"Any Bonds Today?" was based on Berlin's own "Any Yams Today," sung by Ginger Rogers in 1938's Carefree, which in turn was a modified version of "Any Love Today," which he wrote in 1931 but didn't have recorded.
Berlin wrote the tune "at the request" of Henry Morgenthau, Jr., then U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, to promote the Treasury Department's defense bond and savings stamp drive, the National Defense Savings Program. Its copyright, held by Morgenthau , is dated June 16, 1941.
Barry Wood introduced the song (along with another Berlin composition called "Arms for the Love of America") on Arsenal Day, June 10, 1941, at the War College in Washington, D.C.; he also recorded the song in the same week for RCA Victor. Wood's performance of the song was the first broadcast on radio, "in late June 1941"; it was also performed by the Andrews Sisters, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Dick Robertson and Kay Kyser.
The 90-second cartoon, commissioned by the Treasury and now in the public domain, was designed to encourage movie theater audiences to buy defense bonds and stamps. Its title card identifies it as Leon Schlesinger Presents Bugs Bunny, but it is more widely known as Any Bonds Today?.
In it, Bugs Bunny sings a portion of Berlin's song against a patriotic backdrop, at one point going into a blackface parody of Al Jolson. For the song's last refrain, he is joined by Porky Pig, in Navy uniform, and Elmer Fudd, in Army garb.
The approximately 15-second sequence with Bugs in blackface, singing to "Uncle Sammy", has been controversial in recent years and is usually removed from modern releases of the film. Cartoon Network, which in 2001 planned to show every Bugs Bunny cartoon as part of a "June Bugs" marathon, ultimately decided to pull Any Bonds Today? and 11 other cartoons that depict ethnic stereotypes. It should be of note, however, that Cartoon Network did air it, with the blackface part removed, on a ToonHeads special about lost and rare Warner Bros. cartoons.
Any Bonds Today? is also one of five cartoons featuring the Elmer Fudd modeled after his voice actor, Arthur Q. Bryan, which is fatter than the popular incarnation. Clampett made these shorts with a fat Elmer because he could not make Porky as fat as he was in his first cartoon, I Haven't Got a Hat.
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