If you're anything like me, you grew up with Bugs Bunny as well as the rest of the Looney Tunes crew. It's hard to believe that the "wascally wabbit" has been around for 80 years, but I'm so glad he's stuck around in both pop culture and our hearts. To quote panel host and moderator, Yvette Nicole Brown, "It's my whole childhood coming to life." Yes, Mel Blanc may have originated the voice of Bugs all those decades ago, but since then, we've got the talents of Billy West (Space Jam), Jeff Bergman (Tiny Toon Adventures), and Eric Bauza (Looney Tunes Cartoons).
They start the panel each with their own signature delivery of the iconic "what's up, doc" line and it is everything. The panel is rounded out with Looney Tunes Cartoons executive producer Pete Browngardt, movie historian, author, and TV personality Leonard Maltin, animation historian, and author Jerry Beck, and Warner Archive senior vice president George Feltenstein.
All of these people have a deep connection to not only the classic cartoons but also the long history of Bugs and Looney Tunes and what it took to get that rabbit to his current home on HBOmax. They're even called Looney Tunes because they were really created as a way to pimp Warner music's new records in cinemas before the feature.
Bugs himself has stayed in the mainstream as a comedy icon – it's rare that something will remain funny to new generations decades upon decades later. When asked about this, West talked about how it's been a "cornerstone of a sense of humor" for generations. Browngardt mentions about how the efforts to modernize the cartoons are careful to not undermine any aspects of the character's history and instead carry on the legacy in the form of satire and heart – like when in the new cartoons when Bugs says things like "fake news" or talks about boxed organic carrot juice.
All in all, Bugs Bunny's comedy and legacy has endured for generations, and not just for the slapstick comedy. From classical music to history, Bugs Bunny is a cartoon staple that's every bit as hilarious now as it was then. An 80th-anniversary collection of 60 classic Bugs Bunny cartoon masters, as well as special features and a collectible figure, is set to be released on Blu Ray November 3.