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Bugs Bunny's 75th Birthday: A Quiet Celebration of His 'Wild' Debut
Happy Birthday, Bugs Bunny! The world’s favorite rabbit turns 75 this month: July 27, 1940, saw the debut of the cotton-tailed character's first cartoon short “Wild Hare,” directed by Tex Avery. Th...
By Tim Gray

The world’s favorite rabbit turns 75 this month: July 27, 1940, saw the debut of the cotton-tailed character’s first cartoon short “Wild Hare,” directed by Tex Avery.

There won’t be much hoopla to celebrate, because Warner Bros. doesn’t observe the birthdays of animated characters. And there’s some logic to that, especially in Mr. Bunny’s case.

There had been earlier variations: A wisecracking rabbit, voiced by Mel Blanc, debuted in the 1938 “Porky’s Hare Hunt” but the speech patterns and look were very different. In the next few years, WB’s Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons featured other rabbits .

But the 1940 “Wild Hare” was the first one where Bugs looked like himself, sounded like himself and, significantly, it was the first time he uttered the immortal words “What’s up, Doc?”