Shishkabugs is a 1962 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes animated short directed by Friz Freleng, and starring Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam. The title of the short is a play on shish kebab, a type of grilled meat.
With only 4 minutes and 53 seconds of footage (not counting the credits and cards), Shishkabugs is the shortest Bugs Bunny short ever made in the Golden Age of American animation. Shishkabugs is also a rare cartoon where Yosemite Sam is in the role of a victim instead of being the aggressor; in this case the villain/aggressor is the Spoiled King.
Yosemite Sam is the royal chef for a Spoiled King. On his way back to the castle from grocery shopping, Sam complains how the king never thanks him for his hard work in having to take up groceries and prepare meals three times a day, but whines that Sam takes too long with preparing the meals, much to Sam's annoyance ("Cook! Cook! Where's my lunch? Where's my dinner?"). This drives Sam to the point where he insults the king behind the king's back.
After Sam prepares his latest meal, which consists of "Cornish Hen a la Westchester" and "Prime Rib of Mutton au Jus with kreplach Sauce Bordelaise," the king just kicks the dish and orders Sam to take it away. He then tells Sam he's fed up with having his meals served as variety. Wanting something different for a change, the king orders Sam to fix him some hassenpfeffer. Sam agrees to carry out the king's request, but doesn't know what hassenpfeffer is. When Sam checks back just to make sure the king said the right word, the king answers the question by throwing a bowl of custard into Sam's face.
While Sam is looking up the recipe, Bugs Bunny knocks on the door and explains that as he's one of the rabbits residing in the king's royal forest, he's come to borrow a cup of diced carrots. Sam just slams the door on Bugs and returns to the cookbook, only to discover that hassenpfeffer is a dish that includes a rabbit as one of the ingredients. Realizing who he just shooed away, Sam rushes out after Bugs.
Sam manages to trick Bugs into thinking that the king has invited Bugs for dinner and agrees to help him prepare for dinner. While Sam adds the required ingredients to the pot, Bugs states how glad he is to be a rabbit, but after Sam reads that he's to place Bugs into the oven and heat him at 350 degrees F, Bugs sees that he's been duped. Bugs gets out of the pot and pretends to go off to another commitment, but Sam blocks the exit and threatens him with the meat ax, forcing Bugs to return to the pot (with Bugs stating if it's that important, he'll stay).
At this point, the king is starting to get impatient again and whine that Sam is taking too long to make the hassenpfeffer. Realizing there's no time to cook Bugs, Sam just shuts him in the pot and serves him to the eager king. Just as the king lifts the pot lid, Bugs springs up and gives the king a kiss. After spitting out Bugs' cooties, the king scolds Sam for serving him a raw and alive hassenpfeffer and orders him to take it back to the kitchen and prepare it the right way, or else Sam will be "drawn and quartered."
Not wanting to face execution for his mistake, Sam shoves Bugs into the oven and orders him to stay there until the cooking time is up. Sam then pulls out an hourglass that gives the time for hassenpfeffer, prime ribs, fish, and fowl. While Sam's back is turned, Bugs escapes the oven (commenting on how hot it is in there) and leaves. As soon as the hourglass hits zero for hassenpfeffer, Sam thinks he's safe.
Just as the king starts getting impatient and whining that Sam's taking too long again, Sam brings out the supposed hassenpfeffer and presents it to the king. Just as the king is remarking that he hopes that Sam prepared the hassenpfeffer the right way, he lifts the pot lid and a spring released banana coconut creme pie (planted by Bugs before he left) springs out and hits the king in the face. Just as Sam realizes that his goose is cooked, the king shouts out for the Guards to arrest Sam for his "crime" and announces that Sam is fired. Right away, a pair of clumsy guards rush in, arrest Sam, and lead him to the dungeon to await execution.
After a brief scene showing a sign reading "Cook Wanted," Bugs, now the new royal chef, serves the king his hassenpfeffer. The king removes the pot lid and eats a giant carrot, which Bugs is passing off as a hassenpfeffer, but he doesn't seem to care that his dish is a carrot. Bugs then closes one eye and remarks to the audience with a British Cockney accent a pun about how this goes to show us how "a one eyed Jack (rabbit) can beat a king!"
- This is the third cartoon to use a character with a caricature of actor Charles Laughton, who died one month after this cartoon's release.
- This is the first time music director William Lava is credited as Bill Lava in the cartoon's credits.
- The short notably features in the background of a scene in Days of Wine and Roses.
Shishkabugs at SuperCartoons.net
Bill of Hare
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Devil's Feud Cake