So, what's up, doc? What else would you ask the man who directed 250 cartoons featuring a certain wascally wabbit and other Warner Bros. stars?
Chuck Jones is still hard at work, creating fine art drawings -- his work is exhibited at hundreds of art galleries and museums -- and new animated short subjects.
And he's happy to chat about his approach to animation. As a young fan long ago observed, Jones didn't draw Bugs Bunny -- he drew pictures of Bugs Bunny.
"Once I got in with Bugs Bunny, he had to take some knocks himself," said the 86-year-old Academy Award-winner. "I had to make him human instead of super."
The many sides of the toon heartthrob will be on display for 48 hours starting Friday at 9 p.m. on Cartoon Network. The seventh "June Bugs" marathon includes more than 100 Bugs Bunny features, and discusses the evolution of the character and the approaches used by directors Jones, Friz Freleng, Bob McKimson, Bob Clampett and Tex Avery.
In addition to directoral groupings, Cartoon Network has theme blocks emphasizing Bugs's evolution, musical numbers, space stories, horror stories, sports, patriotism and pairings with Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck.
Jones gave Bugs what every serious actor wants -- a motivation. It wasn't enough just to get laughs. That was especially true with the characters Jones created himself, including Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin Martian, Pepe Le Pew and Michigan J. Frog.
"With Pepe Le Pew, it took about five years until I really understood him," Jones said of the amorous skunk. "He represented something I never was. I poured into him my dreams of sexual conquest."
That the old cartoons included adult themes should not be surprising -- "Looney Tunes" shorts were made to be aired in theaters. "We knew the audiences could hardly be all children," Jones said. "At the same time, we were all young, so we had no respect for adults either. We fell into that lovely trap where you write for yourself."
The expected life span of a cartoon in pre-television days was three or four years, until the film became unusable,said Jones. "There was no pretense, no knowledge they would have any longevity. . . . I wouldn't bet twenty-five cents against a hundred that you would be seeing them now."
But we are. So here's a tip about a Jones classic:
"What's Opera, Doc?," in which Bugs and adversary Elmer Fudd perform Richard Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen," is flawed in the director's mind. "When Elmer is pounding the hole with a spear . . . I wanted a certain piece of music there, but the musician forgot to put it in," Jones said. "I'm frustrated, and there's not a thing I can do about it."
CAPTION: CHUCK JONES