'What's up, doc?' Meet Jeffery Bergman, the man behind the voice of Bugs Bunny

In "Space Jam: A New Legacy," and in dozens of other productions, Bergman is the voice behind Bugs Bunny.


What's up doc?


"Space Jam: A New Legacy" premiered in theaters and on HBO Max Friday. The voice of many of the Looney Tunes' characters comes from one man, Jeff Bergman.

Bergman is the voice actor who took over the role of the famous Bugs Bunny after the death of original voice actor Mel Blanc.

Sister station WTAE in Pittsburgh had a looney conversation with Bugs himself, who happens to have a big Pittsburgh connection.

In "Space Jam: A New Legacy," and in dozens of other productions, Bergman is the voice behind Bugs Bunny.

"I got my undergraduate degree in Pittsburgh. And I love the city of Pittsburgh and the people, and my career really started in Pittsburgh," Bergman said.

While at the University of Pittsburgh, Bergman recalls meeting the man who originated the role in the 1930s.

"It was 40 years ago in 1981 that I had the good fortune to meet Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny," Bergman said. "He was doing a performance lecture at Pitt. I had just happened to be walking around the cathedral and I saw a sign that said, 'Mel Blanc: Voice of Bugs Bunny is going to be at Pitt.' And I thought that'll be fine, I'll check that out."

He tracked his hero Mel Blanc down to his hotel.

"When I knocked on the door, I heard a voice that sounded kinda like Barney Rubble. And he opened up the door and he was in a bathrobe, obviously getting ready to go to bed, and it was 10 at night," he said. "I said, 'Mr. Blanc, I'm such a big fan of yours. I just saw your performance at Pitt — could you please give me just a few minutes of your time?' And he said, 'Are you Jewish or Italian?' I said 'I'm Jewish,' he said come on in."

Eight years later, Mel Blanc died and auditions began for his replacement for the voice of Bugs. Thousands of actors turned out. Bergman said Stephen Spielberg himself helped cast him.

Three decades later, Bergman found himself playing Bugs Bunny during a pandemic.

"We all put our big boy pants on and did it. And I can't wait for everyone to see it," he said.

Bugs Bunny is probably Bergman's most famous character, but it's far from his only one. He can do Barney Rubble, Fred Flintstone, Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo.

Bergman hopes a new generation of fans enjoys "Space Jam: A New Legacy."

"We do pay homage to the first Space Jam, but 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' is definitely a stand-alone film," Bergman said.

When you watch "Space Jam: A New Legacy," be sure to listen for Jeffrey Bergman.