What came first, the pig, the duck or the rabbit?
Dateline Hollywood, 1929: War breaks out!
Ok, not really a war, but more like a fierce rivalry. Walt Disney had his Mickey Mouse who had just starred in 'Steamboat Willie', and the 'Silly Symphonies'. He was being challenged by Hugh Harmon and Rudolf Ising, and their 'Looney Tunes' and 'Merie Melodies'.
You wouldn't recognize the Looney Tunes today of you saw them. The main star back then was Bosco. Bosco and his girlfriend Honey stared in the Loony Tunes until 1932 when Harmon and Ising left to join MGM. Leon Schlesinger was left scrambling to find someone to take over before Jack Warner shut down his studio. After a couple of failed attempts, a young director came in, Friz Freleng. Friz had a magic touch. He was able to take the previous flops and make something good out of them.
Looney Tunes struggled by until 1935 when another fresh director was hired. Tex Avery.
And it was Tex, who in 1937 directed what was to become the first Looney Tunes cartoon todays kids would recognize. It was called "Porky's Duck Hunt". This marked the first appearance of Porky Pig and Daffy Duck. It also featured the unheard of feature that was to become a staple of Looney Tunes: The breaking of the fourth wall. In one scene, Daffy throws Porkys dog back at him and Porky says "Hey! Th-th-that wasn't in the script!".
The next year, Leon Schlesinger Production studios hired Charles 'Chuck' Jones. He would become the lead director for Schlesinger.
Looney Tunes only needed one more ingredient to really take off. And that came in 1940 when Tex Avery created Bugs Bunny.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
But, contrary to what most people think, Bugs was actually the third of the main Looney Tunes characters created, coming in three full years after Porky and Daffy.