Beaky Buzzard is a fat buzzard (although he more closely resembles a vulture or condor) with black body feathers and a white tuft around his throat. His neck is long and thin, bending 90 degrees at an enormous adam's apple. His neck and head are featherless, and his beak is large and yellow or orange, depending on the cartoon. Beaky bears a perpetual goofy grin, and his eyes look eternally half-asleep. He was inspired from Edgar Bergen's Puppet Mortimer Snerd.
The character first appeared in the 1942 cartoon Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid, directed by Bob Clampett. The cartoon's plot revolves around the hopeless attempts of the brainless buzzard, here called Killer, to catch Bugs Bunny for his domineering Italian mother back at the nest. Beaky's voice was modeled after ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's character Mortimer Snerd, earning Beaky the nickname "Snerd Bird." The voice itself was provided by voice actor Kent Rogers.
Clampett brought the character back in the 1945 film The Bashful Buzzard, a cartoon that closely mirrors its predecessor, only this time featuring Beaky's hapless hunting without scenes of him chasing Bugs for food. Rogers reprised his role as the character's voice for the film, but he died in a Naval aviation training accident at Pensacola, Florida before finishing all his dialogue, so Stan Freberg was brought in to finish the work (as was Eddie Bartell, according to some sources).
Warner Brothers apparently thought they had something in the character, and Beaky was featured in much of the Looney Tunes merchandising of the time. He also appeared in several issues of Dell Comics' Looney Tunes series of comic books, usually paired with another minor player, Henery Hawk.
Clampett left the studio in 1946, ending Beaky's career for a time. The character was eventually brought back in the 1950 Friz Freleng film The Lions Busy, now voiced by the versatile Mel Blanc. Freleng made the buzzard smarter, pitting him against a dim-witted lion named Leo. Bob McKimson also featured the character in a film that year, Strife with Father. McKimson's Beaky is again back to his idiotic self, this time under the tutelage of his adoptive father, a sparrow who is trying to teach Beaky how to survive in the wild.
Most recently Beaky Buzzard has had minor roles in various Warner Brothers projects, such as Tiny Toon Adventures, where he plays the mentor of the character; Concord Condor, and the movies Space Jam (1996, As a team player) and 2003's Looney Tunes: Back in Action as an Acme pilot, and is voiced by Joe Alaskey in both films. Beaky Buzzard appeared in the video game Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time and was used as an enemy in Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 4. He also appeared in the Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries in the episode "3 Days & 2 Nights of the Condor", where he was again voiced by Alaskey. Beaky's mother, who appeared in many of his original shorts, also appeared in an episode of the show (voiced by June Foray). Beaky was put in one episode of Duck Dodgers. Template:-