‘Eh, What’s Up Doc?’ East Hampton Library Talk on Bugs Bunny

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The Bugs Bunny stamp sheet started as a series of pencil drawings by Sag Harbor's Peter Browngardt. Courtesy Peter Browngardt.

He may not look a “hare” over 5, but last year, Bugs Bunny turned 80 years old. On Thursday, April 1, (no foolin’) at 6 p.m., East End book critic Joan Baum presents “The Wit, Humor and Humanity of Bugs Bunny,” a Zoom talk sponsored by the East Hampton Library.

Honored last year by the U.S. Postal Service, Bugs Bunny appears on postage stamps in some of his most iconic poses. “But why?” many adults may ask, assuming that the “wascally wabbit” belongs to the world of cartoons for kids.

Not so, says Baum, at least not in the mid-20th century glory days of Warner Bros. animation when highly talented and inventive literary and visual artists banded together to create an evolving, lovable character as subversively original as he was distinctively American. Bugs is brash, sharp, satiric, a champion of the underdog and fair play, and a lover of history and the arts, which he parodied with affectionate comic brilliance. He was unique, not only as a heroic character but as a foil to his adversaries — Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd, who mysteriously kept coming back for more.

We might do well in these parlous pandemic times to take to heart Bug’s wacky, sane and determined response to threats and challenges.

To reserve a spot for the talk, email steven@easthamptonlibrary.org or call 631-324-0222 extension 3.

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