Shed a Tear: 34 Percent of Americans Don't Know Bugs Bunny

bugs_225.jpgKnowing about the easy money that awaits actors and actresses in the land of animation (Renee Zellweger, get back on this), there isn't anything very out of the ordinary about the Vulture report that Mike Myers will voice Pepé Le Pew. After all, Myers has made untold millions doing similar duties on the four Shrek films, and hopping -- or slinking, as Pepé does -- into the world of Looney Tunes for Warner Bros. will at least give him some extra spending money. And, hey, that Le Pew is part of an iconic group of cartoon characters probably doesn't hurt Myers' interest either. Though about that last part...

Consider this disconcerting fact about the entire Looney Tunes franchise, and, by proxy, America: According to E-Poll Market Research data, "more Americans over the age of 13 can recognize Mike Myers (68 percent) than can recognize Bugs Bunny (66 percent) or Daffy Duck (56 percent)."

First of all: Seriously? And second: Seriously? Bugs Bunny is as American as apple pie (if not Shrek); you're telling me that if you pulled 100 people at random and showed them a picture, 34 would have no idea what they were looking at? And don't even get me started on the fact that Bugs Bunny should be more recognizable to people over the age of 13 than under -- after all, when was the last time you saw a kid playing with a Bugs Bunny doll?

Anyway, if that many people have trouble identifying Bugs, hope for box office millions from Pepé Le Pew has to immediately get called into question. (That he's French is obviously a demerit, too, here in the land of Freedom Fries.) This wasn't designed to be one of those, "Throw another log on the fire of the apocalypse" posts, but if the bunny ears fit...

· Mike Myers to Voice Pepé Le Pew [Vulture]


  • gbtw says:

    looney tunes cartoons are very violent. there are too many educational cartoons that kids like to watch that actually have positive content to let your kids watch looney tunes. sorry, i think you'll find any conscientious parent will tell you that. i'm pretty sure i'm not one of those crazy parents that is overly sensitive about violence- it's just a simple fact. looney tunes cartoons are violent, have guns, characters trying to hurt other characters, etc. why would anyone want their child to watch that? it's not a sign of the apocalypse, it's actually a GOOD sign. if looney tunes wants to get back into the kids business, it needs to change its content. but, i'm still interested in the pepe le pew movie. nobody knew shrek, either (did he exist before the movie franchise?), and look how that did. and then, everybody knew cat in the hat, and look how that did. whether people know who pepe le pew is, is irrelevant, wouldn't you say?

    • Rick Farmiloe says:

      Oh, you're breaking my heart. Violence?? Guns?? Give me a BREAK!!!! Go watch a marathon of DORA THE EXPLORER!! The problem is that Warner Brothers has dropped the ball in keeping these cartoon characters current!! NO new shorts with Bugs or Daffy in YEARS!! I have no idea how the new Looney Tunes show is doing, ratings-wise, but it's a start. Just make some new FUNNY shorts!!!

    • Ben Fosselman says:

      Seriously? Violent? It's a cartoon...I grew up watching the looney toons, and I'm pacifist. The only thing the looney toons taught me was how to have a sense of humor about things. These other kids shows on today talk to kids like they're complete and total idiots. I'd rather sit my kid infront of something like the looney toons instead of any of the garbage out there today. At least they'd learn how to have a good laugh. If I'm that concerned about whether or not my kid knows what two plus two equals, I'll send him to school, or teach him myself.

  • William Dwyer says:

    Oh stow the violent idealistic crap GTBW.
    This comes down to Looney Tunes no longer being on the air in any capacity...period. My son didn't know who Tom & Jerry were (they have been on TV and have as iconic as Bugs since the 40's! That is until i introduced him to them. We live in an era where Bugs and the gang have grown old and are no hidden away in the Old folks home two towns over. Where we may see a commercial or homage to them on air. Where we as adults who grew watching these iconic figures know immediately what they are about. When we start going 1 or 2 generations without them, it is no surprise they are declining in popularity and even being recognized. How is this a shocking revelation. Remove yourself from sight and in 20 years no one under the age of 13 will know who you are either.

  • Jane Smith says:

    I agree...people should stop trying to censor everything we see and say. I grew up watching Bugs and so did my kids. I long for the simpler days of good Saturday morning cartoons, not the ones of today that insult intelligence. Bring back Bugs and friends, people need to laugh more.

  • Waverly Asterly says:

    I agree with you Jane. It's a sad day. I think I'd rather have my kids watching Elmer shooting at Bugs than have them watch that "reality" tv crap.
    The Kardashians are such role models.

  • stolidog says:

    sorry, you are one of those crazy parents.

  • Mike the Movie Tyke says:

    "Looney Tunes" were unavoidable for a time and piqued my interest in World War II, food rationing, Deco design and old Hollywood more than any history book could. WB made a mistake letting these brand icons fade away, Disney did the exact opposite and made billions.

  • gbtw says:

    have you seen "superwhy" or "little einsteins" or "mickey mouse club" or "dora the explorer" or "wordworld" EVER? why would i have my child watch looney tunes (which someone is saying isn't on anyway- so i guess it isn't even a choice!), when she is very interested in EDUCATIONAL cartoons? seriously? that makes me crazy? i take it you're not a parent... but, as for 'mike the movie tyke's' comment, i find it interesting. maybe those cartoons were good for older kids- if they have the results he is implying of piquing interest in history. my daughter is only 2, so- they just wouldn't be appropriate for her. i have to say though, someone gave us "looney tunes the movie" with brendan frazer and she loved it and it did have the great effect of her insisting on having a BIG carrot (not the baby carrots) while she watched it...

  • the frau says:

    Pepe........My Love.......toujour...lamourrrrrr. We are in love, are we not?

  • gbtw says:

    gotta love the dismissiveness to any ideas contrary to your own... do you think there is a reason these guys were retired? was it just a bad business decision, or was it because parents thought there were better things for their children to be doing than watching a coyote try to blow up a road runner and getting his face blown off? i have no idea- but when we're trying to keep our kids away from the tv and make them more active in life, in the occasions when i'm going to let my child watch tv, i'm going to make it guilt free by having it be educational for as long as possible until she revolts. what's the big deal with kids not knowing who bugs was? bfd.

  • gbtw says:

    there are A LOT of good cartoons out there that replaced bugs... very good ones. and i'm sure anyone that has their heart set on bugs can just buy the dvd's.

  • gbtw says:

    thank god those are not the only two options! lord willing, the kardashians will have been long gone from tv by the time my child is old enough to watch that crap. in the meantime, she has an abundance of good cartoons and good movies to watch- and that a cartoon icon was let to fade into the past is not harming her world at all. (yes, other things are- but they are not related to america's fading memory of bugs.)

  • gbtw says:

    interesting... if that was the case, i feel sad that cartoons piquing interest in history are gone! although, there probably are other ones out there that do that? in any case, i sort of agree with you that they missed an opportunity to cash in on those old standards--- but their business is booming, right? (i have no direct knowledge, but am assuming that they are a thriving business entity b/c they have lasted all these years.) they just decided to go in a different direction and make money off of other shows, right? i don't even know what their claim to fame is these days... wb...

  • stolidog says:

    If your daughter is 2, she should not be watching television. Step up to parenting.

  • stolidog says:

    Jeez, GBTW, you must just plop your 2 year old in front of the tv all day if you have this much time to post stuff on the internet.

  • zooeyglass1999 says:


  • LOL@Americans says:

    Only Americans would claim to know about looney tunes. Can I get a 50-pack of McNuggets with this story with extra hot mustard sauce.

  • Crosse says:

    Hey I grew up watching "violent" cartoons and I'm fine screw the damn educational movies, most kids probably just pay attention to the cartoon more than the dialogue...why hurry and make your child grow up to fast let them enjoy being a child and make them laugh that's what cartoons are suppose to be

  • Chester Weekalowski says:

    Looney Tunes where among the best animation ever done. The politicaly correct drivel that is forced on our children today can't hold a candle to the likes of a Bugs Bunny or Elmer Fudd. Between the lame idea that cartoons should be "teaching moments" or cartoons and videos that are violent and vulgar good annimation is sadly a thing of the past. By now some who read this will assume me to be a barbarian. Thats fine I'll stick with reruns of Hogans Hero's or I Love Lucy and watch Flinstone DVDs instead of the mindless and tasteless blather that passes for annimation or TV.

  • I think I would have to agree with most of what you have stated in this post.

  • lala says:

    I grew up with the uncensored cartoons of Looney Tunes; violence,guns,people smoking,etc,etc....Last time I checked I'm not a psychopath. So don't worry,your kids won't turn wrong if they watch them as long as YOU are there, and TEACH them the difference between reality and fantasy,that's what we know as PARENTING. Something a lot of people have forgotten about.

  • What made Looney Tunes great in their classic period was that the jokes were on two levels -- one for the kiddos and others only the adults would get. Even then, they weren't as blatantly vulgar as Seth McFarlane's shows.

    For those of you that are too sensitive for slapstick, go watch Blue's Clues or old reruns of The Get Along Gang. I have to get back to "Rabbit Season! Duck Season!"

  • Vincent says:

    Unfortunate for all concerned -- those people unaware of some of the funniest, cleverest cartoons ever made (with their only competition the Max Fleischer Betty Boop and Popeye 'toons from the '30s), Warners for not perpetuating the franchise as well as it should have. (I mean, "Space Jam"? "Looney Tunes, Back In Action"?) Then again, Warners dropped the ball in the mid-'90s when it had a new generation of brilliant animated characters that captured the anarchic, witty Looney Tunes spirit (the Animaniacs, Pinky & the Brain), but never marketed them to the level they deserved. Who remembers them now?

  • Bleh says:

    Seriously folks? I grew up watching Bugs Bunny and Gang as well as many of the classics...but seriously if you think their violent then YOU as a parent aren't doing your JOB correctly! (No offense to parents who actually PARENT)..I'm just saying. Have you watched any of the "cartoons" on recently?! There are WORSE "hidden" messages (that lets be honest, they aren't really even THAT well "hidden") compared to in-your-face-cartoon-violence that only (if parents does their jobs correctly)are just for plane simple humor...NOT over-react and brainwash little kids to violent tendencies...

    Personally I'd watch Bugs and Gang than half the shows that are on today...their just plain SAD and disappointing. Given some are entertaining enough, but seriously...One case in-point, I can't help but think of that one episode of Chowder from Carton Network (I think its a classic enough example of today's cartoon and well if it isn't it still works for my point)...I think its the one with the Sing Beans....(the whole let's tell a joke while waiting routine...if you don't know what I'm saying try finding that part and watch it...yes folks, THAT was actually AIRED on television for LITTLE children to watch!)

    So you tell me which you would watch? Cartoon violence that aren't really meant for anything but humor and a good laugh, or idiotic cartoons that really would just kill your brain cells PERIOD and have underlining messages that even those clueless pertaining to certain things can pick them up. I'd go with the first option thank you very much, at least then I know what to expect and that's just a Good Time watching Bugs and Daffy going at it during hunting season.

  • Kevin Butler says:

    I feel that all of the pollitically correct BS about how offensive and inappropriate these cartoons are is total nonsense. I also grew up watching these "Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies"movie cartoons on tv.It didn't turn me into a psycho or an idiot..although the topical references was from another time.And one of the producers of those films..Ms.Friz Freling has said that "We didn't make these cartoons for children". "Bugs" and his pals are more entertaining and more family and kid friendly than what passes today for kids or family entertainment on tv and in the movies.

  • Stella says:

    Bugs isn't going away. It's not the newer stuff like that movie with Michael Jordan that everybody loves anyway, it's the classic stuff from the 40's-60's, the ones that were geared for both kids and adults because they were shown in theaters before the movie. Tex Avery, Bob Clampett,Chuck Jones...these guys were MASTERS.