History for the Rest of Us

Bugs Bunny A Wild Hare

Bugs Bunny A Wild Hare

Jul 25, 2013

Historians consider the July 27, 1940 release of A Wild Hare as the first ‘official’ Bugs Bunny short. Though not named in the short, he appears in his fully developed form along with Elmer Fudd, and first uses his signature ‘What’s up, Doc?’ line. Bugs Gets His Voice Bugs also got his voice in the short. One of Mel Blanc’s co-workers showed him the latest drawings for the character, and commented that the rabbit was ‘A tough little stinker’. The light went on for Blanc who said, ‘In my mind I heard a Brooklyn accent’ and ‘the new, improved Bugs Bunny wouldn’t say jerk, he’d say joik’. A Wild Hare was a huge success and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Inspiration The inspiration for Bugs came from a variety of sources including Zomo, a trickster rabbit from Central and Eastern Africa; Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton; and Groucho Marx. Bugs used his carrot in much the same way that Groucho used his cigar, and Bugs eventually stole the line used by Marx, ‘Of course you know, this means war!’, in response to insults. Interesting Facts Bugs Bunny has starred in over 175 films, has been nominated for three Oscars (winning in 1958 for Knighty Knight Bugs), and was given his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (only the 2nd cartoon character to do so). In a poll conducted in the United States in 1976, citizens were asked to name their favorite characters, real and imaginary. Bugs Bunny finished second…behind only Abraham Lincoln! Related Stories: Garfield The Incredible Hulk Batman Li’l...