Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Bugs Bunny

(Appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)

There was a major Hollywood milestone a couple weeks ago. It was Bugs Bunny’s 75th birthday. On July 27, 1940, the wascally wabbit made his first ever appearance in a Warner Brother’s cartoon, titled “A Wild Hare.”

Now, 75 years later, the Oscar-winning rabbit is retired and living in a condo in Naples, Florida. Since I am a powerful and influential member of the media, I was able to set up a private lunch meeting with Bugs recently to discuss his historic career.

We sat in a quiet booth toward the rear of a family restaurant. I ordered a club sandwich, and everyone in the restaurant knew what Bugs ordered as soon as the waiter brought our meals. In his high-pitched voice, with that unmistakable New York accent, Bugs broke into song: “Carrots are divine, you get a dozen for a dime, it’s maaaa-gic!”

Some of the other senior citizens in the restaurant smiled and waved. They’d recognize that famous voice anywhere. However, many of the teens and younger children looked up from their phones, shrugged in confusion, and then dove back into their little hand-held electronic universe.

“See?” Bugs said to me. “The old timers remember me, but the younger generation doesn’t have a clue.”

I asked him why he retired so abruptly and left Hollywood behind. “I didn’t leave them,” he replied, “they left me. Have you seen the new animation, with that computer-generated malarkey? It’s awful! Pixar, schmixar! Computers are the worst thing that ever happened to the movie business — not counting Adam Sandler, of course. He’s a putz.”

“So Bugs, how do you spend your days here in Florida?” I asked.

He replied, “What’s up, doc?”

I smiled and said, “Thank you. I was hoping you would offer your signature phrase for me.”

He rolled his eyes and said, “What a maroon. That wasn’t for you. That’s how I spend my time. I say, ‘What’s up, doc?’ to real doctors at least twice a day. My full time job nowadays is to go to medical appointments and get prescriptions. Look at this,” he said, as he lifted up one of his feet, which was at least 30 inches long. “I go to three different podiatrists! I’m tellin’ ya, kid, don’t get old.”

“Do you miss the folks you used to work with?” I asked.

Bugs nodded slowly and smiled. “Dose were good times. Elmer Fudd was a dear friend. Too bad he died in that tragic accident. As it turned out, there actually was ‘one buwwet weft.’

“And Yosemite Sam was a real sweetheart. Did you know his real name was Percival Feldman? And he played the cello? That whole rip-roaring, shoot ‘em up persona was just an act.

“One guy I don’t miss is the duck,” he said.

“You mean Daffy Duck?” I asked.

“Right. He was just as annoying off camera as he was on camera. One of my most famous lines, ‘Of course you know this means war!’ was actually an ad lib. One day during filming I just wanted to strangle that SOB. I hear they finally had to lock him away in a funny farm. Gee, who saw dat coming?!”

Just then a very foul odor wafted by. As I cringed, Bugs laughed and said, “Ain’t I a stinker? I’m seeing two different gastroenterologists. I’ve got all kinds of stomach problems these days.”

All too quickly our meeting was over. As we got up to leave, I thanked Bugs profusely for his time, and then I said with a smile, “Don’t forget to take that left turn at Albuquerque!” 
He shook his head and muttered, “Don’t think it hasn’t been a little slice of heaven — cuz it hasn’t!”

No comments:

Post a Comment