Seventy years ago today, a certain animated rabbit made his first real appearance in a cartoon short directed by Tex Avery. The short was called “A Wild Hare,” and we’re willing to bet you know which bunny it starred.
Bugs Bunny, a Brooklyn-born rabbit voiced by Mel Blanc, is an American icon who never seems to lose popularity. In 2002, for example, respondents to a TV Guide survey listed him as the greatest cartoon character of all time, above Mickey Mouse and Homer Simson.
We talk with Will Friedwald, co-author, along with Jerry Beck, of "Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons," about why Bugs continues to win fans today, whether he's a racist, and why he's always dressing in drag.