Western Animation: Show Biz Bugs

"When he strikes this note, instead of a xylophone, he'll be playing a harp!"

Show Biz Bugs is a 1957 Looney Tunes cartoon starring Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny. In this short, Bugs and Daffy are costars in a stage show, but Bugs is getting top billing and all the applause, while Daffy gets (very distant!) second billing and complete indifference from the audience. Jealous, Daffy tries both one-upmanship and sabotage, until desperation drives him to blow himself up. (This finally works.)

Directed by Friz Freleng. A variation on the scene where Bugs and Daffy dance onstage was used as the opening credits for The Bugs Bunny Show, a Looney Tunes compilation show that ran on Saturday mornings for decades.


  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Either reason it may be, the only of Daffy's acts that musters any applause is the one that literally kills him.
  • Bowdlerization: The scene at the end of this cartoon where Daffy performs his final act by drinking dangerous chemicals is almost always edited on broadcast and cable TV, but in different ways:
    • The BBC version of the cartoon ends with a fake fade-out on the shot of Daffy black and smoldering after getting frustrated by Bugs missing the final note on the booby-trapped xylophone and deciding to do it himself. The BBC version also adds applause after the ending xylophone gag just before the cartoon ends.
    • Cartoon Network has, at times, aired the original ending uncensored. When Cartoon Network began airing the short censored (around 2001 to 2002), the scene of Daffy drinking the gasoline and nitroglycerin was removed and replaced with a frozen shot of Bugs staring at Daffy from off-stage and continuing with the gunpowder, uranium 238, and the match. In 2003, another censored version aired that was similar to the version that aired on the BBC (with the cartoon ending after the xylophone gag), only there was no applause added. As of 2011, the ending has been shown uncut and uncensored.
    • The syndicated Merrie Melodies version, several local stations airings, and the version that aired on ABC's The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show left in the ending, but cut Daffy drinking the gasoline, so it looks as if he drinks the nitroglycerin first. This is also how the short is shown in The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie.
      • Speaking of The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie, when that movie aired on The Disney Channel, Daffy's death-defying act was edited so severely that the only scenes left were Daffy holding the bottle of nitroglycerin and the explosion from after the match swallowing (making it seem as if Daffy's holding the nitroglycerin caused the explosion).
    • Nickelodeon's version cut the part where Daffy strikes the match, asides to the audience "Girls, you better hold on to your boyfriends," and swallows the match (making it seem as if he exploded from "shaking well" after swallowing the uranium 238).
  • Chirping Crickets: The audience's reaction every time Daffy tries to entertain them.
  • Eat the Bomb: Basically what Daffy does when he drinks a large assortment of explosive substances and then swallows a match. This, finally, gets the audience's applause.
  • It Only Works Once: Daffy's ghost admits this of the Eat the Bomb trick as he ascends to heaven.
  • Never Work with Children or Animals: Daffy has carefully trained some pigeons to do a little circus act. They fly away when he lets them out of their cage.
  • Produce Pelting: The one time Daffy doesn't get Chirping Crickets, he gets a tomato in the face.
  • Road Trip Across The Street: Daffy took a taxi to the theater, even though it was only a block away. He considers the one quarter fare highway robbery.
  • Saw a Woman in Half: Part of Bugs's act is to do this with Daffy. The audience goes wild, which enrages Daffy and leads him to tell how the trick was done — until he discovers he's actually been sliced in half.
  • Shave And A Haircut: "Dance... if you're not a coward!"
  • The Show Must Go Wrong: Everything Daffy tries, until the final gag, either goes horribly wrong or bombs with the audience.
  • The Unfavourite: Daffy normally ends up playing the scapegoat every time he's paired up with Bugs, but here it's blown to mammoth proportions, to the point where he actually kills himself onstage just so he can get a standing ovation.
    • He is also billed in incredibly small font on the theatre front underneath Bugs' name, and given the backstage toilet as a dress room. When Daffy gives the manager an earful, the latter excuses he is only treating his clients according to draw appeal.
  • Xylophone Gag: Played completely straight, as Daffy wires the xylophone to explode when Bugs plays "Those Endearing Young Charms", only to blow himself up when he corrects Bugs's bad playing. (Also provides the page image.) This gag was a Recycled Premise that was previously used in "Ballot Box Bunny" and would be again in later in "Rushing Roulette".