Archive for the ‘Brilliant but twisted’ category

Little Caesars “Bear on Skates” 

August 1, 2020



Talking anthropomorphic bears are a part of my world, but for those for whom they are not this Little Caesars commercial could practically serve as a gateway to the furry fandom.  In it, a man sits on a park bench about to dig into some Little Caesars Cheesy Stuffed Crazy Bread and saying that he “must be dreaming.”  At that point, dreams become reality in the figure of a roller skating grizzly bear, complete in yellow shorts and matching head band, and carrying a boom box that he holds to his head. He clearly is quite comfortable on skates, and hints at some awesome moves on them while groovin’ to tunes of the age on his box.  There’s a great 70’s vibe to the bear, for those of us who remember or at least honor the more simple and carefree spirit of those days.  I’ve had far worse dreams, believe me…

The bear tells our bench-sitter that the cheesy stuffed Crazy Bread is a real thing, and that he should try it because it’s delicious!  The bear then moans pleasurably, and back pedals on his skates, presumably back to his own time and space as the commercial winds up.  One wants to follow this furry time traveler; he probably has some great disco moves, kind of like a furry young John Travolta of Saturday Night Fever vintage.

Although I was never much for the double knit polyester fabrics and “leisure suits” of the day, I’ve still got a boom box.  It’s plastic casing is all discolored with age and the tape player doesn’t work, but the radio is doing just fine…and wouldn’t the retro-cool 70’s Bear be a great meme? Don’t worry, this bear’s more into music and moving than maiming.  Maybe he could hang with Rocket Racoon, and listen to Star Lord’s mix tape.- -He’s got it going on, yeah!                                            

 

 

The Chantix Turkey at the Fair…

April 10, 2020

In the strange world of evolution gone awry inhabited by the Chantix Turkey, we are gradually being introduced to other individuals there, and familiarized with their social activities.  A recent episode takes us to their town fair, a rather folksy event at which our hero is apparently functioning as a worker.  Nice guy or bird that he is, the turkey takes the plunge in a dunk tank before donning an apron, working thereafter at a ring toss game booth (above), a ticket booth, and even a cotton candy stand.  This turkey does it all…

There are some subtle and cute touches in this ad, such as when the titular turkey walks past a fun house mirror, and we get to see his slenderized reflection in the mirror.  It’s a delight to see the turkey’s distinctive walk here, as well as his trademark heel click out of exuberance at kicking the smoking habit.

The turkeys don’t seem to be socially distancing, so they’ve apparently avoided the Coronavirus.  In their friendly and serene world, however, one wonders if the turkeys might someday have to deal with some variant of the avian flu, or perhaps just a hostile invasion by Elmer Fudd wanna-bes…oh the horror, the  horror! 

Oh, and by the way…a Happy Easter, y’all!

Dashlane’s “Password Paradise”

March 24, 2020
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In our scary times, perhaps we’ve all been thinking a bit more about Charon lately…you know, the dread boatman who ferries souls across the River Styx to the afterlife in Greco-Roman mythology.  He looks a lot like the grim reaper, clad in a cowled, all black,  shroud-like garment.  Charon would be perfect as a goth or performing in a heavy metal band.  In our Dashlane commercial, the River Styx is a suitably forboding, mist-veiled river where strange birds cry out mournfully, and our nameless “Everyman” passenger is none too happy about being ferried on his final journey…he even attempts to bribe the Boatman with money!  But then, things brighten up, and a radiant light breaks through the darkness in the distance…this looks like an afterlife possibly worth going to, and our voyaging soul smiles in anticipation for the first time!

But wait, there’s a catch for our departed soul…Charon, who as per tradition never speaks but only looks grim and spectral, prompts the man for a password by holding up one of those whiteboards that you can write on with marker.  As the boat’s passenger struggles to recall his password, Charon even thoughtfully gives him prompts via the board, such as “Name of kindergarten teacher,” and “Name of first pet?”  The man fumbles trying to recall his password, even giving the spectral figure the name of a later pet, causing Caron to try to redirect the man through gestures and underlining to the fact that the password response requires the name of his first pet…but alas, all is in vain as the guy has utterly forgotten his password, and no amount of prompts are going to help him, otherworldly or not.  After three tries, Charon dramatically throws his board into the River Styx, for the man has exceeded the number of his allowed prompts.  The man gives off an epic cry of “Nooo!” when realizing the gravity of his plight; yep, it’s password purgatory, baby, and abandon all hope ye who enter here.  Too bad our hapless lost soul didn’t have a password manager such as our advertiser Dashlane would provide.  Eternal damnation is a high price for a bad memory, and many of us know that special Hell.  I can certainly relate…

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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?!

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...

 

“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…

 

 

Mayhem’s “Elf on the Shelf”

November 21, 2019

What could be more seasonally festive than Dean Winters as Mayhem performing the Elf on the Shelf routine?  Beginning with an idyllic and well-decorated living room Christmas scene with subtle background music playing, we are shown the absurdly human-sized Mayhem elf in cutesy elf-attire sitting on the proverbial shelf, one which was clearly not designed to support his weight…

“I’m the ‘Elf on the Shelf’…and thanks to your ‘woodworking skills,’ this is about to get a whole less jolly!,” cautions Mayhem. There is an ominous cracking sound, and then down comes the shelf, with Mayhem and all…electronics sputter and crackle on the floor in their death throes around him, the costly gifts now ruined.  A dog on a chair whines as Mayhem laughs and reminds us, “and unless these are protected by Allstate, this little mess-up is going to cost you big!”  The narrator’s voice then kicks in, telling us that with an Allstate protection plan offered through Walmart, your electronics can be protected from breaks, spills, and other Yuletide mishaps.  

Prone on the floor, Mayhem then fields an electronic device of his own to call out.  “Elf down, elf down!,” he advises…and after being hit with Xmas promotions since October, I’m ready for a Mayhem Xmas special!  Maybe this Mayhem Elf and the pre-redemption Grinch could get together for a feature-length film for the Xmas-weary, perhaps titled Revenge of the Consumers!  And how about a sequel to this commercial, like Elf in the ER? Merriment ensues at General Hospital as doctors try to treat an uninsured, supernatural being dressed in absurd, felt clothing who calamity follows…

 

Allstate’s “Mayhem: Mother-in-Law” 

November 20, 2019

Many of us have had the experience of driving with a distracting or troublesome passenger, some so irritating that you can barely drive for wanting to choke the life out of them.  Well, Dean Winters and Tina Fey have another Allstate commercial gem that probes the potentially vexing relationship between a mother/daughter-in-law, with “Mom” judgemental and dispensing lots of unwanted advice…

Winters, who can play anything from a car thief to a raccoon to a cat, morphs easily into the mother-in-law role, wearing earrings, applying blush and lipstick, and mercilessly needling the driving Tina Fey with caustic and critical barbs about her driving and other things.  “I’m your mother-in-law,”  Winters advises viewers at the onset, “and I have to question your every move!”  

Question this mother-in-law certainly does, such as “Do you have to drive this slow?”  Turns out that Tina Fey is observing driving safely in conjunction with the Allstate Drivewise app to get insurance discounts.  “How did you make someone I love?!,”  questions Tina Fey.  The nastiness continues…“My son always did say that you were the ‘safe choice,’ ” carps Mother Mayhem.  “And that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me!,” replies the long-suffering daughter-in-law.

After admonishing Tina Fey to try her lipstick as it was her son’s favorite color, Mayhem can’t resist asking her daughter-in-law why she drives like an old lady.  “You’re an old lady!,”  Tina Fey reminds her meddlesome passenger.- – Ahh, family!  Blessed be the ties that bind…and gag!

 

 

 

Allstate’s “Mayhem: St. Bernard” Commercial

November 18, 2019


Don’t worry; Foxsylvania hasn’t gotten into some kind of kinky sexual thing here.  It’s just Dean Winters as Mayhem impersonating a 70-pound St. Bernard dog as he tries to distract driver Tina Fey as she resolutely pilots her vehicle. All of the uncontrolled puppy behaviors are depicted; affectionately licking his owner (after eating his own poop, fortunately not shown), thrashing materials around with his mouth, and barking out the window at other (real) dogs in cars…

…and why does Tina Fey have nerves of steel?  She’s using Allstate’s “Drivewise” app to qualify for a discount as a safe driver, and Mayhem’s “tongue on cheek” performance isn’t going to deter her.  He is, after all, just a baby…and Mayhem may have met his match, although he certainly seems to be enjoying himself…

 

 

The Masked Singer’s “Triumph Over Masks”

November 14, 2019


With so many of the performers on The Masked Singer furry, it was almost inevitable that one of the visiting panel of judges would eventually be furry, too.  That eventuality became reality on the S2/Ep7 installment of the series when Triumph the Insult Comic Dog joined the panel, and professed to be the sire of performer Rottweiler.

“I never thought I’d see you again after I left your mother,” confessed Triumph, who was rewarded with a portrait of himself painted by his adoring son.  Family reconciliations always touch my heart…


Triumph also bantered with the Fox, noting that dogs and foxes were usually enemies.  For his part, the Fox kicked off the evening with an energetic song and dance performance of Bobby Brown’s Every Little Step.

 

Getting into the full spirit of things, series host Nick Cannon has repeatedly entered the show wearing an impressive mirrored rabbit mask.  It was Ladybug who was voted off at the end of this episode, and revealed to be…Kelly Osbourne!  No bats were harmed during her performance of Youngblood…