10 Interesting Facts About Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny, one of the most well-known cartoon characters of all time, has been around for nearly a quarter-century. Warner Bros. began featuring intelligent-talking rabbits in its cartoons as early as the 1930s, but it wasn't until 1940 that the rogue we know and love first appeared on the screen.
In honor of the mischievous rabbit's 75th anniversary, here are 10 interesting facts about him:
1. He first appeared as an extra in a Porky Pig cartoon.
In 1938, an unnamed rabbit was created for a cartoon in which Porky Pig went hunting, but the real character would not appear until decades later.
2. Bugs Bunny might not exist if not for a time crunch.
Warner Brothers wanted to make a cartoon as soon as possible in 1938. Porky's Duck Hunt, which introduced Daffy Duck, was released the previous year. Due to the deadline, Bob Clampett decided to reuse some of the jokes he had left over from Duck Hunt. Porky's Hare Hunt was born when someone suggested dressing the duck in a rabbit suit.
After several years of tinkering, Tex Avery, Bob Givens, and Mel Blanc created Bugs Bunny together. He appeared in a 1940 short called A Wild Hare.
3. His voice was originally designed to mimic Daffy Duck’s.
During the creation of Bugs, director Irwin Freling decided that the rabbit's voice would be similar to Daffy's since the duck was already popular. Mel Blanc, who played Bugs, also voiced Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, Speedy Gonzales, and Marvin the Martian in Looney Tunes.
4. His mannerisms were partially inspired by Clark Gable.
Bugs' casual carrot-eating demeanor was inspired by a scene in It Happened One Night in which the fast-talking Clark Gable munches on carrots while leaning against a fence. Groucho Marx was also an inspiration for the character.
5. The creators were worried he would seem like a bully.
"It was critical that he be provoked because otherwise, he'd be a bully," director Chuck Jones explained in a 1998 interview. "That was not what we wanted. We wanted him to be pleasant."
6. He does occasionally lose to Elmer Fudd.
Bugs lose his constant battle with bumbling hunter Elmer Fudd in What's Opera, Doc, a 1957 parody of Wagner's operas.
7. He made cameos in World War II military propaganda.
Bugs Bunny appears in several Private Snafu shorts, which are instructional cartoons intended to teach US military troops about topics such as proper sanitation and not leaking American secrets. The films were classified information, and even employees at Warner Bros. who worked on the animations were not allowed to see the finished product.
8. Bugs show up on Seinfeld.
Jerry sings a portion of the theme song from The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour when the Seinfeld gang goes to the opera in the fourth season of the show. "Everything you know about high culture comes from Bugs Bunny cartoons," Elaine says.
9. Psychologists use him to study false memories.
Scientists have shown people fake advertisements for Disney World featuring Bugs Bunny in several psychological studies on false beliefs. A significant number of subjects then claimed to have visited Disney World and met Bugs, despite the fact that a Warner Bros. character would never be on display at a Disney theme park.
10. Bugs Bunny has saved lives.
Blanc was involved in a serious car accident in 1961, which left him in a coma for several weeks. Eventually, a doctor tried to elicit a response from the unresponsive patient by asking him, "Bugs Bunny, how are you today?" "What's up, Doc?" Blanc asked in Bugs' voice. "It seemed like Bugs Bunny was trying to save his life," the doctor later said of the incident.