Show Biz Bugs
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|Show Biz Bugs|
|Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck) series|
|Directed by||Friz Freleng|
|Story by||Warren Foster|
|Voices by||Mel Blanc|
|Layouts by||Hawley Pratt|
|Backgrounds by||Boris Gorelick|
|Studio||Warner Bros. Cartoons|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
|Release date(s)||November 2, 1957 (USA premiere)|
Show Biz Bugs is a Warner Bros. animated short originally released to theaters on November 2, 1957. It is billed as a Looney Tunes cartoon and stars Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck as its main characters. Show Biz Bugs is notable for portraying the modern interpretation of Daffy in a more sympathetic light: In this film, Daffy is a jealous and arrogant competitor to Bugs, but his shabby treatment by the theater management and audience is depicted as being unfairly out of proportion to the genuine talent he possesses.
Arriving at the theater where he and Bugs are appearing, Daffy is furious to discover that the rabbit's name on the marquee is above his in much larger letters. Rebuffed by the unseen manager's claim that he gives his performers billing "according to drawing power," Daffy is determined to prove that he is the star of the show.
That evening, Bugs and Daffy are performing an on-stage number to "Tea for Two." Daffy, tired of Bugs hogging up all the cheering and applause, and convinced he is more talented, decides to try numerous numbers on his own in order to impress the audience. He begins on the spot with a time step to "Jeepers Creepers." After failing to impress the audience, Daffy attempts to sabotage Bugs' xylophone act by rigging it to explode when a certain note is played, but Bugs avoids the trap. Bugs does a sawing-in-half trick; Daffy volunteers in hopes of proving that the trick is fake, but ends up literally sawed in half. ("Good thing I got Blue Cross.") In a final attempt to impress the audience, Daffy performs a deadly stunt (which he refers as "an act that no other performer has dared to execute!"), by drinking some gasoline, some nitroglycerin, some gunpowder, and some uranium 238, "shake well," and swallowing a lit match ("Girls, you better hold onto your boyfriends!"), causing him to explode. The audience loves the performance, but Daffy (now a transparent ghost and ascending to heaven) "can only do it once."
The scene at the end of this cartoon where Daffy performs his final act by drinking dangerous chemicals is almost always edited on broadcast TV, but in different ways:
- The BBC version of the cartoon ends with a fake fade-out on the shot of Daffy black and smoldering after getting frustrated by Bugs missing the final note on the booby-trapped xylophone and deciding to do it himself. The BBC version also adds applause after the ending xylophone gag just before the cartoon ends.
- Cartoon Network has, at times, aired the original ending uncensored. When Cartoon Network began airing the censored, the scene of Daffy drinking the gasoline and nitroglycerin was removed and replaced with a frozen shot of Bugs staring at Daffy from off-stage. In 2003, another censored version aired. It was similar to the version that aired on BBC (with the cartoon ending after the xylophone gag), only there was no applause added. As of 2011, the ending has been shown in full.
- The syndicated Merrie Melodies version, several local stations airings, and the version that aired on ABC's Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show left in the ending, but cut Daffy drinking the gasoline, so that wat it looks as if he drinks the nitroglycerin first. That is also how the short is shown in the Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie (The latter version of the cartoon also adds the sound effect of someone laughing after the xylophone explodes).
- Nickelodeon's version aired this cartoon with the original ending, but cut the part where Daffy strikes the match, asides to the audience "Girls, you better hold on to your boyfriends," and swallows the match (making it seem as if he exploded from "shaking well" after swallowing the uranium 238).
- When The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie (which includes clips from this cartoon as the climax) aired on The Disney Channel, Daffy's death defying act was edited so severely that the only scenes left were Daffy holding the bottle of nitroglycerin and the explosion from after the match swallowing (making it seem as if Daffy's holding the nitroglycerin caused the explosion).
As revealed in the audio commentary on the second Golden Collection set, the song "The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady" was intended to be used during the sequence where Daffy showcases some trained birds. A pre-score recording was produced, but was not used in the final cartoon. Other pre-score music included slightly longer versions of both "Tea for Two" and "Jeepers Creepers".
 Previous film references
The xylophone gag was previously used in the Private Snafu short Booby Traps and the Bugs/Yosemite Sam short Ballot Box Bunny (and later in Rushing Roulette), only in both cases the instrument used was a piano. The song used in each case, as in Show Biz Bugs, is "Believe Me, if All Those Endearing Young Charms."
The final act and the pigeon circus had been used in an earlier Porky Pig cartoon called Curtain Razor in which a fox does the same act Daffy does attempting to show Porky he is a star, and, much like Show Biz Bugs, the final act in Curtain Razor has been censored on Cartoon Network to remove him ingesting gasoline (the syndicated version of The Merrie Melodies Show also cuts the gasoline-drinking and edits it even further by cutting out the fox swallowing a match).
- Show Biz Bugs is available (uncensored and uncut) on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 2' DVD set, disc 4 and on the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 2' blu-ray set, disc 1.
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