Wideo Wabbit

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Wideo Wabbit
Merrie Melodies/Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd series
Wideo Wabbit title card.png
Directed by Robert McKimson
Produced by Edward Selzer
Story by Tedd Pierce
Voices by Mel Blanc
Arthur Q. Bryan (uncredited)
Daws Butler (uncredited)
Music by Carl W. Stalling
Animation by Ted Bonnicksen
Keith Darling
Russ Dyson
George Grandpré
Layouts by Robert Gribbroek
Backgrounds by Richard H. Thomas
Distributed by Warner Bros.
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) October 27, 1956 (USA)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 7:00
Language English

Wideo Wabbit is a 1956 Warner Bros. cartoon featuring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. The voice of Bugs Bunny and other characters are played by Mel Blanc while the voice of Elmer Fudd is played by Arthur Q. Bryan. Bugs Bunny's Groucho Marx and Ed Norton impressions are performed by an uncredited Daws Butler (who had an uncanny ability to impersonate a whole host of celebrities of the time period).

Plot[edit]

Bugs Bunny is singing "This Is My Lucky Day" when he comes on an ad in the newspaper wanted a rabbit for a show at the QTTV-TV studio. When he gets there, the producer makes Bugs climb a ladder wired to a 10,000 volt fuse box. Unbeknownst to Bugs, it is a hunting show starring Elmer Fudd called The Sportsman's Hour, sponsored by The French Fried Fresh Frozen Rabbit Company. He teaches the audience about how to hunt for a rabbit. He signals the cue for Bugs to come up out of the hole by pushing a button to activate the fuse box. When Bugs emerges, Elmer starts shooting. Bugs won't cooperate being shot at and Bugs takes this as professional jealousy, but on a scale he had never imagined. As Bugs leaves the studio with Elmer in pursuit, the producer holds up a sign to the camera that says "Program Temporarily Interrupted. Please Stand By."

Elmer chases Bugs all over the studio. In the first room, Bugs does a Show called You Beat Your Wife (a parody of You Bet Your Life) and Bugs dressed as Groucho Marx contests Elmer. As Bugs walks off, Elmer sees Bugs in disguise and Bugs kisses him. In the next room Elmer gets a cherry pie in his face for the show You're Asking For It (a parody of You Asked for It). In the following room Bugs plays "Liver-ace" (a parody of Liberace), and when Elmer comes in, he is playing the piano. When Bugs sees Elmer, he shows piano key like teeth, calls Elmer "his brother George", and tells Elmer to take the candelabra over to Mother. The candles are actually sticks of dynamite and blows up Elmer tattered.

While chasing Bugs out the studio and looking for him, Elmer asks Bugs (who is dressed as a studio usher) if he has seen a rabbit go by. Bugs sends Elmer into a studio that was filming You Were There (a parody of You Are There) which was reenacting Custer's Last Stand. As Elmer comes out having been attack by Indians, Bugs redirects Elmer to Studio C for The Medic. Elmer says "Oh, much obliged" as he is leaves with a tomahawk in the back of his head and arrows in his back.

Elmer continues his search for Bugs stating that he has got to find him or he'll be ruined. Finally, Bugs is dressed as a producer, then sends Elmer into a show called Fancy Dress Party (a parody The Arthur Murray Dance Party), Elmer gets changed into a rabbit costume, and Bugs gets into Elmer's hunting outfit. Bugs goes back on The Sportsman's Hour and shoots Elmer in his rabbit suit as Elmer gets angry. Bugs then comes in dressed as Ed Norton from The Honeymooners and gives Elmer a cigar with Groucho Marx's glasses and eyebrows while quoting "Hey, hey hey!. Take it easy. Have a cigar. Geez, what a Groucho."

Production details[edit]

The part where Bugs is a studio page at the TV studio is repeated again in the 1959 cartoon People Are Bunny, this time with Daffy Duck as his victim.

That is the second time that Bugs has played Groucho Marx to avoid Elmer. The first time was Friz Freleng's cartoon Slick Hare (1947), but Elmer comes much closer to catching Bugs in that Groucho scene than in the one in Wideo Wabbit, by means of disguise as Groucho's brother Harpo.

When Bugs is masquerading as Liberace and playing the piano, the part where he gets his fingers tied in a knot was lifted from another Freleng cartoon Rhapsody Rabbit (1946).

When Elmer is tracking Bugs' footprints while giving tips, music is reused from A Wild Hare where Bugs taps on Elmer's head and introduces his catch phrase. Interestingly, McKimson (who directed this cartoon) animated A Wild Hare without receiving screen credit.

The call letters for the TV station in the cartoon, "QTTV", is lifted from KTTV, a local television station in Los Angeles.

The exterior of the QTTV studio bears more than a passing resemblance to that of the CBS Television City complex.

That is the final Bugs Bunny cartoon which uses the Carl Stalling melody "What's Up, Doc?" over the title cards.

In the mid-1990s, whenever Cartoon Network would have technical difficulties interrupting a broadcast, in lieu of a slide showing the channel logo/name, a screenshot of the producer holding the "Program Temporarily Interrupted - Please Stand By" sign up to the TV camera from this cartoon would be used.

Edited versions[edit]

  • On The WB! and post-1998 Cartoon Network, the You Beat Your Wife sequence is edited to remove all references in dialogue to the title (making the dialogue jumpy and near-incomprehensible), as well as the title of the show on the podium [1].
    • Cartoon Network removed the title using digital editing (similar to what Cartoon Network used for their anime shows to cover up and/or redesign offensive words, gestures, and imagery on signs and articles of clothing, alter or remove images of alcohol and tobacco, clothe nude characters, and turn realistic firearms into firearms that would only be found in a fictional setting) to make the entire platform one color.
    • The WB! placed a light brown square over the name on the podium (which shifted around and disappeared for one frame, making the edit obvious to even the most naive viewer).
  • On the WB, in addition to the above edit, the entire "Custer's Last Stand" sequence was cut.
  • ABC left the "You Beat Your Wife" sequence intact (though following complaints about the show title, the short was never aired after 1989), but cut the following scenes:
    • A dynamite gag during the Liberace sequence where dynamite sticks are substituted for candles was edited to remove the explosion (though Bugs' comment "I did that because I wanted my program to go over with a BANG!" was left in).
    • The scene of Bugs getting shot and the bullets forming a silhouette of him on the wall.
    • The "Custer's Last Stand" sequence to remove the shot of Elmer with arrows in his back and a tomahawk in his head.

Availability[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
A Star is Bored
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1956
Succeeded by
To Hare Is Human