What's Cookin' Doc?


What's Cookin' Doc?

"What's Cookin' Doc?" is a 1944 Warner Bros. cartoon in the Merrie Melodies series, directed by Bob Clampett and starring Bugs Bunny.

The title is a variant on Bugs' catch-phrase "What's up Doc?". It also hints at one of the scenes in the picture.

ynopsis

The story centers on the Academy Awards presentation. The action begins with actual color film footage of various Hollywood scenes (edited from "A Star Is Born"), narrated by Robert C. Bruce. It leads up to the Big Question of the evening: Who will win "the" Oscar? The film shows the stereotypical red carpet arrivals of stars, as well as a human emcee starting to introduce the Oscar show.

At that point the film switches to animation, with the shadow of a now-animated emcee (and now voiced by Mel Blanc) continuing to introduce the Oscar, and Bugs (also Mel Blanc's voice, as usual) assuring the viewer that "it's in da bag; I'm a cinch to win". Bugs is stunned when the award goes instead to James Cagney (who had actually won in the previous year's ceremony, for Warner's "Yankee Doodle Dandy"). Shock turns to anger as Bugs declares the results to be "sa-bo-TAH-gee" and demands a recount.

Bugs then tries to make his case by showing clips from "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt" (which includes clip of Hiawatha attempting to "cook" the rabbit) as proof of his allegedly superior acting (an inside joke, as the cartoon had actually been nominated for an Oscar and lost). He hurls a set of film cans off-screen and tells someone named "Smokey" to "roll 'em!" [According to IMDB, [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037457/trivia this] is a reference to Schlesinger cameraman/projectionist Henry "Smokey" Garner. Director Bob Clampett later confirmed this in a later 1969 "Funnyworld" magazine interview. That small clip is now used frequently in the special features for the first volume of the "Looney Tunes Golden Collection".] Bugs tells the audience that these are some of his "best scenes". Immediately a "stag reel" starts to roll, and the startled Bugs quickly stops it and switches to the right film.

Finally, he pleads with the audience, "What do you say, folks? Do I get it? Or do I get it?" The emcee asks the audience (in an effected nasal voice similar to some versions of the later Blanc character Marvin the Martian), "Shall we give it to him, folks?" and they yell, "Yeh, let's give it to him!" whereupon they shower Bugs with fruits and vegetables (enabling him to briefly do a Carmen Miranda impression)... and an ersatz Oscar labeled "booby prize", which is actually a gold-plated rabbit statue. Bugs is so pleased at winning it, he remarks, "I'll even take youse to bed wit' me every night!" The statue suddenly comes alive, asks in a voice like that of radio character, Bert "The Mad Russian" Gordon, "Do you "mean" it?", smooches the startled bunny, and takes on an effeminate, hip-swiveling pose.

Censorship

*This was one of twelve Bugs Bunny cartoons to be banned from airing on Cartoon Network's "June Bugs" 2001 special, due to ethnic stereotyping resulting from the inclusion of the "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt" clip, as well as the stereotypically homosexual faux Oscar that appears near the end of the cartoon. However, this cartoon's stereotypes are light compared to the more controversial animated pieces that never made it to air—such as Friz Freleng's "Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips" and Tex Avery's "All This and Rabbit Stew"—and has aired on "The Looney Tunes Show" and on "The Bob Clampett Show". [Even though this was on the list of "banned" Bugs Bunny cartoons, "What's Cookin' Doc?" "was" aired on Cartoon Network on June 2, 2001, late at night. Source: http://www.davemackey.com/animation/wb/1944.html]

Availability

The short occurs in its entirety in the documentary " Part 1", which is available as a special feature on Discs 1 and 2 of the "", although it has not been refurbished or released independently in that series yet.

References

Footnotes

ee also

* Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies filmography (1940-1949)
* List of Bugs Bunny cartoons
* Mickey's Gala Premiere
* Mickey's Polo Team
* Mother Goose Goes To Hollywood
* The Autograph Hound
* Hollywood Steps Out
* Hollywood Daffy
* Slick Hare


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