Progressive’s “Pets: Secret Keepers”

Posted December 1, 2019 by vulpesffb
Categories: advertising, animal presence, animals, commercials, furry, furry commercials, television

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It’s hard to imagine Progressive’s insurance agents at home or about, when they are not doing insurance-agent things, and this “Secret Keepers” commercial provides that rare glimpse into their more mundane and vulnerable sides.  Who could imagine, for example, that the formidable Flo could get all weepy and emotional over watching someone miss a spare on televised bowling?  Her dog is nearby, seeing everything and revealing nothing…

Then there is the hapless Jamie, shown ironing wearing nothing but his Progressive apron, his Great Dane silent witness to it all.  Another  male associate is submerged for some reason in a bathtub filled with ice, his cat just down the hall.  There’s also the female associate doing the primal scream thing in a car while her dog watches silently; “I feel much better!,” confesses the woman after her eardrum-bursting yell.

Because pets see everything that we do and never say a thing, our “secret keepers” are covered for free in Progressive’s auto insurance policies, you see…and their silence can indeed be golden, for what they know and have seen could be quite embarrassing if not downright incriminating…


The Legacy of Foxy Fagan…

Posted November 29, 2019 by vulpesffb
Categories: anthropomorphic, cartoons, comics, furries, furry, furry art

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In the mid-1940’s, the funny animal cartoon boom was in full swing, and every publisher wanted a menagerie of such anthropomorphic characters in print.  Foxy Fagan  was an obscure, Golden Age comic book character who was commercially unsuccessful, running for only a brief seven issues from 1946 to 1948.  Furthermore, the drawn character had a disquieting resemblance in some panels to Tom of Tom and Jerry fame, almost as if he was a cat with a few fox features tacked on.  The feet were also terribly wrong for a fox, but were drawn in the cartoon style of the day…

If the late great Foxy Fagan resembles the much more successful feline Tom, that’s because he was drawn by Harvey Eisenberg in collaboration with Joe Barbera’s storylines in a low budget, moonlighting-type operation called Dearfield Publishing which operated out of a shed while both of them were under contract to MGM.  Dearfield also produced Red Rabbit comics.  Eisenberg was a highly experienced and admired cartoonist who was for many years the main artist on the Tom and Jerry comic books, and he also did numerous stories for Disney comic books featuring Chip ‘n’ Dale, also drawing on the Yogi Bear and Flintstones newspaper comics.  He could draw characters convincingly in any pose, and gave them expressive personalities, making them relatable and alive.

Now Foxy Fagan was cut in the Bugs Bunny mold, with Foxy being sly but trouble-prone, and things often didn’t work out as he planned.  His foil was a hapless canine inventor, Bobble, who bore a striking resemblance to the later Hanna-Barbera character Droopy Dog, and kind of played the Porky Pig role.  We can almost see Foxy morphing into Tom in this bottom image, and Tom and Jerry would become an enduring part of cartoon history…




Mayhem’s “Elf on the Shelf”

Posted November 21, 2019 by vulpesffb
Categories: absurdities, advertising, Brilliant but twisted, commercials, television


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” 

Posted November 20, 2019 by vulpesffb
Categories: advertising, Brilliant but twisted, commercials, television, twisted reality


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

Posted November 18, 2019 by vulpesffb
Categories: absurdities, advertising, Brilliant but twisted, commercials, furry, furry commercials, television, twisted reality


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”

Posted November 14, 2019 by vulpesffb
Categories: absurdities, animals, anthropomorphic, Brilliant but twisted, furry, fursuits, television

Tags: ,

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…


The Sparkle Fairy in, “More Towels, More Ribs”

Posted November 12, 2019 by vulpesffb
Categories: absurdities, advertising, Brilliant but twisted, commercials, Mythology, television, twisted reality


I’ve always considered the Sparkle Fairy to be in that rarified class of people (entities?) who are cool yet disquieting at the same time. Progressive insurance’s Flo I would include in this grouping, although she lacks supernatural powers.  I’m not sure that I’d like to encounter the Sparkle Fairy in my supermarket or elsewhere, although she seems mostly harmless.  To give proper credit, however, she wears blue really well, and some people even consider her hawt.  I also appreciate her general vibe and “fish-out-of-water” characteristics.

In a recent commercial, a guy is pigging out on ribs, a messy meal, and wishes for more paper towels to assist in this.–PrestoThe Sparkle Fairy appears, and announces that her product now offers 200 more sheets than a leading competitor’s brand.  “I wish I had 200 more ribs!,” pines the hungry guy.  Obligingly, the Sparkle Fairy makes those ribs appear on his table.  Smitten, the guy proposes marriage on the spot.  “I’m into Giants,” advises the fairy matter-of-factly.  To each their own, I suppose, and who am I to judge?

In my twisted mind, I can envision a paranormal investigation show going in search of the Sparkle Fairy and perhaps baiting a trap with paper towels. When thus captured, the fairy’s anger is unleashed and serious dark enchantments ensue, with many turned into newts. Hilarity ensues…