Monday 14 October 2019

Follow the Bouncing Cop

Warren Foster came up with two great foils for Bugs Bunny—Rocky and Muggsy, the bank robber and his henchman, after director Friz Freleng tested the gangster idea in some other cartoons.

Bugs and Thugs (1954) includes the well-known scene about Bugs, Rocky and Muggsy in the stove, a variation on a bit Mike Maltese came up for Freleng in Racketeer Rabbit (1946). The former is the funnier of the two cartoons, but there are some nice bits in the latter.

In one sequence, Bugs calls police to tell them he’s got the bank robbers. Muggsy drags him out of the phone booth and shoves him in Rocky’s getaway car (“A 1952 Acme...Straight 8...Overhead valves!”) and drives away, with Bugs still on the phone.

The next gag is a still obvious. It’s one of those coming-through-the-phone gags. As the car zooms farther away (off camera) the cop Bugs was talking to is pulled through the phone from the police station. I’ve always liked how he bounces on the pavement and somersaults out of the scene.

This cartoon was made before the six-month 3-D shutdown at Warners in 1953. The animators are Virgil Ross, Ken Champin, Art Davis and Manny Perez.


  1. Bugs had a ball messing with the various gangsters. It could be the stove gag, the running with the magnet under the house causing Rocky and Muggsy to smash over and over into each other. The characters of Eddie Robinson and Peter Lorre were a lot of fun, also. The poor police officer being pulled through the phone, and of course...he was Irish-Ha!!. Good stuff.

  2. The key things was Friz and Foster adding Muggsy as the comic foil here, after giving Rocky some humorless nondescript henchmen in his first two appearances with Daffy & Porky and then with Tweety & Sylvester. The addition worked well enough that they used Muggsy again, without Rocky, in 1956's "Napoleon Bunny-Part".