This is serious, people. Classical music has a long and meaningful history in cartoons that is no laughing matter. Just kidding! There is a really long history, but it is hilarious, and so is this episode. Richard Scerbo, Director of the National Orchestral Institute and Festival and founder and artistic director of the DC-based and Grammy-nominated Inscape Chamber Orchestra, takes us on a tour of that history. Find out the practical, social, and financial reasons behind Looney Tunes use of classical music, and how cartoons both poked fun at the music and made it fresh for new audiences. Hear examples of the classical music the cartoons draw from and examples of how the music was rearranged to suit the needs of Porky and Bugs. And, um, that’s not all, folks.

Music in this episode:

  • The Bartered Bride (Dance of the Comedians) by Bedrich Smetana
  • “Zoom and Bored” (Warner Bros. cartoon featuring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner)
  • Hungarian Rhapsody No2 by Franz List
  • “Rhapsody in Rivets” (Warner Bros. cartoon)
  • “A Corny Concerto” (Warner Bros. cartoon narrated by Elmer Fudd)
  • The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss II
  • Tales from the Vienna Woods by Johann Strauss II
  • “Ride of the Valkeries” from Die Walküre by Richard Wagner
  • “Kill the Wabbit” from What’s Opera, Doc? (Warner Bros. cartoon featuring Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny)

Audio production by Mark “The Martian” DiClaudio and Todd “Tweety” Hulslander with onomatopoeia by Dacia Clay.