High Diving Hare
High Diving Hare is a 1948-produced Warner Brothers Looney Tunes theatrical Cartoon short starring Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam. Released to theaters on April 30, 1949, the short is an expansion of a gag from Stage Door Cartoon, which was also directed by Friz Freleng. This short is available in the DVD box-set Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 1.
Bugs Bunny is drumming up business for a vaudeville show in a remote western town (notably one of the posters in the background is for "Frizby the Magician", a reference to director Friz Freleng). One of the main attractions is "Fearless Freep" and his high-dive act. As soon as Yosemite Sam hears the name "Fearless Freep", he goes into a frenzy, buying as many tickets as he can. (I'm a-splurgin'!)
During the show, as Bugs is about to introduce Freep, he gets a telegram informing him that Freep is delayed by a storm and won't be able to appear until the next day. An angered Sam insists on seeing the high-diving act and forces Bugs at gunpoint to the top of a high-dive platform. But Bugs manages to pull out all his tricks and stops, and it is Sam who does all the diving, in a different comical setting nine separate times (in a variant of the diving act from Stage Door Cartoon).
1: Sam pushes Bugs to the edge of the platform (and for the only time we see Bugs bare his claws to secure himself to the edge of the board). Bugs dupes Sam into covering his eyes while he puts on his bathing suit, and then proceeds to spin the board around so that Sam is at the diving edge. Bugs makes it look like he's taken the dive (accompanied with an audible "SPLASH!!"), but Sam turns around and starts to walk off, right off the edge and into the tank, which falls apart with the water still intact!
2: Bugs springs on the board so hard that he sends Sam up, over and down (separating Sam from his pistols in the process). Bugs then realizes that he forgot to fill the tank with water, so he grabs a bucket of water from off-camera and throws it down from the diving board past Sam. The water makes it into the tank, but Sam misses the tank altogether, smashing through the stage into the basement.
3: Sam walks to the end of the board and finds Bugs standing under the board upside-down ("Great horny toads! What are ya doin' down there upside-downy?"). But it is Sam who is upside-down ("I'm not upside down, doc. You are!"). Sam looks "up", sees the tank, and falls "up" into it.
4: Having been verbally hit with "fightin' words", Bugs dares Sam to "step over this line" (in a gag similar to one from Bugs Bunny Rides Again), sending Sam down for the splash again (but not before springing back up briefly to declare: "I hate you!")
5: Sam is stopped by a door, and yells "Open up that door!" then turns to the audience and says, "You notice I didn't say Richard?". He backs up and charges towards the door, which Bugs opens at the last microsecond, leading Sam to another splash, this time assisted by an anvil which Bugs gives him.
6: Bugs, dressed as an Indian, points Sam to a "short-cut" in a desert-like setting ("Quick! Him go that way! You take-em short cut! Head him off at pass!"). Sam thanks the "Indian" and takes the route leading to yet another dive.
After two more dives in which the setups are unseen, Sam finally has Bugs tied and standing on the edge of the platform, with Sam sawing away at the board, gloating: "This time, you're a-diving!" However, as soon as Sam cuts through the board, it's the ladder and platform that falls, leaving the cut plank suspended in mid-air. Bugs fourth turns to the camera and cracks, "I know this defies the law of gravity, but, you see, I never studied law!"
High Diving Hare can be seen in the third act of The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie.
ABC has aired two edited versions of this cartoon--one for The Bugs Bunny Show and another for The Bugs & Tweety Show
- The version that aired on The Bugs Bunny Show shortened Bugs Bunny's carnival barking and cut Yosemite Sam's line as he enters the platform "Ya notice I didn't say a-Richard?".
- The version that aired on The Bugs & Tweety Show left in the scenes that were cut on The Bugs Bunny Show, but cut the scene where Bugs (while on the high-dive) disguises himself as an Indian and tells Sam "Him go that-a-way!" (this scene was also cut from Nickelodeon's version of this cartoon), along with the scene where Sam strangles Bugs, and then Bugs tells Sam that he doesn't want to do it because he gets "goosebumps on his goosebumps", and Sam forces him to do so by shooting at his feet.
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