Bugs Bunny deceives the criminals, again (in the cartoon “Bugs and Thugs”)

Bugs Bunny deceives the criminals, again (in the cartoon "Bugs and Thugs")
 "Now don’t move until I tell you to."

There’s lots of deception in the 1954 cartoon Bugs and Thugs featuring Bugs Bunny against the crooks Rocky the boss and Mugsy the stupid sidekick.

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A synopsis of the deceptive parts:

Bugs goes to his bank, where he keeps his carrots in a safe deposit box. When he gets into what he assumes is a cab, he’s deceived – it’s actually the getaway car for Mugsy, who robs the bank.

Under the guise of having to go to a gas station restroom, Bugs tries to call the police, even borrowing a nickel for the call from the clueless Mugsy. But Bugs is thwarted, so afterwards he relies on his own wiles to defeat them.

First, at a railroad crossing, he gets out of the car and tells the criminals the coast is clear. Of course, the coast isn’t clear, and their car is smashed by a train.

In the crook’s hideout, Rocky tells Mugsy, the stupid one, to bring Bugs into the next room and "Let him have it." After Mugsy brings him into the room, Bugs tricks Mugsy by telling him to "Alright, let me have it," meaning let Bugs have the gun, literally. Dimwitted Mugsy, confused, gives Bugs the gun.

Rocky decides he’s the one who has to kill Bugs, so Bugs, knowing he can’t play the same trick on the slightly smarter Rocky, makes the sound of a police siren.

The criminals panic. Now Bugs acts like he’s on the side of the crooks, and says he’ll help them hide from the cops. Bugs convinces them to hide inside a gas oven. Turning to the audience, Bugs tells us he can’t believe how easily he’s duped them.

With the crooks in the oven, Bugs pretends to have a conversation with an imaginary Clancy, a police officer. Bugs says, in a suspicious way, that the crooks are not hiding in the oven, making "Clancy" suspicious. So Bug says he wouldn’t turn on the gas and toss a lit match into the oven if "my friend" was hiding in there, would he? So, of course, Bugs does toss the match, the oven explodes, and the pretend police officer is convinced and leaves.

The fire-blackened criminals climb out of the oven. Now there’s the sound of a real police siren, and the real police arrive outside the house. The criminals get into the oven again. Bugs repeats the same routine, this time with the real police officer. But before he can toss the match into the oven, the criminals can take no more. They jump out and beg the real Clancy the policeman to arrest them.

In the last scene, Bugs is in his own office as a detective, and answers his phone: "Bugs Bunny, Private Eyeball – Thugs Thwarted, Arsonists Arrested, Bandits Booked, Forgers Found, Counterfeiters Caught, and Chiselers Chiseled." Bugs is now a professional.

The oven joke in this cartoon was taken from an earlier Bugs Bunny cartoon, 1946’s Racketeer Rabbit, where Rocky is based on the voice and look of the actor Edward G. Robinson, and his sidekick Hugo is based on actor Peter Lorre.

In this earlier cartoon, Bugs is more of an unpredictable trickster. When Bugs pretends to be the police, he abuses Rocky by hiding him in a trunk, stabbing it with swords like a magician, slamming it up and down a staircase and finally handing Rocky a bomb which explodes, prompting Rocky to flee after the imaginary police to escape from the crazy rabbit.

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One thought on “Bugs Bunny deceives the criminals, again (in the cartoon “Bugs and Thugs”)

  1. I wonder how many other Bugs Bunny cartoons have the same things in them?

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