BUGS BUNNY: HARE EXTRAORDINAIRE Bugs Bunny plays dress-up in ''Foxy by Proxy''
Credit: Warner Home Video.

It’s been said that as you grow older, your favorite member of the Three Stooges changes. Every kid starts out loving the nyuckle-headed Curly. Then, maybe after you get a younger brother to torment, Moe’s sadistic authoritarianism makes sense. But when you finally become an adult and get smacked around by life, it’s the existential victim Larry you identify with. Lately, I’m beginning to think the same theory holds true for Looney Tunes characters. As a kid, I was all about Bugs Bunny. Everyone else — Yosemite Sam, Tweety, Foghorn Leghorn — was background noise. After all, Bugs was the smart-ass merry prankster who could put blowhards and bullies in their place, then munch on a carrot and turn to the camera to say, ”Ain’t I a stinker?” But after recently watching a pair of newly remastered Looney Tunes collections (tough gig, huh?), Bugs Bunny: Hare Extraordinaire and Daffy Duck: Frustrated Fowl, this former Bugs kid has become a Daffy man. Cowardly, obnoxious, and not nearly as smart as he thinks he is, Daffy is like an old-school insult comic — Don Rickles with webbed feet. In 1954’s great ”Dime to Retire” (one of 15 previously unavailable ‘toons on the Daffy disc), he’s a motormouthed hotel manager who puts poor Porky Pig through the wringer, torturing him as he tries to get a good night’s sleep. And in 1959’s ”People Are Bunny,” Daffy goes toe-to-toe with Bugs in one of their classic ”duck season/rabbit season” hunting gags. Naturally, Bugs wins. He always does. But maybe that’s why Daffy speaks to the adult me. Sure, he’s greedy and vain and desperate. Like that hapless Stooge Larry getting hit on the melon with a hammer, though, he’s human. Or as human as an animated duck can be. Sadly, neither disc has EXTRAS. So, in other words, th-th-that’s all folks! Bugs: B Daffy: A-