The Sound of the Crowd

What’s Up here, Doc?

I’m certainly not one to say that the amazing voice acting of the late Mel Blanc doesn’t deserve a tribute–in fact, as I said here just a few days ago, I think he belongs on a postage stamp. Not just for Porky, Daffy, Bugs, Foghorn, Tweety and all–for a fan of old time radio like myself Blanc was also Jack Benny’s violin teacher, the train station announcer and many more. Plus assorted supporting characters on Abbott & Costello, Mr. Postman on Burns & Allen, and so on. So his credentials are in good order with me, is what I’m saying.

But there are a couple of things that bother me about this story at CBSNews.com.

First of all, it implies that since Blanc’s death, his son Noel has “taken up the baton” of doing all his dad’s voices. Well, as Mark Evanier wrote in answer to an “Incessantly Asked Question,” that’s not true.

Second, this seems to be a commercial announcement masquarading as a news story. It’s not proclaiming a great honor which is going to bestowed upon the memory of the late Mr. Blanc, it’s letting his fans–of which there are a nearly unlimited number–know that they will have the chance to spend nearly $500 in tribute to him.

Its okay if you’ve got the money, I guess. If I want to pay tribute to him, I’ll put in a Jack Benny tape or a Daffy Duck video or read his autobiography again.


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