Hold the Lion, Please
is a Merrie Melodies cartoon, first released on June 13, 1942, distributed by the Vitaphone Corporation and Warner Bros.. This skit is Bugs Bunny's tenth appearance and Chuck Jones' 39th Warner Bros. cartoon.

The short was directed by Chuck Jones, animated by Ken Harris and scripted by Tedd Pierce. Musical Direction was assigned to Carl Stalling.

The title is an obvious play on the expression used by switchboard operators of the day, asking the caller to "hold the line." The Three Stooges made a short with a similar title, Hold That Lion, which also featured a renegade lion.


The short focuses on a lion who is trying to prove he is still "King of the Jungle" by hunting a small, defenseless animal. He chooses Bugs Bunny as his intended victim. The lion soon finds out that, in a battle of wits, he is the defenseless one. However, the lion eventually gets Bugs under one paw while raising the other one, claws extended, and looking angry; a truly frightened-looking Bugs could be facing his end. Just then the lion gets a phone call from his wife, changing the lion's demeanor from ferocious to meek. He apologizes to Bugs that he can't "stay and kill him," and then dashes home. Bugs ridicules the lion's apparent submissiveness, but we soon see that he has someone to answer to as well: his own wife, who sends Bugs slinking into the rabbit hole while "Mrs. Bugs Bunny" (according to the arrow pointing to her) shows the audience that she "wears the pants in this family." Mrs. Bugs' higher-pitched voice is similar to that of Tweety Bird minus the speech impediment. It is the sole appearance of a Mrs. Bugs Bunny, as Bugs is ever afterward depicted as a bachelor.

Bugs Bunny became shorter in Hold the Lion Please; Chuck Jones would continue to use this version of Bugs until A Feather in His Hare, where he used the modern Bugs perfected by Bob Clampett and Robert McKimson.

  • Aside from Elmer's Pet Rabbit, this is the first Bugs Bunny short directed by Chuck Jones, as he appears in this cartoon with buck teeth, white gloves and his most famous Brooklyn accent.
  • Unlike most other Bugs Bunny cartoons released after 1941, the intro did not feature Bugs lying atop the WB shield.
  • This is one of a handful of Bugs Bunny shorts that do not feature the words Bugs, Bunny, Rabbit/Wabbit, or Hare in the title.
  • As revealed in this cartoon, Bugs Bunny "the character" is a bachelor; however, Bugs Bunny "the actor" is (or was) married.


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