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|Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner|
|First Appearance:||Fast and Furry-ous (September 16, 1949)|
|Created by:||Chuck Jones|
|Voiced by:|| Wile E. Coyote:
silent until 1952, then: Mel Blanc (1952–1961, only in Wile E. and Bugs Bunny shorts, and Adventures Of the Road Runner), Joe Alaskey (Tiny Toon Adventures), Dee Bradley Baker (Duck Dodgers), Maurice LaMarche (webtoon, Looney Tunes: Cartoon Conductor) Daran Norris (The Looney Tunes Show) The Road Runner: Paul Julian (1949–1995), Dee Bradley Baker (1995–current), Frank Welker (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Tiny Toon Adventures, Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal, The Looney Tunes Show)
|Species:||Coyote and Greater Roadrunner|
|Rivals:||Coyote: Bugs Bunny|
Wile E. Coyote (also known simply as "Coyote") and Road Runner are a duo of cartoon characters from a series of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. The characters (a coyote and Greater Roadrunner) were created by animation director Chuck Jones in 1948 for Warner Bros., while the template for their adventures was the work of writer Michael Maltese. The characters star in a long-running series of theatrical cartoon shorts (the first 16 of which were written by Maltese) and occasional made-for-television cartoons.
In each episode, instead of animal senses and cunning, the Coyote uses absurd contraptions and elaborate plans to pursue his quarry.
The Coyote has separately appeared as an occasional antagonist of Bugs Bunny in five shorts: Operation: Rabbit, To Hare Is Human, Rabbit's Feat, Compressed Hare, and Hare-Breadth Hurry. While he is generally silent in the Coyote-Road Runner shorts, he speaks with a refined accent in these solo outings (except for Hare-Breadth Hurry), introducing himself as "Wile E. Coyote - super genius", voiced by Mel Blanc. The Road Runner vocalizes only with a signature sound, "Beep, Beep" (which sounds more like "Meep, Meep"), and an occasional tongue noise. The "Beep, Beep" was recorded by Paul Julian.
To date, 48 cartoons have been made featuring these characters (including the three CGI shorts), the majority by Chuck Jones.
Jones based the Coyote on Mark Twain's book Roughing It, in which Twain described the coyote as "a long, slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton" that is "a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry." Jones said he created the Coyote-Road Runner cartoons as a parody of traditional "cat and mouse" cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, which series Jones would later work on as a director later in his career.
The Coyote's name of Wile E. is obviously a play on the word "wily." The "E" was said to stand for Ethelbert in one issue of a Looney Tunes comic book; but only one issue, where its writer hadn't intended to create canon. The Coyote's surname is routinely pronounced with a long "e" (/kaɪˈoʊtiː/ ky-OH-tee), but in one cartoon short, To Hare Is Human, Wile is heard pronouncing it with a diphthong (/kaɪˈoʊteɪ/ ky-OH-tay). Early model sheets for the character prior to his initial appearance (in Fast and Furry-ous) identified him as "Don Coyote", a play on Don Quixote.
List of cartoonsEdit
The series consists of 48 shorts (mostly about 6–7 minutes but includes three "three-minute, three-dimensional cartoons in widescreen (scope)"), three webtoons (2–3 minutes), one half-hour special (26 minutes), and one feature-length film that combines live action and animation (91 minutes).
|#||Release date||Title||Duration||Credits||Pseudo-Latin names given|
|Story/writing||Direction||For the Road Runner||For the Coyote|
|1||1949·Sep·16||Fast and Furry-ous||6:55||Michael Maltese||Charles M. Jones||Acceleratii incredibus||Carnivorous vulgaris|
|2||1952·May·24||Beep, Beep||6:45||Michael Maltese||Charles M. Jones||Accelerati incredibilus||Carnivorous vulgaris|
|3||1952·Aug·23||Going! Going! Gosh!||6:25||Michael Maltese||Charles M. Jones||Acceleratti incredibilis||Carnivorous vulgaris|
|4||1953·Sep·19||Zipping Along||6:55||Michael Maltese||Charles M. Jones||Velocitus tremenjus||Road-Runnerus digestus|
|5||1954·Aug·14||Stop! Look! And Hasten!||7:00||Michael Maltese||Charles M. Jones||Hot-roddicus supersonicus||Eatibus anythingus|
|6||1955·Apr·30||Ready, Set, Zoom!||6:55||Michael Maltese||Charles M. Jones||Speedipus rex||Famishus-famishus|
|7||1955·Dec·10||Guided Muscle||6:40||Michael Maltese||Charles M. Jones||Velocitus delectiblus||Eatibus almost anythingus|
|8||1956·May·05||Gee Whiz-z-z-z-z-z-z||6:35||Michael Maltese||Charles M. Jones||Delicius-delicius||Eatius birdius|
|9||1956·Nov·10||There They Go-Go-Go!||6:35||Michael Maltese||Chuck Jones||Dig-outius tid-bittius||Famishius fantasticus|
|10||1957·Jan·26||Scrambled Aches||6:50||Michael Maltese||Chuck Jones||Tastyus supersonicus||Eternalii famishiis|
|11||1957·Sep·14||Zoom and Bored||6:15||Michael Maltese||Chuck Jones||Birdibus zippibus||Famishus vulgarus|
|12||1958·Apr·12||Whoa, Be-Gone!||6:10||Michael Maltese||Chuck Jones||Birdius high-ballius||Famishius vulgaris ingeniusi|
|13||1958·Oct·11||Hook, Line and Stinker||5:55||Michael Maltese||Chuck Jones||Burnius-roadibus||Famishius-famishius|
|14||1958·Dec·06||Hip Hip-Hurry!||6:00||Michael Maltese||Chuck Jones||Digoutius-unbelieveablii||Eatius-slobbius|
|15||1959·May·09||Hot-Rod and Reel!||6:25||Michael Maltese||Chuck Jones||Super-sonicus-tastius||Famishius-famishius|
|16||1959·Oct·10||Wild About Hurry||6:45||Michael Maltese||Chuck Jones||Batoutahelius||Hardheadipus oedipus|
|17||1960·Jan·09||Fastest with the Mostest||7:20||None||Chuck Jones||Velocitus incalculii||Carnivorous slobbius|
|18||1960·Oct·08||Hopalong Casualty||6:05||Chuck Jones||Chuck Jones||Speedipus-rex||Hard-headipus ravenus|
|19||1961·Jan·21||Zip 'N Snort||5:50||Chuck Jones||Chuck Jones||Digoutius-hot-rodis||Evereadii eatibus|
|20||1961·Jun·03||Lickety-Splat||6:20||Chuck Jones||Chuck Jones,
|Fastius tasty-us||Apetitius giganticus|
|21||1961·Nov·11||Beep Prepared||6:00||John Dunn,
|Tid-bittius velocitus||Hungrii flea-bagius|
|Film||1962·Jun·02||Adventures of the Road-Runner||26:00||John Dunn,
Chuck Jones, Michael Maltese
|Chuck Jones||Super-Sonnicus Idioticus||Desertous-operativus Idioticus|
|22||1962·Jun·30||Zoom at the Top||6:30||Chuck Jones||Chuck Jones,
|Disappearialis quickius||Overconfidentii vulgaris|
|23||1963·Dec·28||To Beep or Not to Beep1||6:35||John Dunn,
|24||1964·Jun·06||War and Pieces||6:40||John Dunn||Chuck Jones,
|Burn-em upus asphaltus||Caninus nervous rex|
|25||1965·Jan·01||Zip Zip Hooray!1||6:15||John Dunn||Chuck Jones||Super-sonnicus idioticus||None|
|26||1965·Feb·01||Road Runner a Go-Go1||6:05||John Dunn||Chuck Jones||None||None|
|27||1965·Feb·27||The Wild Chase||6:30||None||Friz Freleng,
|28||1965·Jul·31||Rushing Roulette||6:20||David Detiege||Robert McKimson||None||None|
|29||1965·Aug·21||Run, Run, Sweet Road Runner||6:00||Rudy Larriva||Rudy Larriva||None||None|
|30||1965·Sep·18||Tired and Feathered||6:20||Rudy Larriva||Rudy Larriva||None||None|
|31||1965·Oct·09||Boulder Wham!||6:30||Len Janson||Rudy Larriva||None||None|
|32||1965·Oct·30||Just Plane Beep||6:45||Don Jurwich||Rudy Larriva||None||None|
|33||1965·Nov·13||Hairied and Hurried||6:45||Nick Bennion||Rudy Larriva||None||None|
|34||1965·Dec·11||Highway Runnery||6:45||Al Bertino||Rudy Larriva||None||None|
|35||1965·Dec·25||Chaser on the Rocks||6:45||Tom Dagenais||Rudy Larriva||None||None|
|36||1966·Jan·08||Shot and Bothered||6:30||Nick Bennion||Rudy Larriva||None||None|
|37||1966·Jan·29||Out and Out Rout||6:00||Dale Hale||Rudy Larriva||None||None|
|38||1966·Feb·19||The Solid Tin Coyote||6:15||Don Jurwich||Rudy Larriva||None||None|
|39||1966·Mar·12||Clippety Clobbered||6:15||Tom Dagenais||Rudy Larriva||None||None|
|40||1966·Nov·05||Sugar and Spies||6:20||Tom Dagenais||Robert McKimson||None||None|
|41||1979·Nov·27||Freeze Frame||6:05||Chuck Jones
(no on-screen credits)
(no on-screen credits)
|Semper food-ellus||Grotesques appetitus|
|42||1980·May·21||Soup or Sonic||9:10||Chuck Jones||Chuck Jones,
|Ultra-sonicus ad infinitum||Nemesis ridiculii|
|43||1994·Dec·21||Chariots of Fur2||7:00||Chuck Jones||Chuck Jones||Boulevardius-burnupius||Dogius ignoramii|
|44||2000·Dec·30||Little Go Beep||7:55||Kathleen Helppie-Shipley,
|Spike Brandt||Morselus babyfatius tastius||Poor schnookius|
|45||2003·Nov·01||The Whizzard of Ow||7:00||Chris Kelly||Bret Haaland||Geococcyx californianus3||Canis latrans3|
|Film||2003·Nov·14||Looney Tunes: Back in Action||91:00||Larry Doyle||Joe Dante||None||Desertus operatus idioticus|
|46||2010·Jul·30||Coyote Falls2||2:59||Tom Sheppard||Matthew O'Callaghan||None||None|
|47||2010·Sep·24||Fur of Flying2||3:03||Tom Sheppard||Matthew O'Callaghan||None||None|
|48||2010·Dec·17||Rabid Rider2||3:53||Tom Sheppard||Matthew O'Callaghan||None||None|
1Part of the animated film Adventures of the Road-Runner
2These cartoons were shown with a feature-length film. Chariots of Fur was shown with Richie Rich, Coyote Falls was shown with Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Fur of Flying was shown with Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, and Rabid Rider was shown with Yogi Bear.
In Stop! Look! and Hasten!, Wile E. follows the instructions in a manual titled How to Build a Burmese Tiger Trap. Hearing the trap activated, he leaps in and immediately withdraws, panicked, because instead of the Road Runner he has caught an actual Burmese tiger, who is identified as such and given the pseudo-Latin name "surprisibus! surprisibus!".
In Soup or Sonic, the "beep, beep" of the Road Runner is also given the pseudo-Latin name "beepus-beepus". It might also be noted that in this episode, Wile E. finally "catches" the Road Runner; however, he has been shrunk down to minute size and is dwarfed by the Road Runner. Recovering from the shock, he then turns to the viewer and holds up a sign reading "Okay wise guys, you always wanted me to catch him. Now what do I do?"
SceneryEditThe desert scenery in the first two Road Runner cartoons, Fast and Furry-ous (1949) and Beep, Beep (mid 1952), was designed by Robert Gribbroek and was quite realistic. In most later cartoons the scenery was designed by Maurice Noble and was far more abstract. Several different styles were used. In The Wild Chase (1965), featuring a race between the Road Runner and Speedy Gonzales, it is stated that the Road Runner is from Texas, insofar as the race announcer calls him the "Texas Road Burner." This suggests that most of the Wile E. and Road Runner cartoons could take place in Texas. However, in episode 23, "To Beep or Not to Beep", the catapult is constructed by the Road-Runner Manufacturing Company, which has locations in Taos, Phoenix, Santa Fe, and Flagstaff, suggesting that it takes place in Arizona and New Mexico.
In Going! Going! Gosh! (late 1952) through Guided Muscle (late 1955) the scenery was 'semi-realistic' with an offwhite sky (possibly suggesting overcast/cloudy weather condition). Gravity-defying rock formations appeared in Ready, Set, Zoom! (early 1955). A bright yellow sky made its debut in Gee Whiz-z-z-z! (early 1956) but was not used consistently until There They Go-Go-Go!, later in the same year.
Zoom and Bored (late 1957) introduced a major change in background style. Sharp, top-heavy rock formations became more prominent, and warm colors (yellow, orange, and red) were favored. Bushes were crescent-shaped. Except for Whoa Be-Gone (early 1958), whose scenery design harked back to Guided Muscle in certain aspects (such as off-white sky), this style of scenery was retained as far as Fastest with the Mostest (early 1960). Hopalong Casualty (mid 1960) changed the colour scheme, with the sky reverting to blue, and some rocks becoming off-white, while the bright yellow desert sand colour is retained, along with the 'sharp' style of rock formations pioneered by Zoom and Bored. The crescent shapes used for bushes starting with Zoom and Bored were retained, and also applied to clouds. In the last scene of War and Pieces (1964), Wile E. Coyote's rocket blasts him through the center of the Earth to China, which is portrayed with abstract Oriental backgrounds.
The Format Films cartoons used a style of scenery similar to Hopalong Casualty and its successors, albeit less detailed and with small puffy clouds rather than crescent-shaped ones.
Freeze Frame, a made-for-television short originally shown as part of the 1979 CBS special Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales, depicts the Road Runner taking a turn that leads the chase into mountains and across a wintry landscape of ice and snow.
The Acme CorporationEdit
Main article: Acme Corporation
Wile E. Coyote often obtains complex and ludicrous devices from a mail-order company, the fictitious Acme Corporation, which he hopes will help him catch the Road Runner. The devices invariably fail in improbable and spectacular ways. Whether this is result of operator error or faulty merchandise is debatable. The coyote usually ends up burnt to a crisp, squashed flat, or at the bottom of a canyon (some shorts show him suffering a combination of these fates). Occasionally Acme products do work quite well (e.g. the Dehydrated Boulders, Bat-Man Outfit, Rocket Sled, Jet Powered Roller Skates, or Earthquake Pills). In this case their success often works against the coyote - for example, the Dehydrated Boulder, upon hydration, becomes so large that it crushes him, or the Coyote finding out that the Earthquake Pills bottle label's fine print states that the pills aren’t effective on road runners, right after he swallows the whole bottle, thinking they're ineffective. Other times he uses items that are implausible, such as a superhero outfit, thinking he could fly wearing it (he cannot).
How the coyote acquires these products without money is not explained until the 2003 movie Looney Tunes: Back in Action, in which he is shown to be an employee of Acme. In a Tiny Toon Adventures episode, Wile E. makes mention of his protege Calamity Coyote possessing an unlimited Acme credit card account, which might serve as another possible explanation. Wile E. being a "beta tester" for Acme has been another suggested explanation. Wile E. also uses war equipment such as cannons, rocket launchers, grenades, and bayonets which are "generic", not Acme products. In a Cartoon Network commercial promoting Looney Tunes, they ask the Coyote why does he insist on purchasing products from the Acme Corporation when all previous contraptions have backfired on him, to which the Coyote responds with a wooden sign (right after another item blows up in his face): "Good line of Credit."
The company name was likely chosen for its irony (acme means the highest point, as of achievement or development). Also, a company named ACME would have shown up in the first part of a telephone directory. Some people have said ACME comes from the common expansion A (or American) Company that Makes (or Making) Everything, a backronym of the word. The origin of the name might also be related to the Acme company that built a fine line of animation stands and optical printers; however, the most likely explanation is the Sears house brand called Acme that appeared in their ubiquitous early 1900s mail-order catalogues.
In one Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote short, 'Ajax' was used instead of Acme.
In another short, the names 'A-1' and 'Ace' are used.
Laws and rulesEdit
As in other cartoons, the Road Runner and the coyote follow the laws of cartoon physics. For example, the Road Runner has the ability to enter the painted image of a cave, while the coyote cannot (unless there is an opening through which he can fall). Sometimes, however, this is reversed, and the Road Runner can bust through a painting while the coyote will not. Sometimes the coyote is allowed to hang in midair until he realizes that he is about to plummet into a chasm (a process occasionally referred to elsewhere as Road-Runnering). The coyote can overtake rocks (or cannons) which fall before he does, and end up being squashed by them.
In Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times Of An Animated Cartoonist, it is claimed that Chuck Jones and the artists behind the Road Runner and Wile E. cartoons adhered to some simple but strict rules:
- Road Runner cannot harm the Coyote except by going "beep, beep."
- No outside force can harm the Coyote—only his own ineptitude or the failure of Acme products. Trains and trucks were the exception from time to time.
- The Coyote could stop anytime—IF he were not a fanatic. (Repeat: "A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim." —George Santayana).
- No dialogue ever, except "beep, beep" and yowling in pain.
- Road Runner must stay on the road—for no other reason than that he's a roadrunner.
- All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters—the southwest American desert.
- All tools, weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the Acme Corporation.
- Whenever possible, make gravity the Coyote's greatest enemy.
- The Coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.
- The audience's sympathy must remain with the Coyote.
- The Coyote is not allowed to catch the Road Runner.
These rules were not always followed, and in an interview years after the series was made, writer Michael Maltese said he had never heard of the "Rules." The rules were most likely a gag invented for Jones' book.
The original Chuck Jones productions ended in 1963 after Jack Warner closed the Warner Bros. animation studio. War and Pieces, the last Road Runner short directed by Jones, was released in mid-1964. By that time, David DePatie and veteran director Friz Freleng had formed DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, moved into the facility just emptied by Warner, and signed a license with Warners to produce cartoons for the big studio to distribute.
Their first to feature the Road Runner was The Wild Chase. This was directed by Friz Freleng himself in 1965. The premise was a race between the bird and "the fastest mouse in all of Mexico," Speedy Gonzales, with the coyote and Sylvester the Cat each trying to make a meal out of his usual target. Much of the material was animation rotoscoped from earlier Runner and Gonzales shorts, with the other characters added in.
In total, DePatie-Freleng produced 14 Road Runner cartoons, two of which were directed by Robert McKimson (Rushing Roulette, 1965, and Sugar and Spies, 1966). Due to cuts in the number of frames used per second in animated features, many of these final Road Runner features were cheap looking and jerky. Also, the music was very different and of poorer quality than the older features. This was disappointing to fans of the original shorts, and many felt it was the final death knell for animation.
The remaining 11 were subcontracted to Format Films and directed under ex-Warner Bros. animator Rudy Larriva. The "Larriva Eleven", as the series was later called, lacked the fast-paced action of the Chuck Jones originals and was poorly received by critics. In Of Mice and Magic, Leonard Maltin calls the series "witless in every sense of the word." In addition, except for the planet Earth scene at the tail end of "Highway Runnery", there was only one clip of the Coyote's fall to the ground, used over and over again. These cartoons can easily be distinguished from Chuck Jones' cartoons because they feature the modern "Abstract WB" Looney Tunes opening and closing sequences, and they use the same music cues over and over again in the cartoons, composed by William Lava. Only one of those 11 cartoons - "Run, Run, Sweet Road Runner" - had music that was actually scored instead of the same music cues. Another clear clue is that Jones' previously described "Laws" for the characters were not followed with any significant fidelity, nor were there Latin phrases used when introducing the characters.
Wile E. Coyote and Bugs BunnyEdit
Wile E. Coyote has also unsuccessfully attempted to catch and eat Bugs Bunny in another series of cartoons. In these cartoons, the coyote takes on the guise of a self-described "super genius" and speaks with a smooth, generic upper-class accent provided by Mel Blanc. While he is incredibly intelligent, he is limited by technology and his own short-sighted arrogance, and is thus often easily outsmarted, a somewhat physical symbolism of "street smarts" besting "book smarts".
In one short (Hare-Breadth Hurry, 1963), Bugs Bunny—with the help of "speed pills"—even stands in for Road Runner, who has "sprained a giblet", and carries out the duties of outsmarting the hungry scavenger. This is the only Bugs Bunny/Wile E. Coyote short in which the coyote does not speak. As usual Wile E. Coyote ends up falling down a canyon. In a later, made-for-TV short, which had a young Elmer Fudd chasing a young Bugs Bunny, Elmer also falls down a canyon. On the way down he is overtaken by Wile E. Coyote who shows a sign telling Elmer to get out of the way for someone who is more experienced in falling.
In the 1962 pilot for a proposed television series (but instead released as a theatrical short titled The Adventures of the Road-Runner—later edited and split into three short subjects called To Beep or Not to Beep, Zip Zip Hooray! and Road Runner A-Go-Go), Wile E. lectures two young TV-watching children about the edible parts of a Road Runner, attempting to explain his somewhat irrational obsession with catching it.
Chuck Jones' 1979 movie The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie features Jones' characters, including Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner. However, whereas most of the featured cartoons are single cartoons or sometimes isolated clips, the footage of Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner is taken from several different cartoons and compiled to run as one extended sequence.
Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner have cameo roles in Robert Zemeckis' Who Framed Roger Rabbit during the final scene in Marvin Acme's factory with several other Looney Tunes characters. This is one of several anachronisms in the movie, which is set two years before Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner debuted.
Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner appear as members of the Tune Squad team in Space Jam. There, Wile E. rigs one of the basketball hoops with dynamite to prevent one of the Monstars from scoring a slam dunk. And during practice before Lola Bunny shows up, Wile E. Coyote gets his hands on a basketball, but the Road Runner steals the ball from him, and heads into a painted image. But Wile E. doesn't know it's a painted image, and he runs right into it.
Wile E. Coyote appears as an employee of the Acme Corporation in Looney Tunes: Back in Action. There, his role is similar to that of Mustafa from the Austin Powers movies.
Spin-offsEditIn another series of Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoons, Chuck Jones used the character design (model sheets and personality) of Wile E. Coyote as "Ralph Wolf". In this series, Ralph continually attempts to steal sheep from a flock being guarded by the eternally vigilant Sam Sheepdog. As with the Road Runner series, Ralph Wolf uses all sorts of wild inventions and schemes to steal the sheep, but he is continually foiled by the sheepdog. In a move seen by many as a self-referential gag, Ralph Wolf continually tries to steal the sheep not because he is a fanatic (as Wile E. Coyote was), but because it is his job. In every cartoon, he and the sheepdog punch a timeclock, exchange pleasantries, go to work, take a lunch break, and clock out to go home for the day, all according to a factory-like blowing whistle. The most prominent difference between the coyote and the wolf, aside from their locales, is that Wile E. has a black nose and Ralph has a red nose.
Wile E. was called Kelsey Coyote in his comic book debut, a Henery Hawk story in Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies #91 (May 1949). He only made a couple of other appearances at this time. The first appearance of the Road Runner in a comic book was in Bugs Bunny Vacation Funnies #8 (August 1958) published by Dell Comics. The feature is titled "Beep Beep the Road Runner" and the story "Desert Dessert". It presents itself as the first meeting between Beep Beep and Wile E. (whose mailbox reads "Wile E. Coyote, Inventor and Genius"), and introduces the Road Runner's wife, Matilda, and their three newly hatched sons. This story established the convention that the Road Runner family talked in rhyme in the comics.
Dell initially published a dedicated "Beep Beep the Road Runner" comic as part of Four Color Comics #918, 1008, and 1046 before launching a separate series for the character numbered #4–14 (1960–62), with the three try-out issues counted as the first three numbers. After a hiatus, Gold Key Comics took over the character with issues #1–88 (1966–84). During the 1960s, the artwork was done by Pete Alvarado and Phil DeLara; from 1966–1969, the Gold Key issues consisted of Dell reprints. Afterward, new stories began to appear, initially drawn by Alavardo and De Lara before Jack Manning became the main artist for the title. New and reprinted Beep Beep stories also appeared in Golden Comics Digest and Gold Key's revival of Looney Tunes in the 1970s. During this period, Wile E.'s middle name was revealed to be "Ethelbert" in the story "The Greatest of E's" in issue #53 (cover-date September 1975) of Gold Key Comics' licensed comic book, Beep Beep the Road Runner.
The Road Runner and Wile E. also make appearances in the DC Comics Looney Tunes title.
The Road Runner and the Coyote appeared on Saturday mornings as the stars of their own TV series, The Road Runner Show, from September 1966 to September 1968, on CBS. At this time it was merged with The Bugs Bunny Show to become The Bugs Bunny and Road Runner Show, running from 1968 to 1985. The show was later seen on ABC until 2000, and on Global until 1998.
In the 1970s, Chuck Jones directed some Road Runner short films for the educational children's TV series The Electric Company. These short cartoons used the Coyote and the Road Runner to display words for children to read, but the cartoons themselves were a refreshing return to Jones' glory days.
At the end of Bugs Bunny's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Bunny (the initial sequence of Chuck Jones' TV special, Bugs Bunny's Bustin' Out All Over), Bugs mentions to the audience that he and Elmer may have been the first pair of characters to have chase scenes in these cartoons, but then a pint-sized baby Wile E. Coyote (wearing a diaper and holding a small knife and fork) runs right in front of Bugs, chasing a gold-colored, mostly unhatched (except for the tail, which is sticking out) Road Runner egg, which is running rapidly while some high-pitched "beep, beep" noises can be heard. This was followed by the full-fledged Runner/Coyote short, Soup or Sonic. Earlier in that story, while kid Elmer was falling from a cliff, Wile E. Coyote's adult self tells him to move over and let falling to people who know how to do it and then he falls, followed by Elmer.
In the 1980s, ABC began showing many Warner Bros. shorts, but in highly edited form, because the unedited versions were supposedly too violent. Many scenes integral to the stories were taken out, including scenes in which Wile E. Coyote landed at the bottom of the canyon after having fallen from a cliff, or had a boulder or anvil actually make contact with him. In almost all WB animated features, scenes where a character's face was burnt and black, resembling blackface, were removed, as were animated characters smoking cigarettes, or even simulated cigarettes. Some cigar smoking scenes were left in. The unedited versions of these shorts (with the exception of ones with blackface) were not seen again until Cartoon Network, and later Boomerang, began showing them again in the 1990s and early 2000s. Since the release of the WB library of cartoons on DVD, Boomerang has stopped showing the cartoons, presumably to increase sales of the DVDs.
Though Wile E. Coyote isn't seen in Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue he is mentioned by Bugs Bunny saying that he borrowed his time machine.
Wile E. and the Road Runner later appeared in several episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures. In this series, Wile E. (voiced in the Jim Reardon episode "Piece of Mind" by Joe Alaskey) was the dean of Acme Looniversity and the mentor of Calamity Coyote. The Road Runner's protege in this series was Little Beeper. In the episode "Piece of Mind", Wile E. narrates the life story of Calamity while Calamity is falling from the top of a tall skyscraper. In the direct-to-video movie Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, the Road Runner finally gets a taste of humiliation by getting run over by a mail truck that "brakes for coyotes."
The two were also seen in cameos in Animaniacs. They were together in two "Slappy Squirrel" cartoons: "Bumbie's Mom" and "Little Old Slappy from Pasadena". In the latter the Road Runner gets another taste of humiliation when he is outrun by Slappy's car, and holds up a sign saying "I quit"—immediately afterward, Buttons, who was launched into the air during a previous gag, lands squarely on top of him. Wile E. appears without the bird in a The Wizard of Oz parody, dressed in his batsuit from one short, in a twister (tornado) funnel in "Buttons in Ows".
In a Cartoon Network TV ad about The Acme Hour, Wile E. Coyote utilized a pair of jet roller skates to catch the Road Runner and (quite surprisingly) didn't fail. While he was cooking his prey, it was revealed that the roller skates came from a generic brand. The ad said that other brand isn't the same thing.[clarification needed]
Wile E. Coyote had a cameo as the true identity of an alien hunter (a parody of Predator) in the Duck Dodgers episode "K-9 Quarry," voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. In that episode, he was hunting Martian Commander X-2 and K-9.
In Loonatics Unleashed, Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner's 28th century descendants are Tech E. Coyote and Rev Runner. Tech E. Coyote was the tech expert of the Loonatics (influenced by the past cartoons with many of the machines ordered by Wile E. from Acme), and has magnetic hands and the ability to molecularly regenerate himself (influenced by the many times in which Wile E. painfully failed to capture Roadrunner). Tech E. Coyote speaks, but does not have a British accent as Wile E. Coyote did. Rev Runner is also able to talk, though extremely rapidly, and can fly without the use of jet packs, which are used by other members of the Loonatics. He also has super speed, also a take off of Roadrunner. Ironically, the pair get on rather well, despite the number of gadgets Tech designs in order to stop Rev talking. Also they have their moments where they don't get along. When friendship is shown it is often only from Rev to Tech, not the other way around. They are both portrayed as smart, but Tech is the better inventor and at times Rev was shown doing stupid things.
In the What's New Scooby-Doo? episode "New Mexico, Old Monster" Scooby-doo sees both Road Runner and Wile E. within their usual desert speed chase out the window of the Mystery Machine. After the usual failure by Wile E. it left Scooby to be saying "beep-beep."
In the Total Drama Island episode "Wawkanakwa Gone Wild" the duck Gwen meets parodies Roadrunner, such as the running and the tongue sticking.
Road Runner appears in an episode of the 1990 series Taz-Mania in which Taz grabs him by the leg & gets ready to eat him until the 2 gators are ready to capture Taz so he lets Road Runner go.
- The Plymouth Road Runner was a muscle car produced by the Plymouth division of Chrysler between 1968 and 1980. An official licensee of Warner Bros. (paying $50,000 for the privilege), Plymouth used the image of the cartoon bird on the sides and the car had a special horn (with "Voice of Road Runner" labels) that sounds like the bird's signature 'beep, beep'. Some engine options (notably the 426 Hemi) included Road Runner "Coyote Duster" graphics on the air cleaner. The rear spoiler and one of the headlight covers of the 1970 Plymouth Superbird version of the Road Runner included a graphic of the Road Runner holding a crash helmet. The Superbirds were used for the 1970 NASCAR Grand National Division season, and the more aerodynamic Superbirds (as well as the almost-identical Dodge Charger Daytona dominated the season, winning the 1970 Daytona 500 with Pete Hamilton and the Grand National championship with Bobby Isaac. The Superbirds and Daytonas were so fast that NASCAR banned both models for the 1971 season.
- General Motors used the Road Runner on its marketing campaign in 1985 for its Holden Barina in Australia.
- In 1991, Shell Oil New Zealand ran a series of advertisements called "Change for Good" promoting a switch to Unleaded 91 Octane fuel. One of these advertisements had Wile E. Coyote driving into a Shell Service Station and the attendant suggests a "Change for Good." After filling up, Wile E. Coyote's vehicle is now transformed and he is able to drive off to catch Road Runner.
- In 1996, Road Runner became the mascot for Time Warner's cable internet service, also named Road Runner. One commercial involved Wile E. as the "mascot" of DSL. Road Runner is also the mascot of Time Warner's car sales website, BeepBeep.com, and appears in commercials on Time Warner cable systems in several television markets.
- In 1996, Wile E. Coyote appeared alongside football star Deion Sanders in a Pepsi commercial.
- From 1997 to 1998, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote appeared in a Pontiac Grand Prix car commercial. Wile E. chases the Road Runner while driving the car. Pontiac used a tagline "Wider is Better".
- In 2004, Wile E. appeared (along with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck) in an Aflac commercial, in which he is shown as being a prime candidate for the company's services. Before he plummets, taking an animated version of the Aflac duck with him, he holds up a sign with the company's tagline, "Ask About It at Work".
- In the 1990s, Wile E. appeared in Energizer commercials trying to capture the Energizer Bunny.
- In the 1980s, both Wile E. and Road Runner appeared in a Honey Nut Cheerios commercial. The Honey Nut Cheerios Bee convinced Wile E. to eat a bowl of the cereal instead of the Road Runner.
- A McDonald's TV commercial in the 1980s showed the Road Runner running in and ordering using his "beep, beep" while the order taker translated everything he said. Then he picked up the bag and ran over the Coyote on his way out the door.
- Delivery company Purolator Courier used the Road Runner's "beep, beep" in a TV commercial and actually had the phone number 1-800-BEEP-BEEP.
- In New Mexico, where the state bird is the Greater Roadrunner, a commuter train called the Rail Runner uses the Road Runner's signature "beep, beep" as a signal that the train doors are about to close.
- In 2006, Road Runner appeared in a Florida TV commercial for Bright House Networks.
- Oceanic Cable company in Hawaii (a regional branding of Time Warner Cable) uses the Roadrunner as mascot for its high-speed cable modem service. They have also used other Looney Tunes characters, most notably Yosemite Sam, as pitchmen.
- Brazilian postal company, Correios, licensed the Road Runner from Warner to use in an advertising campaign for their express delivery service, Sedex.
- Two bus companies in the Philippines recognize Road Runner as a symbol of speed. The Partas bus company features Road Runner in its buses' livery, even on the employees' uniforms, while another bus company, CEM Trans. Services uses the Road Runner logo in all units with bus number 9114 as its main number from all ordinary to air-conditioned buses.
- In the Philippines, both Wile E. and Road Runner were featured in a Boysen Paints commercial, featuring the "tunnel" gag. In this case, Wile E. uses Boysen paint to draw a tunnel, as Road Runner paints a wall on the other side of the tunnel.
- In 2009, in Mexico, Wile E. Coyote appears in a CONMEXICO TV commercial in which several clips of Acme products backfiring on him are shown. The ad then states that in real life it is not funny when a product does not work properly and advises the consumers to keep buying certified tried and tested brands.
- An Australian Jeep ad in early 2010 has a Jeep running at fast speed and replacing 'Beep Beep' with 'Jeep Jeep'. Gags include the sudden stop and species name, the background, which is drawn Australian style, a boulder falling down and barely missing the Jeep, and heaps of dynamite, which the Jeep runs across them, which land and arrange into the price $40990 (and two sticks of dynamite fall and create the price $37990). The sale was called the 'Off-Road Runner Sale'.
Several Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner-themed video games have been produced:
- Road Runner (arcade game by Atari, later ported to the Commodore 64, NES, Atari 2600, and several PC platforms)
- Electronic Road Runner (self-contained LCD game from Tiger Electronics released in 1990)
- Looney Tunes (Game Boy game by Sunsoft).
- Road Runner's Death Valley Rally (Super NES game by Sunsoft)
- Desert Speedtrap (Sega Game Gear and Sega Master System game by Sega/Probe Software)
- Desert Demolition (Sega Mega Drive/Genesis game by Sega/BlueSky Software)
- Sheep, Dog, 'n' Wolf (for the original PlayStation and published by Infogrames, actually based on the Wolf and Sheepdog cartoons, but Road Runner does make a cameo appearance)
- Looney Tunes Double Pack (published by Majesco Entertainment, developed by WayForward Technologies, where "Acme Antics" is the Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner half of the duble pack)
- Looney Tunes Acme Arsenal
- Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner (an upcoming video game)
The arcade game was originally to have been a laserdisc-based title incorporating footage from the actual Road Runner cartoons. Atari eventually decided that the format was too unreliable (laserdisc-based games required a great deal of maintenance) and switched it to more conventional raster-based hardware.
Besides these, the Wile E. is referenced in the game Gex: Enter the Gecko in the level "Out of Toon", where there is a coyote-shaped hole on the side of a cliff.
References in popular cultureEdit
- The 1979 film The Villain (directed by Hal Needham) is a parody of these animated shorts as well as being a spoof of westerns. It features Kirk Douglas as a Coyote style villain pursuing Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ann-Margret. It includes such Coyote/Road Runner staples as cartoon gravity and painted tunnel entrances.
- In the long-running TV show Cheers an episode begins with some bar patrons calmly discussing the Road Runner cartoons and why the Coyote doesn't simply use the money to buy food instead of buying contraptions to catch the roadrunner. The discussion continues and builds in intensity as a minor subplot throughout the entire episode until at the end of the show some of the bar patrons are boisterously declaring that the Coyote character is meant to be symbolic of the Antichrist.
- Wile E. Coyote appeared briefly in an episode of the live-action show Night Court, where he was admonished by Judge Harry Stone: "If you're hungry, go to a restaurant or a grocery store, and leave the poor bird alone!"
- Wile E. Coyote has made two appearances in Family Guy. In I Never Met the Dead Man he appears riding in a car with Peter; when Peter runs over the Road Runner and asks if he hit anything, Wile E. says no and to keep going. In PTV, he appears in a flashback when Peter claims he had a mail-order operation, which turns out to be none other than ACME. He offers a store credit when Wile E. claims a refund for a giant sling shot that "slammed me into a mountain". Ms. Coyote then comes in telling her husband Wile E. to hurry up. One or both have appeared or were mentioned in episodes of The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show, Bounty Hamster, Kick Buttowski, What's New, Scooby-Doo?, Robot Chicken, and South Park.
- In The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!, Road Runner gets run down and dies . After Road Runners death Coyote says that his life has no meaning without Road Runner and then commits suicide by shooting himself in the head with a prop gun.
- Mark Knopfler, the lead guitarist and singer of Dire Straits, created a song called "Coyote" in homage to the cartoon shows of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, on the 2002 album The Ragpicker's Dream.
- In a sketch on In Living Color (Season 5, Episode 10), Wile E. Coyote (played by Jamie Foxx) is put on trial by Congress for displaying excessive violence in his cartoons; Elmer Fudd (played by Jay Leggett) is his lawyer.
- Humorist Ian Frazier created the mock-legal prose piece "Coyote v. Acme", which is included in a book of the same name.
- In the film UHF, "Weird Al" Yankovic's character introduces a Road Runner cartoon as a sad, depressing story of a "pathetic coyote" futilely chasing a "sadistic roadrunner".
- The opening to The Road Runner Show is playing on the television during a conversation Danny is having with his mother in the Stanley Kubrick film The Shining.
- In an episode of Boy Meets World, Cory is watching a cartoon about the two, and refuses to stop watching it because he "Wants to make sure that the coyote's OK".
- Karen Salmansohn wrote an article on The Huffington Post centering on the characters.
- Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy includes a short entitled "Die, Sweet Roadrunner, Die," in which Wile E. finally kills and eats the Road Runner, but then realizes that his life has lost its purpose. He struggles to get back to life by serving as a waiter, but finds himself still tormented by his identity crisis. He is about to commit suicide, when he realizes what he wants to be. To the displeasure of his friend, he becomes a Christian. 
- In a season 6 episode of Friends (The One Where Ross Dates A Student), Joey and Rachel can be seen watching Going! Going! Gosh!.
- Coyote and Road Runner's ongoing cat-and-mouse chase, some ACME-product disasters, and the classic painted road are parodied in the Johnny Test episode Johnny vs. Bling-Bling 3.
- In series 1 episode 7 of Ashes to Ashes, the concept of criminals running rings around the police is referred to by Ray as "Roadrunner Syndrome", followed by a "meep meep!" from Chris.
- In the Bobby's World episode "It's a Generic Life" Bobby imagines himself as Road Runner and his brother Derek as Wile Coyote.
- An episode of G.I. Joe had the character of Shipwreck imitating Road Runner by saying "meep-meep" after disposing of a coyote.
- In the 1992 Steven Seagal action movie Under Siege, Tommy Lee Jones' character of William Strannix uses the callsign "Coyote" for the submarine he wants to transfer stolen Tomahawk rockets onto. He uses the callsign Roadrunner for himself. When asked by the ship's Executive Officer, Commander Krill (Gary Busey), he explains: [I'm the roadrunner] "- never been caught, meep-meep"
- In a SpongeBob SquarePants episode in the episode "Christmas Who?" Sandy when she acted out things about Christmas for SpongeBob she looked like the Road Runner at one point.
- Newgrounds has flash videos of the Coyote and Road Runner.
- 101 Dalmatians: The Series included a parody of the cartoons in the episode The Making Of..., where Cruella De Vil takes the coyote's role, and Spot the Roadrunner's. The sequence included numerous gags from the cartoons, including the Pseudo-Latin names, before Lucky claimed that it "had some funny stuff in it, but it all seemed a little familiar somehow".
- In The Bob Hope Christmas Special (1977), when Bob Hope asks Big Bird who his favorite movie stars are, one of the stars he mentions is the Road Runner.
- A Wile E. Coyote plush can be seen as a carnival prize in Follow That Bird, in the first shot at The Sleaze Bros. Fun Fair after the cast comes to rescue Big Bird.
- The red-dirt band The Great Divide included a song titled "Wile E. Coyote" on their 1999 album, "Revolutions"
- The Road Runner appered with other cartoon birds (like Foghorn Leghorn) in the CollegeHumor video entitled "Angry Birds PSA".