8 high-rolling facts about "Barbary-Coast Bunny"

Some real hare-raising stakes!

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LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

Fans of high-rolling hares are in luck. Barbary-Coast Bunny sees Bugs betting it all in an old-timey casino. It's a toon for the ages; everything we love about Bugs is here from frame one.

Even the most eagle-eyed fan is sure to miss a detail or two. So here are some facts you may not have known about Barbary-Coast Bunny. Or, maybe you're an expert. Maybe this is all a refresher, and you already know everything there is to know about the 1956 short. In that case, let this list serve as a reminder of what makes Barbary-Coast Bunny so special. Let us know in the comments what you knew, what we missed, and what you love about Bugs!

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1. "Barbary-Coast"

 

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

The "Barbary-Coast" in Barbary-Coast Bunny refers to a Gold Rush-era nickname for San Francisco. The name was derived from infamous pirates, as the Gold Rush turned the area into a nearly-lawless red-light district where vice abounded. 

2. A Twist on a Familiar Favorite

 

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

Bugs Bunny has some of the best catchphrases in the game, one of which is paraphrased and switched up in Barbary-Coast Bunny. Typically, whenever a character bests him in the first act of a cartoon, Bugs Bunny will respond, in kind, by saying, "Of course, you do realize... dis means war!" He subverts that oft-repeated threat here and hits us with, "You realize that this is not going to go unchallenged."

3. A Change in Diet

 

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

Barbary-Coast Bunny is one of very few Bugs Bunny shorts in which the hilarious hare does not chomp a carrot. If you're freaked out about that one, buckle up for another shock: Bugs also does not say "What's up, doc?" in this cartoon!

4. Nasty Canasta

 

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

Bugs' foe in this toon is the aptly-named Nasty Canasta, a greedy, money-hungry slob who ruthlessly takes advantage of our main character. This is Nasty's third appearance overall, and his first outing where he's not voiced by Mel Blanc. Instead, to give him a more slovenly persona, Nasty is here voiced by Daws Butler.

5. Anachronisms Abound

 

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

In a clever ruse, Bugs pretends to mistake the casino's slot machine for a new-fangled "tele-o-phone." However, neither the phone nor the slot machine had been invented during the California Gold Rush. The slot machine came a full forty years later, invented right there in San Francisco!

6. "A Pair of Ones and another Pair of Ones"

 

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

When Bugs shows his hand, claiming to have "Two pair, a pair of Ones and another pair of Ones," what he actually has is referred to as a "Quad of Aces." This is the third-best hand a poker player can draw. Bugs' hand could only lose to a Royal Flush or a Straight Flush.

7. Smarter Than Your Average Casino-owner

 

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

If Nasty Canasta's voice sounds familiar, that's because you've definitely heard it before. Daws Butler was a prolific voice actor who lent his vocal talents to iconic characters like Elroy Jetson, Huckleberry Hound, and (most famously) Yogi Bear!

8. Early Retirement

 

LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are ™ of & © WBEI

This is Nasty Canasta's third of three appearances in the original run of Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies shorts. The villain wouldn't reappear for almost another 40 years when he showed up on Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries. Unfortunately, he lost his entire retirement savings to a certain rabbit.

Do you know these Bugs Bunny firsts?

 

Do you actually know what is, in fact, up, doc?

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9 Comments

SRN 12 months ago
IMHO, MeTV is in need of a major overhaul. Among the items that should be scrapped are TOON IN WITH ME and the badly outdated LEAVE IT TO BEAVER. In their place should be a series of cartoons a la SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS--without the no-talent humans and that idiotic hand puppet!
frances3agape 12 months ago
Oh, golly. I my face is hurting from grinnning ear to ear while reading and remembering this.
The tele-o-phone bit was PURE GENIUS!
Mblack 13 months ago
In 1975-76, William Shatner was in the short lived Barbary Coast.

One of the Barkely brothers had a run in there.

In Tales of the City, the apartment is onBarbary Lane
Bapa1 Mblack 13 months ago
Doug McClure was in that show.
Karellen 13 months ago
Was this a Chunk Jones directed cartoon? Reason why I ask is the image in #7 looks amazingly like the Grinch.
Andybandit 13 months ago
I am probably the only one who never saw this cartoon. A lot of Looney Tunes cartoons I have never seen.
cperrynaples 13 months ago
A few comments: Most of us normal poker players call 6 "4 Aces" just like the group who sang "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing"! But they're right about the win because Nasty had a full house! However, I do remember a Western [proably Gunsmoke] where a banker risked all the bank's funds on 4 Aces and lost to a Straight Flush! Also, I will point out that when this tune ran on Saturday morning, the network cut the scene where Nasty shoots himself in the face after Bugs wins a jackpot from his gun! True fans will understand that last statement!
LoveMETV22 cperrynaples 13 months ago
Sticking with the 4 Aces theme. The Stooges had a similar situation.!
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