Not many characters have endured the test of time like Elmer Fudds' formidable adversary Bugs Bunny.
Although a similar character first appeared in the Warner Brothers cartoon “Porky’s Hare Hunt” and a few subsequent shorts, the definitive characterization of Bugs Bunny is widely credited to have debuted in director Tex Averys Oscar nominated film cartoon, “A Wild Hare” which was released on July 27, 1940.
Movie going audiences immediately flipped over the wise cracking, smart aleck rabbit with the Brooklyn accent. Bugs’ nonchalant carrot-chewing stance, as explained many years later by Chuck Jones and again by Friz Freleng and Bob Clampett, comes from the movie “It Happened One Night”, where Clark Gable is leaning against a fence eating carrots more quickly than he is swallowing giving instructions with his mouth full to Claudette Colbert, during the hitch-hiking sequence. This scene was so famous at the time that most people immediately got the connection.
Like Groucho Marx used his cigar, Bugs was rarely without his carrot. He even “borrowed” one of Grouchos lines “of course you know, this means war!” Charlie Chaplin was another inspiration for our long eared friend. The abrupt and shocking kiss Charlie planted on someone getting too close for comfort in The Floorwalker went on to become one of Bugs' favorite ways to upset his adversaries.
Since 1939, he has starred in more than 175 films, a television show that ran for forty years, cartoon strips and merchandise of every imaginable design, he's been nominated for three Oscars, and won one -in 1958, for "Knighty Knight, Bugs". The Scwewy Wabbit even appeared on a postage stamp in 1997.
In 1985 he became only the 2nd cartoon character to be given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Mickey Mouse was the first).
Happy Birthday Bugs