Bugs Bunny is a talented mimic.
His effortless impersonations of the celebrities of his day are not always politic (see Al Jolson) but there’s no denying that his impressions of Liberace, Edgar G. Robinson, Bing Crosby, and Hollywood Bowl conductor Leopold Stokowski introduced these personages to subsequent generations.
Clearly he was not working alone. In the 1981 interview with David Letterman below, Mel Blanc, who voiced Bugs, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Foghorn Leghorn and many other animated favorites demonstrated his versatility.
Blanc shaped the characters from the get go, inventing voices for character sketches and storyboards, though it was clear to him that tough nut Bugs should have an equally tough accent – either Brooklyn or the Bronx. (Rather than split hairs, he invented a hybrid.)
Hank Azaria, who is as central to The Simpsons’ mythology as Blanc is to Warner Brothers, marvels (up top) at Blanc’s ability to mimic one character imitating another, as Bugs and Daffy Duck do above.
Regionalism steered many of Blanc’s most memorable creations, from Foghorn Leghon’s Texas drawl to French loverboy, Pepe Le Pew.
Nice Maurice Chevalier, Bugs…
The Strange Day When Bugs Bunny Saved the Life of Mel Blanc
A Look Inside Mel Blanc’s Throat as He Performs the Voices of Bugs Bunny and Other Cartoon Legends
Kill the Wabbit!: How the 1957 Bugs Bunny Cartoon, “What’s Opera, Doc?,” Inspired Today’s Opera Singers to First Get Into Opera
Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, theater maker and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Follow her @AyunHalliday.
Did we need more proof? He was awesome!