Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bugs Bunny Show Part 2

Here's an episode that appears to have been the pilot, or at least a very early entry in "The Bugs Bunny Show". It's a crying shame that Warner Bros. and TV affiliates treated these shows so badly. These few black and white tapes, and a few snippets in color, are all that's known to be left of the series. The original negatives were cut up for reruns, and much of the color footage is presumed lost forever. I applaud Jerry Beck and Warner Bros. Home Video for restoring what they've been able to find. This one is a rare glimpse at what it must have been like to watch the show on ABC in 1961...when many viewers still had black and white televisions.

This episode further solidifies the Bugs/Daffy relationship, and has different characters interacting for the first time. There's a great bit with Sylvester chasing Tweety, only to get scared into the rafters by Speedy and land on Daffy. We also get a rare encounter between Foghorn Leghorn and Pepe Le Pew, some re-used animation from "Duck Amuck", and Daffy meeting Speedy for the first time ever (It doesn't go well!) Enjoy this all-star Looney Tunes treasure!

13 comments:

Jerry Beck said...

That was indeed the first episode produced (but was the fifth episode aired). Those bridging sequences are probably the finest done for the series. A pleasure to watch.

Christopher said...

Another great one to watch. Why they can't get THESE onto DVD is unthinkable! Love the scene with Daffy and Sylvester, 'specially as it seems to be animated by Art Davis, and I love Daffy's struggle with the knight costume.
And that Speedy scene makes you wonder whether Chuck and/or Friz could have made the "Daffy/Speedy" series a lot better in their hands.

:: smo :: said...

what a great post!

when i was in college greg duffel came to speak about animation timing and i believe he showed this version of the bugs bunny show open where bugs and daffy sing the theme and everyone lines up on stage and compared it with the newer one. if you watch this one and tap off the beat, every footfall of the characters hits right on the beat! the new one has everyone sliding all over.

anyway, thanks for the post!

Satorical said...

Neat. Thanks for posting.

DJA said...

Matthew-I was there in 1960/61 (9 years old) every week glued to my b&w tv watching the B.B.Show.It was and still is a terrific showcase for the characters by so many of the old veterans at WB. I hope you keep posting more of these because while the cartoons have become so viewable the wrap around sequences are what made the show an actual "show". Thanks!

Larry Levine said...

Between Warners slicing up the bridging animation & CBS cutting the cartoons to shreds (to 'protect' us) no wonder they had to pad the running time with a ton of commercials & fillers like 'In the News' (or whatever it was called).

J Lee said...

The show really wasn't hacked up until the move to CBS in 1967, so someplace out there, there may be some pretty complete color copies (minus the ads, of course) from the ABC run on Saturday mornings in 1965-66.

(And as a trivia note, we do get one more piece of the John Seely-Capitol Records stock music library here, in the Bugs-Sam Tang commericial.)

Geoff said...

It makes a chill run up my spine just a bit to hear Bugs teasing next week's cartoons airing "for the first time ever on television!"

Anonymous said...

I remember this intro well....in fact, I can still remember the first time I ever saw it! I must've been around two years old and my mom was in the hospital for a hysterectomy. My brother and I were visiting her with my dad and I can remember watching this as well as" You Bet Your Life" there on the tv in her hospital room. It's amazing that the memory is still so vivid despite it being so long ago! Thanks for the post!

Jim said...

Interesting that during the Bugs/Elmer Alpha Bits commercial it's clearly not Mel doing Elmer's voice. But it sure sounds like he's doing Bugs, unless I'm mistaken.
Could be Hal Smith.

If so, why?

Mike said...

Out of respect for Arthur Q. Bryan, Mel didn't do Elmer's voice after Bryan died, even though he'd have been the most logical candidate. I believe Mel did do Elmer in the "Connecticut Rabbit in King Arthur's Court" special in the late 70s, but I've never seen the special, so I'm not sure.

J.E.Daniels said...

Great footage!
I reconized the pose of Pepe saying "'ello girls" from a layout drawing featured in one of Jones' bios!
To see different characters interact with their personalities intact is a rare sight.
I guess it's true, the original artists are the ones who knew the characters. That's why so many modern versions having different characters playing against each other doesn't seem to work properly...

Cathy said...

Did you know that a number of animation historians believe Bugs Bunny to have been influenced by an earlier Walt Disney character called Max Hare because he had similarly big teeth. I love watching the dvd collection of looney tunes with my little nephews!
First appeared in the cartoon short Porky's Hare Hunt, released on April 1938.My friends also enjoys watching the TV show everyday.

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