Today marks the 75th anniversary of Bugs Bunny’s first “official” appearance – according to film historians – in the Tex Avery/Merrie Melodies short “A Wild Hare” (July 27, 1940) that featured both Bugs and his long-time arch-nemesis with a speech impediment, Elmer Fudd. The cartoon is notable for a couple of reasons, one being it’s “officialness” stems from Bugs and Elmer appearing in their now classic roles with their voices and one-liners set in place. Their designs would be refined over the years, but this is where the Looney Tunes essentially begins.Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 23.28.44

I grew up watching reruns of the Looney Tunes as a kid, which I’m certain many of my generation did, and though I always had a greater affinity for Daffy Duck, Bugs is the ring leader for the cast of characters voiced by the masterful Mel Blanc with some wonderful assists from June Foray and Arthur Q. Bryan. The cartoons, however, wouldn’t be anything without the amazing talent of animation directors like Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, and Chuck Jones.

While I may have grown up with The Simpsons as a major influence on my sense of humor, Looney Tunes was the spark of it all and remains an integral part of my family and how we interact with each other. Bugs and company span three generations of appreciative viewers from my grandfather’s quiet chuckling at Foghorn Leghorn to my mother’s wild laughter at an exchange of “Rabbit Season!” “Duck Season” to my squeals of delight over the hair pins left behind in Witch Hazel’s haste to serve up some rabbit stew. And I suppose, if I play my cards right, when I have children they’ll be able to enjoy watching the antics of Bugs Bunny as he consistently makes the wrong turns at Albuquerque.

So it is with sincere gratitude that I wish Bugs Bunny a Happy 75th Anniversary!

If you happen to be in the Seattle area, there’s a great exhibit at the EMP devoted to Spokane native, Chuck Jones and his contributions to Looney Tunes and animation. Worth checking out!tumblr_mapjjfpjqY1rpbikxo6_1280

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