Stage Door Cartoon

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Stage Door Cartoon
Merrie Melodies/Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd series
Stage Door Cartoon title card.png
Title card
Directed by I. Freleng
Produced by Edward Selzer
Story by Michael Maltese
Voices by Mel Blanc
Music by Carl W. Stalling
Animation by Jack Bradbury
Manuel Perez
Gerry Chiniquy
Virgil Ross
Richard Bickenbach
Ken Champin
Layouts by Hawley Pratt
Studio Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc.
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) December 30, 1944
Color process Technicolor
Running time 8:04 seconds
Language English
Preceded by The Old Grey Hare
Followed by Herr Meets Hare

Stage Door Cartoon is a 1944 Warner Bros. cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series, directed by Friz Freleng and featuring Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, and a predecessor to Yosemite Sam. The voices for Bugs and the proto-Sam are provided by Mel Blanc (who, by that year, had come to receive his exclusive voice credit), except for Elmer, who is voiced by Arthur Q. Bryan (as usual, uncredited). The cartoon's title is a parody of the 1943 musical film Stage Door Canteen.


Elmer Fudd starts attempting to catch Bugs with a carrot on a fish hook, who turns the tables on Elmer by attaching the hook to his pants and "reeling" him in. As Elmer gets riled, Bugs then throws Elmer back for being too small and ends up getting chased to a Vaudeville theater. Bugs disguises himself as a dancer, but Elmer sees through the disguise during the bow. Bugs then does his tap-dance routine, one of his recurring schticks. When Elmer tries to ambush Bugs with the piano, Bugs ends up playing the piano up to the point where Elmer is launched from the piano.

He then tricks the shy Elmer onto the stage, forcing him into performing a high-diving act. This ends up being a high-diving act into a glass of water.

Then, he prompts Elmer in a Shakespearean outfit through some classic acting emotive poses, seguéing into face-making, which draws a ripe tomato in the face from the jeering crowd. Then he tricks Elmer into doing a "striptease" down to his boxers (while "Elmer's Tune" plays on the underscore).

Elmer arrested for "indecent southern exposure" by a prototype of Yosemite Sam.

Finally, Bugs disguises himself as a southern sheriff, just as a real one (as revealed as prototype Yosemite Sam by later events) arrests Elmer for "indecent southern exposure". Before leaving the theater, a Bugs Bunny cartoon begins on the movie screen and the sheriff decides to stay and watch it. Elmer appears to get wise when the cartoon shows the scene where Bugs disguises himself as the sheriff. Elmer, thinking the sheriff is really Bugs, calls the sheriff an "impostor" and pulls off his clothes but finds out, to his surprise, he was really sitting next to the real sheriff. The furious sheriff proceeds to lead Elmer out of the theater with his shotgun ("You'll swing for this, sir!"). The last scene shows Bugs conducting the orchestra into a big finale.


The title is based on the film Stage Door Canteen (1943), which was itself named after a New York City-based establishment that entertained servicemen. [1]

  • Bugs' goofy yell to Elmer, "Here I ya-um!" was a catchphrase used by radio star Red Skelton's country bumpkin character "Clem Kadiddlehopper".
  • Bugs' final line, "I got a million of 'em!" was a Jimmy Durante catchphrase; Bugs also mimics Durante's standard body language while saying it.
  • The basic plotline would be re-used in the 1950 Bugs-and-Elmer cartoon, Rabbit of Seville. Also, the same high-dive gag would be re-used and expanded for the 1949 Bugs Bunny cartoon High Diving Hare, in which Yosemite Sam (who, as previously noted, appears in prototypical form in this cartoon near the end) would play a large part as Bugs's antagonist (in contrast, the sheriff in this cartoon says he is a fan of Bugs's cartoons).
  • A modified version of the high dive is used at the end of the 1949 cartoon Hare Do where Bugs tricks a blindfolded Elmer into riding a unicycle from a wire high above a stage into the jaws of a man-eating lion.
  • This is the first time the cartoon had changed from the produced by WARNER BROS. CARTOONS Inc. line to the A WARNER BROS. CARTOON line.




  1. ^ Shull, Wilt (2004), p. 216

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External links[edit]

Preceded by
The Old Grey Hare
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
Succeeded by
Herr Meets Hare