Tuesday, 29 January 2019

I'm A-Steppin'

Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam. Their earliest cartoons were flat-out funny. If I had to pick a favourite, it might be Bugs Bunny Rides Again, but High Diving Hare (1949) would be up there, too. Director Friz Freleng’s timing of Tedd Pierce’s gags couldn’t be better.

The premise is simple. Bugs keeps tricking the combustible Sam into dropping off a high diving platform. One scene has the old “I dare you to step across this line” routine. You know what’ll happen. But Pierce throws in a little post-script where Sam zips back up to Bugs, says “I hate you!” and then resumes his inevitable plummet.

I like some of the poses, too.

Pete Burness was apparently responsible for this animation. The usuals in Friz’s unit at the time—Gerry Chiniquy (he loved drawing Bugs cross-eyed with a stretched face), Manny Perez, Ken Champin and the graceful Virgil Ross animated other scenes.


  1. Not all, but most Bugs-Yosemite cartoons still make me laugh out loud. The two mentioned above have to be in my top-5. Sam climbing the ladder and falling, climbing the ladder and falling...never learning from it...doing it again is just just plain comedy magic.

    1. One of mine as well! THe Bugs-Sam cartoons usually had very surprise endings like the end here, the ladderr in air (then there's 1952's 18 CARROT RABBBIT's ending..)..SC

  2. The ludicrous 'short cut' off the end of the diving board and Sam's "Thank-e stranger" line to the Indian-disguised Bugs was my favorite bit here (though it's the one gag the from time to time has been edited out of broadcast prints due to political correctness concerns, even though Sam's the one looking like an idiot).

  3. "Sahara Hare" is my favorite Bugs and Sam.

  4. The Pete Burness credit is correct.