Was Mel Blanc allergic to carrots?

Blanc is still known for his carrot-chomping creation, Bugs Bunny. We fact-check an urban legend that claims the voice actor was risking his health for those scenes.

For years, the factoid has been circulating in trivia columns, "did you know?" lists and viral tweets that claim Mel Blanc, the "man of a thousand voices" behind Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, countless other beloved cartoons, and yes, Bugs Bunny, was allergic to carrots. The fact also sometimes goes on to say that this is why Blanc would chew carrots for those moments where Bugs was munching on one, then spit them out instead of swallowing.

Well, it isn't entirely untrue... but a lot of it is.

First, the truth: Blanc did indeed spit out carrots while recording those scenes where Bugs punctuated his sentences with a healthy chomp. However, it wasn't because he was allergic. It was something much more mundane.

"First of all, I don't especially like carrots, especially not raw," Blanc wrote in his 1988 book That's Not All, Folks! "And second, I found it impossible to chew, swallow, and be ready to say my next line."

They tried to find other options, but there was just no replacement for that carroty crunch. "We tried substituting other vegetables, including apples and celery, but with unsatisfactory results," Blanc wrote. "The solution was to stop recording so that I could spit out the carrot into a wastebasket and then proceed with the script. In the course of a recording session I usually went through enough carrots to fill several."

Even though he didn't like carrots, Blanc still appreciated what Bugs did for the popularity of the vegetable. "Bugs Bunny did for carrots what Popeye the Sailor did for spinach. How many lip-locked, head-swiveling children were coerced into eating their carrots by mothers cooing, 'But Bugs Bunny eats his carrots.' If only they had known."

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56 Comments

musicman37 1 month ago
Actually, by trying to feed the local bunnies, I've noticed that they don't like carrots, but will go for any broccoli, lettuce, any leafy greens, but my bunnies will turn their noses up at carrots (and I bought the tiny ones that they wouldn't have trouble with). The carrot thing with Bugs was inspired by Clark Gable's carrot-munching in "It Happened One Night".
Charlotte 1 month ago
Bunnies will eat carrots, but did you know eventually it will kill them. They love dandelions & clover, but can you imagine Bugs saying WHAT'S UP DOC" with a dandelion in his hand...ROFL!
Bapa1 Charlotte 1 month ago
.....or keeling over from an OD of carrots?
Coldnorth Bapa1 1 month ago
Bugs expired from a carrot OD?
Deleted 1 month ago
This comment has been removed.
Runeshaper 1 month ago
Thanks and Happy Easter 🐣 to you too!
tootsieg 1 month ago
Love carrots!!! 🥕🥕🥕🥕
JeffPaul76 1 month ago
It's too bad Mel didn't like carrots, I do like raw ones even, but with very few teeth, it's hard to chew them. As with most hard and crunchy foods, like nuts, some crunchy potato chips, peanuts, cereals, etc. Even crunchy pizza crusts. Painful.
JHP 1 month ago
Well - for me - I have taken 2lbs of carrots steamed and I would be like a termite with a 2 by 4

I would go to a smorgasbord with carrots and come back on a plate with just them:) - a bit of butter and salt - yummy:)
ScarlettKaiju JHP 1 month ago
A local vegan delicacy in these parts is the Bunny Dog, which is a roasted, marinated carrot on a hot dog roll. If not for Bugs creating the association between bunnies and carrots, I wonder what it would have been called.
JHP ScarlettKaiju 1 month ago
that's something to really ponder
Bapa1 ScarlettKaiju 1 month ago
I would try that.
Andybandit 1 month ago
Interesting I never knew Mel was allergic to carrots.
JHP Andybandit 1 month ago
if there is anything I can thank the supreme being - I do not have allergies of any kind and I love Peanuts!
JeffPaul76 Andybandit 1 month ago
He WASN'T! He just didn't like raw carrots.
wallyandbagfan 1 month ago
https://youtu.be/XaDP2xiPTpM
Thanks to the creator of this video for giving credit to the contribution of our friend Sam Vincent, the "forgotten" voice of Bugs and a nice guy to boot!
justjeff 1 month ago
Mel was called "the man of a THOUSAND voices"! Where do the writers get their "facts"? From bathroom wall graffiti??? 😣
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justjeff JHP 1 month ago
...and I invented the Internet!
cperrynaples justjeff 1 month ago
Come Clean, Justjeff! You're actually George Santos...LOL!
JHP cperrynaples 1 month ago
Ok - you caught me Yep I be George Washington santos:)
Bapa1 cperrynaples 1 month ago
.....and today George Santos will be pitching for The Mets.
KawiVulc 1 month ago
Always kind of hoped that Fudd guy would one day finally get his steaming bowl of Hasenpfeffer. Nope, not my favorite cartoon character.
cperrynaples KawiVulc 1 month ago
No, it was Yosemite Sam who had to make it for the king...LOL! And Elmer did get his revenge in a classic Bugs tune! Actually two: One where he drew Bugs and the other when they switched identities: Bugs became Elmer and vice versa!
Mblack 1 month ago
The only carrots I can tolerate are raw.
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Moody LoveMETV22 1 month ago
I hated peas as a kid & still do. I had many a battle at supper time with my parents whenever mom cooked peas. I never won those arguments!
LoveMETV22 Moody 1 month ago
Hi Moody.
Only like frozen peas here.
Coldnorth Moody 1 month ago
I love raw peas, not cooked ones so much. Frozen peas make good ice packs
wallyandbagfan 1 month ago
https://youtu.be/f05vn-OqZc8
Thsres A SURPRISE ENDING TO
PORKYS BIG FEAT WITH A CAMEO APPERANCE BY A SURPRISE GUEST !!
wallyandbagfan 1 month ago
https://youtu.be/rRzyPk_aMZg
4 hours. That should fulfill your video quota for a week....Hopefully 🤔🤔🤔🤔
cperrynaples 1 month ago
Bonus Question: what movie inspired the carrot chewing?
LoveMETV22 cperrynaples 1 month ago
"what movie inspired the carrot chewing?"
---------------------------------------
It Happened One Night
cperrynaples LoveMETV22 1 month ago
Yep, and the chewer was Clark Gable!
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