Archive for the ‘feathered friends’ category

“The Masked Singer,” American Edition…

January 3, 2019

Aha, I just knew that we were going to be able to sneak some compelling furry images and characters onto mainstream television soon, and with The Masked Singer on Fox (- -how appropriate!), our time may have finally come in 2019!

 

Now for those of you not in the know, The Masked Singer is a new reality show (for the U.S., anyways) in which celebrity contestants perform and compete entirely clad in costume head-to-toe, concealing their identity. Most often those costumes are of animals, monsters, or other fantastic life forms with the contestant’s group of twelve including among others a unicorn, a deer, a hippo, a French poodle, a pineapple-man, a lion, and my personal fave, a rabbit! For the first night, six contestants competed on a paired basis, with the lesser voted contestant of each match-up relegated to the bottom three, and the weakest of that group unmasked and sent home. Victors in the matches included a Peacock winning over a Hippo, a Unicorn beating a “Monster,” and a Lion defeating a Deer. The Hippo, a real-life football athlete, ranked lowest and was sent home.

 

The show kind of blends American Idol with The Gong Show by way of a furry convention. Some of the costumes are elaborate and impressive, and dependent on their individual gifts and the bulk of their outfit some of the contestants incorporate a little choreography into their stage presentations. All of the contestants are supposedly well-known figures in music, comedy, or athletics, and the identity of each will ultimately be revealed as the weaning-out process continues. Popular in Asia and originating in South Korea, the American version of The Masked Singer is certainly different, even if it’s not for everyone…

Nigel the Wise Owl…

March 28, 2017

 

Owls have long held our respect and are associated with wisdom, and they are increasingly being used as advertising icons.  Their presence in the Harry Potter movies further spiked their popularity to the extent that some misguided people sought them as pets…bad idea, at least for most people!  

Recently used memorably to sell eyewear for one company, owls have now entered the rather competitive allergy medication OTC market.  Enter then Nigel the Xyzal Wise Owl, pictured above.  This feathered guy has class; in one spot, he’s shown in a library with books, wearing a natty jacket, a monocle, and speaking with a British accent! Clearly, this guy is no flyweight, and knows his stuff; he appears to have the right credentials.

With many allergy medications having transitioned from prescription to over-the-counter status, recruiting a feathered sage with the voice of authority like Nigel might help carve out a niche for another product…

America’s Best Eyeglasses Owl…

January 24, 2016


Owls have always had a popular following, representing as they do wisdom, knowledge, and learning.  Their popularity may have been further bolstered by their use in the Harry Potter books and movies.  

Recently an articulate and fine specimen has emerged as a spokesman for the America’s Best Eyeglasses line, suitably bespectacled and able to model different frames simply by an uncanny rotation of his head. The owl himself is both wise and extraordinarily expressive, with a lot of eye and other facial movement. He is further able to cast the hapless human into mimicking the usual owl role, reducing them to single-word utterances of “who?” as he elaborates on virtues of the eyewear company.

If Harry Potter had an owl of this caliber at his side, it might have been easier for him to take on Voldemort…

Wrath of the Turkey…

January 12, 2016

 In another Farmers Insurance commercial, we are shown the revenge of the “proud bird with the golden tail,” the long-suffering and oft disrespected turkey.  A “Meaty’s Butcher Shop” truck manned by a single hapless guy is making its way down the road when a turkey appears in its path, causing the driver to veer off the road and into a tree. The middle-aged gent then regards his passenger seat, where he be holds…a turkey!  The driver screams at the turkey, who gobbles loudly at him…

…payback, they say, is hell.  We then cut to an exterior shot of the disabled truck, with a mob of turkeys descending on it.  There is strength in numbers, and the delivery truck rocks from side to side as the turkeys administer their own brand of justice to one of their oppressors.  It’s reminiscent of a scene in the first Jurassic Park  movie where a throng of diminutive dinosaurs overwhelm and dispense with an especially obnoxious character in his vehicle.

We then cut to a scene with the unflappable J.K. Simmons escorting a client through their extensive Hall of Claims, where we gaze with them upon a much-mangled apron, last worn by the ill-fated delivery driver.  Farmers Insurance has seen just about everything, we are reminded, so they can insure against anything, including “Turkey Jerks…” 

Burger King Chicken Fries “Pregnant” Commercial…

May 19, 2015

 

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Some things are so bad that they’re almost good…either that, or I’m a glutton for punishment!  It is into this category that I cast the hokey Burger King commercial for chicken fries in which a young hen and a box of french fries sit in a comfy living room, where the hen informs her parents on the adjoining couch that she and french fries are pregnant, and going to have chicken fries!  As we the viewers probably face-palm, the mother hen goes into a flurry of frenzied wing-flapping while her rooster father admonishes everyone to “Calm down!”  From the doorway a sibling of indeterminate sex comments, “Again?”  Unwanted chicken pregnancies are a national shame that we all pay the price for. – – Thanks, Obama!

The commercial pushes the envelope of silliness and stupidity, and lacks the creepiness factor of the Burger King monarch himself, who I would love to see in a death match competition with Ronald McDonald, Wendy, and the KFC Colonel…

 

The Geico Chicken…”It’s What You Do…”

April 15, 2015

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Dang, this chicken leads a more adventurous life than I do!  A  free-range chicken is shown riding the rails, traveling shotgun with a trucker, enjoying a campfire gathering, and sitting at a diner counter while observing egg platters being served…that’s gotta be awkward! – – Ahh, the lure of the open road, to be footloose and fancy free!  All the while, said chicken manages to send pictures of her exploits to a worn-looking farm couple, her former owners…

…it’s what she does…after all, she’s a free-range chicken, doing what she’s called to do!  The sweeping melody of “Ride Away” by Roy Orbison accompanies the Geico commercial, and I’d love to log a few miles with this bird! 

When Turkeys Attack!

November 27, 2014

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The Destination America channel treated us to some strange, tongue-in-cheek fare the evening before Thanksgiving with a special styled somewhat like numerous others airing on that network, and called “When Turkeys Attack!”  The show used home video footage depicting wild turkeys chasing children, grandmothers, and grown men; one chased and kept up with a bicyclist for a short distance, while others attacked mail delivery vehicles in a territorial frenzy.

Now wild turkeys should be distinguished from domesticated turkeys genetically engineered to be walking hunks of meat; these are the descendants of theropods, a carnivorous dinosaur.  A wild tom turkey can stand about waist high on a human, and can drop kick you in the head.  This could be a bad encounter as the males have razor sharp spurs on the back of their legs that are 1-1/2″ – 2″ long.  They can flog you with their wings.  Turkeys will try to strike at your head, have acute hearing, and can read subtle behavior rather well.

How then does one defend against a wild turkey attack?  It was suggested that you don’t run and flee from them, but rather try to put a physical object between yourself and the offending turkey.  Don’t try to fend one off with a flipped jacket, which they may interpret as an invitation to attack. Cover your head, and try to kick at them.  In the words of one expert, “Some turkeys are territorial, some defend their women, some are just crazy!”