Yosemite Sam is running for mayor of a small town saying, "There's enough fresh air and sunshine in this great country of ours for everybody, and I'll see to it, that you'll get your share!" Bugs Bunny is underneath the podium drinking carrot juice when Sam makes a pledge to make good on his previous promise to rid the town "of every last rabbit" if elected. Bugs, having spit his carrot juice out in disbelief, decides he needs to fight against Sam by running against him for mayor.
Bugs proceeds to quickly try and win the townspeople over, referencing Theodore Roosevelt's famous quote, "I speak softly, but carry a BIG stick!" However, Sam, declaring that he speaks loud and carries "a bigger stick, and I use it too!" has more than a few tricks up his sleeve. He steals Bugs' cigar stand, sends a boxful of army ants to steal all of Bugs' food, and rigs explosives in a piano and by the front door of Bugs' campaign office, all of which backfire on him. A campaign slogan seen on a pro-Bugs banner says that the candidate is "Loyal, Lovable, Literate." Bugs switches his "SMELLO" cigars with five-cent ATOM Explosive Cigars which say "You Will Get A BANG Out Of This", hides a dynamite stick in a watermelon, pretends that a pretty girl called Emma who loves Sam is at his door, and misplays the piano tune on purpose to infuriate Sam, who plays it right and falls for his trap for the fourth time.
While they are busy fighting with each other, the mayorship is won by a literal "dark horse" candidate: a chestnut-colored mare! The two then play a game of Russian Roulette. Bugs shoots at himself, but misses and shoots Sam in the head. Sam grumbles, "I hate that rabbit!"
- "Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms"
- Versions of this cartoon shown on the syndicated Merrie Melodies Show, the FOX version of The Merrie Melodies Show, ABC's The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show, and The WB cut the entire ending scene where Bugs and Sam play Russian Roulette after both losing the mayoral race to a literal "dark horse" by irising out after Bugs and Sam look at each other following the "Dark Horse"/"Mare" line.
- Cartoon Network and Boomerang also aired this short edited the same way it was on ABC, FOX, The WB, and The Merrie Melodies Show. The ending has since been restored as of 2011.
- Some European feeds of Cartoon Network and Boomerang have aired this short uncensored, either using the Golden Jubilee tape print at PAL speed with high-pitched audio or the 1998 dubbed version (a.k.a. THIS VERSION 1998) print in PAL speed but with normal-pitched audio. This PAL print is shown on the Boomerang subscription service, albeit uncensored with the Russian Roulette ending gag intact, similar to some TV airings in PAL countries.
- In addition to the ending cut made by The Merrie Melodies Show, FOX, ABC, The WB, and the pre-2011 Cartoon Network and Boomerang, Nickelodeon altered the part in which Bugs plays his "juteybox" (read: Bugs' marching one-man band) and Sam shoots him by having Bugs' marching played in a loop and Sam yelling, "Shut off that juteybox! I can't hear myself a-speechin'" over the looped shot, followed by a cut to Sam saying: "Now, where was I?" This edit makes it seem that Bugs merely stopped because Sam told him to rather than be forced to do it by use of firearms.
- When Bugs plays two distinctly different sour notes each time, he is striking the exact same key.
- Most of this cartoon was used in the TV special Bugs Bunny: All American Hero.
- The "dark horse" election as the new mayor is a pun joke; the term "dark horse" refers to one who receives unexpected support as a candidate for the nomination in a political convention.
- Unlike most cartoons, Bugs drinks carrot juice instead of munching on a carrot.
- There are several inside jokes found in this cartoon:
- The pre-2011 censored version that aired on Cartoon Network and Boomerang is a horribly faded unrestored print from the Golden Jubilee tapes which has been time-compressed to PAL speed. The post-2011 uncensored version is the restored version on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 1 DVD set played at its original NTSC speed.
- This short and "His Hare Raising Tale" were the only two cartoons with orange color ring titles that did not have a fade in before Bugs Bunny's headshot on the opening titles.
- The cartoon was reissued in the 1959-1964 season, which removed both the original opening and ending titles with the red opening and ending titles. It, along with "A Bear for Punishment", had the orange opening and ending titles with black backgrounds before they were reissued.
- Clips of this cartoon appear in an episode of Ozzy and Drix.
- MeTV aired a previously unreleased re-restored print of the cartoon on Toon In with Me uncensored with the DVNR artifacts removed. This re-restoration was later made available on iTunes Video.
- "Ballot Box Bunny" at SuperCartoons.net
- "Ballot Box Bunny" at B99.TV
- "Ballot Box Bunny" at the SFX Resource
His Hare Raising Tale
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