The animators at Termite Terrace, the Animation Department at Warner Brothers Pictures had been making use of a rabbit character of no fixed description for a year or two in the late 30s. The so called “Happy Rabbit” character was first introduced in a cartoon called “Porky’s Hare Hunt” in 1938. That short was directed by an animator named Benjamin “Bugs” Hardaway. He’d been redrawn and reused and redesigned a number of times but on this date in 1940 the redesigned rabbit showed up in the Cartoon short “A Wild Hare.” When the Happy Rabbit…which the animators all referred to privately as “Bug’s Bunny”… appeared in this cartoon, the animators stole a famous scene from “It Happened One Night” in which Clark Gable talks tough while eating a carrot. Voice actor Mel Blanc had come up with a new voice for the character, based on a scrappy Flatbush accent. He sounded…like this.
(This is why you should be listening.)
and Warner Brothers had a new star for their animated division, now formally christened Bugs Bunny. Up to then Porky Pig was the signature character, but that ended on this day in 1940…but he still got to end all the Warner Brothers Cartoons . Porky may have gone out of fashion, but apparently he still had a good agent. So Happy Birthday to Bugs Bunny, and for today, that’s all folks.
Album Notes: Grateful Acknowledgments to Mike Koenig, and Drum 8. “Cartoon Pizzicato” Written and Performed by Kevin McLeod, Licensed under Creative Commons “Attribution 3.0″ http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ and used here by permission, and with appreciation and thanks. Some audio may be used under the Fair Use Doctrine