Foghorn J. Leghorn is an American character that appears in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons for Warner Bros. Pictures. He was created by Robert McKimson, and starred in 28 cartoons between 1946 and 1963 in the Golden Age of American animation. All 28 of these cartoons were directed by McKimson. The character of Foghorn Leghorn was directly inspired by the popular character of Senator Claghorn, a blustering Southern politician played by Kenny Delmar who was a regular character on the Fred Allen radio show.
The rooster adopted many of Claghorn's catch phrases, such as "That's a joke, ah say, that's a joke, son." Delmar had based the character of Claghorn upon a Texas rancher who was fond of saying this. A leghorn is a breed of chicken, and foghorn describes the character's loud, overbearing voice. According to Leonard Maltin the character's voice was also patterned after a hard-of-hearing West Coast-only radio character from the 1930s, known simply as The Sheriff, on a radio program called Blue Monday Jamboree. The voice has similarities to that of another Mel Blanc voice: Yosemite Sam (a strictly Friz Freleng character).