The Bugs Bunny Story

My friend Martha Sigall is one of the last living survivors of Termite Terrace (aka the Leon Schlesinger “Looney Tunes” Studio). She’s just posted a You Tube video in response to the number one question she gets asked all the time: Who Created Bugs Bunny? Here’s her response:

And she ought to know, she was there — as a member of the ink and paint crew. For more of Martha and her recollections, I suggest you pick up her wonderful book, Living Life Inside The Lines.


  • uncle wayne

    Well, damn u, Jerry! Thanx to you, Amazon is loving me. Loved the Total Television one, and now sinking my teeth deeply into June’s, and now this. Can’t wait! Than Q for the promo!

  • http://comicrazys.com Christopher

    The second Bugs from the left was designed by Charles Thorson not Chuck Jones. Thorson designed quite a few characters at Warners, including Chuck Jones’ Sniffles, but is almost never mentioned, especially when mentioning the creation of Bugs Bunny.

  • http://deleted OtherDan

    I love her! I wish all these wonderful people would share their stories.

  • http://www.vujade-ent.blogspot.com Steve Schnier

    What a great oral history. Thanks for posting it.

  • http://2dwannabe.blogspot.com robcat2075

    Leon earned his place in history on that one.

    It sure would be interesting to hear more about what he did in that studio from more people who weren’t naturally inclined to belittle his contribution.

  • http://www.goldenagecartoons.com Jon Cooke

    Martha Sigall is AMAZING. I hope my memory is that sharp when *I’m* 92! (See also – her commentary on the inhouse Schlesinger studio gag reel on the LTGC Volume 6 where she ID’s everyone right down to the paperboy!) I am definitely going to buy her book soon.

  • http://emiliegoulet.blogspot.com/ Emilie Goulet

    Such an adorable woman! I wish she made more little videos like this… I loved listening to her.

    Thanks for the post!

  • http://20thcenturyschmuck.blogspot.com/ CharlesH.

    A small series of videos like this would be amazing! I never could have guessed that Bugs Bunny’s name was being decided by comittee… loved the bit about Tex thinking the name was too “fuzzy wuzzy”.

  • http://awprunes.wordpress.com Larry Levine

    Martha is amazing, hope this is the first of many videos!!

  • Tom Heres

    Jerry, please. More videos exactly like this. Interview segments with creators of classic animation. I love this video. I’m sure she’s got a lot of other stories to tell herself.

  • http://www.gavinscartoons.com Gavin Freitas

    Martha is so great! I would watch more videos of her too..

  • Wes

    This should be included as an extra on one of the Looney Tunes DVD sets. More like this please.

  • Dave G

    The problem with doing more videos with the creators of classic animation is that most of them are dead.

  • Ed

    Awesome. Ya know, I pick up this site after hearing you mention it on a DVD comm. and suddenly I’m coming near as often as to my email. It’s good though, lovin it.

  • http://www.companieswekeep.com Bob Sigall

    Bob Sigall here. Thanks for all your comments. I will be posting more of Martha’s stories soon.

    I recorded her talking about Peanuts, Tom & Jerry, and Roadrunner, when I was in LA in June. I have to edit them and will get one up every week or two.

    I plan to record more on future trips. Feel free to suggest topics. Aloha.

  • http://invaderpetblog.blogspot.com Brandon

    Great video, but there REALLY is some question as to when exactly the name “Bugs Bunny” came up. Sigall makes it sound lik the rabbit was given the name in 1940, when A Wild Hare came out, but Bugs was tagged with that name on merchandise in 1939!

    Still this is a great video, and it’s always nice to hear from the people at Termite Terrace.

    And boy I sure hope WB doesn’t come beating her door down for posting the dates of those cartoons!

  • http://invaderpetblog.blogspot.com Brandon

    Hello, Mr. Sigall! I have a question for Martha. She may not know this, but it’s worth a shot. Does Martha know the reason why the ending to “Hare-Um Scare-Um” where the rabbits beat up the hunter, was cut? Was it cut for violence, or just for time?

    If yu need more info on the short, here’s a link to David Gerstein’s blog:
    http://ramapithblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/legendbreakers-hare-um-scare-um.html

  • http://www.companieswekeep.com Bob Sigall

    I talked to my mom about it this morning and she doesn’t remember exactly how it ended, but does trust David Gerstein’s version, which seems to show the hunter bouncing down the path on his head (still attached to his body), following Bugs.

    Martha says the TV networks often edited the cartoons for time.

    As to the year the name “Bugs Bunny” was decided, she remembers it as 1940, although many books refer to the earlier rabbit as Bugs Bunny.

    BTW, she’s delighted it’s been viewed 2700+ times in the last few days.

  • http://dmgermain.blogspot.com David Germain

    Finally, there’s a video on youtube dealing with animation history containing ACCURATE INFORMATION. Most of the time all you see are videos posted by 13 year olds (or anyone with the intellect of one) with information that was almost literally pulled out of their asses.

    Thank you Martha and thank you Jerry for being a part of the solution.

  • Daryl Boman

    I was so fascinated by Martha’s story that I went out and grabbed her book. It was a great read! Thoroughly enjoyable!
    Thanks Martha for writing your memories in book form for the rest of us to enjoy.

  • Maggie Simpson

    Interesting…but I still feel as though Clampett goes undisputed hallmark-wise…