Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wideo Wabbit

As I pointed out in the previous post about the Warner Brothers cartoon "Slick Hare," Bugs Bunny's character was based, at least to some degree, on Groucho Marx. Occasionally, Bugs resorted to overt impersonation of Groucho, as in the 1956 cartoon, "Wideo Wabbit." Bugs is attempting to avoid appearing as the prey in Elmer Fudd's "Sportsman's Hour" TV show, and dresses up as Groucho. In pursuit of Bugs, Elmer winds up on the set of a show called "You Beat Your Wife"--a parody of Groucho's quiz show, "You Bet Your Life." While the gag might be miscontrued was making light of spousal abuse (indeed, current televised versions of the cartoon have had this scene edited out), I think it was just a clever way to work in an old joke, when Bugs asks Elmer, "Have you stopped beating your wife?"

Elmer even gets in on the act, and appears briefly in Groucho disguise, while Bugs impersonates Ed Norton (Art Carney) of "The Honeymooners."

If you want to read more details about this scene, as well as the rest of the cartoon, check out Wideo Wabbit on Wikipedia.


  1. You Beat Your Wife is hysterical.
    I'm laughing out loud over here in Arizona...
    It cracks me up that you and I probably watched the cartoon as kids and it zipped right over our heads.

  2. I decided not to wax philosophical in the original post, but if you step back and look at cartoons like this, they were based on pretty ghastly premises, such as making fun of Elmer's speech impediment, and his obsession with slaughtering an anthropomorphic herbivore. If you've seen the "Itchy and Scratchy" cartoons on The Simpsons, they are not that much of an exaggeration of what we grew up on. Oh well, I guess we turned out alright--maybe.