Looney Tunes Wiki

Stage Door Cartoon is a 1944 Merrie Melodies short directed by Friz Freleng.


The title is a play on the 1943 film Stage Door Canteen.


Elmer hooks a carrot to his fishing hook in an attempt to catch Bugs, who turns the tables on Elmer by attaching the hook to his pants and "reeling" him in. Bugs then throws Elmer back for being too small and ends up getting chased to a Vaudeville theater. Bugs gets a chance to do his tap-dance routine, one of his recurring schticks. He then tricks the shy Elmer onto the stage, forcing him into performing a high-diving act. He prompts Elmer through some classic acting emotive poses, segueing into face-making, which draws a ripe tomato in the face from the jeering crowd. Then he tricks Elmer into doing a "strip-tease." Finally, Bugs disguises himself as a southern sheriff, just as a real one arrests Elmer for indecent exposure. Before leaving the theater, a Bugs Bunny cartoon begins on the movie screen and the sheriff decides to stay and watch it. Elmer appears to get wise when the cartoon shows the scene where Bugs disguises himself as the sheriff. Elmer, thinking the sheriff really is Bugs, calls the sheriff an "impostor" and pulls off his clothes, but to Elmer's surprise, finds out he was really sitting next to the real sheriff. The sheriff proceeds to lead Elmer out of the theater with his rifle, "You'll swing for this, suh!" Bugs conducts the orchestra into a big finale.





  • When Bugs is conducting the orchestra at the end of the short, the stand in front of him is black but changes to brown in the next shot.
  • When Bugs takes Elmer's fishing rod away from him, he pulls on the rod and Elmer goes through the hole that Bugs burrowed through and out of Bugs' home, but when Bugs walks off after throwing Elmer away, the hole that he burrowed through is gone.


  • This is the first cartoon to feature Bugs' signature song "What's Up Doc?" playing during the title card.
  • Bugs' goofy yell to Elmer, "Here I ya-um!" was a catchphrase used by radio star Red Skelton's country bumpkin character "Clem Kadiddlehopper".
  • A sign for "5 Clampett Trained Seals" appears backstage. This was one of the first Freleng cartoons to feature backgrounds by Paul Julian, who enjoyed sneaking such in-jokes into his work.
  • According to the Toonheads episode "Before They Were Stars", the Southern sheriff who arrests Elmer is said to be the prototype to Yosemite Sam. This prototype version is a little taller (almost as tall as Bugs), older (the white hair), and is a good-to-neutral character who actually likes Bugs Bunny and his cartoons. Contrast with the official version of Yosemite Sam, who is shorter, meaner, has red hair, mostly plays a Western outlaw instead of a Western character who upholds the law, and hates rabbits (Bugs, specifically).
  • Bugs' final line, "I got a million of 'em!" was a Jimmy Durante catchphrase; Bugs also mimics Durante's standard body language while saying it.
  • This cartoon marks the debut of "Untitled Soft Shoe Number", an original music score by Carl Stalling. Animation of Bugs dancing to this music cue would later be re-used in "Bugs Bunny Rides Again " and "Hot Cross Bunny " (both from 1948).
  • The basic plotline was re-used in the 1949 Bugs-and-Elmer cartoon, "Hare Do" and again in the 1950 Bugs-and-Elmer cartoon, "Rabbit of Seville".
  • A modified version of the high dive is used in the 1949 cartoon "Hare Do" where Bugs tricks a blindfolded Elmer into riding a unicycle from a wire high above a stage into the jaws of a man-eating lion, with the result having an ending reminiscent to the ending of "A Day at the Zoo" (1939), which featured Elmer's prototype Egghead being swallowed up by a lion.
  • Five years later, high-diving gag from this cartoon is later used as the entire plot device for "High Diving Hare" (1949), where Yosemite Sam forces Bugs Bunny to perform the high-diving act when Fearless Freep is unavailable.
  • When a Bugs Bunny cartoon began playing smack dab in the middle of the cartoon, this breaks the fourth wall.
  • Most likely, this short was the first to bear the full legend "WARNER BROS. PICTURES INC" and "A WARNER BROS. CARTOON", which would be used until 1964. Previous cartoons produced by Eddie Selzer would have "Produced by WARNER BROS. CARTOONS" and "WARNER BROS." (used from 1939-44).
  • Most likely, this short was the final to credit "Produced by WARNER BROS. CARTOONS INC" and the small "RELEASED BY WARNER BROS. PICTURES INC" byline on the ending target rings due to this short being one of the last produced during the 1943-44 animation season (evident from red background and blue target rings).



External Links

Elmer Fudd Cartoons
1940 Elmer's Candid CameraConfederate HoneyThe Hardship of Miles StandishA Wild HareGood Night Elmer
1941 Elmer's Pet RabbitWabbit Twouble
1942 The Wabbit Who Came to SupperAny Bonds Today?The Wacky WabbitNutty NewsFresh HareThe Hare-Brained Hypnotist
1943 To Duck .... or Not to DuckA Corny ConcertoAn Itch in Time
1944 The Old Grey HareThe Stupid CupidStage Door Cartoon
1945 The Unruly HareHare Tonic
1946 Hare RemoverThe Big Snooze
1947 Easter YeggsA Pest in the HouseSlick Hare
1948 What Makes Daffy DuckBack Alley Op-RoarKit for Cat
1949 Wise QuackersHare DoEach Dawn I Crow
1950 What's Up Doc?The Scarlet PumpernickelRabbit of Seville
1951 Rabbit Fire
1952 Rabbit Seasoning
1953 Upswept HareAnt PastedDuck! Rabbit, Duck!Robot Rabbit
1954 Design for LeavingQuack Shot
1955 Pests for GuestsBeanstalk BunnyHare BrushRabbit RampageThis Is a Life?Heir-Conditioned
1956 Bugs' BonnetsA Star Is BoredYankee Dood ItWideo Wabbit
1957 What's Opera, Doc?Rabbit Romeo
1958 Don't Axe MePre-Hysterical Hare
1959 A Mutt in a Rut
1960 Person to BunnyDog Gone People
1961 What's My Lion?
1962 Crows' Feat
1980 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Bunny
1990 Box Office Bunny
1991 (Blooper) Bunny
1992 Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers
2012 Daffy's Rhapsody
Bugs Bunny Shorts
1938 Porky's Hare Hunt
1939 Prest-O Change-OHare-um Scare-um
1940 Elmer's Candid CameraA Wild Hare
1941 Elmer's Pet RabbitTortoise Beats HareHiawatha's Rabbit HuntThe Heckling HareAll This and Rabbit StewWabbit Twouble
1942 The Wabbit Who Came to SupperAny Bonds Today?The Wacky WabbitHold the Lion, PleaseBugs Bunny Gets the BoidFresh HareThe Hare-Brained HypnotistCase of the Missing Hare
1943 Tortoise Wins by a HareSuper-RabbitJack-Wabbit and the BeanstalkWackiki WabbitFalling Hare
1944 Little Red Riding RabbitWhat's Cookin' Doc?Bugs Bunny and the Three BearsBugs Bunny Nips the NipsHare Ribbin'Hare ForceBuckaroo BugsThe Old Grey HareStage Door Cartoon
1945 Herr Meets HareThe Unruly HareHare TriggerHare ConditionedHare Tonic
1946 Baseball BugsHare RemoverHair-Raising HareAcrobatty BunnyRacketeer RabbitThe Big SnoozeRhapsody Rabbit
1947 Rabbit TransitA Hare Grows in ManhattanEaster YeggsSlick Hare
1948 Gorilla My DreamsA Feather in His HareRabbit PunchBuccaneer BunnyBugs Bunny Rides AgainHaredevil HareHot Cross BunnyHare SplitterA-Lad-In His LampMy Bunny Lies over the Sea
1949 Hare DoMississippi HareRebel RabbitHigh Diving HareBowery BugsLong-Haired HareKnights Must FallThe Grey Hounded HareThe Windblown HareFrigid HareWhich Is WitchRabbit Hood
1950 Hurdy-Gurdy HareMutiny on the BunnyHomeless HareBig House BunnyWhat's Up Doc?8 Ball BunnyHillbilly HareBunker Hill BunnyBushy HareRabbit of Seville
1951 Hare We GoRabbit Every MondayBunny HuggedThe Fair Haired HareRabbit FireFrench RarebitHis Hare Raising TaleBallot Box BunnyBig Top Bunny
1952 Operation: RabbitFoxy by Proxy14 Carrot RabbitWater, Water Every HareThe Hasty HareOily HareRabbit SeasoningRabbit's KinHare Lift
1953 Forward March HareUpswept HareSouthern Fried RabbitHare TrimmedBully for BugsLumber Jack-RabbitDuck! Rabbit, Duck!Robot Rabbit
1954 Captain HareblowerBugs and ThugsNo Parking HareDevil May HareBewitched BunnyYankee Doodle BugsBaby Buggy Bunny
1955 Beanstalk BunnySahara HareHare BrushRabbit RampageThis Is a Life?Hyde and HareKnight-Mare HareRoman Legion-Hare
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