Definitions

hurdy-gurdist

Hurdy-Gurdy Hare

Hurdy-Gurdy Hare is a Merrie Melodies cartoon short, released in 1950, which is directed by Robert McKimson and written by Warren Foster. Bugs has to deal with an aggressive gorilla while trying to make some money playing a street organ.

Plot summary

While Bugs is sitting in Central Park, he looks through the wanted ads, finally focusing on a job as a Hurdy-Gurdy (actually, a street organ), thinking at first of 'the masters - Beethoven, Brahms, Bach' (pronounced by Bugs as 'Beat-hoven,' 'Brammz,' and 'Batch'), but soon thinking of all the money his chimpanzee assistant was able to get from the various apartments he visited. When the chimp tries to stiff Bugs, Bugs chases him off, thinking he can do the same job as the chimp - but quickly finds out that people willing to give a chimp money aren't willing to give Bugs anything (except a bucket of water on the head).

The chimp runs to the zoo, where he tells a gorilla about what happened (the only intelligable words being Bugs' line "What's up doc? What's up doc?"). The chimp dramatizes being kicked by Bugs, which sends the gorilla in a frenzy. The gorilla breaks out of his cage and confronts Bugs. Bugs is able to outwit the gorilla, causing the gorilla to fall multiple times many stories from the apartment building where he's chasing Bugs. At one point, the gorilla falls through the basement and comes up a lift, holding a newspaper and with his arm through a subway window. Bugs, acting as a conductor, orders the gorilla to "push in, plenty of room in the center of the car!", pausing to tell the audience "I used to work on the shuttle from Times Square to Grand Central", before pushing the gorilla back underground.

Bugs then tries getting away from the gorilla on the outside of the building by climbing up and down a ladder while the gorilla keeps pulling the ladder in the opposite direction (once using the Groucho Marx line, "I've seen you before, I never forget a face. But in your case, I'll make an exception!"). Bugs eventually makes his way into one of the apartments. However, he's soon cornered by the gorilla, who chases him into a back room. Bugs spots a violin, and noting that "music calms the savage beast", he starts playing the violin, which causes the gorilla not only to calm down, but to start dancing around. This gives Bugs an idea - he has the gorilla visiting the apartments, causing piles of cash to rain down on Bugs (the chimpanzee from earlier is turning the wheel, playing the music, which is recognizable as "Artist's Life."). Bugs counts all the money coming, noting to the audience, "I sure hope Petrillo doesn't hear about this!" (a now aged gag referencing the president of the American Federation of Musicians, which was on strike at the time).

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