|Sylvester J. Pussycat Sr.|
Sylvester in the opening sequence of The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries.
|Aliases||Puddy tat (Tweety's nickname for him)|
|Relatives||Sylvester Jr. (son)|
|First appearance||"Life With Feathers"|
|Voiced by|| Mel Blanc (1941-1989)|
Joe Alaskey (1990-current)
Jeff Bergman (1990-1993, 2011-current)
Bill Farmer (Space Jam)
Jeff Bennett ("Museum Scream")
Sylvester is a fictional cat who appears in several Looney Tunes cartoons, often chasing Tweety Bird, Speedy Gonzalez, or Hippety Hopper. The name Sylvester is a play on silvestris, the scientific name for the cat species. The character was originally named Thomas in his 1945 debut Life With Feathers.
Sylvester's trademark was his sloppy, stridulating lisp (which, like Daffy Duck's, was based on producer Leon Schlesinger's). His sloppy voice was provided by voice acting legend Mel Blanc. Blanc reveals in his autobiography that Sylvester's voice and Daffy's were identical, but Daffy's was sped up in post-production.
Sylvester is an adorable cat who shows much pride in himself, and he never gives up. Despite (or perhaps because of) his pride and persistence, Sylvester was definitely on the "loser" side of the Looney Tunes winner/loser hierarchy. His character was basically that of Wile E. Coyote while he was chasing mice or birds. He shows a different character when paired with Porky Pig in explorations of spooky places, in which he doesn't speak as a scaredy cat. (In these cartoons, he basically plays the terrified Costello to Porky's oblivious Abbott.) Sylvester's most developed role is as hapless mouse-catching instructor to his dubious son, Sylvester Junior, in which the "mouse" is a powerful baby kangaroo. His alternately confident and bewildered episodes bring his son to shame, while Sylvester himself is reduced to nervous breakdowns.
Sylvester also had atypical roles in a few cartoons:
- Kitty Kornered (1946), a Bob Clampett cartoon in which Sylvester was teemed with three other cats to oust homeowner Porky Pig
- Back Alley Op-Roar (1948), a Friz Freleng cartoon (actually a remake of Notes To You) wherein Sylvester pesters the sleep-deprived Elmer Fudd by performing several amazing musical numbers in the alley
- The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950), a Chuck Jones cartoon in which Sylvester plays the villain to Daffy Duck's hero