1997 32¢ Bugs Bunny
Issue Date: May 22, 1997
City: Burbank, CA
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: Serpentine die cut 11
The Bugs Bunny stamp was issued in conjunction with a campaign to launch the U.S.P.S.'s "Stampers" program. As the official mascot of Stampers, it was hoped the animated character would help revive youth interest in the hobby of stamp collecting. A full-color, 12-page magazine was made available through the U.S.P.S. Philatelic Fulfillment Service Center for a limited time, as part of the Stampers program.
Since his big-screen debut in 1940, Bugs Bunny and his trademark greeting, “Eh, what’s up, Doc?” have become fixtures of American popular culture. Best known for his uproarious performances in Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodie cartoons, Bugs also appeared in newspaper comics, comic books, and children’s books.
A character closely resembling Bugs was used during the late 1930s in several cartoons directed by Ben “Bugs” Hardaway and Cal Dalton. When designer Charlie Thorson labeled the character sheet as “Bugs’ bunny,” the “wascawwy wabbit” got his name. But it wasn’t until 1940 that the character known and loved as Bugs Bunny made his appearance. The cumulative creative effort of several brilliant individuals, most notably Tex Avery, Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, and Robert McKimson, Bugs made his big-screen debut in Tex Avery’s 1940 short, A Wild Hare. Talented actor Mel Blanc gave a voice to the Brooklyn bunny.
During World War II, Bugs was enlisted to promote the war bond effort and was adopted as a member of the Seabees. Appointed “Ambassador for the Stampers program” by the United States Postal Service in 1996, the famous hare was honored with his own postage stamp in an effort to interest young people in stamp collecting.