Ballot Box Bunny

From Loonipedia

Ballot Box Bunny is a 1950 animated Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoon short released in 1951, directed by Friz Freleng and written by Warren Foster.


Yosemite Sam is running for mayor of a small town saying "There's enough fresh air and sunshine in this great country of ours for everybody- and I'll see to it, that you'll get your share!"). Bugs Bunny is underneath the podium drinking carrot juice when Sam makes a pledge to make good on his previous promise to rid the town "of every last rabbit" if elected. Bugs then decides he needs to fight against Sam by running against him for mayor.

Bugs proceeds to quickly try and win the townspeople over (including referencing Theodore Roosevelt's famous "I speak softly, but carry a BIG stick!" quote). However, Sam, declaring that he speaks loud and carries "a bigger stick, and I use it too!" has more than a few tricks up his sleeve. He steals Bugs' cigar stand, sends a boxful of army ants to steal all of Bugs' food, and rigs explosives (in, for instance, a piano and by the front door of Bugs' campaign office), all of which backfire on him. A campaign slogan seen on a pro-Bugs banner says that the candidate is "Loyal, Lovable, Literate." (Bugs switches his "SMELLO" cigars with five-cent ATOM Explosive Cigars {"You Will Get A BANG Out Of This"}, hides a dynamite stick in a watermelon, pretends that a pretty girl called Emma who loves Sam is at his door, and misplays the piano tune on purpose to infuriate Sam, who plays it right and falls for his trap for the fourth time.)

In the end, because they were too busy fighting with each other, they don't notice until it is too late that the mayorship has been won by a literal "dark horse" candidate — a chestnut-coloured mare! The two then play a game of Russian Roulette. Bugs shoots himself, but misses and Sam get shot in the head, leaving Sam angry and saying "I hate that rabbit!" (see "Censorship" note below for more information about the ending).


  • On TV airings of this cartoon in the United States, the entire ending scene where Bugs and Sam play Russian Roulette after both losing the mayoral race by a literal "dark horse" is deleted with a fake iris-out [1].
  • In addition to the above general cut for television, the part when Bugs plays his "jukeybox", or marches while playing the instruments in his one-man band cuts to Sam saying, "Now where was I?" to remove two shots (one when Sam yells, "Shut off that jukeybox! I can't hear myself a-speechin'!", then shoots at Bugs, and another shot when Bugs has his left foot shot a hole) when shown on Nickelodeon.


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Preceded by
His Hare-Raising Tale
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
Succeeded by
Big Top Bunny