Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Bugs Bunny!

April 30, 1938 heralded the debut appearance of the rabbit that would eventually become Bugs Bunny in the cartoon, "Porky's Hare Hunt." His official debut as Bugs, and not as "Happy Rabbit" or as this unnamed rabbit co-star of Porky Pig was three more cartoons later, on July 27, 1940 in "A Wild Hare." So just like a lot of the greats of the Golden Age of Hollywood, Bugs Bunny has two birthdays!
"Porky's Hare Hunt" (1938)
When I was a kid growing up watching Saturday Morning Cartoons I absolutely LOVED Bugs Bunny and the Warner Bros cartoons. As an adult people have asked that personality question, "Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny?" To me the answer will always be Bugs Bunny. It's not that I don't love Mickey Mouse, too, but as a kid Mickey wasn't around. I wasn't around to watch the original Mickey Mouse Club and too old to watch the second version. I never even heard of the third one until recently! No, to me the cartoon legend that I watched on TV was Bugs Bunny, the one and only.

Bugs Bunny had a hugely successful Hollywood run, from his smashing debut(s) in 1938/1940 up until the post-war Fifties. By the time television was cutting into film's profits Bugs had made more than 100 cartoons. Of those he was nominated for several Academy Awards and won one. He made his last original Merrie Melody in 1964; by that time he had already made his debut on the Boob Tube. In 1960 he was the headliner on Warner Bros' new TV show, The Bugs Bunny Show. He and his pals were on TV for the next 40 years without a break!

So to celebrate the old gray hare, here's the color version of the Bugs Bunny show, a tune I have in my head after oh-so-many watchings.

And as an extra added bonus, here's Bugs' Academy Award winning short,  Knighty Knight Bugs from 1958.

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