A few observations on a less-than-serious topic for everyone across North America who is covered by snow.
Watch it on YouTube. (Sorry there’s no embeddable version.)
At first glance, this sequence might cause us to ponder the representation of rural Southern culture in mainstream media or examine the ways that (and extent to which) violence is used as a tool for comedy. But after close examination we are, most of all, forced to ask, “Is Bugs Bunny the greatest square dance caller ever?”
In this sequence, his patter calls are impressive to say the least. I’ll admit, most of these moves fall outside what I’ve seen documented in traditional calls, let alone Modern Western lists. Not only do they contain great variety but they are adaptive to their environment, be that brook, pig pen, or hay baler. It’s not clear how experienced our dancers (Curt and Pumpkinhead Martin, I am told) are, but certainly Bugs has their trust. They follow his calls remarkably. Lest they get discouraged, Bugs incorporates gentle encouragement into his calls, “Step right up, you’re doin’ fine, / I’ll pull your beard, you pull mine.”
We can see Bugs has a traditional musical sense, unplugging the band and giving an acoustic solo fiddle performance — albeit with full orchestra providing the boom-chucks. Somewhat less traditionally, Bugs deserves credit for anticipating the men-in-skirts movement at dances way ahead of his time.