Excerpt from Actor’s Devotional April 17

Posted: April 20, 2009 in Devotionals

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April17

 

Actor’s Devotion

 

I can’t help it, I’m a greedy slob, it’s my hobby” – Daffy Duck

 

If Mickey Mouse brought cartoons to the general public’s attention, then it was Daffy Duck who made them funny.  He’s been through several evolutions, changed considerably throughout the years but one thing he remains… and that’s funny… And the voice of course.  The voice of Daffy (created by Mel Blanc) was meant to be a high-pitched copy of the shows producer Leon Schlesinger.  Leon is reported to have said, “Thaaay, where’d youth get the idea for that thilly voith?”  He never did get the joke.

 

Up until the time of Porky and Daffy, the public largely saw cartoons as a different way to tell the same stories their human counterparts were playing.  They didn’t necessarily have to have humor as there driving theme.  Daffy was about to change all that.  With his patented, “hoo-hoo, hoo-hoo, hoo-hoo”, and his bouncing (literally) off the ceilings and the walls, the American public was to taste something they’d never really had before… funny cartoons.  America liked it very much.

 

That 1st wacky Daffy, though, was a bit much if the scriptwriters were going to give him any longevity.  So not long after his arrival on the screen, Daffy was given another persona, still pretty wacky, but with a brain and sharp whit.  In this version of himself, the duck was paired with Porky pig.  Porky was always the straight man to Daffy’s wacky comedy stylings.  They played off of each other in everything from Westerns (My Little Duckaroo) to Sci-Fi (Duck Dodgers), and the formula always worked.

 

Of course, his work with a certain rabbit also met with huge success.  In fact so much so that the model for that pairing, in which Daffy is continuously trying to outsmart the other character in the film on one pretext or another, became the model for much of his future work.  Whether it was Bugs, or Speedy Gonzalez, Foghorn Leghorn, or Elmer Fudd, Daffy could be seen being bested, well… by the best of them.  Much of this stemmed from what were termed Daffy’s “greedy duckling years” in which his need for greed was the sole driving force of his life.  He was forever trying to dupe or trick the other character into giving him their money.  This theme sort of morphed, because to watch Daffy trying so desperately to make money, build a house, rent a home, fix a car, in short to try just about anything and fail was…well…funny.  He would try to be a swashbuckling hero in the “Scarlet Pumpernickel” and fail.  He would try and be a marauding Arabian knight in “Ali Baba Bunny”, and fail.  He would try to be the world’s greatest door-to-door salesman… and fail.  He would try in several different short films to take over someone’s job (Bugs Bunny or Porky Pig say) and he would be the decidedly more talented, erudite and savvy actor… but he would still fail.  The question is not why did he fail so much.  The real question is, why do we love someone who is such a miserable failure?

 

I believe that we love Daffy because we love us.  We fail.  We fail often.  We fail often and in a grand manner.  We fail because Adam failed, and that is the nature of things now.  We want to do right, and we do many good things, but like Daffy somehow (in our own strength) we come up short.  Everything is falling into a state of greater and greater disorder.  There is nothing we can do or say to stop it.  It is what is, as they say.  Dr. Larry Crabb puts it well when he says, “Wretchedness- our own wretchedness- must be recognized before true greatness can be properly defined and passionately desired.  And it must be recognized not only as a past reality that only memory keeps in view, but also a present reality that, in all honesty, we must continue to acknowledge.”  It’s always gonna be here.  We have seen the enemy, and it is us.  And what can anyone or anything do about it?! 

 

Romans 7:21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

 

“Unless we have some understanding of the ‘great principle of wretchedness’ and can see it in ourselves, we will not be impressed by it’s opposite.” (Dr. Crabb again)

 

I will strive after greatness and obedience because he has done great things… for me!    No matter how many times I fail, Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient to cleanse me from all unrighteousness, to correct me, to mature me, and to finish this good work he has begun… even if I fail as much as Daffy.

 

It was on this day in 1938, that Daffy Duck made his debut in the short animated film “Porky’s Duck Hunt”

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