Pepe was yet another of the creations of Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese, with voice by Mel Blanc. Few people recognize it today, but he was clearly a cartoon version of Charles Boyer with a bit of Maurice Chevalier thrown in. His most notable features (other than scent, of course) were the fractured Franglish he spouted to devastating effect ("Do not come wiz me to ze Casbah, we will make-a ze love right here...") and the frequent species confusion usually caused by a black cat somehow having an unfortunate encounter with white paint. His name and some of the Casbah references relate to the 1937 French film Algiers, starring Charles Boyer; his character's name in the movie was Pepe Le Moko, and it was set in the Casbah.
Hs first appearance was in Odor-Able Kitty in 1945, and he won an Academy Award (well, sort of*) for For Scent-imental Reasons in 1949. His last appearance was in Louvre Come Back to Me in 1962. He is one of Warner Brothers' best-known characters, despite appearing in only 16 cartoons and making a guest appearance in 1 other.
Chuck Jones described Pepe as "the man I always wanted to be", saying that he never had a lot of luck with girls, and that Pepe was absolutely comfortable with his sexuality, so secure of his appeal that it was inconceivable to him that he could offend women. Jones said that he "tried to get some of his personality inside of me so I could draw on it in my relations with women."
* It's a joke. Of course, Pepe couldn't win an Academy Award. The creators of the cartoon won it. But this writeup is about Pepe, not them. Besides, he was the star.
Pepe Le Pew filmography
- Odor-able Kitty (1945)
- Scent-imental Over You (1947)
- Odor of the Day (1948)
- For Scent-imental Reasons (1949) (Academy Award winner)
- Scentimental Romeo (1951)
- Little Beau Pepe (1952)
- Wild Over You (1953)
- The Cat's Bah (1954)
- Dog Pounded (1954) (guest appearance; cartoon features Sylvester and Tweety)
- Past Perfumance (1955)
- Two Scents Worth (1955)
- Heaven Scent (1956)
- Touche and Go (1957)
- Really Scent (1959)
- Who Scent You? (1960)
- A Scent of the Matterhorn (1961)
- Louvre Come Back to Me (1962)