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Western Animation / A Star Is Bored

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"A Star is Bored" is a 1956 Looney Tunes theatrical short directed by Friz Freleng, starring Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, with a few appearances by Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd.

Bugs is a movie star. Daffy, jealous of Bugs' success, decides to become a star himself. The movie producers grant Daffy's request — by having him perform as Bugs' stunt double.

Not to be confused with the 1962 Bugs Bunny Show episode of the same name, which incidentally featured this cartoon as part of that (the bridging sequences of which have been released as a bonus on the "Looney Tunes Golden Collection" line of DVDs).

The short was remade in the Seven Arts era as "Rodent To Stardom", with Daffy's then-regular co-star Speedy Gonzales taking Bugs' role.

"A Star is Bored" provides examples of:

  • Always Someone Better: Daffy resents Bugs' stature as a movie star and wants to be a movie star himself — only to be cast as Bugs' stunt double, a clear humiliation for Daffy. And when Daffy finally becomes a star in his own right, it is hinted that Bugs had written the duck's script so that his humiliation never ends.
  • Bowdlerization: Both the syndicated version of The Merrie Melodies Show and The WB censored the two scenes of Daffy getting shot, first by Yosemite Sam in Bugs' movie ("I dare you!") and then by hunters in his own movie ("I wonder where all the hunters are today!"). However, whereas Merrie Melodies would simply cut the visuals of the gunshots by replacing them with shots of Bugs, The WB would cut these scenes completely.
    • In addition, The WB would entirely rearrange the sequence of events in the cartoon. Originally, it went as follows: 1) Daffy replacing Bugs in the scene with Sam; 2) Daffy as Elmer attempting to saw through Bugs' tree branch; 3) Daffy as Bugs fishing, but getting eaten by a fish; 4) Elmer chasing Bugs through the forest and Daffy trying to shoot Bugs through a tree hole only to have the barrel come out of a rabbit hole; and 5) Daffy replacing Bugs for the airplane scene. The WB would show the fishing scene first, then the tree branch scene, before doing the last two scenes, and entirely cut the scene with Sam.
  • Butt-Monkey: Daffy, naturally.
  • Call-Back: Bugs previously had an interview with "Lolly" in A Hare Grows in Manhattan, though it's not clear if it's the same Lola Beverly as in that cartoon.
  • The Chew Toy: The entire point of Daffy being Bugs' stunt double. To punctuate it, "Bugs" takes way more abuse in this cartoon than he is known for.
  • Comically Missing the Point / Misspelling Out Loud: The casting director is initially on the phone looking for a stunt double for Bugs. Then the casting director sees Daffy enter his office, triggering this exchange:
    Casting Director: (softly, on phone) I'll call you back. I uh, I think I've got a pigeon.
    Daffy: Pigeon? I'm not a pigeon, I'm a duck. D-U-K, duck.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress:
    • Bugs is flying a plane into a nose dive when the director yells "Cut!" and the plane stops in mid-air so Daffy can take Bugs' place. Once filming starts up again, the plane continues its descent and crashes.
    • Daffy, taking Elmer's place for one scene, falls for the old "saw off a limb, tree falls down" gag. Only this time we see how it works: the floating limb is secured to scaffolding just off camera.
  • Large Ham: Daffy. See also: Tempting Fate.
  • Obvious Stunt Double: As Bugs' double, Daffy wears a rabbit outfit but his duck face is visible.
  • Punny Title: The title refers to Warner Bros.' 1954 film A Star Is Born.
  • Recycled Animation: The animation of Daffy being eaten by a fish while fishing is reused from Sandy Claws, where the same thing happens to Sylvester when he tries fishing by the shore.
  • Running Gag: "MAKE-UP!"
  • Swallowed Whole: The seemingly innocuous task of Daffy-as-Bugs fishing off a dock results in a huge fish leaping up out of the water and swallowing the duck whole. He manages to escape.
  • Tempting Fate: "I dare you!"
    • Also, "I wonder where all the hunters are today!"
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: The casting director is looking for a stunt double for Bugs but thinks that nobody would be dumb enough to apply and thus be a Butt-Monkey. Naturally, Daffy comes in, determined to be a star, and the casting director knows he has his Butt-Monkey.
    Casting Director: (softly, on phone) I'll call you back. I uh, I think I've got a pigeon.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Daffy finally gets a chance to star in his own movie without Bugs. He glances briefly at the script just before shooting, then says the line in question in a dramatic fashion: "I wonder where all the hunters are today!" On cue, a whole group of hunters all appear and unload their guns on Daffy. Infuriated, he grabs the script again and yells, "I DEMAND TO KNOW WHO WROTE THIS SCRIPT!!"
    Bugs: (standing off to the side) I'd like to tell him, but, uh... (chuckles coyly) modesty forbids.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Daffy gets this reaction when he learns that, as Bugs' stunt double, he is to finish Bugs' plane crash scene for him.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Needless to say Daffy didn't come in as Bugs' stunt double expecting Bugs to take a beating for once. Bugs at one point even rather charitably tries to warn him from filling in for a seemingly harmless fishing scene, but Daffy defiantly ignores him.