Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner



Wile E. Coyote (also known simply as "The Coyote") and the Road Runner are cartoon characters from a series of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, created by Chuck Jones in 1948 for Warner Brothers. Chuck Jones based the films on a Mark Twain book called Roughing It, in which Twain noted that coyotes are starving and hungry and would chase a roadrunner.

Chuck Jones once said of his most famous protagonist and antagonist that "Wile E. is my reality, Bugs Bunny is my goal." He originally created the Road Runner cartoons as a parody of traditional "cat and mouse" cartoons (such as Tom and Jerry) which were increasingly popular at the time. The cartoons' Southwestern setting also mirrors the setting of the Krazy Kat comics, by George Herriman.

The Road Runner was voiced by Paul Julian, who worked as a background painter for Friz Freleng's unit.

The Road Runner shorts are very simple in their premise: the Road Runner, a flightless cartoon bird (loosely based on a real bird, the Greater Roadrunner), is chased down the highways of the Southwestern United States by a hungry coyote, named Wile E. Coyote (a pun on "wily coyote"). Despite numerous clever attempts, the coyote never catches or kills the Road Runner. (Although The Solid Tin Coyote does nab the roadrunner, he throws the coyote into his cavernous mouth following the "EAT, STUPID" command, and in Soup or Sonic, after running in and out of pipes that would magically resize the pair, the coyote is getting ready to eat the Road Runner, when he suddenly realizes that he is miniature and his prey is gigantic, to which he then looks at the camera and holds up the signs "All right, wise guys, you always wanted me to catch him - now what do I do?") All of his elaborate schemes end up injuring him in humorous instances of highly exaggerated cartoon slapstick violence.

There is almost never any "spoken" communication, save the Road Runner's "beep-beep" (which actually sounds more like "mheep-mheep") and the Road Runner sticking out his tongue (which sounds like someone patting the opening of a glass bottle with the palm of their hand), but the two characters do sometimes communicate by holding up signs to each other, the audience, or the cartoonist (though both these rules were broken later). Another key element is that while Wile E. is the aggressor in the series, he and his hopelessly futile efforts are the focus of the audience's sympathy as well as virtually all of the humor. Wile E. seems doomed, like Sisyphus, forever to try but never to succeed.

The Road Runner's personality is less developed and consequently the audience lacks a context for empathy or identification with him - he is cheeky and seems to show satisfaction in defying the schemes of the Coyote, but the majority of the time is just a running object in the distance.

Wile E. Coyote later appeared in some Bugs Bunny shorts, as well as the Little Beeper cartoons featured on Tiny Toon Adventures, when he talks. In the Bugs Bunny shorts in particular, he calls himself a "super genius" (Operation: Rabbit, 1952; his first speaking appearance, and his first appearance in which he is called "Wile E. Coyote"); in another cartoon he claims an IQ of 207 (Zip Zip Hooray!, 1965).

Jokes, or gags, often seen during the episodes, include the very frequent failure of Wile's gadgets (purchased from the Acme Corporation), but most noted is his usual falling down a canyon or cliff; seeing him fall far down before seeing the classic puff of smoke that emerges after the crash. Another gag is Wile seeming to complain silently to himself over either his hunger or his life, before Road Runner shows up, giving him the usual "mheep-mheep" before zooming off. A gag that sometimes showed up during these mocking stunts would be a smokescreen obscuring the view, seeing another smokescreen from Wile, but after Wile would have run off to catch the Road Runner, Road Runner would stay where he was supposed to have zoomed off, effectively feigning his escape from Wile.

Typically at the start of each short, during a chase sequence, the action pauses to show the audience the apparent Latin (or scientific) names of Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, usually emphasising the former's speed and the latter's hunger.

The 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 subsequent cartoons the scenery was designed by Maurice Noble and was far more abstract. Several different styles were used.

In Going! Going! Gosh! (late 1952) through Guided Muscle (late 1955) the scenery was 'semi-realistic' with an offwhite sky. Gravity-defying rock formations appeared in Ready, Set, Zoom! (1954). 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 colours (yellow, orange and red) were favoured. 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. The Format Films cartoons used a style of scenery similar to Hopalong Casualty and its successors, albeit paler and with small puffy clouds rather than crescent-shaped ones.

In War and Pieces, the last Chuck Jones Road Runner cartoon, in the last scene of the cartoon Wile E. Coyote's rocket blasts him through the center of the Earth to China, which is portrayed with abstract Oriental backgrounds, and also featured a Chinese Road Runner on roller skates.

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 backfire 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 cartoons show him suffering a combination of these fates.) How the coyote acquires these products without any 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 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, grenades, and bayonets.

The company name was likely chosen for its irony (acme means the highest point, as of achievement or development). The common expansion A (or American) Company that Makes (or Making) Everything is a backronym. The origin of the name might also be related to the Acme company that built a fine line of animation stands and optical printers.

Among the products by the Acme Corporation are:

* Acme portable holes
* Acme catapults
* Acme earthquake pills
* Acme rocket sled kits
* Acme Burmese tiger trap kit (thus nailing a Burmese tiger)
* Acme jet-propelled roller skates
* Acme (triple strength fortified) leg muscle vitamins
* Acme Giant Rubber Band (For Tripping Roadrunners)
* Acme Dehydrated Boulders
* Acme Hi-Speed Tonic
* Acme Batman suit
* Acme Bumble Bees
* Acme Wild Cat

* and - a wide selection of explosives: TNT, dynamite, nitroglycerin ...

* Also, on an online flash movie preloader, there are Acme lightsabers.

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 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 which fall before he does, and end up being squashed by them.

In his book, Chuck Amuck, Chuck Jones explains some of the rules the writers and artists followed in making the Coyote-Road Runner series:

1. The Road Runner cannot harm the coyote except by going "Beep-beep!"

2. No outside force can harm the coyote—only his own ineptitude or the failure of the Acme products. (This rule was broken once.)

3. The coyote can stop any time—if he were not a fanatic. (Repeat: "A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim."–George Santayana; this quote appears on a promotional poster featuring the duo, with the quote appearing in Burma Shave-style clips on signs amid the roadrunner's air wake)

4. There may be no dialogue ever, except "beep-beep!" The coyote may, however, speak to the audience, occasionally with his own voice or through wooden signs that he holds up. (Actually, this rule was broken numerous times through the agonized screams and yelps that came from being damaged by his own products. In Zoom at the Top, there are two violations: the term "HA-HA!" as he takes cover behind a boulder, and the normal-voiced "ouch" after a bear trap snaps on him with a single drop of oil.)

5. The Road Runner must stay on the road—otherwise, logically, he would not be called "Road Runner". (This rule was broken, too.)

6. All action must be confined to the natural environment of the two characters—the southwest American desert.

7. All materials, tools, weapons, or mechanical conveniences must be obtained from the Acme Corporation.

8. Whenever possible, gravity should be made the coyote's greatest enemy.

9. The coyote is always more humiliated than harmed by his failures.

There was also a tenth and more unofficial rule:

* The sympathy of the audience must lie with the coyote.

The rules were followed with rare exceptions. Sometimes the episode is concluded with Wile E. being flattened by a truck (with the Road Runner grinning from the rear window). In the 1961 two-reel theatrical short Adventures of the Road-Runner, Wile E. Coyote actually speaks dialogue as he lectures on how best to catch the Road Runner. In the 1979 made-for television short Freeze Frame, Wile E. Coyote chases the Road Runner up into a snowy mountainous region, where most of the short is spent. In the rare 2000 short Little Go Beep, they explain the fourth rule by showing a baby Wile E.'s father (voiced by Stan Freberg) telling him not to speak until he has caught a Road Runner. There was also one where the Road Runner drives a car over Wile E. Coyote. Chuck Jones directed Freeze Frame, and advised on Little Go Beep.

The original Chuck Jones productions ended in 1963 with the closing of the Warner Bros. animation studio. War and Pieces, the last Road Runner short directed by Jones, was released in mid-1964. By that time, Pink Panther co-creator David DePatie and veteran director Friz Freleng had formed DePatie-Freleng Enterprises and commissioned new Road Runner productions.

The first cartoon of the DePatie-Freleng Road Runner series, The Wild Chase, was directed by Friz Freleng in 1965, and notably starred Speedy Gonzales and Sylvester the Cat alongside Wile E. and Road Runner. 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).

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's 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.

Post-Chuck Jones cartoons allow the coyote to speak, and once (in Soup or Sonic, 1980) he has the Road Runner in his grasp but thanks to a gag involving a tunnel that gets smaller and narrower as he goes through it, the coyote is only a few inches tall and can only grab the Road Runner's leg—at which point he holds up a large sign that reads "Okay, wise guys, you always wanted me to catch him." In his other hand he holds up a smaller one that reads, "Now what do I do?"

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.

In one short (Hare-Breadth Hurry, 1963), Bugs Bunny—with the help of amphetamines—even sits 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 another short which had a young Elmer Fudd chasing a young Bugs Bunny, Elmer also falls down a canyon. On the way down he is meet by Wile E. Coyote who shows a sign which tells Elmer to get out of the way for someone who is more experienced in falling!!}

In the 1962 pilot for a potential television anthology series (but later released as a theatrical short entitled The Adventures of the Road-Runner—later edited and split into two short subjects called 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. He does so with help from an illustrated chart showing each section of the bird and its flavor. Having never caught the bird, how he would know what it tastes like is open to discussion. Still, for archival purposes, the list of purported flavors of the Road Runner is as follows:

(Head)

1. Banana
2. Asparagus
3. Papaya
4. Liquorice
5. Vanilla
6. Sponge cake
7. Celery

(Tail and neck)

8. Candied yam
9. Caramel
10. Salami
11. Tamale

(Body)

12. Chop suey
13. Noodle
14. Pork chop

(Legs)

15. Cheddar cheese (Wile E. clarifies it as being "Wisconsin cheddar")
16. Double martini (very dry)
17. Bratwurst
18. Yorkshire pudding
19. Pistachio

If the bird does indeed possess all these taste characteristics, no wonder it is such a sought-after delicacy - and why Mother Nature has seen fit to give it such an impressive defense mechanism. {Wile E. Coyote does remark over Roadrunner recipies in a cookbook that one was like his mother used to make-so apparently he did taste roadrunner in his youth}.

In the 1970s, Chuck Jones directed three 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.

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 Tiny Toon movie, How I Spent My Summer Vacation, the Road Runner finally gets a taste of humilation 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 is outrun by Slappy's car and holds up a sign saying "I quit"—immediately afterwards, 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 funnel in "Buttons in Ows".

In the 2000s, toddler versions of Wile E. and the Road Runner have been featured in episodes of the series Baby Looney Tunes.

In Loonatics Unleashed, Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner were renamed Tech E. Coyote and Rev Runner. Tech E. coyote was the tech expert of the Loonatics (influence by the past cartoons with many of the machines ordered by Wile E. from Acme, and has magnetic hands and the ability molecularly regenerate himself (influenced by the many times in which he painfully failed to capture roadrunner). Tech E. Coyote speaks, but does not have a British accent like Wile E. Coyote did. Rev Runner is also able to talk, though at an extremely fast rate, he is also able to fly without the use of jet packs, which are use by other members of the Loonatics.

In a Cartoon Network TV ad about The Acme Hour, Wile E. Coyote utilized a pair of jet roller skates to catch the roadrunner and 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.

In another series of Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoons, the character design of Wile E. Coyote was copied and renamed "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 satirical 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. At the end of every cartoon, he and the sheepdog stop what they were doing, punch a timeclock, exchange pleasantries, and go home for the day, after which the nightshift team takes over. 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.

In the old Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies comics published by Dell Comics, the Road Runner was given the name Beep Beep the Road Runner and had 4 sons and a wife. The Road Runner family talked in rhyme in the comics. Wile E. was called Kelsey Coyote in his comic book debut.

Dell first published "Beep Beep the Road Runner" as Four Color Comics #918, 1008, and 1046 before getting his own title for issues #4-14 (1960-66), which was continued by Gold Key Comics with issues #1-88 (1966-70s).

The Road Runner and Wile E. also make appearances in the DC Comics Looney Tunes title.

* Wile E. Coyote is the mascot for the San Antonio Spurs he is number "2!".

* Bo Diddley recorded a song titled "Road Runner" with the female background singers singing "beep-beep".

* There was a Soviet Union equivalent of the Road Runner series, titled "Ну погоди!" (Pronunciation—Nu pogodi!), which in English means "Just you wait!". In the series, a big bad wolf tries unsuccessfully to capture a little hare. The action is in more of a silent gag movie style and lacks the Road Runner series' various technological gadgets, but has many more cultural references in its humor than the more stark Road Runner cartoons. Some of the episodes were animated in black and white.

* Ice hockey player Yvan Cournoyer was nicknamed "The Road Runner" due to his blazing speed on the ice.

* In 2001, the season four episode "Revenging Angel" of sci-fi television series Farscape featured extended cartoon sequences in which John Crichton and Ka D'Argo were rendered as Road Runner- and Wile E. Coyote-esque characters. In these sequences, which were hallucinations experienced by Crichton, D'Argo purses Crichton using a variety of familiar gags, such as OZME-brand rockets, explosive "froonium," and fake wormholes painted onto rock walls.

* In the 1998 film Armageddon, upon hearing they need to go behind the moon to build up speed before landing on the Earthbound asteroid, a character comments he saw that maneuver before in Coyote and Roadrunner, immediately after which the NASA spokesperson explaining the maneuver dubs it the "Coyote-and-Road-Runner Slingshot".

* Writer Ian Frazier satirized the Coyote/Acme relationship in his humorous short story Coyote v. Acme, which appeared in the February 26, 1990 issue of The New Yorker. The story takes the form of a product liability lawsuit filed by Wile E.'s attorney against the Acme corporation, detailing the numerous injuries the company's shoddy goods had caused the hapless coyote. Frazier's piece has been reproduced on many web sites, often in modified form and often without attribution. The story was later published, with other short pieces by Frazier, in Coyote v. Acme (hardcover: ISBN 0374130337, paperback: ISBN 0312420587).

* A 1990 episode of Married... with Children (titled "Who'll Stop the Rain?") featured a gag at one part where Al was preparing to fix a leak while out in a thunderstorm. He says that he needs to get the right equipment. Peg jokes that he'll need a Wile E. Coyote mask. However, a few years later after this episode in 1993, the costume and prop company Illusive Concepts created an oversized latex Halloween Wile E. Coyote mask.

* The 1986 Album Bares y Fondas from the Argentine rock group Los Fabulosos Cadillacs included a track called Tus tontas trampas (Your silly traps) which is sung from the Roadrunner's perspective on how the Coyote is going to kill himself in his attempts to catch him. This song was popular on all ages, and can still occasionally be heard in Argentine rock radio stations.

* During the 1988 Yes and No election in Chile, TVN (the national television network) transmitted the Road Runner cartoons instead of the election results, upheld until about 02:00 the next day.

* In an episode of Family Guy entitled "I Never Met the Dead Man," there is a scene where Peter Griffin's driving skills comes into question. Brian says "Remember that trip you had to the south-west?" A Family Guy style flashback occurs with the Road Runner running up the road and Peter running him over. Peter is then seen in the car and says "Oh jeez, I think I just hit that ostrich" and Wile E. Coyote is seen in the passenger seat saying "He's fine, keep going!" In a later episode ("PTV"), Peter flashbacks to when he was previously running a mail-order operation for ACME equipment. He talks to Wile E. Coyote, who is trying to return a giant slingshot that failed to work. Wile E. also has a wife in this segment.

* In an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Carlton Banks angrily exclaims on the topic of being fair "This is so not fair! Is it fair that Wile E Coyote can't catch the Road Runner?" This is obviously a reference to the fact that no matter how hard he tries, Wile never catches his prey.

* In a comic series from Neglected Mario Characters (The "NC/SSS Crossover Mach 2," Patrick Van Dusen, in an effort to prove his worthiness to the "Darker Evil" tries to kill his best friend, the VGWarrior. These attempts are made in a Road Runner/style hunt, with VGWarrior as the Road Runner and Pat as Wile E. Coyote. Pat's plans always result in him being humiliated in a similar matter to Wile E. Coyote. In one scene, he even falls off a cliff, holding up a sign saying "Somehow I had time to make this sign describing my plight, but not enough time to save myself from falling into pain."

* In the 1980 movie "The Shining", a Road Runner cartoon can be seen and heard on the Torrence family's TV.

* In an episode of the TV series Cheers, the cast engages in a brief debate about the relationship between Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, speculating as to whether the Coyote is genuinely hungry, or just a fanatic. Interestingly enough, George Wendt (who played Norm Peterson on Cheers) engaged in a very similar debate in the movie Man of the House.

* In an episode of the 1990's Spider-Man animated series, Mysterio, in order to escape the scene of a crime, creates what appears to be a hole in a wall, then disappears through it. Spider-Man attempts to follow, but only hits the solid wall as the hole miraculously disappears. Spider-Man remarks that he can't help feeling like "a certain coyote". (In the cartoons, the Road Runner frequently ran through "fake" holes in walls, and the Coyote slammed into a dead end when he tried to follow.)

* In a 1992 episode of The Simpsons entitled "Homer Alone", Homer chases Bart around the house. During the chase, they are each freeze framed and subtitled with their mock latin names. In this case, the titles read "BART (Brat'us Don'thaveacow'us)" and "HOMER (Homo Neanderthal'us)". In a 1993 episode entitled "Bart's Inner Child", Homer is trying to push a trampoline off a cliff, this is an obvious reference to Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner. Also, a 1997 episode of The Simpsons ("Realty Bites") featured attempts by Snake to recover his car from Homer; one of these is to set up a wire across a road to decapitate Homer as he drives by. The wire is supplied by "Acme". Another 1997 episode of the Simpsons ("The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show") featured the voice actress for Itchy and Scratchy, who claimed to have done the "Meep!" for the Road Runner -- being paid for only one, which the producers then doubled up.

* In 1997 on the Dexter's Laboratory season two episode, "Road Rash" which Dexter gets a bike, and races Dee Dee, there is a scene where Dexter leaves out free jewelry the same way Wile E. Coyote leaves out bird seed for the Road Runner. Also, Dee Dee sticks out her tongue and beep-beeps like the Road Runner at one part, for most of the time throughout the episode, she simply says "Can't catch me!"

* In a two issue story in the comic The Dreaming in 1997, the Coyote of Native American myth seeks to become a more significant player in the cultural subconcious. By the end of the story, he has become Wile E.

* A 2004 episode of What's New, Scooby-Doo? featured a cameo of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. The coyote chases the Road Runner alongside the Mystery Machine in the beginning of the episode, complete with the appropriate sound effects. Wile E. uses a rocket pack to chase the bird.

* A 2004 episode of the animated comedy Drawn Together features Wooldoor Sockbat rushing around frantically, to Spanky Ham's annoyance. The pair stop in a freezeframe with parenthesized Latin names below their own real ones: Spanky is "Pornus Interruptus", and Wooldoor is "Ritalinus Shouldatakus."

* In 2005 on the Teen Titans season four episode, "Episode 257-494", which featured the heroes trapped in a television world, there was a scene where Beast Boy, morphed into a perfect Wile E. Coyote look-alike and described "Animalus Switcheroonus", was chasing Control Freak, or "Couchus Potaticus". In the subsequent sequence, the disguised Beast Boy fell off a cliff just as Wile E. Coyote frequently does, complete with the "Help" sign.

* Also, in an episode of Bounty Hamster, the title character is seen flipping through an Acme catalogue when Wile E. Coyote shows up and comments that after forty-five years, he's finally learnt not to buy from the same brand.

* Issue five of Grant Morrison's run on Animal Man contains a story about a thinly-veiled Wile E. Coyote, in which the character decides to leave the "cartoon world" as an attempt to escape the seemingly endless cycle of violence.

* An animated Wile E. Coyote also appeared as a defendant on (live action) Night Court where he was told by Judge Stone to "Leave that poor little bird alone".

* An episode of Mad TV featured a sketch where Wile E. Coyote was in court against Acme corporation due to faulty and mislabeled products. He was being represented by Elmer Fudd.

* There is a debate around a campfire about why Wile E. Coyote didn't just go buy chicken, in the Tim Allen movie Jungle 2 Jungle.

* Economist Paul Krugman describes the tendency of certain currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, to maintain higher valuations than they realistically should as the "Wile E. Coyote Effect."

* In Weird Al Yankovic's film UHF, a depressed George Newman introduces a Road Runner cartoon on "Uncle Nutsy's Clubhouse" as a "sad and depressing tale of a pathetic coyote in the futile pursuit of a sadistic roadrunner, who MOCKS and LAUGHS at him as he's repeatedly CRUSHED and MAIMED! Hope you ENJOY IT!"

* In the 2004 video game Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, in the Prologue level of Part II (the police station), when Jim Bravura orders Max Payne to write a report on what happened on the upper east side, Max (in narration) feels that he is in a "cartoon moment when the gravity waits for the coyote to realize his mistake before the plunge," a reference to the endless activities of Wile E. Coyote in the Road Runner cartoons.

* An episode of The Fairly OddParents called "Back to the Norm" has Mr. Crocker setting up a trap siimilar to one of Wile E.'s by painting a tunnel onto a wall so Timmy will smack into it and a rock at the top will fall on him. Timmy somehow makes it through the tunnel and pedals away. Crocker tries to go through the tunnel but stops saying he won't fall for the trick and pats the wall, causing a vibration and he gets crushed by the rock.

* In an episode of the Disney Channel program, "Phil Of The Future", Pim Diffy tries to play pranks on a substitute teacher in her class only to be out-tricked by the substitute. In one scene a worry Pim seeing her prank going to backfire on her holds up a sign that reads "Yikes!" in reference to Wile E. Cayote's cartoon antics.

* The Plymouth Road Runner was a performance 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 1970 Plymouth Superbird version of the Road Runner, arguably one of the most spectacular cars of the muscle car era, included a graphic of the Road Runner holding a crash helmet on its massive rear spoiler and one of its headlight covers.

* General Motors used the Road Runner on its marketing campaign in 1985 for its Holden Barina in Australia. Even in 2004, "Beep-beep Barina" is still known as a catch phrase by many Australians.

* In 1995, Road Runner became the mascot for Time Warner's cable internet service, also named Road Runner. Interestingly, 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.

* In the early-2000s, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote appeared in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo car commercial. Wile E. chases the Road Runner while driving the car but the commercial ends before he is caught.

* 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 reading the company's tagline, "Ask About It At Work."

* In the 1990's, Wile E. appeared in a few Energizer commercials trying to capture the Energizer Bunny.

* In the 1980's, both Wile E. and Road Runner appeared in a Honey Nut Cheerios commercial. Before Wile E. was about to fall off a cliff, the Honey Nut Cheerios bee, whose was now named BuzzBee, saved him by asking, convincing, and giving him a bowl of the cereal.

Four Road Runner-themed video games were produced:

* Road Runner (arcade game by Atari, later ported to the NES, Atari 2600, and several PC platforms).

* 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 Genesis game by Sega/BlueSky Software).

* Sheep, Dog n Wolf, PS1, game by Sony. (Using spinoff characters, Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf).

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.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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