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Bowery Bugs is a 1949 Merrie Melodies short directed by Arthur Davis.


Bugs Bunny stands at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, about half a mile from the southern end of the actual street called the Bowery, telling an old man a story, in carnival-barker style, about how and why Steve Brody jumped off the bridge in July 1886 in the form of pictures. Steve Brody had a terrific run of bad luck. He decided he needed a good luck charm, ideally, a rabbit's foot, and the place he hoped to find it was in the country forest.

Brody cycles to Flatbush and finds Bugs' house. Brody, holding a knife, pulls Bugs, singing "All That Glitters Is Not Gold", out of a hole. Brody tells Bugs that he needs a good luck charm and that "he is it". Bugs responds by explaining why rabbits feet are not lucky. Bugs directs Brody to "Swami Rabbitima". Brody decides to chance it on condition he'll come back for Bugs if it doesn't work.

The Swami, Bugs in disguise, asks Brody if he wants his palm read. When he says yes, Bugs paints his right palm the color red. Then, Bugs asks if he wants him to read the bumps on his head. Brody says he has none, so Bugs takes a hammer and makes bumps. Brody, angry at Bugs, starts to chase him, but Bugs starts dealing out playing cards for cartomancy. He tells Brody that he has a meeting coming up with a man wearing a carnation, also Bugs in disguise, who will be his lucky mascot at gambling.

Brody's luck does not change, though. Bugs plays craps, he shoots a seven but it turns up snake-eyes. Next he plays a slot machine and receives a mere three lemons for his trouble. After being kicked out of the gambling establishment by a gorilla bouncer, he heads back to Swami. Bugs asks Brody when he was born, but Brody doesn't remember. Bugs then spins a zodiac wheel then when it lands on the sign of the wolf. He tells Brody that he is lucky with love. However, flirting with a "lady," also Bugs in disguise, only nets him a multiple bonking by a policeman for being a "masher". Brody returns to the Swami and clarifies why he wants his luck to change, "So I can get me hands on some dough! Bugs tells Brody to go to 29 River Street, home of "Grandma's Happy Home Bakery".

Brody arrives at the bakery pointing a gun at the baker, Bugs again, wearing glasses. Brody then moves towards a conveyor belt while telling Bugs, "I know you have a mess of dough. Let me have it," to which Bugs replies, "If you insist!" Because Brody is on the conveyor belt, Bugs drops dough on him, moves the belt towards an oven and Brody comes out baked as a pie.

Bugs, clueless that Brody saw him, unmasks himself. Brody then comes back to life from the pie and Brody realizes that Bugs tricked him from the beginning. Running out of the bakery, Brody retraces his steps to unmask Bugs' previous disguises as the lady, the man, and the fortune teller, leading Brody to believe "Everybody's a rabbit!" Brody then says, "Aw, cmon now Brody, get ahold of yourself. You ain't a rabbit." then into what he thinks is a mirror, but is actually a window, and sees Bugs looking back at him, he thinks he has turned into a rabbit and snaps, while Bugs laughs and pops out. Brody then hops down the street, hysterically shouting "What's up, doc?!" three times.

Seeing a police officer, apparently staring contemplatively at the river from the Brooklyn Bridge, Brody begs him for help. Turning, the officer reveals himself to be Bugs, demanding in a thick Irish accent, "What's all this about rabbits, Doc?" As the last straw, Brody can't take this anymore and leaps into the East River.

Bugs ends his story there, but asks if there is anything else he wants to tell the old man. The man says, "That's enough, son! I'll buy it!" and hands Bugs some money. Bugs then blinks.




The version shown in ABC's The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show shortened two scenes of Steve Brody being hit on the head:[2]

  • The first time when Bugs (as the fortuneteller) asks him to read the bumps on his head, with Brody saying he has no bumps on his head and Bugs hitting him with a mallet: On the uncut version, Brody was hit six times; on ABC's version, it was cut down to two
  • When Brody tries his hand at being lucky in love, and encounters Bugs dressed as a woman calling him a "masher," "cad," and "ruffian" and yelling for the police: The cop hits Brody eleven times in the uncut version. On ABC, the beatings were drastically shortened to one and a half before a fake fade-out.


  • While Lloyd Turner and Bill Scott are both credited for story, Lloyd Turner actually wrote the cartoon solo with no involvement from Bill Scott. Scott's onscreen credit was a mistake on the part of title card artist Don Foster.
  • When asked when he was born, Brody says he doesn't remember. Brody in real life was born 23 July. This would make his zodiac sign Leo, but Bugs says it's "Lobo" [sic], which is not an actual Western zodiac sign.


  • This short was was Davis' only Bugs Bunny short before his unit was dissolved.
  • After his unit was dissolved, Davis' crew moved around to other studios or other units of the Termite Terrace studio, while Davis himself spent the rest of his career at Warner Bros. Cartoons as a key animator in Friz Freleng's unit until 1962, when he left to join Hanna-Barbera Productions briefly, before moving over to DePatie-Freleng Enterprises to work on Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies shorts in addition to The Pink Panther Show.
  • There actually was a real Steve Brodie who claimed that he jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge in 1886 and survived. Even though the newspapers enthusiastically reported his story, there's no evidence that it actually happened. The fact that his name was used in this cartoon means that it caricatured an already-deceased celebrity.
  • Shep the Dog from "Bone Sweet Bone", also directed by Art Davis the previous year, makes a small cameo appearance when Steve Brody gets kicked out of the gambling establishment.



Main article: Bowery Bugs/Transcript


External Links

Bugs Bunny Shorts
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1956 Bugs' BonnetsBroom-Stick BunnyRabbitson CrusoeNapoleon Bunny-PartBarbary-Coast BunnyHalf-Fare HareA Star Is BoredWideo WabbitTo Hare Is Human
1957 Ali Baba BunnyBedevilled RabbitPiker's PeakWhat's Opera, Doc?Bugsy and MugsyShow Biz BugsRabbit Romeo
1958 Hare-Less WolfHare-Way to the StarsNow, Hare ThisKnighty Knight BugsPre-Hysterical Hare
1959 Baton BunnyHare-abian NightsApes of WrathBackwoods BunnyWild and Woolly HareBonanza BunnyA Witch's Tangled HarePeople Are Bunny
1960 Horse HarePerson to BunnyRabbit's FeatFrom Hare to HeirLighter Than Hare
1961 The Abominable Snow RabbitCompressed HarePrince Violent
1962 Wet HareBill of HareShishkabugs
1963 Devil's Feud CakeThe Million HareHare-Breadth HurryThe UnmentionablesMad as a Mars HareTransylvania 6-5000
1964 Dumb PatrolDr. Devil and Mr. HareThe Iceman DuckethFalse Hare
1979 Bugs Bunny's Christmas CarolFright Before Christmas
1980 Portrait of the Artist as a Young BunnySpaced Out Bunny
1990 Box Office Bunny
1991 (Blooper) Bunny
1992 Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers
1995 Carrotblanca
1997 From Hare to Eternity
2004 Hare and Loathing in Las VegasDaffy Duck for President