How Bugs Bunny saved Mel Blanc's life

In 1961, Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Barney Rubble, and literally a thousand other cartoon characters (see vide above), was in a terrible car crash that put him in a coma. Nothing could rouse him until his surgeon addressed him as Bugs Bunny. Of course, Blanc's response was: "What's up, Doc?" Here's a 2012 short episode of Radiolab where they interview the surgeon, a neuroscientist, and Mel Blanc's son, Noel.

"What's Up, Doc?" (Radiolab)

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  1. I’ve always been fascinated by the glorious, exaggerated bags under Mel Blanc’s eyes. In a way, their apparentness and elasticity made Mel himself into a kind of lovable cartoon character. This is a nice story and great interview! Anyone with a penchant for old-time radio should seek out Mel’s hundreds of radio appearances during the classic years. Often, he would make surprise appearances using the Bugs and Porky voices. Brilliant.

  2. Higher brain? Cognitive cues? Multiple competing personalities?

    Nonsense.

    There’s a very simple explanation as to why the characters responded when Mel didn’t; Mel, the man, was injured/traumatized, but as everyone knows, the characters always bounce back unscathed, no matter what.

  3.  There’s a very simple explanation as to why the characters responded
    when Mel didn’t; Mel, the man, was injured/traumatized, but as everyone
    knows, the characters always bounce back unscathed, no matter what.

  4. So the rest of that video, if it exists somewhere, shows Hunter S. Thompson and Mel Blanc sharing a stage?

    Psych-O-Delic, man.

    1. Hunter S. Thompson and Mel Blanc sharing a stage

      As your attorney I advise you to take a hit out of the little brown bottle in my shaving kit, and the left turn at Albuquerque. 

  5. Mel goes into this in detail in his autobiography “That’s Not All, Folks.” Definitely worth the read!

  6. Mel was also doing the voice of Barney Rubble on “The Flintstones” at the time of this accident.  There are a handful of episodes in Season One where Daws Butler provided Barney’s voice in Mel’s absence.

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