I have to admit that out of all the cartoon characters, my favorite one is hands down Bugs Bunny. His relaxed, lazy attitude, his flippant personality and his catchy lines always fascinated me. But as it turns out, the more you dig, the more interesting this character gets.
The other day i was reading a very interesting article that suggested that carrots and apples are in fact, bad for rabbits as they are high in sugar and may cause health problems. The article went on to suggest that they should only be given as an occasional treat and they should not be, in any case, part of a rabbit’s normal diet.
So i instantly asked myself, “Why does Bugs Bunny eat carrots then? There has to be an explanation”. So, i decided to have a look and, just like the case with Why Most Superheroes Wear Their Underwear On The Outside or Why Cartoon Characters Wear White Gloves, the answer is quite interesting to say the least.
As explained by its creators, Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng and Bob Clampett, Bugs Bunny’s relaxed, trickster way of life and carrot-chewing position, was based off of a scene in the 1934 film It Happened One Night. During that scene, Peter Warne (played by actor Clark Gable) leans against a fence and snacks on carrots while talking rapidly and with his mouth full. As this was Friz Freleng’s favorite film, he used this scene to portray the cartoon character we all now today as Bugs Bunny. In fact, because the film was extremely popular at the time, viewers immediately saw the connection and thought Bugs Bunny’s behavior was satire.
But, carrot-eating was not the only inspiration from It Happened One Night. Bugs Bunny’s character was based on Oscar Shapely’s (portraied by Roscoe Karns) personality and even his name was based on an imaginary film character named “Bugs Dooley” that once frighten Oscar Shapely.
Here’s the video of the scene where Clark Gable eats carrots and talks at the same time: