Western Animation / The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Show

This anthology show starring the Looney Tunes ran on ABC and CBS, with a dash of NBC, on Saturday mornings from 1960 to 2000. If the current rights-holders for these cartoons allowed it (they don't), then they likely would still be on network TV.

It began during the era of local kids' shows, and this show was an all-animated variant on the format. Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck introduced Warner Bros. cartoons, all in color, mostly post-World War II to present. Various animated antics happened in between. The basic format didn't change much.

The show lasted an entire hour, and Looney Tunes shorts were slightly shorter than the standard Saturday Morning Cartoon shorts, so you could see a lot of cartoons in that hour. Many of these cartoons were either originally aimed above the average audience of the show or the Larriva Eleven, but there was something for everyone.

Incarnations of this show:

  • The Bugs Bunny Show (ABC). First-run episodes in primetime 1960-1962, with repeats airing on Saturday mornings form then until 1968. Repeats aired on CBS from 1971 to 1973, and then back on ABC from 1973 to 1975.
  • The Porky Pig Show (ABC). 1964-1966. Featured first-run cartoons and replays of several seen on The Bugs Bunny Show.
  • The Road Runner Show (CBS). Run from 1966 to 1968. Repeats aired on ABC from 1971 to 1972.
  • The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour (CBS). Combination of the above shows. First-run episodes run from 1968 to 1969, with reruns airing until 1971. A new version aired from 1975 to 1978 and included several shorts not broadcast in the previous incarnation.
  • Sylvester and Tweety (CBS). Aired from 1976 to 1977.
  • The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show (CBS). The name change reflected the show's increase in length from 60 to 90 minutes. Aired from 1978 to 1985, with a mix of older shorts and newer shorts originally made for primetime specials.
    • A short-lived, 30-minute primetime version aired with this title during the 1975-76 midseason.
  • Daffy Duck (NBC). Aired from 1978 to 1981.
  • The Daffy/Speedy Show (NBC). Aired from 1981 to 1982.
  • The Sylvester & Tweety/Daffy & Speedy Show (CBS). A new incarnation of the above. Aired from 1981 to 1982.
  • The Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Comedy Hour (ABC). Aired from 1985 to 1986. Included shorts of every notable Looney Tunes character except Tweety and Speedy Gonzales.
  • The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show (ABC). Aired from 1986 to 2000, underwent various changes in format. Show was cancelled when Cartoon Network gained the sole rights for broadcasting the Looney Tunes shorts.

This series (and bridges) provides examples of:

  • Animated Actors: Everyone.
  • Animated Anthology
  • Bowdlerize: This happened to the more violent stuff like whaps on the head and guns being shot, especially on The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show, where the cartoons were transferred to videotape and easier to edit.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall
  • Bullet Dodges You: In one episode, Yosemite Sam tries to shoot at Pepe Le Pew, but the bullets get repulsed by his stench and scurried right back into Sam's pistols.
    Sam: I hates cowardly bullets!
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: In "Do or Diet", Bugs has the stage lights turned off to show how carrots are good for your eyes. The result is Bugs' eyes appearing in the dark, only for the eyes of the Tasmanian Devil to join his.
    Bugs: See? I can see you, but you can't see me.
    Taz: I can see you.
    Bugs: Oh, you eat carrots?
    Taz: No, I eat rabbits!
  • Episode Title Card: The first season of The Bugs Bunny Show didn't have individual titles, but the second season had titles with cards at the beginning.
  • Evolving Credits: The "This Is It" opening went through a few changes over the years.
    • For The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, new animation was created to create a transition between the "Bugs Bunny" and "Road Runner" theme songs.
    • In the early 1980s, the opening was rotoscoped so that, instead of a vaudeville stage, the characters are wearing tuxedos in a glitzy variety show set.
    • In 1992, The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show introduced a completely reanimated version of the theme with updated character designs.
  • High-Pressure Emotion: One episode of The Bugs Bunny Show has Porky Pig do this when driven up the wall by Charlie Dog (as part of a reprise of their "Labrador Retriever" exchange from the short Often an Orphan).
  • Hit Flash: In the outro that ran through the 1970s and 1980s, this happens when the car Bugs is driving through the desert collides with the boulder the Coyote is holding during his flight.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: One episode of The Bugs Bunny Show has Daffy do this. Another had Rocky and Mugsy take over.
    • Another episode had an unintentional example when Pepe Le Pew becomes the guest host after Bugs and the intended emcee, Yosemite Sam, get driven away by his stench.
  • Legion of Lost Souls: The episode "Foreign Legion Leghorn" had Foghorn Leghorn in the Legion, with older cartoons serving as flashbacks showing what drove him to join.
  • Limited Animation
  • No Fourth Wall/2-for-1 Show: The bridge sections. This show as a whole is for our benefit.
  • Noisy Shut-Up:
    • In one show, Daffy interrupts Bugs' monologue by putting on a song-and-dance act, prompting Bugs to pull out a megaphone and shout "DAFFY!!" to get him to stop.
    • In "The Honeymousers", Bugs invites the viewer into his dressing room to watch his favorite sitcom. At one point, he gives "you" carrots to eat, but he can't hear himself talking over the loud chewing, so he shouts "QUIET!" and swaps out the carrots for marshmallows.
  • On the Next: The Bugs Bunny Show featured a montage of short clips from the cartoons featured on next week's show.
  • Overcrank: The episode "Bad-Time Story" features Bugs demonstrating how a cartoon character zips out of a scene by doing one in super slow-motion.
  • Theme Tune: "This Is It" was the main theme, but the Road Runner segment had its own theme music. At one point the two were combined.
  • Wrap Around Background: There is no backstage.

Alternative Title(s): The Bugs Bunny Show