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A tribute to America's most beloved bunnies

We don't want to raise the fur of Peter Rabbit, Br'er Rabbit, the Velveteen Rabbit, Captain Kangaroo's Mr. Bunny Rabbit and, heck, even Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit, but the pop culture phenomenons of bunnies and rabbit ears are timeless traditions that belong to all Americans. Maybe even the world! So while the Easter Bunny might be the headlining star leading up to Sunday, we thought it might be nice to take time out during this harried week and pay tribute to some ear-wearing icons.

Animation

BUGS BUNNY: The Oscar-winning rabbit leads the pack because his ears are permanent — and because he turns 70 this summer. Ever since George Washington Bunny (yep, that's his full name) hopped out of his rabbit hole in 1940's A Wild Hare, he's been tormenting poor Elmer Fudd, Daffy and anyone who gets in his way.

Honorable mentions: Roger from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Bambi's Thumper and Matt Groening's Life in Hell rabbits.

In the bedroom

THE PLAYBOY BUNNY: Thanks to Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, bunny ears are nearly synonymous with pajamas at noon, a stylish pipe and women filled with silicone. Playboy bunnies were conceived back in 1960 as waitresses for Hef's Playboy Clubs. The actual outfit — fluffy cottontail, white collar and cuffs, satin ears — is even registered at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. To celebrate the outfit's 50th birthday, Playboy is now selling the bunny outfit for the first time. ($67 at the adult site annsummers.com.)

Honorable mentions: Among the famous names to don the outfit are singer Deborah Harry, supermodel Lauren Hutton and feminist Gloria Steinem.

At the movies

RALPHIE PARKER: In 1983's A Christmas Story, his Aunt Clara (doesn't everybody have one?) "labored under the delusion" that he was a 4-year-old girl. The life-scarring gender confusion and pure enduring delight of this holiday classic put actor Peter Billingsley's "pink nightmare" on top of a long list of respectable movie rabbits.

Honorable mentions: Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones's Diary, Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde, Jimmy Stewart's elusive rabbit in Harvey, and Glenn Close's boiled rabbit in Fatal Attraction.

In commercials

BATTERY BUNNIES: Quick, which battery brand uses a bunny to sell its goods — Duracell or Energizer? Trick question. The answer is actually both! Duracell began its bunny campaign back in 1973 and even sold collectible stuffed toys. Energizer parodied its competitor with its own bunny ads starting in the late '80s. Both battery bunnies bang drums, but the Energizer breed sports the flashy sunglasses. Duracell has since retired its bunny campaign. These days, the "Energizer Bunny" is also the name of a nasty "malware" program that is terrorizing home computers.

Honorable mentions: The Nesquik Bunny and, of course, "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!"

In fashion

MADONNA: Oddly enough, bunny ears were considered high fashion in 2009. In March during Paris fashion week, Marc Jacobs, designing for Louis Vuitton, outfitted his runway models with giant scrunchie bunny ears, according to media reports. A few months later, the Material Girl herself — never to be outdone — wore bunny ears to the Costume Institute Gala in New York.

Honorable mentions: Paris Hilton, Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen and, of course, Lady Gaga have all sported big ears in the last year.

In the headlines

ERIN ANDREWS: How many times did your parents tell you not to do this to your brother or sister? Obviously, Maksim Chmerkovskiy didn't get the lesson since he gives the classic rabbit ear treatment to Dancing With the Stars partner (and hometown girl) Erin Andrews. When she isn't doing a jive or fox-trot, you can catch her waltzing the sidelines for ESPN.

Honorable mentions: Oh, no. You're not going to trick us into making the "rabbit ears in the photo" shtick a trend again!

A tribute to America's most beloved bunnies 03/30/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 11:34pm]

    

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