Stage Door Cartoon
Stage Door Cartoon is a 1944 Warner Bros. cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series, directed by Friz Freleng and featuring Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, and a predecessor to Yosemite Sam. Voices are by Mel Blanc, except Elmer was voiced by Arthur Q. Bryan. The cartoon's title is a parody of the 1943 musical film Stage Door Canteen.
The film starts as a typical Elmer-hunting-rabbits cartoon; he hooks a carrot to his fishing hook in an attempt to catch Bugs, who turns the tables on Elmer by attaching the hook to his pants and "reeling" him in. Bugs then throws Elmer back for being too small and ends up getting chased to a Vaudeville theater. Bugs gets a chance to do his tap-dance routine, one of his recurring schticks. He then tricks the shy Elmer onto the stage, forcing him into performing a high-diving act. Then, he prompts Elmer through some classic acting emotive poses, seguéing into face-making, which draws a ripe tomato in the face from the jeering crowd. Then he tricks Elmer into doing a "strip-tease". Finally, Bugs disguises himself as a southern sheriff (a primordial Yosemite Sam, with the same raucous drawl as the similar-sounding Foghorn Leghorn), just as a real one (as revealed by later events) arrests Elmer for indecent exposure. Before leaving the theater, a Bugs Bunny cartoon begins on the movie screen and the sheriff decides to stay and watch it. Elmer appears to get wise when the cartoon shows the scene where Bugs disguises himself as the sheriff. Elmer, thinking the sheriff really is Bugs, calls the sheriff an "imposter" and pulls off his clothes, but to Elmer's surprise, finds out he was really sitting next to the real sheriff. The sheriff proceeds to lead Elmer out of the theater with his rifle ("You'll swing for this, suh!"). The last scene shows Bugs conducting the orchestra into a big finale.
- Bugs' goofy yell to Elmer, "Here I ya-um!" was a catchphrase used by radio star Red Skelton's country bumpkin character "Clem Kadiddlehopper".
- Bugs' final line, "I got a million of 'em!" was a Jimmy Durante catchphrase; Bugs also mimics Durante's standard body language while saying it.
- The basic plotline would be re-used in the 1950 Bugs-and-Elmer cartoon, Rabbit of Seville. Also, the same high-dive gag would be re-used and expanded for the 1949 Bugs Bunny cartoon High Diving Hare, in which Yosemite Sam (who, as previously noted, appears in prototypical form in this cartoon near the end) would play a large part as Bugs' antagonist (in contrast, the sheriff in this cartoon says he is a fan of Bugs's cartoons).
- A modified version of the high dive is used in the 1949 cartoon Hare Do where Bugs tricks a blindfolded Elmer into riding a unicycle from a wire high above a stage into the jaws of a man-eating lion.
- When a Bugs Bunny cartoon began playing smack dab in the middle of the cartoon, this breaks the fourth wall.
This cartoon is found on Volume 2 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection.