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While Voicing Bugs Bunny, Mel Blanc Actually Ate Carrots

National Bugs Bunny Day on April 30th commemorates the date the famous bunny first appeared in a short film in 1938.

Known for his comical antics, Bugs Bunny created memorable roles in Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons produced by Warner Bros. The wascally wabbit caused many a raucous scene for his castmates Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, Porky Pig, Pepe Le Pew, and Marvin the Martian. However, his eminent counterpart was forever the estimable hunter, Elmer Fudd.

  • He first appeared in 1938 in Porky’s Hare Hunt as a Happy Rabbit but later solidified his character as Bugs Bunny in the 1940 A Wild Hare.
  • His popular catchphrase, “What’s up, doc?” continues to be associated with the humorous bunny.
  • Over the years, various actors have voiced the animated bunny. However, Mel Blanc originally voiced the iconic “Eh, what’s up, doc?” voice and he did so for almost 50 years.
  • Bugs will celebrate his 85th anniversary on July 27.  While Porky’s Hare Hunt was the first Warner Bros. cartoon to feature a Bugs Bunny-like rabbit, A Wild Hare, directed by Tex Avery and released on July 27, 1940, is widely considered to be the first official Bugs Bunny cartoon.
  • It is the first film where both Elmer Fudd and Bugs, both redesigned by Bob Givens, are shown in their fully developed forms as hunter and tormentor, respectively; the first in which Mel Blanc uses what became Bugs’ standard voice; and the first in which Bugs uses his catchphrase, “What’s up, Doc?”.
  • A Wild Hare was a huge success in theaters and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Cartoon Short Subject.
  • Bugs was born in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Bugs Bunny is a rabbit, not a hare. Hares don’t live in burrows, rabbits do. Bugs Bunny does.
  • Mel Blanc actually ate carrots while voicing the iconic character.
  • Bugs Bunny was originally “Happy Rabbit”.
  • He also used to be white instead of gray and they alternated between giving him huge buck teeth and no teeth at all.
  • Bugs Bunny, along with Mickey Mouse, were the first two animals to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • Bugs Bunny is a U.S. Marine. At the end of the 1943 short Super-Rabbit, Bugs wears a USMC blue uniform. As a result, they made Bugs an honorary private of the corps. Throughout WWII, Bugs continued to be promoted in rank until he retired as a Master Sergeant.
  • Bugs Bunny was the first cartoon character to ever appear on a stamp.
  • Bugs Bunny’s carrot-chewing stance came from ‘It Happened One Night. There is a scene with Clark Gable leaning against a fence and eating carrots while talking with his mouth full.
  • As of May 2019, he has appeared in more films than any other cartoon character. More than 175 films, to be exact. Homer Simpson and Mickey Mouse fill 2nd and 3d place.
  • He first appeared as an extra in a Porky Pig cartoon.
  • Psychologists use him to study false memories. In several psychological studies about false beliefs, scientists have shown people fake advertisements for Disney World featuring Bugs Bunny. A significant portion of subjects then claimed to remember going to Disney and meeting Bugs, even though a Warner Bros. character would never be on display at a Disney theme park.


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