Archive for the ‘furry’ category

“The General Skunk” Commercial

April 3, 2020

                  

      When a woman in a commercial for The General insurance appears about ready to drive a newly-purchased vehicle off a car lot, she is met by the unlikely duo of Shaquille O’Neal and The General, the latter a cartoon pipsqueak in military attire sporting an enormous white moustache.  

        You’re not ready to drive without insurance,” cautions Shaquille.  “That’s as crazy as starting a skunk farm in your backyard!”  The admonition seems to trigger a traumatic memory in the woman. We flash back to an image of her apparently in her yard being advanced upon by over half a dozen skunks.  The woman extends her palms at the advancing skunks in an effort to keep them at bay.  “Easy, Petunia!,” she cries to one, “Back up!,” she beseeches…but her efforts are in vain, as we are shown a fleeting image of the skunks raising their tails, about to spray the woman.

        Flashing back to the present, the woman is now happily engaged in procuring insurance from The General.  “Smell you later,” she says to those bad memories as she departs…

          



        Progressive’s “Sadsquatch” Commercial…

        March 28, 2020

        Progressive’s “Flo” gets around, and she’s utterly fearless, being not quite the same as you or I…and so, we shouldn’t be surprised to see Flo in a recent commercial having an intimate and revealing conversation with the legendary Bigfoot in the woods, the two of them seated informally on an accommodating log…Flo wearing her trademark spotless white uniform and high-top sneakers, and Bigfoot his shaggy fur, idly holding a stick.

        It turns out that Bigfoot is feeling a mite neglected these days. People used to come out to the woods just to take a blurry photo of him, after all. We are shown the legendary cryptid posing, kind of like a backroad tourist attraction. Now, however, people visiting the woods are more concerned with showing off their RV’s and off-road vehicles. Flo, ever insurance-minded, takes the occasion to tell Bigfoot and the viewers that Progressive can save people money by bundling their home and off-road vehicle insurance, adding to her primary listener that “People have other things to do now, Bigfoot.” Wounded by this reference and regarding his foot, Bigfoot informs Flo that his name is Darryl. — Yes, Bigfoot has a name, and I think it’s time that we all started using it out of proper respect! This is a sensitive cryptid, after all…”Hath not a Bigfoot eyes?,” to paraphrase Shakespeare.

        In an extended version of the commercial, Darryl tells us that he’ll now have time to work on his screenplay. Asking Flo if she wants to read it, she responds that she’s been “pretty busy.” “Fair enough,” sighs Darryl, adjusting to his changed reality as must we all…

        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…

        “The UnXplained” with William Shatner…

        March 1, 2020


        Originally debuting in July 2019, The UnXplained with William Shatner is now presenting new episodes on the History Channel, and while yet another paranormal show, it brings a measure of quality to its presentations that many similar shows have lacked. Without naming names, such shows can often be poorly done and even cheesy, simply trading on the presence of a receptive audience desperate to believe.

        That’s not a problem with The UnXplained, which has solid production values anchored by the iconic presence of William Shatner.  This is hardly Shatner’s first rodeo with the paranormal, and he’s been kicking around our television screens since the 1960’s, so one can excuse him for looking a bit tired.  We’ve all looked better for the most part, at least those of us who are past our twenties.  His creepy narrations with an underlying note of whimsy reveal that the Shat is still where it’s at, so warp speed ahead, Captain!

        Now The UnXplained is for us paranormal buffs more of a reunion with family than a presentation of new material.  You’re unlikely to see or hear new topics here, but rather a smooth and balanced presentation of familiar ground, with nothing dwelt on or belabored excessively.  A consideration of cryptozoology transitions swiftly and smoothly between Chupacabra to Mothman to species thought extinct but not, and we’ve even seen many of the commentators, experts,  and witnesses before on other shows…it’s a nothing new here, but gee, it’s nice to see you again kind of thing. The lure of the familiar is undeniable.

        The UnXplained succeeds in its purpose of being entertaining if not illuminating, and it’s marathon season debut episode of four hours can really fill a dull evening.  So catch William Shatner’s latest mission to strange if familiar worlds on The History Channel, and be kind to him.  After all, “Klingon bastards” killed his son…

         

         

         

         

        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...