The Moment: The Rabbit of Seville (1950)
Who’s to Thank: Chuck Jones (director), Mel Blanc (Bugs Bunny), Arthur Q. Bryan (Elmer Fudd), Carl Stallling (music) and Michael Maltese (story)
The Setup: Elmer Fudd chases Bugs Bunny into a production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.
The Punchline: The punchline? Hell, there are hundreds of ’em! Bugs’ tonsorial parlor of horrors features the fresh-flower Chia-head; the old electric razor/snake charmer gag; and the mile-high barber chair. The wascally wabbit slams the hapless Fudd into a barber’s chair and puts him through an ingeniously sadistic, lightning-fast shave and haircut, all set to Rossini’s famous fat-lady tunes.
And as Bugs has his way with the hapless Fudd, he sings: “How about a nice close shave/Teach your whiskers to behave/Lots of lather, lots of soap/Please hold still, don’t be a dope/Now we’re ready for the scraping/There’s no use to try escaping/Yell and scream and rant and rave/It’s no use, you need a shave/There, you’re nice and clean/Although your face looks like it might have gone through a ma-chine.” The bonus? Bugs sings all the songs with his trademark, thicker-than-fudge Brooklyn accent (“Troo a ma-cheen.”) Pure genius. Wait, no–“Soooo-pah genius.”