Looney Tunes Wiki
Looney Tunes Wiki

The Heckling Hare is a 1941 Merrie Melodies short directed by Tex Avery.


Bugs is being hunted by a dog named Willoughby, but the dog falls for every trap Bugs sets for him until they both fall off a cliff.

Lost Ending

Originally, the ending scene had Bugs and Willoughby fall off three cliffs. After the second tumble, Bugs then told the audience, "Hold on to your hats, folks. Here we go again!" during the third trip down. Schlesinger interfered with the production of this scene; the most popular story is that the "Hold on to your hats" line referred to a sexual euphemism (or punchline to a dirty joke) that was then in circulation (though a similar line had been allowed in "Daffy Duck & Egghead": "Hold your seats, folks, here we go again!").[3] Another possible story was that Leon Schlesinger objected to the end because he didn't like the idea that Avery possibly killed off Bugs Bunny, since the cartoon ended with Bugs and Willoughby falling off a cliff.[4]

According to Martha Sigall, Schlesinger objected to how repetitive and overly-long the second fall was. He instructed Avery to cut it. Avery insisted that it should remain, but, as the boss, Schlesinger insisted it be removed.[5] From Schlesinger's point of view, the dispute was over his right to do as he pleased with the films he was funding. From Avery's point of view, the dispute was over artistic interference.[6][4]

Avery was suspended for four weeks for the dispute with his boss. The quarrel was reported in an article for The Hollywood Reporter on 2 July 1941.[7] From Schlesinger's point of view the dispute was over his right to do as he pleased with the films he was paying for. From Avery's point of view, the dispute was over artistic interference.[6] During his suspension, Avery was hired by Paramount, where he worked on the first three Speaking of Animals shorts[8] and later MGM where he stayed for most of the 1940s and 1950s, creating such classic cartoons as "Red Hot Riding Hood" (and all the cartoons that feature the Wolf and Red the showgirl, such as "Swing Shift Cinderella", "Little Rural Riding Hood", and the now-controversial "Uncle Tom's Cabana"), "Blitz Wolf", "One Cab's Family", and cartoons featuring characters such as Droopy Dog and Screwy Squirrel.




  • Most televised versions of this cartoon, specifically the versions shown on the Ted Turner-owned cable networks such as TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, and Boomerang, cut out Willoughby saying "Yeah!" as the cartoon ends to cover up the fact that the cartoon has a missing ending (see "Lost Ending" for a detailed explanation). The version released on most home media versions (VHS, LaserDisc, the Golden Collection DVD set, and on the HBO Max streaming service) does not restore the lost ending, but does leave in Willoughby saying, "Yeah!" just as the short abruptly ends.[4]
  • In Super RTL (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) airings of this short, the Bugs and Willoughby falling gag is shortened.[9]


  • This is the second-to-last Bugs Bunny cartoon directed by Tex Avery to be released. The last, "All This and Rabbit Stew", was produced before this film. Additionally, it was the fifth cartoon for Bugs and the 55th cartoon Avery directed at Warner Bros.
  • The Merrie Melodies opening sequence also featured the first usage of the Warner Bros. shield logo zooming in with a carrot-munching Bugs Bunny lying on top of it. Here, after the zoom-in and a couple of bites of his carrot, Bugs pulls down the Merrie Melodies title screen like it is a shade.
    • Starting with this cartoon, the words "WARNER BROS." and "Present" are already on the screen, and would be for all future Bugs Bunny cartoons, excluding "Hold the Lion, Please" and "A Corny Concerto", until "Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips". However, beginning with "All This and Rabbit Stew", Bugs does not pulls down the Merrie Melodies title screen like a shade as in this cartoon; instead the WB shield title then fades to the Merrie Melodies title screen. After "Nips the Nips", the Bugs Bunny head would appear after the WB shield zooms in starting with "Hare Ribbin'".
    • From 1941 to 1944, in this Warner Bros. shield logo zooming in with a carrot-munching Bugs Bunny lying on top of it, Bugs Bunny always bites on his carrot twice. The only exception of such is the 1944 Blue Ribbon reissue of "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt", where Bugs bites the carrot only once, and munches on it for a much longer time.
    • 1945 saw a revamped version of the Warner Bros. shield logo zooming in with a carrot-munching Bugs Bunny lying on top of it, beginning with "Hare Trigger" and ending with "Hare Do". This version uses the modern Bugs Bunny design by Robert McKimson, and once again Bugs pulls down the Merrie Melodies/Looney Tunes title screen like a shade as in this one (though this time, another noticeable difference in the animation is that Bugs bites on his carrot only once and munches on the carrot for a much shorter time). Bugs' head would appear again replacing the WB shield in every Bugs cartoon from 1949 (except for "Hare Do") until the Termite Terrace studio closed.
  • The European 1995 Turner print has the 1947-1948 Merrie Melodies dubbed ending card and keeps also the 1941-1955 ending music rendition of "Merrily We Roll Along". It has also Willoughby's line before the ending credits intact. The American 1995 Turner print has the 1937-38 Merrie Melodies dubbed card and replaces the 1941-1955 ending music rendition of "Merrily We Roll Along" to the rendition that was shown on the 1938-1941 Merrie Melodies cartoons.



External Links

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 SupperThe 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