more greedy, stupid, clever and he became more villainous. During the 60s, he also became the archenemy of Speedy Gonzales.
- In Gremlins 2: The New Batch, a Mogwai named Daffy was heavily based on Daffy Duck's personality, with Daffy himself also appearing in the film's intro and ending.
- Daffy is one of the few characters to talk with a lisp, along with Sylvester the Cat from the Looney Tunes franchise and Sid the Squid from the Slappy Squirrel segments in Animaniacs.
- He shares his similarities with Donald Duck, his Disney counterpart and rival as both are anti-heroes and are protagonist villains often and are jealous of the mascots of the companies (Daffy is jealous of Bugs and Donald is jealous of Mickey) and want to become the top star, but their plans are always foiled.
- Interestingly Daffy is by far the most ruthless and dangerous of Speedy Gonzales foes, easily outstripping Sylvester who was more harmless and less cruel in comparison to Daffy. He defeated Speedy in the cartoons in Mucho Locos and Chilly Corn Corny. This era also proved that despite not being as smart as Bugs, Daffy isn't stupid as he is capable of being crafty when needed.
- Daffy's role in Moby Duck is similar to Sylvester's role in Canned Feud, however, while Sylvester was the hero of Canned Feud, Daffy was the villain of Moby Duck.