What's Up, Doc? (1950 film)

What's Up, Doc? is a Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Robert McKimson, and released by Warner Bros. Pictures[2] in 1950 to celebrate Bugs Bunny's 10th birthday that year, in which he recounts his life story to a reporter from the "Disassociated Press".[3] Bugs talks about his birth, his rise to fame, the slow years, and how famous Vaudeville performer Elmer Fudd chooses him to be part of his act. Eventually the duo comes upon their classic formula of Hunter vs. Hare. The short also was the first (since The Unruly Hare) to use the title card music which would continue to be used in Bugs Bunny's cartoons.

The story begins when Bugs, while relaxing by his pool, gets a call from the "Disassociated Press", stating that the public demands his life story. Over the phone, Bugs then proceeds to recount his rise to fame.

Bugs relates that, while in the nursery immediately after he was born, he comes to the startling realization that he was "a rabbit in a human world". By the time he begins to walk, he shows an impressive talent for entertainment by successfully playing the "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2" on his toy piano. Some years later, he takes ballet academically and becomes the star pupil. After graduation, Bugs begins to pursue a professional career as a Broadway star (throwing out the script to Life with Father proclaiming it would never be a hit), but only manages to be a chorus boy in three productions: Girl of the Golden Vest, Wearing of the Grin, and Rosie's Cheeks. In all of the shows, he and the chorus sing the same song - "Oh! We're the boys of the chorus. We hope you like our show. We know you're rootin' for us. But, now we have to go." After a performance, he is approached by a producer of an unnamed show. The show's star has become ill, and the producer wants Bugs to take his place. He agrees, but the audience is unimpressed by his performance and he is hooked off stage. Angered at the prospect of resuming work as a chorus boy, Bugs quits show business until he's offered the "right part".

That winter, Bugs confines himself to a bench in Central Park. Along with him are a few other out of work actors that appear as caricatures of Al Jolson, Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor, and Bing Crosby. One night Elmer Fudd, while passing through, recognizes Bugs and offers him a role as his sidekick in his vaudeville act. Bugs accepts, and the two embark on a nationwide tour. The act consists of Elmer telling a joke to Bugs and physically delivering the punchline. After several performances, Bugs tires of the act, and decides to change the routine. So when Elmer sets up the joke, Bugs delivers the punchline, just as physically as Elmer had, and dances off-stage. Elmer is infuriated and, pointing his rifle at Bugs, backs the rabbit back onstage as the crowd laughs. Bugs then nervously delivers his famous line: "What's up, doc?" The audience cheers at this, to the surprise of the two; Bugs suggests they may have a new gimmick for the act and says, "Let's do it again." They do, and receive the same positive audience response. Afterward, fan mail and offers pour in, and the two of them attract the attention of Warner Bros. Elmer and Bugs pass a screen test in which they perform the title musical number, and the studio signs them on as film stars.

The story reverts to the present day. Bugs looks at his watch and notices that he is late to the set to begin filming his first role, in a film that was written with him in mind. At the filming, it is revealed that the part is chorus boy yet again, to Bugs's disappointment and disgust.

The cartoon is available on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 1 DVD set.