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Bugs Bunny is one of the greatest cartoon characters ever to come to life.
The “wascally wabbit” was the collaborative work of several Warner Brothers animators, including Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, and Friz Freleng.
Bugs’ personality was also inspired by the comedy of the times. In fact, Groucho Marx’s sense of humor is evident, and Bugs Bunny even borrows the line “This means war” that Groucho used in Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera.
According to Friz Freleng, Bugs also drew from Clark Gable’s performance in It Happened One Night. Gable’s funny way of chewing a carrot while continuing to talk to Claudette Colbert was adapted for Bugs (read more about that film here).
Of course, a cartoon is nothing without his voice, and Mel Blanc, the man of thousand voices, gave the furry favorite his distinct Brooklyn-esque sound.
“They showed me a picture of this little rabbit, and he’s gonna say, ‘Hey, what’s cooking?’” remembered Blanc. He suggested the line “Eh, what’s up, doc?” instead, which was becoming popularized at that time. Little did he know that that line would become Bugs' catchphrase.
According to Blanc, he also suggested that he be named after the first animator to draw him: Ben “Bugs” Hardaway.
Thus, he became Bugs Bunny.