Runner - Speedy desert
bird starring in a number of Warner Brothers Looney Tunes and Merrie
Melodies cartoons. Road Runner is a thin bird with large purple tail
feathers who runs at supersonic speed through the vastness of an
southwestern Arizona desert. The Road Runner's nemesis was a very hungry
Wile E. Coyote, who valiantly tried to eat the bird but always
failed to catch his prey.
Latin language phrases used to describe Road Runner included:
- Accelerati Incredibulis
- Burn-em Upus Asphaltus
- Burnius Roadibus
- Digoutis Hot-Rodis
- Disapperialis Quickius
- Fastius Tasty-us
- Geococcyx Californianus
- Speedipus Rex
- Super Sonicus
- Velocitus Incalculus
Road Runner premiered on the animated theatrical cartoon Fast and Furry-Ous
(1949). The bird's only vocabulary, a honking "Meep, Meep!" sound was
inspired by a man named Paul Julian who made similar sounds while rushing
down the hallways near the offices of director/animator, Chuck Jones and
story man Michael Maltese.
For the first Road Runner feature cartoon the
bird's sound effect was produced by special effects man Treg Brown who used
an electronic horn called a Klaxon. When the gadget disappeared, Mel Blanc
mimicked the sound for the second Roadrunner short Beep Beep! (1952). That
sound effect became the standard for all Road Runner cartoons thereafter.
Years later, our swift little desert bird starred in the cartoon series THE
ROAD RUNNER SHOW/CBS/1966-73.
TRIVIA NOTE: The Road Runner is now the mascot for high-speed Road Runner
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