Funday Pawpet Show ends its run after 18 years
The Funday Pawpet Show, a weekly staple of furry fandom, announced on September 12 that it will be ending its weekly broadcast, citing legal and logistical woes, particularly regarding the music industry.
We have come to a cross roads. Streaming video and music copyrights and licensing have become such a tangled mess of pain in the butt. The music industry has made it impossible for the little guy to do anything online. The costs, the bookkeeping, the constant upkeep of trying to keep from getting flagged… It is no longer a labor of love. We thank you all for nearly 18 years of puppet broadcasting support.
The loss of furry-friendly streaming service Furstre.am weighed on their decision. According to site creator Jacktail, the domain name was allowed to expire this month, as no current developers wished to take it on.
The Funday PawPet Show had humble beginnings in November 1999, when Yappy Fox launched a puppet variety and talk show for the Internet in his living room, with friends Herbie, Simba and Mach Stormrunner. They were soon joined by long-term staff Jackrabbit (JR) and Kuddlepup, with technical assistance from Rasvar. Later years saw cast performances by Eagle Beagle, Liesl, Terry Mouse, Prismo, Blitz, Devin, Jess and others.
Strong characters and personality carried the show to great fame within the fandom. Over time, guests from all sides of the fandom showed up to be part of the fun: from the music guests of Fox Amoore and Rhubarb, to various subservient fursuiters, performers, writers, and artists – not to mention the hundreds-strong audience in IRC. Also a regular presence on the show since June 2003 was Bandit, who passed away this June.
Despite regular acts of puppet-on-puppet violence, and occasional incidents of subsidence, the show powered on throughout its first decade and a half, creating many memorable episodes. But in recent years it was constantly in need of funds to meet licensing requirements, despite annual fundraisers breaking into five figures, at which original cast members such as Poink T. Ferret and Hugh T. Manatee were often auctioned.
Even such licensing was apparently not enough for streaming app Periscope, which banned the show in mid-July this year.
Since the announcement, which was explained as being in lieu of "a very emotional last show", many fans have given their thoughts on Twitter. Archives of past art jams as well as past episodes remain available for download, while the stage has been offered free to a good home. Meanwhile, JR has vowed to resume his own show, Poinkcast, and a list of #PawPet community member contact details is being built.