Cartoon of the Day: What’s Cookin’ Doc?

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What's Cookin' Doc?

What’s Cookin’ Doc?

Bob Clampett started off 1944 right with the release of the Merrie Melodies cartoon What’s Cookin’ Doc?. Bugs had risen to star status four short years, and here he was heady enough to think he was in line for an Oscar. It would be another 14 years before the rabbit would get his own golden statue for Knighty Knight Bugs.

Bugs attends the Academy Awards ceremony. Following his impressions of Edward G. Robinson, Jerry Colonna, Bing Crosby and Frankenstein’s monster, he can’t believe it when he loses to James Cagney, so he campaigns in an effort to change voters’ minds. Bugs demands that a movie clip be shown to prove he should win an Oscar.

Contains some live-action footage, mainly from 1937’s “A Star Is Born.” Also contains a few shots from 1941’s “Hiawatha’s Rabbit Hunt,” identified here as “Little Hiawatha.”

Bugs (at least, his director, Friz Freleng) finally won an Oscar- for real- in 1958 for “Knighty Knight Bugs.”

Due to pressure from Warner Bros., this cartoon was one of 12 pulled at the last moment from rotation by the Cartoon Network for its 2001 “June Bugs” marathon, originally planned as the first broadcast of the complete chronology of Bugs Bunny cartoons. The reason given was that it included footage from “Hiawatha’s Rabbit Hunt,” a cartoon Warner Bros. felt contained an offensive depiction of the Native American character Hiawatha.

This is the cartoon with the legendary “gay Bugs”! After appearing in drag as a fruit-salad-hatted Carmen Miranda, Bugs wins a gold “Booby Prize Oscar” (which resembles him greatly). Bugs hugs the Oscar and says, “I’ll even take you to bed wit’ me every night.” The award comes to life, saying (in a deep bass voice) “Do you mean it?”, gives Bugs a great big kiss… and puts his hands on his hips in a stereotypical gay pose.

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