Saturday morning shows weren’t known for their longevity, with only a handful ever lasting more than a season or two. But with a collection of beloved Warner Brothers characters and cartoons at their disposal, The Bugs Bunny Show kicked off the festivities in grand fashion each week – for an astounding four decades.
The whole gang was there – Bugs, Daffy, Porky, Pepe’, Sylvester, Wile E., Elmer, Tweety, Yosemite and Foghorn – enduring one comic misadventure after another. The show kicked off each week with the little vaudville number quoted above, then it was non-stop cartoons.
The Bugs Bunny Show was comprised of the many cartoon shorts that were produced by Warner Brothers in the 40s and 50s under the Looney Tunes and Merrie Meoldies names. The series featured the prolific voice talent of Mel Blanc, as well as other vocal mainstays such as Daws Butler, June Foray and Stan Freeburg. Directing these many classic animated films were the legendary Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Robert McKimson and Bob Clampett.
Surprisingly, the series didn’t start on Saturday mornings, but aired in prime-time on ABC for the first two years as a 30-minute show. After that, it moved to the morning slot, appearing on both ABC and CBS at one time or another. It expanded to an hour when it became The Bugs Bunny / Road Runner Hour, and later, The Bugs Bunny / Road Runner Show. In the 90s, it became The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show before calling it quits in 2000 (the same year that the Warner Bros. library was made available to Nickelodeon).
The Bugs Bunny Show was special because of its cross-generational appeal. Kids and adults could enjoy the cartoons together, even if they weren’t always laughing at the same things. Sadly, its demise coincided with ending of the Saturday morning programming tradition, leaving a void that has yet to be filled. For many a former kid, this was the best time of the week to watch television, and future generations will never know what they missed.