The world-famous Bugs Bunny (voiced by Mel Blanc in his original appearances and by various other actors in his later appearances) is a character in Looney Tunes, The Looney Tunes Show, Merrie Melodies, Baby Looney Tunes, Wabbit, and many other Looney Tunes spin-offs. He is known for his catchphrase "What's up doc?" and his ability to outwit characters like Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, and Daffy Duck.
Bugs Bunny is characterized as being clever and capable of outsmarting anyone who antagonizes him, including Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Tasmanian Devil, Marvin the Martian, Wile E. Coyote, Witch Hazel, Rocky and Mugsy, The Crusher, Beaky Buzzard, Willoughby the dog, Count Blood Count and a host of others.
(For the record, one of the characters who holds the rare distinction of defeating Bugs is Cecil Turtle, following the pattern Aesop's famous fable The Tortoise and the Hare, where the rabbit was the antagonist, while the turtle was the protagonist (Bugs and Cecil, respectively). Their encounters were depicted in Tortoise Beats Hare, Tortoise Wins by a Hare, and Rabbit Transit)
Bugs almost always wins these conflicts, a plot pattern which recurs in Looney Tunes films directed by Chuck Jones. Concerned that viewers would lose sympathy for an aggressive protagonist who always won, Jones arranged for Bugs to be bullied, cheated, or threatened by the antagonists while minding his own business, justifying his subsequent antics as retaliation or self-defense. He's also been known to break the fourth wall by "communicating" with the audience, either by explaining the situation (e.g. "Be with you in a minute, folks!"), describing someone to the audience (e.g. "Feisty, ain't they?"), clueing in on the story (e.g. "That happens to him all during the picture, folks."), explaining that one of his antagonists' actions have pushed him to the breaking point ("Of course you realize, this means war."), admitting his own deviousness toward his antagonists ("Gee, ain't I a stinker?"), etc.
Bugs will usually try to placate the antagonist and avoid conflict, but when an antagonist pushes him too far, Bugs may address the audience and invoke his catchphrase "Of course you realize this means war!" before he retaliates, and the retaliation will be devastating. This line was taken from Groucho Marx and others in the 1933 film Duck Soup and was also used in the 1935 Marx film A Night at the Opera. Bugs would pay homage to Groucho in other ways, such as occasionally adopting his stooped walk or leering eyebrow-raising (in Hair-Raising Hare, for example) or sometimes with a direct impersonation (as in Slick Hare). Other directors, such as Friz Freleng, characterized Bugs as altruistic. When Bugs meets other successful characters (such as Cecil Turtle in Tortoise Beats Hare, or the Gremlin in Falling Hare), his overconfidence becomes a disadvantage.
Bugs' nonchalant carrot-chewing standing position, as explained by Freleng, Jones and Bob Clampett, originated in a scene from the 1934 film It Happened One Night, in which Clark Gable's character Peter Warne leans against a fence, eating carrots rapidly and talking with his mouth full to Claudette Colbert's character. This scene was well known while the film was popular, and viewers at the time likely recognized Bugs Bunny's behavior as satire. Coincidentally, the film also features a minor character, Oscar Shapely, who addresses Peter Warne as "Doc", and Warne mentions an imaginary person named "Bugs Dooley" to frighten Shapely.The carrot-chewing scenes are generally followed by Bugs' most well-known catchphrase, "What's up, Doc?", which was written by director Tex Avery for his first Bugs Bunny film, A Wild Hare (1940). Avery explained later that it was a common expression in his native Texas and that he did not think much of the phrase. When the cartoon was first screened in theaters, the "What's up, Doc?" scene generated a tremendously positive audience reaction. As a result, the scene became a recurring element in subsequent cartoons. The phrase was sometimes modified for a situation. For example, Bugs says "What's up, dogs?" to the antagonists in A Hare Grows in Manhattan, "What's up, Duke?" to the knight in Knight-mare Hare and "What's up, prune-face?" to the aged Elmer in The Old Grey Hare. He might also greet Daffy with "What's up, Duck?" He used one variation, "What's all the hub-bub, bub?" only once, in Falling Hare. Another variation is used in Looney Tunes: Back in Action, when he greets a blaster-wielding Marvin the Martian saying "What's up, Darth?"In many of Bugs' appearances in the 1940s Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes shorts, his carrot-chewing made its way into the opening sequence of the cartoon. In these cases, Bugs would be lying atop the Warner Brothers shield logo as it came onto the screen and eating his carrot. After a few seconds, Bugs would stop eating and shoot the audience a dirty look for staring at him. From there, one of two things would happen. Frequently, the open would simply dissolve into the cartoon series logo, but on occasion Bugs would reach up to the top of the screen and pull the logo down like a curtain to give himself some privacy. This formed the basis for the later intro to Bugs' cartoons, where he would pull the bottom of the screen up and be shown sitting atop his own intro screen while eating a carrot.
Several Chuck Jones films in the late 1940s and 1950s depict Bugs travelling via cross-country (and, in some cases, intercontinental) tunnel-digging, ending up in places as varied as Barcelona, Spain (Bully for Bugs), the Himalayas (The Abominable Snow Rabbit) and Antarctica (Frigid Hare) all because he "shoulda taken that left toin at Albukoikee." He first utters that phrase in Herr Meets Hare (1945), when he emerges in the Black Forest, a cartoon seldom seen today due to its blatantly topical subject matter. When Hermann Göring says to Bugs, "There is no Las Vegas in 'Chermany'" and takes a potshot at Bugs, Bugs dives into his hole and says, "Joimany! Yipe!", as Bugs realizes he's behind enemy lines. The confused response to his "left toin" comment also followed a pattern. For example, when he tunnels into Scotland in My Bunny Lies over the Sea (1948), while thinking he's heading for the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California, it provides another chance for an ethnic joke: "Therrre arrre no La Brrrea Tarrr Pits in Scotland!" (to which Bugs responds, "Scotland!? Eh...what's up, Mac-doc?"). A couple of late-1950s/early-1960s cartoons of this ilk also featured Daffy Duck travelling with Bugs ("Since when is Pismo Beach inside a cave?!").
Boomerang's Bugs Bunny-themed marathons Edit
Boomerang has aired several marathons of Looney Tunes shorts featuring Bugs Bunny. Boomerang aired June Bugs, a marathon of every Looney Tunes short featuring Bugs Bunny (except for 12 that were banned due to them containing racial themes), in 2003 and 2004. Since 2015, Boomerang has aired Bugs-ster Weekend, a Bugs Bunny-themed marathon, on Easter Weekend. Boomerang also aired an anthology program called The Bugs Bunny Show (which originally aired on ABC) from 2000 to 2007.