Archive for the ‘anthropomorphic’ category

Carfax TV Commercial, “Shrubs”

March 22, 2020

Our Carfax television commercial begins with the Car Fox, a personal hero of mine, standing in front of a pleasant, tidy little house with an attached garage and a car in the driveway. A large shrub is alongside the Car Fox, but all is not as it appears. Before the Fox can say a word, the shrub sprouts feet and a face, an adult male inside!

Is the guy heavily into camouflage, early to test out a Halloween costume, or seeking to hide from the Coronavirus? – -Nope, nope, and nope; he and his family are simply so ashamed of overpaying for a used car that they are afraid to show their faces in public! Alas, if only they had looked up a Carfax first to determine an appropriate price for their used vehicle! His wife and two kids are also clad as shrubs, and amble off with the gentleman as the ad concludes. I do hope that there wasn’t any poison ivy lurking amidst their assumed foliage!

I’m reminded that shrubs may be of great significance. In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Knights of Née could only be placated by shrubbery, so perhaps such outfits may be of value after all…and Car Fox, you’re unflappable and lookin’ good as always! Don’t you just want to scritch his head?!

Vintage Cornball Kiddie Shows with Animals…

March 18, 2020

In the long ago, I was exposed to kiddie shows with an animal presence that probably warped me for life. There are many who grew up with Captain Kangaroo together with his cohorts Mr. Moose and Bunny Rabbit. Not to be forgotten was Dancing Bear, whose unchanging face and looming presence could be oddly disturbing; I’m glad that he was benevolent.  Mr. Green Jeans, a farmer stereotype, would frequently show up with a baby farm animal of some sort. I often wondered about him…

Much less remembered were shows like Andy’s Gang, which featured actor and comedian Andy Devine, who in his prime tended to play sidekicks in westerns. Now Andy appeared with a strange array of animals that included Midnight the Cat (pictured top), Little Squeaky (a mouse), and a strange magical amphibian obviously made of rubber called Froggy the Gremlin. This character would appear in a puff of smoke, and always announce “Hiya, kids! Hiya, hiya, hiya!” The kiddie audience would then cheer with delight, and you so seldom see magical amphibians these days.  It was low tech and low budget stuff, but memorably high on the cornball scale. Kids could appreciate this kind of inspired anarchy, echoes of which survived much later in shows like Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

In the long-ago tradition of regional kiddie shows, cartoon segments and Three Stooges shorts were sometimes hosted by hapless adult humans who might be dressed to impersonate stereotypic police officers or sea captains. It paid the bills for them, and they probably laughed or cried all the way to the bank. We sucked it all down, and hungered for more…and while the adults scratched their heads over our interest, we kids knew that they would never understand…

Chantix Turkey Commercial, “Snow Turkey”

February 26, 2020


The Chantix Turkey is at it again in his Eddie Bauer-type winter finery, engaging in a genial snowball fight with another turkey that appears to be a juvenile and in some sources is referred to as being his child!  I never thought of this turkey as having a mate; he seems too happy and care-free for that, but I’m not programmed with the dynamics of turkey-bonding, and prefer not to go there.  The presence of another turkey and perhaps turkey-unions also expands the notion of a universe inhabited by turkeys, as was glimpsed in a previous commercial that showed a journey by our hero into a city where he interacted with other turkeys.  Perhaps this turkey race refer to their planet as “Butterball” or even more darkly as “Fowl World,” but that’s pure speculation…

At any rate, following a brief snowball battle conducted from snow forts, the turkey selects a wingful of split logs from a neatly-stacked pile, and moves inside with them through his tidy garage.  The wood is to fuel a nice fire going in the turkey’s fireplace, and the turkey even selects a good book from his shelf to aid his cozy repose before those comforting flames.  Before settling down in his comfy chair, the turkey even performs one of his trademark heel clicks to celebrate his liberation from the cigarette habit through Chantix, for the only thing smoking in his home will now be the fire…

Perhaps one of the contestants on The Masked Singer will someday be costumed as a turkey, and give us a smokin’ performance of Turkey in the Straw, or something similar…and I look forward to more glimpses of how evolution has run a strange course on this Planet of the Birds, perhaps one of the supposedly many parallel universes existing alongside our own…

 

Furry Extravaganza on “The Masked Singer” Season 3…

February 20, 2020


“Group B” of Season 3 on The Masked Singer is currently in play, and 2/3 of the contestants were furry in the kickoff episode, with performances given by Mouse, Kitty, Frog, and Elephant as well as foodstuff costumed performers Taco and Banana. I swear that I’m not making this up!   Besides, you just haven’t lived until you’ve heard an Elvis Presley standard performed by someone in a ludicrous banana outfit…but that’s A Little Too Much Conversation…

While all of the performances on this episode were strong, my personal fave was Frog, who together with Zoot-suit dressed dancers gave a memorable rendition of M.C. Hammer’s U Can’t Touch This in a mixture of rap meets the age of swing.  While Masked Singer is a singing competition, the dance elements are what can really bring excitement to a performance, plus this Frog has a sense of fashion, and wears purple really well!  Kitty brought kind of a burlesque vibe to her presentation that was sensual almost to the point of creepiness, performing Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande.  A favorite of the panel, it’s hard to look away from her differently-colored eyes that kind of draw you in…Meow!

When all was sang and done, the performer known as Elephant who  performed Friday I’m in Love by The Cure garnered fewest votes, and so was voted off.  He was revealed to be skateboarding legend Tony Hawk.  Note the fox accompanying him on guitar; my people are everywhere...

 

“Cheetah” in “Wonder Woman 1984”

February 14, 2020



I’m really not a big Wonder Woman fan, but have been known to dip into it for the occasional but thrilling glimpses of Cheetah, who together with Catwoman can really pique my interest.  This is not to deny or dismiss the many dazzling vixens that are out there, although cat-women are far more common in film.

It would appear that Cheetah is going to be done right in the Wonder Woman 1984 film, unlike the much-touted felines of Cats, which disappointed and creeped-out many briefly before disappearing into commercial oblivion.  Cheetah (Barbara Ann Minerva) will be played by Kristen Wiig, and the image of her above to the left is fan art rather than an actual image of the CGI creation in the upcoming film.  It’s unclear at this point as to how fully transformed we’ll get to see the formidable Wonder Woman villainess, but hopes are high that the rather sedate, plain-dressing Barbara Minerva will during the course of the film become a were-cheetah, complete with fur and predatory skills.  I’ll certainly be pulling for her in what could be legendary battles with the Amazon…

Wonder Woman 1984 reportedly has an ’80’s vibe, and also pays tribute to the comic book traditions of the series.  While the exact physical depiction and portrayal of the character is being kept under wraps, the film won’t hit theaters until June, at which point the cat will be out of the bag…

 

 

“The Masked Singer,” Season 3 Premier

February 5, 2020



Without a lot of advance advertising, The Masked Singer returned for a third season on the Fox network…and get this, a fourth season is coming this summer!  The series continues to be outrageous and very furry friendly, with a majority of the contestants on the first episode identifiable species.  There was also a Miss Monster and a Robot performing.

Series host Nick Cannon entered wearing a mirrored rabbit mask that he had worn before on a previous season, and guest celebrity contestant Jamie Foxx  joined the usual panel of judges, wearing initially a mirrored fox mask.  He had in season two been suspected of being the performer named Fox, who was actually Wayne Brady, the winner of last season’s competition.

The show got off to a roaring start with contestant White Tiger (pictured above, center) who was a large, physically impressive presence that performed Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby.”   Following was Turtle (far right), who looked like a punk reptile the Ninja Turtles might fight and performed “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal.  Next was Llama (second in from right), looking like a tourist on recreational drugs who performed Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs.”  Remarkably, this costume had hind legs on wheels.  I thought that Llama’s back-up female llama dancers were also effective, and they played bongo drums strung around themselves occasionally. You just don’t see hot female bongo-playing llama-headed female dancers everyday..

Then there came Miss Monster (far left), a tribute to T-Pains character in the first season.   She performed “Something to Talk About” by Bonnie Raitt, and was joined on stage by the T-Pain character, who did not sing along.  The back-up dancers for Miss Monster mirrored her cyclops look by having heads that were nothing but enormous eyes, a nice surreal touch.  Following was Robot, a clunky retro-looking model complete with a large winding key on their back who performed a Lenny Kravitz number in the company of two lab-coated mad scientist types with white hair and guitars who reminded me of Thing One and Thing Two of Dr. Sseus fame.  Last to perform was Kangaroo, attired in boxing togs like cartoon ‘roos in days of yore, who performed Dancing On My Own.

When the elimination vote was performed, Robot was eliminated, although I thought he didn’t give the weakest performance of the night, and should have abided far longer.  When unmasked, Robot turned out to be Lil Wayne, a very commercially successful performer.  The Masked Singer airs on Fox Wednesday night in my area…

 

 

“Mr. Peanut” Dies…Or Did He?!

January 27, 2020


Many of us know geriatric nuts, but Mr. Peanut was one of a kind…I mean, how many anthropomorphic peanuts do you know?!  The brand icon, whose full name was Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe, is a strange candidate for a staged death, being more recognizable than his host brand Planters.  He’s anchored the brand for over a century, and is instantly recognizable by his top hat, cane, monocle, and spats.– How many people do you know who wear spats?

In a recent commercial, Mr. Peanut is riding in the Nutmobile (what else?) with Matt Walsh and Wesley Snipes when they swerve to avoid hitting an armadillo, and their distinctive ride careens over a cliff, leaving the trio hanging in a comic book situation from a branch that is slowly cracking, too weak to support their combined weight.  Mr. Peanut, perceiving their dire predicament, sacrifices himself for his friends, voluntarily loosening his hold to drop from the great height onto the Nutmobile, which explodes.  It appears to be a tragic but noble death…or have we jumped (or dropped) to conclusions?

The “funeral” of Mr. Peanut is to be aired as a Super Bowl commercial spot, at which time many questions will be answered about the fate of the “ruthless capitalist” who sold his own people!  Will he germinate when placed into the ground, to come back in some new incarnation…or perhaps be replaced by his daughter, Ms. Peanut?  Inquiring minds want to know…

(Tip o’ the pen to Carycomic!)