Bugs Bunny - Popular Warner Brothers cartoon
rabbit character who debuted in the animated short film Porky's Hare Hunt
The idea for Bugs Bunny was loosely based on the rabbit in the Walt Disney
cartoon classic The Tortoise and the Hare (1935).
Bug's voice was supplied by Mel Blanc who combined a Brooklyn accent and a
tough guy attitude to create the classic wise guy rabbit character who made his
first solo appearance in the Merrie Melodie cartoon A Wild Hare (1940)
with Elmer Fudd.
Bugs' original catchphrase "What's cooking?" was later updated to "What's up
Doc?" (courtesy of Tex Avery).
During his recording sessions, Mel Blanc nibbled on numerous carrots to get
into character. The cartoon name of "Bugs" (suggested by Mel Blanc) was derived
from the nickname of the character's creator Ben "Bugs" Hardaway.
Other sources tell the story that artist Bob Clampett was watching Clark
Gable eating a carrot in a scene from the movie It Happened One Night
(1934) and was inspired to create the Bugs Bunny character.
Tex Avery and Chuck Jones also claim to have created the Bugs character. Bugs
was originally called "Happy Rabbit".
The cartoon character Elmer Fudd, who unsuccessfully hunted Bugs on a number
of cartoons referred to Bugs as that "Silly Wabbit."
Bugs Bunny won an Oscar® for best short subject in 1958 for the animated
cartoon Knighty Knight Bugs.
On January 24, 1961 Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny went cruising in his
1959 emerald-green Aston Martin when an eighteen-year-old Menlo Junior College
student's Oldsmobile car collided into Blanc's car. Injured, the Los Angeles
Times newspaper proclaimed "MEL BLANC, BUGS BUNNY VOICE, HURT."
In 1997, Bugs Bunny got his own 32 cent stamp issued by the US Postal Service
(Bugs-carrot in hand-leaning against a mailbox).
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