The 5 best Elmer Fudd cartoons

Be vewy vewy excited. We found the best Elmer Fudd shorts!

Image: Everett Collection

Question: Is it rabbit season or duck season? While many a seasoned hunter can certainly say, there is one who never seems to know what he should be looking for. Good ol' Elmer Fudd, hunter extraordinaire.

On July 17, 1937, Tex Avery and Chuck Jones introduced the world to a new addition to the Merry Melodies family with "Egghead Rides Again." Audiences met Egghead, an aptly named character with a large nose, eccentric costumes, and an egg-shaped head. Between 1937 and 1939, 12 more cartoons featured the hapless character.

It wasn't until March 2, 1940, that Egghead took on a more familiar appearance. In his debut in the short film "Elmer's Candid Camera," the character appears to be in transition between the two personalities. In this short, Fudd's face has been defined with proper cheeks and a chin, and his voice has been modified to take on the characteristics that we still associate with him today. He was still, however, clad in Egghead's classic suit jacket and ascot.

Longtime fans even believe this episode is what turns Egghead into Elmer Fudd symbolically, as an early Bugs Bunny gives him the runaround when trying to capture a photo. After spending the day trying to take his photographs, Fudd is driven to madness, crying out, "Wabbits!" over and over again as he jumps into a lake. This, many believe, was the signal that times were changing for Fudd, and would eventually lead to him begging the audience's silence as he hunts down the evasive bunny that started it all.

In honor of 80-plus years of "wascally" fun, here are our top five Elmer Fudd cartoons.

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1. What’s Opera, Doc? (1957)

This cartoon is one of the best Looney Tunes pieces, period. Well, cartoons, period. Actually, short films, period. The opera spoof is a parody heavily influenced by the work of Richard Wagner, a 19th-century German composer. His most famous pieces are cited in this cartoon, which borrows much of it's score from the four operas that make up The Ring Cycle and an additional opera entitled Tannhäuser. Popular tunes that audiences know immediately include "The Ride of the Valkyries" (reframed as the tune "Kill the Wabbit") and the "Pilgrim's Chorus" from Tannhäuser (revamped as "O Bwünnhilde, you'w so wuvwy," "Return my love," and the closing scene.) A seven-minute classical comedy that has made millions laugh time and time again, this cartoon easily takes the top spot.

Image: Warner Bros.

2. The Rabbit of Seville (1950)

This is an all-time favorite of many Fudd fans. When Bugs and Fudd chase their way onto the stage of an opera house, they find themselves in the middle of the Rossini classic The Barber of Seville. Between the various serums and clays that Bugs uses to beautify (and stupefiy) Fudd and the hilarious adaptation of the opera's main plot points, this cartoon is often cited as an introduction to classical music for fans all over the world. Bravo, Elmer!

Image: Warner Bros.

3. The Hunting Trilogy (1951-1953)

Okay, this pick is cheating just a little bit, but there's no way to choose only one! "The Hunting Trilogy" refers to the three hunting-themed cartoons that star Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. These shorts, also known as the Rabbit Season/Duck Season shorts, are titled "Rabbit Fire," "Rabbit Seasoning" and "Duck! Rabbit, Duck!" The plot is similar in all three — Fudd is on a hunt for his seasonal animal, and in an attempt to distract him, either Bugs or Daffy work to redirect his attention. 

Image: Warner Bros.

4. Wideo Wabbit (1956)

Bugs Bunny doesn't see what's coming to him when he an ad in the newspaper wanting a rabbit for a TV show at the QTTV-TV studio. Unbeknownst to Bugs, it is a new hunting show starring Elmer Fudd called The Sportsman's Hour, a show intent on demonstrating the proper way to track, hunt and "b'ow the wabbit to smithereens!"

Image: Warner Bros.

5. Wabbit Twouble (1941)

This episode shows off one of the many iterations of Elmer Fudd. Elmer Fudd is trying to take a vacation by getting in touch with Mother Nature at Jellostone National Park. He sets up camp right on top of Bugs' rabbit hole, which ends his rest and relaxation almost immediately. Between a pesky rabbit and an angry black bear, how is anyone supposed to unwind? This episode is a hilarious new take on the character, giving Elmer Fudd a refreshing new goal to work towards… and audiences, an unexpected shtick. 

Image: Warner Bros.

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Mark091 7 days ago
I Believe that ELMER FUDD and
EGGHEAD were two different persons
Or two different characters
FIRST of all Why would EGGHEAD
Change his name to ELMER FUDD?
Second of all EGGHEAD AND ELMER FUDD don't even look.alike or even
Resemble each other
Third of all Why did Looney tunes
Quit having Egghead cartoons?
Fourth of all Why would Looney
Tunes change Egghead into Elmer Fudd?? In the cartoon with. Daffy duck and Egghead even Egghead
Mark091 Mark091 7 days ago
In the cartoon with. Daffy duck and Egghead even Egghead looks different The voice of
EGGHEAD is also different
In the Popeye cartoons what
Happened to Popeyes pal
Shorty? Also was Bluto and
Brutus twin brothers??
STARFIGHTER77 19 days ago
HEY...There was a WB Cartoon that featured OL' ELMER FUDD AS A JUSTICE of the PEACE ....Riding on a Lambretta Italian Scooter.The basis of the plot...was that ELMER FUDD ( As a Peacemaking Justice of the Peace ) was to settle the FEUD Between the Hatfields & the MCCOYS up in the Hills .
STARFIGHTER77 19 days ago
Moverfan 1 month ago
While I will always be amazed at Elmer's singing voice, somebody needs to explain to him that...well, that it's not likely he'll ever be happy with a rabbit in drag (every time Bugs dresses as a girl, there's Elmer with his tongue hanging out...).
Brad 1 month ago
I disagree. Wabbit Twouble is by far the best of these or all the Elmer episodes. Second is the one where Elmer is prospecting for gold. Third is Elmer working on the railroad. Fourth is Elmer as a Mountie. Fifth is when Elmer gets an inheritance from Uncle Louie.
SharonStevens 1 month ago
My favorite Elmer Fudd cartoon is the Thanksgiving one when he played John Alden!
Sway 1 month ago
I crack up when I hear Bugs singing the "What's Up Doc?" song.
dmagoon 1 month ago
Is Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park (the name) inspired by Jellostone Park.
Claude dmagoon 1 month ago
"Jellystone" Park is inspired by Yellowstone National Park.
Never heard of Jellostone Park.
dmagoon Claude 1 month ago
The park names are nevertheless pretty similar.
Mob39 1 month ago
Bugs bunny rocks! Best day was Saturday morning watching the Bugs Bunny and road runner hour👍🏻
Krn Mob39 1 month ago
I still love Bugs!
UTZAAKE 1 month ago
Infamous college basketball head coach Jerry Tarkanian always reminded me of Elmer Fudd. Both were bald and sounded very similar.
SalIanni 1 month ago
Remember Robin Williams and his tribute to Elmer Fudd by pretending to sing with that unmistakable voice? Bruce Springsteen never sounded better, and that's the truth! "I'm dwiving in my cahhhrrr..."
OldTVfanatic SalIanni 24 days ago
Oh yeah, that was great.
ncadams27 1 month ago
From these cartoons, I learned that if you run off a cliff you won’t fall unless you look down.
audie65 1 month ago
I loved the one where he pretends to be a screwy wabbit and dresses in a rabbit suit saying- " i may be a screwy wabbit-- but I'm not goin to alcatwaz-- and hops away while bugz gets arrested for tax evasion dressed as Elmer in hunting outfit complete with shotgun. Elmer also says in episode--I am Elmer J Fudd- Millionare- I own a mansion and a yacht--when he is in the "looney" (ha ha) bin because he thinks he's a wabbit!! My favorite!!
Amalthea audie65 1 month ago
My husband & I were just telling our daughters about that one this past weekend!
MandyR135 1 month ago
We have lost talent that will never be replaced.

Barry22 1 month ago
There was another funny one where Elmer gets frustrated with Bugs and quits Warner Brothers. In the end of the short he is pleading with them to take him back. "Oh, Mister Warner"
VaughnBaskin 1 month ago
Happy Looney Birthday Elmer "Egghead" Fudd!
LittleMissNoName 1 month ago
Bugs Bunny: How do?/Welcome to my shop/Let me cut your mop/Let me shave your crop/Daintily, daintily... Hey, you!/Don't look so perplexed/Why must you be vexed?/Can't you see you're next?/Yes, you're next, you're so next!
justjeff 1 month ago
"Wabbit Twouble" has Elmer as a fatty as opposed to the "Egghead"-like character he first appeared as alongside Daffy Duck. This was done to make him look more like his real-life voice (Arthur Q. Bryan). After a few more cartoons, Elmer was changed once again into the image we most recognize.

According to Wikipedia, Bryan's final original work as Fudd came in the Warner Bros. Edward R. Murrow spoof Person to Bunny. (I errantly thought "What's Opera , Doc?" was his last cartoon, I stand corrected.) Bryan died of a sudden heart attack on November 30, 1959, in Hollywood. Hal Smith assumed the voice of Elmer Fudd in 1960s Looney Tunes productions, and beginning in the early 1970s Mel Blanc would voice this character for various special television appearances.
justjeff justjeff 1 month ago
By the way - it seems that by the 1950s, most of Chuck Jones' iterations of Loony Tunes characters has a more "feminine quality" to them with long lashes and doe-like eyes. (See the image of Elmer up top.)

This is not a slur to anyone or any kind of a hidden agenda... I'd just always noticed that difference between the Jones cartoons of the 1950s and his more "traditional" characters in the 1940s...
daDoctah justjeff 1 month ago
It's not just his Looney Tunes characters that look like that. You also find long lashes look in the original animated Grinch (mostly in the dog and the Whovillians), the theatrical feature "Gay Purr-ee", and his side project "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi".
justjeff daDoctah 1 month ago
Good point... but (of course) I was referring to the changes in the Looney Tune characters. I don't know what made Jones reinvent his style, but who am I to question it? Oh, yeah.... ME, that's who!
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