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Wideo Wabbit is a 1956 Merrie Melodies short directed by Robert McKimson.

Plot

Bugs Bunny is singing "This Is My Lucky Day" when he sees an ad in the newspaper wanting a rabbit for a show at the QTTV-TV studio. When he arrives there, the producer assigns Bugs to climb a ladder, whereupon Bugs asks why he has to climb the ladder and the producer replies, "Most of our actors, we start at the bottom. We're starting you at the top."

However, unbeknownst to Bugs, it is a hunting show starring Elmer Fudd called The Sportsman's Hour, sponsored by The French Fried Fresh Frozen Rabbit Company of Walla Walla, Washington. He tells the audience how he goes about getting a rabbit. He signals the cue for Bugs to come up out of the hole by push button and 10,000 volts' worth of electricity. When Bugs comes out of the hole, Elmer starts shooting. Bugs starts a fuss about the shooting, and Elmer tells him not to make a scene and everybody is watching, "How d'you expect me to bwast you when you're moving awound wike that?" Bugs tells Elmer to let them look and that it is his first chance on TV. Elmer takes a couple of shots at Bugs as he runs away and Bugs takes this as professional jealousy, but on a scale he had never imagined. The producer holds a sign up in front of the camera that says "Program Temporarily Interrupted. Please Stand By."

This leads to a chase all over the studio wherein Bugs goes into each and every show in the studio. The first show he does is a parody of You Bet Your Life with Groucho Marx called You Beat Your Wife. Elmer comes in, and Bugs as Groucho asks Elmer what the secret word was for $50, what his name was and what he was looking for. Elmer says he was looking for a rabbit, a crazy fresh rabbit. In response, Bugs as Groucho says "Oh, a fresh hare fiend." As Groucho, Bugs asks Elmer "Have you stopped beating your wife?" As Elmer stutters and stammers for a reply, Bugs walks out and says, "While you're making up your mind, I'll go slip out of these wet clothes — and into a dry martini, eh!" (note: the line was actually attributed to Robert Benchley). Elmer sees Bugs in disguise and tells him off, Bugs kisses him and tells him, "Aw, you been peekin'."

Next, Elmer is hit by a pie by Bugs in a parody of You Asked for It called You're Asking for It.

Next, Bugs plays Liberace who is called "Liver-ace", and when Elmer comes in, he is playing the piano. When Bugs sees Elmer, he does his Liberace imitation showing his teeth as piano keys, calling Elmer "his brother George", and tells Elmer to take the candelabra over to Mother. The candles are actually sticks of dynamite; when Elmer walks slowly and stops, there is an explosion. Bugs as Liberace says, "I did that because I want my show to go over with a bang."

Next, Bugs as a studio usher sends Elmer into the show You Were There, a takeoff of the show You Are There, depicting Custer's Last Stand. When he comes out, Elmer has arrows in his back and a tomahawk in his head, prompting Bugs to direct Fudd to Studio C for "The Medic".

The final time, Bugs as a producer, sends Elmer into a show called Fancy Dress Party, a spoof of Masquerade Party, where he is now disguised as a rabbit and Bugs as Elmer in his hunting outfit. Bugs goes back on The Sportsman's Hour and shoots Elmer in his rabbit suit and then Bugs as Ed Norton from The Honeymooners comes out and gives Elmer a cigar with Groucho Marx's glasses and eyebrows and says "Gee, what a Groucho."

Caricatures

Production Details

The part where Bugs is a studio page at the TV studio is repeated again in the 1959 cartoon "People Are Bunny", this time with Daffy Duck as his victim.

This is the second time that Bugs has played Groucho Marx to avoid Elmer. The first time was Friz Freleng's cartoon "Slick Hare" (1947), but Elmer comes much closer to catching Bugs in that Groucho scene than in the one in "Wideo Wabbit" by means of disguise as Groucho's brother Harpo.

When Bugs is masquerading as Liberace and playing the piano, the part where he gets his fingers tied in a knot was lifted from another Freleng cartoon "Rhapsody Rabbit" (1946).

When Elmer is tracking Bugs' footprints while giving tips, music is reused from "A Wild Hare" where Bugs taps on Elmer's head and introduces his catch phrase. Interestingly, McKimson (who directed this cartoon) animated "A Wild Hare" without receiving screen credit.

Availability

Censorship

  • On The WB, Cartoon Network (after 1998; pre-1998 showings were uncut), Boomerang, and Tooncast, the You Beat Your Wife sequence is edited to remove all references in dialogue to the title, which is a spousal abuse-themed pun on the Groucho Marx show, You Bet Your Life, leading to a lot of jumpy and near-incomprehensible dialogue and changing the punchline to make it seem like Elmer couldn't answer the question about who he is and what he does for a living instead of struggling to answer the question about whether or not he's stopped beating a wife he doesn't have.
    • Both Cartoon Network and the WB also covered the offending title on the podium. While Cartoon Network did a more seamless job in covering it with digital editing programs, the WB used a light brown square to cover "You Beat Your Wife" on the podium that stood out and momentarily disappears in certain shots, making it obvious that something's been censored.[1] The Boomerang and Tooncast versions use the Cartoon Network edited version as well.
  • On the WB, in addition to the above edit, the entire "Custer's Last Stand" sequence was cut.[1]
  • When ABC aired this short on 14 November 1987, they left the You Beat Your Wife sequence intact, though this did air only once, due to viewer complaints about the insensitive pun, but cut the following scenes:[2]
    • A dynamite gag during the Liberace sequence where dynamite sticks are substituted for candles was edited to remove the explosion, though Bugs' comment "I did that because I wanted my program to go over with a BANG!" was left in.[1]
    • A gun gag that leaves silhouettes in the wall behind Bugs.[1]
    • The "Custer's Last Stand" sequence to remove the shot of Elmer with arrows in his back and a tomahawk in his head.[1]

Notes

  • The working title was "Omni Bunny".
  • This is the only 1998 dubbed version to be released censored, as it was also released on the VHS of the same name in most European countries.
  • Most of this short was used in the TV special Bugs Bunny's Mad World of Television.
  • Among the television programs parodied are You Bet Your Life (1950) starring Groucho Marx, You Are There (1953) with Walter Cronkite, and The Liberace Show (1952) starring Liberace.
  • The second time in which Bugs disguises himself as an usher to send someone into a show that involved Indians and then trick his enemy into a hunter/sportsman related show was in "People Are Bunny". Only that time, the victim of Bugs' trick was Daffy Duck.
  • The call letters for the TV station in the short, "QTTV", may be a play on KTTV, a local television station in Los Angeles.
  • This is the final Bugs Bunny short which uses the Carl Stalling melody "What's Up, Doc?" over the title cards.
  • It is the first short to update Bugs' design on the "Bugs Bunny In" card, which would be used up to "False Hare".
  • When Bugs impersonated the voices of both Groucho Marx and later Ed Norton from "The Honeymooners" in two scenes, Mel Blanc did not provide the voices in those two sequences, instead Daws Butler provided those voices, since Blanc admittedly found himself to be terrible at celebrity voice impersonations, despite the fact that his Pepe Le Pew and Foghorn Leghorn characters are based on celebrity impressions.
  • In the mid-1990s, whenever Cartoon Network would have technical difficulties interrupting a broadcast, in lieu of a slide showing the channel logo/name, a screenshot of the producer holding the "PLEASE STAND BY" sign up to the TV camera would be used.

Gallery

References

External Links

Preceded by
A Star Is Bored
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1956
Succeeded by
To Hare Is Human
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
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
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