Originally Speedy Gonzalez (as originally spelled on the business card he hands the two stray dock cats, Benny and George, who hope to catch and devour him) was presented to the world, in an animated short film directed and designed by Robert McKimson in 1953, as a lean ratty stowaway wearing a red polo shirt and sporting a prominent gold tooth among many sizable teeth; not at all the iconic character who graces the sides of innumerable moving vans and delivery trucks. I don’t know that I like Friz Freleng's cleaned up, toothless, version that supplanted this spirited creature better, but it's a bit of a shock to find your hero's original incarnation was so far different from the form you came to love. Such is not the case with our present hero, the ultimate Speedy (from BiLatinMen,) though a small amount of cleaning up does seem to have been imposed upon him by his director/producer. His complexion becomes somewhat clearer after his two initial appearances and more and more of his body hair is senselessly trimmed. Still, he is clearly the same endearing presence in all his videos, from first to last. As for the original Speedy and his more popular successor, while corporate buffoons banned him from US television for many years for fear of offending an ethnic group they never really sought to understand, the cartoon remained extremely popular throughout Latin America (even attaining official recognition as a cultural icon) until pressure from various (so called) Hispanic groups forced them to put him back on the air in the US.
Alright you guys. So I saw this picture at Comic-Con last month and then immediately proceeded to break down in tears in the middle of this poor guy’s booth. Needless to say, I needed to share this with you all.