Buddy has his origins in the chaos that followed the severing of relations between animators Hugh Harman and Rudy Ising from producer Leon Schlesinger. Without his animators and Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid, the star character they had taken with them, Schlesinger was desperate to build his own cartoon studio and maintain his contract with Warner Bros. He lured in several animators from other studios, among them Tom Palmer from Disney. Schlesinger told his new employees to create a star character for the studio, and Palmer created Buddy in 1933. The character had a troubled beginning, as Warner Bros. refused to accept his first two cartoons, resulting in Palmer being fired and Friz Freleng being called in to re-edit and condense them into a single short. In the book Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, animator Bob Clampett is quoted as describing Buddy as "Bosko in whiteface". Despite these initial problems, Buddy would go on to be the studio's linchpin character for the next two years.
Music dominates in Buddy's world. The characters add visuals to the soundtrack and participate in gags. Buddy is usually accompanied in his films by his flapper girlfriend, Cookie, and his dog, Towser. The character would go on to star in 23 cartoons from 1933 to 1935 before he was retired to make way for new character called Beans the cat, who became the third Looney Tunes star before being replaced by Porky Pig. Buddy's voice was performed by animator Jack Carr.
Buddy's shorts, like many of the early Warner cartoons, were all but forgotten until the era of television began in the 1950s. Program directors, searching for something inexpensive to fill time, broadcast cartoons from the 1930s. Buddy has remained on television, somewhere in the world, almost constantly since then.
Buddy's first (and so far only) new appearance after his original series ended came in Animaniacs, where he appeared in the episode "The Warners' 65th Anniversary Special," broadcast on May 23, 1994. In this episode, it was revealed (in the series' fictional history) that Yakko, Wakko, and Dot were created to spice up Buddy's dull cartoons, by way of smashing Buddy on the head with mallets. After Buddy was dropped by the studio in favor of the Warners, Buddy retired to become a nut farmer in Ojai, California, but hated the Warners for ruining his career, and made a failed attempt at the Anniversary Special to enact revenge on the Warner Siblings for ruining his career 65 years ago. Jim Cummings provided Buddy's voice here.