The Goofy Gophers (characters)
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- This article is about the characters. For the cartoon of the same name, see The Goofy Gophers (cartoon).
The gophers, named Mac and Tosh (a play on machintosh), are small and brown with tan bellies and buck teeth. The Goofy Gophers were created by director Arthur Davis for the 1947 cartoon The Goofy Gophers (Norm McCabe had used a pair of gophers in his 1942 short Gopher Goofy, but they bear little resemblance to Arthur Davis' characters). The cartoon features the gophers' repeated incursions into a vegetable garden guarded by a dog whom they relentlessly, though politely, torment. Mel Blanc plays Mac and Stan Freberg Tosh. Both speak with high-pitched English accents like those used in upper-class stereotypes around at the time. After classic cartoons, Joe Alaskey plays Mac. Some sources claim that Arthur intended The Goofy Gophers to be a spoof of Disney's chipmunk characters, Chip 'n Dale. Others,
however, point out that this seems unlikely given the two pairs of characters are so different in characterization. The only real similarities are the fact that the characters are rodents, are paired up and have puns for names. The gopher's mannerisms and speech, patterned after Frederick Burr Opper's comics characters Alphonse and Gaston, which in the early 1900s engendered a "good honest laugh". The crux of each four-frame strip was the ridiculousness of the characters' over-politeness preventing their ability to get on with the task at hand. Mac and Tosh's dialogue is peppered with such over politenesses as "Indubitably!", "You first, my dear," and "But, no, no, no. It must be you who goes first!" Clampett later stated that the gophers' effeminate mannerisms were derived from character actors Franklin Pangborn and Edward Everett Horton. Davis would direct one other Goofy Gophers short, 1948's Two Gophers From Texas. This time, the dog from the first film pursues the gophers with a gopher cookbook in hand. Robert McKimson was the next Warners director to utilize the characters. He pitted them against Clampett and Arthur's dog once again in the 1949 film A Ham in a Role wherein the dog's efforts to become a Shakespearean actor are foiled by the rambunctious rodents. The Gophers lay dormant for two years until FrizFreleng made a series of four shorts beginning with 1951's A Bone for a Bone, another dog-versus-gophers short. This was followed by I Gopher You in 1954, featuring the Gophers in their first cartoon without the dog, and attempting to retrieve their vegetables from a food processing plant; Pests for Guests in 1955, which has the pair of gophers counter-antagonize the helpless Elmer Fudd when he buys a chest of drawers that they found appropriate for nut storage; and Lumber Jerks later that year, where the Gophers visit a Saw mill in an attempt to retrieve their stolen tree home. After Isadore Freleng finished with the characters, they would star in two more cartoons, once again directed by McKimson. These two cartoons, Gopher Broke in 1958 and Tease for Two in 1965, pit the Gophers against the Barnyard Dawg and Daffy Duck, respectively. Both gophers were voiced by Mel Blanc in the latter short instead of one by Blanc and the other by Freberg. The Goofy Gophers were largely forgotten by Warner Bros. in the years since the animation studio's closing in 1967. However, in recent years, they have made a few cameos in various Warners projects. They are seen briefly in the 1996 movie Space Jam, for example, and they feature prominently in episodes of the animated series The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries (I Gopher You) and Duck Dodgers (K-9 Kaddy). In the latter they are reinvented as green-furred, six-limbed Martian gophers. The two gophers are referenced in the Gilmore Girls episode Dead Uncles & Vegetables. In the town hall meeting scene when Lorelai says to Rory "We certainly are entertaining, Mac" and Rory replies, "Indubitably, Tosh!" Their names re based on the Macintosh apple.
- The Goofy Gophers (1947)
- Two Gophers from Texas (1948)
- A Ham in a Role(1949)
- A Bone for a Bone (1951)
- I Gopher You (1954)
- Pests for Guests (1955)
- Lumber Jerks (1955)
In other media
- The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries (episode I Gopher You)
- Duck Dodgers (episode K-9 Kaddy)
- Space Jam (1996) - cameo
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988) - cameo
- The Looney Tunes Show (voiced by Rob Paulsen and Jess Harnell)
- Main article: Goofy Gophers/Gallery