Porky Pig, 87; popular animated cartoon star, succumbs to flu.
LOS ANGELES--Porky Pig, longtime popular animated cartoon character, collapsed on the set of Warner Brothers yesterday during a rehearsal for a comeback short feature. He was rushed to Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles showing symptoms of human flu. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta expressed concern that the H1N1 virus, also known as "swine flu" could be transmitted between humans and animals--and vice versa.
After lingering in the hospital for 37 hours, Pig smiled at his loved ones, offered some last words and closed his eyes for the last time. Those at his bedside said his last words were, "Ahberee-uh, Ahberee-uh, Ahberee-uh, That’s All Folks!" Longtime companion and sometimes co-star Petunia Pig told reporters, "Leave it to Porky to leave ‘em laughing."
In addition to Ms. Petunia Pig, survivors include TV superstar and cousin Miss Piggy. "Kermie and Moi are just GRIEF-stricken," she oinked. In a rare show of cartoon world unity, Disney Studios joined Warner Brothers in ordering all flags to be flown at half-staff. Disney offered the seven dwarfs as possible pall-bearers for the upcoming funeral service, which is sure to rival that of Michael Jackson in celebrity attention and attendance.
In anticipation of the countless details and need for expert coordination, the Pig family has asked longtime Warner co-star Elmer Fudd to serve in the same role that the Rev. Al Sharpton did for the Michael Jackson memorials and funeral. Asked where Pig would be buried, Fudd, choking back tears said, "For someone of Powky’s cawiber, Faw-west Wawn is the onwy possible pwace!"
Born Porcine Swine in the Chicago Stockyards on July 4, 1922, Pig, described as the "runt" of a large litter, was lovingly adopted and raised by immigrant Orthodox Jewish parents, Sol and Sadie Varner, distant relatives of Jack Warner of the famed studio. "I always felt so SAFE with Mom and Dad," recalled Pig of his days growing up in New York’s Lower East Side, where his parents ran a strictly kosher restaurant.
Pig showed an early interest in show business, and appeared in several bit parts with W. C. Fields, Eddie Cantor and Eddie Jackson in the Ziegfield Follies. He attended Lee Strasberg’s famous Actors Studio in New York with such noted "Method" actors as Marlon Brando, James Dean and Paul Newman before launching a brief career as a serious actor. Like fellow comedian Jackie Gleason, who also had a lifetime battle to control his weight, Pig was acclaimed for some of his serious roles, especially the poignant "No Gig for a Pig," for which he received a Best Supporting Pig Oscar Meyer Nomination.
"Final funewal awangements awe incompwete," Fudd said at a news conference on Porky Pig’s Star on Hollywood’s famous Walk of Fame. Fudd did confirm that Pig’s remains are to be cremated at Roscoe McCrary’s Pork House in St. Louis, to be followed by an invitation only memorial wake and banquet. The bones are to be interred at Forest Lawn, not far from the grave of his buddy from the Actor’s Studio days, Al Capp’s L’il Abner.
Memorial contributions may be made to the K. C. Masterpiece/Arthur Bryant’s Memorial BBQ Scholarship Fund for Needy Pigs, P.O. Box P, Swine Flu, California 64567.