Mel Blanc, the voice actor of nearly all Looney Tunes characters woke up from a coma saying “What’s up, Doc?”

 
 

In Frank Capra’s critically acclaimed film It Happened One Night released in 1932, Clark Gable was labeled as “The King of Hollywood,” starring alongside Claudette Colbert, portrayed a down-on-his-luck reporter Peter Warne in desperate need of a story.

His desperate and stubborn search was not in vain because it served in the making of one of the best movies ever delivered to the big screen.

A movie still of Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert from the film It Happened One Night

That year, Gable’s visceral performance helped the movie win the Best Picture Award, earning the Oscar for best lead performance. The movie was the first ever to win the big five at the Oscars, for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Writing.

No other film managed to achieve that 41 years later, and it has only been done three times in the history of the Oscars. The other two films, lucky enough to accomplish the same, are One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

 

Warner Bros studio (Burbank) Photo Credit

In 1940, on the other side of California, Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng and Bob Clampett, the animation directors at Warner Bros Studio, inspired by Clark’s performance in the movie, gave birth to one of the most iconic animated characters of all time.

A quirky, carrot-eating, unnamed rabbit made his debut in a cartoon called A Wild Hare, in which, while nonchalantly chewing on a carrot with a gun on his face, for the first time delivered the line “Eh, what’s up Doc?”. Later in his next short Elmer’s Pet Rabbit,  the rabbit would be named “Bugs Bunny, ” and the line repeated throughout all of the subsequent films will become his trademark catchphrase.

Title card from the short film A Wild Hare (1940)

Although many of the mannerisms which Bugs Bunny displayed on screen were adapted from Groucho Marx, the directors confessed that the real inspiration and the idea for the rabbit’s nonchalant carrot-chewing character came from a scene in It Happened One Night where Peter Warne, leaned on a fence, is eating carrots rapidly with his mouth full, explaining the rules of hitchhiking to Claudette Colbert’s character.

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