Love Stinks!

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 – – Skunks often get the short end of the stick because of their stink, but Pepe Le Pew is one of the few cartoon characters fighting for skunk liberation, to say nothing of the male libido…

…a second tier yet memorable Warner Bros. character, Pepe was a stereotypic Frenchman in the same manner that Speedy Gonzalez was a stereotypic Mexican. Pepe would perpetually stroll about Paris in the spring, foisting his totally unwelcome romantic attentions upon an unfortunate black feline, Penelope Pussycat, whom Pepe would always mistake to be a female skunk. Penelope’s resemblance to a skunk was often generated by some plot device such as the cat crawling under a freshly painted white fence, and emerging with a white stripe down her back; Pepe was readily deceived, perhaps because of his own eagerness. Much of the ensuing cartoon antics would then center about Pepe’s persistent pursuit of the misperceived female, and her frantic efforts to escape his amorous intentions.

Little would deter or dissuade the amorous French skunk, even acts of physical violence against himself by the cat, which Pepe interpreted as playing “hard to get.”  Pepe’s self-assurance and rock-solid sexual confidence always propelled him forward, with reality seldom intruding on his belief systems; he was a soft-core sexual predator unaware of his own repugnancy for whom the pursuit was everything. The Pepe Le Pew cartoons traded in absurdity, and perhaps resonated within any person who had ever experienced an irrational and hopeless love attraction or been the recipient of unwanted romantic advances…

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2 Comments on “Love Stinks!”

  1. carycomic Says:

    All too true (in overly-p.c. hindsight). But, back then, such behavior was considered second-nature to _all_ Frenchmen! Mostly, of course, by the non-French. And, back in the days before fem-lib, no French actor embodied that more (to the delight of female American movie-goers) than Charles Boyer. Whose voice was Mel Blanc’s inspiration for Pepe!

    • vulpesffb Says:

      It’s that stereotype of Frenchmen being suave, sophisticated, and great lovers; there are far worse stereotypes to bear, oui?


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