"What's Up, Doc?"

does anyone know the origin of the phrase? was there a particular episode of bugs bunny in which it first appeared? does it have anything to do with an actual doctor or something?

Mel Blanmc, the voice of Bugs, claimed that it was the slang of the period – you gave people nicknames, and “Doc” was a common one. The idea of a rabbit casually leaning o the barrel of the gun and asking the hunter “What’s up, Doc?” instead of running away in terror was the gag. Blanc claimed that he combined a Bronx and a Brooklyn accent to create the ultimate tough guy-wise guy character.

I don’t recall which cartoon first used this line. It wasn’t one of the first two or three. But my copy of the Warner Brothers Cartoon Guide is at home right now.

Bugs Bunny appeared in a few shorts as a less fully developed character, and first shows up as the classic Bugs Bunny in 1940’s “A Wild Hare.” It is in this short that he first asks, “What’s up, doc?”


Here are the lyrics to the song, which appeared in a later short.

Oh we’re the boys of the chorus we hope you like our show
We know you’re rooting for us but now we have to go

What’s up doc, what’s cooking
What’s up doc, are you looking
For Bugs Bunny’s bunting doc has gone a-hunting
Just to get a rabbit’s skin but now that rabbit’s gone again
What’s up doc, what’s cooking
Hey, look out, stop!!!
You’re gonna hurt someone, with that old shotgun
Hey what’s up doc??
We really mean it

FYI: Bugs Bunny’s birthday is July 27.