Wile E. Coyote (also known simply as "The Coyote") and The Road Runner are cartoon characters from a series of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. The characters (a coyote and Greater Roadrunner) were created by animation director Chuck Jones in 1948 for Warner Bros., while the template for their adventures was the work of writer Michael Maltese. The characters star in a long-running series of theatrical cartoon shorts (the first 16 of which were written by Maltese) and occasional made-for-television cartoons.
In each episode, instead of animal senses and cunning, the Coyote uses absurd contraptions and elaborate plans to pursue his quarry.
The Coyote's name of Wile E. is obviously a play on the word "wily." The "E" was said to stand for Ethelbert in one issue of a Looney Tunes comic book; but only one issue, where its writer hadn't intended to create canon. The Coyote's surname is routinely pronounced with a long "e" ([kaɪˈoʊtiː], "ky-OH-tee"), but in one cartoon short, To Hare Is Human, Wile is heard pronouncing it with a final long "a" (i.e., [kaɪˈoʊteɪ], "ky-OH-tay"). Early model sheets for the character prior to his initial appearance (in Fast and Furry-ous) identified him as "Don Coyote", a play on Don Quixote.
The Coyote has separately appeared as an occasional antagonist against Bugs Bunny in five shorts: Operation: Rabbit, To Hare Is Human, Rabbit's Feat, Compressed Hare, and Hare-Breadth Hurry. While he is generally silent in the Coyote-Road Runner shorts, he speaks with a refined accent in these solo outings (except for Hare-Breadth Hurry), introducing himself as "Wile E. Coyote - super genius", voiced by Mel Blanc. The Road Runner vocalizes only with a signature sound, "Beep, Beep" (which sounds more like "Meep, Meep"), and an occasional tongue noise. The "Beep, Beep" was recorded by Paul Julian.
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