Bowery Bugs
Directed By: Arthur Davis
Produced By: Eddie Selzer (uncredited)
Released: June 4, 1949
Series: Merrie Melodies
Story: Lloyd Turner
William Scott
Animation: Basil Davidovich
Don Williams
J.C. Melendez
Emery Hawkins
Layouts: Don Smith
Backgrounds: Philip DeGuard
Film Editor: Treg Brown (uncredited)
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Billy Bletcher
Music: Carl Stalling
Starring: Bugs Bunny
Steve Brody
Preceded By: Curtain Razor
Succeeded By: Mouse Mazurka

Bowery Bugs is a 1949 Merrie Melodies cartoon starring Bugs Bunny and the only Bugs Bunny cartoon to be directed by Arthur Davis.


Bugs tells a story to an old man about how a man named Steve Brody leaped off the Brooklyn Bridge. It features Bugs tormenting Brody for trying to get his rabbit's feet.


Bugs Bunny stands at the base of the famous Brooklyn Bridge, (about 1/2 mile from the southern end of the actual street called the Bowery), telling an old man a story, in carnival-barker style, about how and why Steve Brody jumped off the bridge in July 1886 in the form of pictures: Brody had a terrific run of bad luck. He decided he needed a good luck charm - ideally, a rabbit's foot - and the place he hoped to find it was in the country forest.

At this point, the story is animated. Brody cycles to Flatbush and finds Bugs' house. Brody holding a knife, pulls Bugs (singing "All That Glitters Is Not Gold") out of a hole. Brody tells Bugs that he needs a good luck charm and that "he is it". Bugs responds by explaining why rabbits feet are not lucky. Bugs directs Brody to "Swami Rabbitima". Brody decides to chance it on condition he'll come back for Bugs if it doesn't work.

The Swami (Bugs in disguise) asks Brody if he wants his palm read. When he says yes, Bugs paints his right palm the color red. Then Bugs asks if he wants him to read the bumps on his head. Brody says he has none, so Bugs takes a hammer and makes bumps. Brody, angry at Bugs starts to chase him but Bugs starts dealing out playing cards for cartomancy. He tells Brody that he has a meeting coming up with a man wearing a carnation (also Bugs in disguise), who will be his lucky mascot at gambling.

Brody's luck does not change, though - Bugs plays craps, he shoots a 7 but it turns up snake-eyes. Next he plays a slot machine and receives a mere three—literal--lemons for his trouble). After being kicked out of the gambling establishment by a gorilla bouncer, he heads back to Swami. Bugs asks Brody when he was born, but Brody doesn't remember. Bugs then spins a zodiac wheel then when it lands on the sign of the wolf. He tells Brody that he is lucky with love. However, flirting with a "lady" (also Bugs in disguise) only nets him a multiple bonking by a policeman for being a "masher". When Brody returns to the Swami and clarifies why he wants his luck to change ("So I can get me hands on some dough!), Bugs tells him to go to 29 River Street, home of "Grandma's Happy Home Bakery", where a baker (Bugs yet again) gladly provides him "a mess of dough", in which he bakes Brody into a pie.

Unmasking the baker as Bugs, Brody retraces his steps to unmask Bugs' previous disguises, leading Brody to believe "Everybody's a rabbit!". When Brody looks into what he thinks is a mirror (but is actually a window) and sees Bugs looking back at him, he thinks he has turned into a rabbit and snaps, hopping down the street, hysterically shouting "What's up, doc?!".

Seeing a police officer, apparently staring contemplatively at the river from the Brooklyn Bridge, Brody begs (to his back) for help. Turning, the officer reveals himself to be Bugs, demanding (in a thick Irish accent) "What's all this about rabbits, Doc?". Finally driven mad, Brody leaps into the East River apparently as suicide. The scene freezes of Brody jumping off to a poster seen behind Bugs.

Bugs' story ends there, and the impressed old man says: "That's enough, son! I'll buy it!" and hands Bugs some money.




The version shown on ABC's The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show shortened two scenes of Steve Brody being hit on the head:

  • The first time when Bugs (as the fortuneteller) asks him to read the bumps on his head, with Brody saying he has no bumps on his head and Bugs hitting him with a mallet: On the uncut version, Brody was hit six times; on ABC's version, it was cut down to two
  • When Brody tries his hand at being lucky in love, and encounters Bugs dressed as a woman calling him a "masher," "cad," and "ruffian" and yelling for the police: Brody is hit by the cop eleven times in the uncut version. On ABC, the beatings were drastically shortened to one and a half before a fake fade-out.

External Links

Bowery Bugs at Bowery Bugs at B99.TV

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1979 Bugs Bunny's Christmas CarolThe Fright Before Christmas
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