The Bugs Bunny - Road Runner Hour

The Bugs Bunny - Road Runner Hour
CBS - Premiered 9-14-68

The Bugs Bunny - Road Runner Hour The cartoon characters featured in the Warner Brothers animated shorts had made their television debut on ABC in 1960 as The Bugs Bunny Show; it was a prime-time program following close on the heels of the successful Flintstones. But Bugs, Daffy, Road Runner, and the gang would receive the most attention - and become beloved to generations of kids - when they appeared in an hour-long (and sometimes hour-and-a-half-long) show called The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Hour beginning on CBS in 1968.

Airing on Saturday mornings, TBBRRH was a combination of the previous Bugs Bunny Show and The Road Runner Show, which had begun on CBS in 1966. Each of these 30-minute programs had featured three of the original theatrical cartoons, bracketed by newly-filmed bridging sequences. Starting at 9:30 on Saturday morning, September 14th, 1968, it would run continuously for almost twenty years.

The new program would open with the musical number "This Is It." Seven cartoon shorts would comprise each show, starting with a newly-drawn, stylized title shot, featuring that particular cartoon's lead character (and maybe a nemesis, like Elmer Fudd) standing beside a spotlit circle which held the title. The bridging sequences would appear between each cartoon, to segue between characters. At the half-hour mark, there would be a longer station break, followed by a march of various Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies characters across the stage; Wile E. Coyote would chase Road Runner and they would run into Bugs. The closing credits showed Wile E. firing himself out of a cannon at a car driven by Bugs; the car smashed, Bugs would continue honking the horn while the Road Runner ran by.

In the 1975-76 season TBBRRH began showing some shorts not previously seen (by television audiences); then, in September of '76, the show expanded to an hour and a half, following a newly-created Sylvester and Tweety Show at 9:00 a.m. (all of the Tweety cartoons having been moved there for the duration of that series). Still more previously-unseen cartoons were shown beginning this season. In 1977-78, complaints by parents' groups and animal rights advocates (?!!) forced the network to start censoring some of the cartoons. Certain overly-violent sequences were removed (sometimes ruining the shorts' continuity), and the show as a whole continued without interruption.

TBBRH was known at some points during its run as The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show. Beginning in 1985, it would return as The Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Comedy Hour for one season.