Bugs Bunny loves carrots…

As I was thinking of good ‘ol Popeye and his spinach, what about Bugs Bunny and his carrots? What could be a better snack for kids, generally most kids like them and I really haven’t met one that didn’t.

Here are some Bugs Bunny facts:

Saved by a Hare. The inspiration for the original rabbit came from Walt Disney. In 1935 Disney put out a cartoon featuring a character called Max Hare. Hardaway’s rabbit looks suspiciously like Max.

Trademarks. Where did Bugs’ carrot-crunching and “What’s up, Doc?” come from? No one’s sure, but experts have suggested they might have been inspired by a couple of popular films.

Tough Act. Blanc said that recording the “What’s up, Doc?” line turned out to be the most physically challenging part of doing the voice:

“What’s up, Doc?” was incomplete without the sound of the rabbit nibbling on the carrot, which presented problems. First of all, I don’t especially like carrots, at least not raw. [Ed note: In another BR, we erroneously reported that he was allergic to carrots. Oops.] And second, I found it impossible to chew, swallow, and be ready to say my next line. We tried substituting other vegetables, including apples and celery, with unsatisfactory results. The solution was to stop recording so that I could spit out the carrot into the wastebasket and then proceed with the script. In the course of a recording session I usually went through enough carrots to fill several wastebaskets. Bugs Bunny did for carrots what Popeye did for spinach. How many…children were coerced into eating their carrots by mothers cooing… “but Bugs Bunny eats his carrots.” If only they had known.

Eat Your Veggies. Actually, there were pressures to switch from carrots. “The Utah Celery Company of Salt Lake City offered to keep all the studio’s staffers well supplied with their product if Bugs would only switch from carrots to celery,” Adamson reports. “[And] later, the Broccoli Institute of America strongly urged Bugs Bunny to sample their product once in a while… Mel Blanc would have been happy to switch… but carrots were Bugs’s trademark.”

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