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Survival of the fittest. And besides, it's fun.
~ Daffy showing his villainous nature in Rabbit Fire.
You're despicable!
~ 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.

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.

Voice Portrayals

  • Since 1937 to 1989, he was voiced by the late Mel Blanc.
  • Since 1990 to 1993, he was voiced by Jeff Bergman.
  • Since 1990 to 2014, he was voiced by the late Joe Alaskey.
  • Since 1991 he was voiced by Maurice LaMarche.
  • Since 1993 to 1997, he was voiced by the late Greg Burson. 
  • Since 1996, he was voiced by the late Frank Gorshin.
  • Since 1996 to 2016, he was voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
  • Since 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.

Biography

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, 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 crazy and a 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 in Assault and Peppered for "starving on his property", even though they were simply desperate to eat and wished to try some of his home-grown food. 

It should still be remembered that, while Daffy may be mostly evil, he has done plenty of heroic acts which have shown that he 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 is one exception, 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.

Villainous Roles

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".

Duck Dodgers

Dodgers

Daffy Duck as Duck Dodgers.

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, the only exception occurring on a two-part episode in which he 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

150px-Daffyduck2011

Daffy as he appears in 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.

Villainous Acts

  • 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.
  • In "Members Only", he uses Walter Bunny's membership number to get into a club.
  • He commits a littering crime in "Jailbird and Jailbunny" by throwing a tin 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.
  • He also accuses several of his neighbors for 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.
  • 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 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.
  • In "Conrad the Sailor", Daffy harasses Conrad, even though Conrad did nothing bad to him.

New Looney Tunes

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Daffy as he appears in 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.

Gallery

Images

Videos

Trivia

  • 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 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.

See Also

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