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Happy 70th Birthday Bugs Bunny!

Donna Terrell Donna Terrell
7/27/2010 9:00am EDT

Bugs bunny at 70

Bugs Bunny, that iconic, carrot-smacking, wisecracking wabbit is 70 years old! In 1940, “A Wild Hare” debuted, introducing Bugs, and his nemesis Elmer Fudd, to the world. Here is where we first heard “What’s up, Doc?”and saw the beginning of how clever Bugs Bunny always outthinks and tricks his foes. Bugs Bunny is funny at its purest—Bugs Bunny building a salad on Elmer Fudd’s head in the barber shop, his fights with Daffy Duck and Yosemite Sam, his conducting the opera and making the poor singer gasp for air—the situations and laughs are endless! Bugs’ appeal is universal; the seven-year- old laughs, the 17-year- old is not too cool to laugh and those who are 70 laugh too. And unlike today’s animation, Bugs Bunny is a visually pleasing cartoon. All the characters and scenes are beautifully designed and colored.

By 1942, Bugs was Merrie Melodies’ biggest star. Since the country wasn’t concerned about being politically correct in the 40s,Warner Brothers, the top-rated animation studio of the time, also pitted Bugs Bunny in cartoon shorts against Hitler, Mussolini, and the Japanese.

In the 1940s and 50s, the Merrie Melodies/Looney Tunes cartoon shorts were shown almost exclusively in theaters. (Ah, those were the days! A double feature and a cartoon!) In 1960, they repackaged the shorts into The Bugs Bunny Show, which debuted in prime time. Two years later, the show moved to the Saturday morning cartoon lineup, and an entire generation’s funny bone was tickled.

walk of fame“Bugs was the man, he taught you how to be clever and devious and at the same time he always made the evil one or smart one look like they weren’t smart. He always made them look like a fool, and he did it smilin’ "what’s up doc!"” Paul C. Little Rock, AK

I like Bugs Bunny because he was sooo funny! He annoyed me some times. Charles B. Kansas City, KS

Bugs specialized in driving folks absolutely nuts! Sara T. Chicago, IL

Bugs is the consummate con man, smart, smooth unflappable, wry and witty and cute as cute can be. I will always love Bugs... Robin B. Hazel Crest, IL

bugs stampBugs Bunny Facts
* Voiced by Mel Blanc for 49 years until Blanc’s death in 1989
* Appeared on a 1997 U. S. postage stamp—first cartoon to be honored
* Featured in a 2000 Superman comic book
* Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
* Number one on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time
* Starred with Michael Jordan in Space Jam (1996)
* Number three on Animal Planet’s 50 Greatest Movie Animals
* Mascot for Six Flags Theme Parks
* 1958’s Knighty Knight Bugs won an Academy Award



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Photo Credits: Warner Bros. ,