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The Heckling Hare

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The Heckling Hare
Heckling Hare
Directed By: Fred Avery
Produced By: Leon Schlesinger
Released: July 5, 1941
Series: Merrie Melodies
Story: Michael Maltese
Animation: Bob McKimson
Film Editor: Treg Brown
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Tex Avery
Music: Carl W. Stalling
Starring: Bugs Bunny
Preceded By: Meet John Doughboy
Succeeded By: Inki and the Lion
The Heckling Hare07:23

The Heckling Hare

Rental from Warner Bros. on YouTube

The Heckling Hare is a 1941 Merrie Melodies cartoon starring Bugs Bunny.  It was the last Warner Bros. cartoon directed by Tex Avery.


Bugs is being hunted by a dog named Willoughby but the dog falls for every trap Bugs sets for him until they both fall off a cliff at the end.

Lost Ending

The Heckling Hare is the cartoon that led to Tex leaving Warner Bros. Animation for MGM.

Originally, the cartoon ended with Bugs and Willoughby falling off of 3 cliffs, as well as the hare remarking to the audience, "Hold on to your hats, folks! Here we go again!" For reasons that aren't quite known for sure (some say that it was because the "Hold on to your hats, folks! Here we go again!" line was the punchline to a joke that was considered off-color at the time; others say it was out of fear that people would think Bugs Bunny actually died), Leon Schlesinger interfered and edited the cartoon, ending it with Bugs and Willoughby making a soft, feet-first landing on the ground. Bugs then says to the audience, "Ha, Fooled ya, hadn't we?" followed by an abrupt fade-out as Willoughby says, "Yeah!". Tex was so angry that he walked out of the studio (although, according to some film historians, he was fired after an argument with Leon). Leon promptly suspended him, and, during his suspension, he was hired by MGM and never returned to Warner Bros. [1]

The lost ending scene is in fact real, as there is a transcript of the cartoon that contains the original ending, as shown on the bottom right.


  • This is the second-to-last Bugs Bunny cartoon directed by Tex Avery to be released. The last, All This and Rabbit Stew, was produced before this film. Additionally, it was the fifth cartoon for Bugs and the 55th cartoon Avery directed at Warner Bros.
  • The Merrie Melodies opening sequence also featured the first usage of the Warner Bros. shield logo zooming in with a carrot-munching Bugs Bunny lying on top of it. Here, after the zoom-in and a couple of bites of his carrot, Bugs pulls down the Merrie Melodies title screen like it is a shade.
    • Starting with this cartoon, WARNER BROS. and Present are already on the screen, and would be for all Bugs Bunny cartoons, excluding Hold the Lion, Please, until Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips. However, beginning with All This and Rabbit Stew, Bugs does not pulls down the Merrie Melodies title screen like a shade as in this cartoon; instead the WB shield title then fades to the Merrie Melodies title screen. After Nips the Nips, the Bugs Bunny head would appear after the WB shield zooms in starting with Hare Ribbin'.
    • 1945 saw a revamped version of the Warner Bros. shield logo zooming in with a carrot-munching Bugs Bunny lying on top of it, beginning with Hare Trigger and ending with Hare Do. This version uses the modern Bugs Bunny design by Robert McKimson, and once again Bugs pulls down the Merrie Melodies/Looney Tunes title screen like a shade as in this one.
  • The European Turner Dubbed Version replaces the 1937-1938 Turner dubbed ending title card replaced with 1938-41 MWRA ending music cue replaced with 1947-1948 MM one, keeping also the 1941-1955 MWRA ending music cue. It has also Willoughby's line before the ending credits intact.
  • This cartoon is notable to have the longest falling sequence in the history of cinema.


  • Most televised versions of this cartoon, specifically the versions shown on the Ted Turner-owned cable networks such as TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, and Boomerang, cut out Willoughby saying "Yeah!" as the cartoon ends to cover up the fact that the cartoon has a missing ending. The version released on home media (VHS, Laserdisc and the Golden Collection DVD set) do not restore the lost ending, but do leave in Willoughby saying, "Yeah!" just as the short abruptly ends.[1]

Additional Credits




  1. 1.0 1.1

External Links

The Heckling Hare at

The Heckling Hare at B99.TV

Bugs Bunny Cartoons
1938 Porky's Hare Hunt
1939 Prest-O Change-OHare-um Scare-um
1940 Elmer's Candid CameraA Wild Hare
1941 Elmer's Pet RabbitTortoise Beats HareHiawatha's Rabbit HuntThe Heckling HareAll This and Rabbit StewWabbit Twouble
1942 The Wabbit Who Came to SupperThe Wacky WabbitHold the Lion, PleaseBugs Bunny Gets the BoidFresh HareThe Hare-Brained HypnotistCase of the Missing Hare
1943 Tortoise Wins by a HareSuper-RabbitJack-Wabbit and the BeanstalkWackiki WabbitFalling Hare
1944 Little Red Riding RabbitWhat's Cookin' Doc?Bugs Bunny and the Three BearsBugs Bunny Nips the NipsHare Ribbin'Hare ForceBuckaroo BugsThe Old Grey HareStage Door Cartoon
1945 Herr Meets HareThe Unruly HareHare TriggerHare ConditionedHare Tonic
1946 Baseball BugsHare RemoverHair-Raising HareAcrobatty BunnyRacketeer RabbitThe Big SnoozeRhapsody Rabbit
1947 Rabbit TransitA Hare Grows in ManhattanEaster YeggsSlick Hare
1948 Gorilla My DreamsA Feather in His HareRabbit PunchBuccaneer BunnyBugs Bunny Rides AgainHaredevil HareHot Cross BunnyHare SplitterA-Lad-In His LampMy Bunny Lies Over The Sea
1949 Hare DoMississippi HareRebel RabbitHigh Diving HareBowery BugsLong-Haired HareKnights Must FallThe Grey Hounded HareThe Windblown HareFrigid HareWhich Is WitchRabbit Hood
1950 Hurdy-Gurdy HareMutiny on the BunnyHomeless HareBig House BunnyWhat's Up Doc?8 Ball BunnyHillbilly HareBunker Hill BunnyBushy HareRabbit of Seville
1951 Hare We GoRabbit Every MondayBunny HuggedThe Fair-Haired HareRabbit FireFrench RarebitHis Hare-Raising TaleBallot Box BunnyBig Top Bunny
1952 Operation: RabbitFoxy by Proxy14 Carrot RabbitWater, Water Every HareThe Hasty HareOily HareRabbit SeasoningRabbit's KinHare Lift
1953 Forward March HareUp-Swept HareSouthern Fried RabbitHare TrimmedBully For BugsLumber Jack-RabbitDuck! Rabbit, Duck!Robot Rabbit
1954 Captain HareblowerBugs and ThugsNo Parking HareDevil May HareBewitched BunnyYankee Doodle BugsBaby Buggy Bunny
1955 Beanstalk BunnySahara HareHare BrushRabbit RampageThis Is A Life?Hyde and HareKnight-Mare HareRoman Legion-Hare
1956 Bugs' BonnetsBroom-Stick BunnyRabbitson CrusoeNapoleon Bunny-PartBarbary-Coast BunnyHalf-Fare HareA Star is BoredWideo WabbitTo Hare Is Human
1957 Ali Baba BunnyBedevilled RabbitPiker's PeakWhat's Opera, Doc?Bugsy and MugsyShow Biz BugsRabbit Romeo
1958 Hare-less WolfHare-Way To The StarsNow Hare ThisKnightly Knight BugsPre-Hysterical Hare
1959 Baton BunnyHare-Abian NightsApes of WrathBackwoods BunnyWild and Woolly HareBonanza BunnyA Witch's Tangled HarePeople Are Bunny
1960 Horse HarePerson to BunnyRabbit's FeatFrom Hare to HeirLighter Than Hare
1961 The Abominable Snow RabbitCompressed HarePrince Violent
1962 Wet HareBill of HareShishkabugs
1963 Devil's Feud CakeThe Million HareHare-Breadth HurryThe UnmentionablesMad as a Mars HareTransylvania 6-5000
1964 Dumb PatrolDr. Devil and Mr. HareThe Iceman DuckethFalse Hare
1979 Bugs Bunny's Christmas CarolThe Fright Before Christmas
1980 Portrait of the Artist as a Young BunnySpaced Out Bunny
1990 Box Office Bunny
1991 Blooper Bunny
1992 Invasion Of The Bunny Snatchers
1995 Carrotblanca
1996 From Hare To Eternity
2004 Daffy Duck for PresidentHare and Loathing In Las Vegas

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