65 years ago today, The Tasmanian Devil, an animated cartoon character voiced by Mel Blanc first debuted in movie theaters. In the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes short Devil May Hare, Taz meets Bugs Bunny who spends the day tricking the snorting, snarling beast with a bubble-gum chicken, a decoy deer, a giant slingshot, and finally a classified ad for a lady Devil he places in the Tasmanian Post-Dispatch.
WATCH the cartoon and learn how ‘Claude’ (which was later revealed as Taz’s first name) eventually became a hero… (1954)
The cartoon character became part of the Merrie Melodies series and found new popularity in the 1990s.
In real life, a Tasmanian devil is an Australian marsupial that looks nothing like Taz, but it does have a ravenous appetite and exhibits a crazed behavior. Portrayed as a ferocious, but dim-witted carnivore with a short temper, he is also sweet at times. Spinning like a tornado, he eats anything in his path, but Taz does have one weakness: he can be calmed by music. While in this calm state, ‘Claude’, which was later revealed to be his first name, can easily be dealt with.
In 1991, Taz got his own show, Taz-Mania, which ran for four seasons and cast him as the main hero protagonist.
MORE Good News on this Day in History:
- Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician and philosopher who, as a young man invented a mechanical calculator and later philosophized that “all men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone,” was born (1623)
- The first official baseball game was played— with the New York Nines defeating the N.Y. Knickerbockers 23–1 in Hoboken, New Jersey (1846)
- The U.S. Congress prohibited slavery in United States territories, nullifying the Dred Scott Case (1862)
- Ann Wilson, co-founder of the rock band Heart, which sold over 35 million records worldwide, was born (1950)
- After surviving an 83-day filibuster in the United States Senate, The Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress outlawing all segregation on the basis of race (1964)
- Edgar Winter’s No.1 hit ‘Frankenstein’, named because of how many cuts and patches were contained in the original studio tape, earned a Gold record (1973)
- EU nations agreed to lift their sanctions against Cuba, in the hope of encouraging democracy on the island (2008)
And, on this day in 1978, Garfield, first appeared as a comic strip. Created by Jim Davis, it chronicles the life of Garfield the cat, his owner Jon, and Odie the dog, with topics ranging from the orange tabby’s laziness and obsessive eating, Jon’s need for coffee, and disdain of Mondays and diets.
As of 2013, the strip was syndicated in roughly 2,580 newspapers, holding the Guinness World Record for being the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip and earning up to a billion dollars a year from merchandising, books, films, and television. WATCH a Garfield and Friends clip, “What Happened to my Lasagna?”