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My 80th birthday is up, doc! Remembering the time Bugs Bunny might have saved the life of the man who voiced him

The 'Warner Brothers' Museum at Burbank (Photo by Kim Kulish
The 'Warner Brothers' Museum at Burbank (Photo by Kim Kulish (Sygma via Getty Images)

Mel Blanc sat in a body cast and in a coma, unresponsive to even his family members who tried to call him by his name, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The year was 1961, and Blanc, the iconic voice of Bugs Bunny, was in rough shape.

Bugs Bunny, by the way, debuted 80 years ago on this day, and eventually became one of the most recognizable cartoon characters ever.

But back to Blanc. He had been in a coma for two weeks following a horrific car accident on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, and his son Noel told Entertainment Weekly that doctors and family members couldn’t bring any signs of life out of him, as he lay in the hospital bed.

After failing to get a response by calling Blanc by his name, doctors tried another tactic.

They decided to try and reach Blanc via Bugs Bunny.

“(The doctor) finally says, ‘Bugs, can you hear me?‘” Noel said in the article.

So, what was the response from Mel Blanc?

“Yeah, what’s up, doc?” Noel said his father told doctors.

Eventually, Mel Blanc recovered, and continued on as a cartoon legend until his death in 1989.

He’ll forever be immortalized for being the voice of Bugs Bunny, who debuted on his own July 27, 1940 in the cartoon “A Wild Hare.”

But just as much as Blanc brought Bugs Bunny to life and the living rooms of millions around the world, it turns out, Bugs Bunny might have brought Blanc back to life following his accident in 1961.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.