Bugs Bunny: The Trickster, American Style

by Ezra Buckley on December 9, 2017

A hero, a bully, appealing, a little scary: Part of Bugs Bunny’s appeal is in his contradictions

Bugs Bunny is one of the most popular, enduring and recognizable characters in the world. His trademark smirk and his ever-present carrot were born in the late 1930s; he exploded into fame during World War II, and became an indelible part of American culture ever after.

So what makes Bugs Bugs? Well, the bunny’s mercurial nature is essential to his appeal. Bugs is nice, but a bit of a bully, appealing and scary, high culture and low; he morphs from one to the other seamlessly.

As Billy West, the current voice of Bugs Bunny, puts it: “He can quote Shakespeare and then tell you where there’s a barroom in Brooklyn.”

‘An Archetype? L’il Ol’ Me?’

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