"The roughest, toughest, he-man stuffiest hombre as ever crossed the Rio Grande and I ain't no mamby pamby" as Yosemite Sam would say.
It's all that racka-frackin' no-account bush-whackin' idjit Rusty Bucket's fault!
This was not the original theme for our first match of the year, but we got in an argument over a stage for the upcoming Great Nor'easter in which the theme is "Legendary Lawmen", and Rusty insisted Yosemite Sam was a lawman.
I pointed out that he wears a mask and has never been a lawman in all of his appearances.
This, of course, got me thinking about ol' Sam and... well, here we are.
And now a little background on the star of our match this month:
Friz Freleng was looking for a character who was explosive enough to engage in combat with the unfazable Bugs Bunny, so he, Michael Maltese, and Hawley Pratt designed the smallest, meanest, most loudest character they could imagine and named him Yosemite Sam.
Looking back at Tex Avery's Dangerous Dan McFoo (1939), Freleng adopted the character which was a short loud mouthed cowboy, but there were other contributions to the development of the firebrand Sam.
Red Skelton fashioned a persona called Sheriff Deadeye, who was a hot western blowhard with a droopy moustache that flapped when he roared his words.
Also within the Warner Brothers Studio, Bob Clampett's Buckaroo Bugs (1944) featured a sawed-off gunslinger that was based on both Deadeye and on the comic strip character Red Ryder, named Red Hot Ryder.
In 1944's Stage Door cartoon we can see a Deadeye like sheriff (Bugs Bunny in disguise) which would later become Yosemite Sam.
Writer Michael Maltese said that he patterned the character on the short tempered, irascible Friz Freleng himself.
"Friz was Yosemite Sam".
His first appearance was in 1945's Hare Trigger.
Yosemite Sam would go on to play many different characters from a Cowboy, Pirate, and Sheik, to the Black Knight, which would win him an Oscar award.
With over thirty cartoon shorts to his credit Yosemite Sam has become Bugs Bunny's number one archenemy.