As many around the world continue to practice social distancing during this viral moment in humanity, it is of little surprise that some are engaging in unusual behaviors. From collective mooing or howling from their homes, or telling comedy from their backyard, people are finding ways to try and engage with their neighbors from a safe distance. Then there are late show leads Samantha Bee and John Oliver, both known for their time as Daily Show correspondents before getting their own shows on TBS and HBO respectively, who have in a strange turn of events set their sites on the furry fandom in very different ways.
Both have done segments or furry hijynx in their shows, giving our fandom some unusual mainstream attention.
If you were to Google the definition of a comedian you would see it defined by Dictionary.com as an entertainer whose act is designed to make an audience laugh. Likewise the New York Times has a comedy critic, Jason Zinoman, who defines comedy in a moment of reflecting on his own career of analyzing them.
This often dictates the form of my column, since while the goal of comedy is to make you laugh, what’s fascinating about the art form — especially these days, when it’s so fragmented and aesthetically diverse — is that there are many ways artists accomplish that goal.
However, if you were to ask one furry who considers himself one, 2 Gryphon, you’d find an entirely different etymology of the word, and what the job of a comic is.
It's the JOB of the comic to bring forth uncomfortable things and question them in a way that makes people think about them.Since that has become "wrong", expect that the Western world will not be laughing as much. https://t.co/EIExUX5W2h— 2, The Ranting Gryphon (@2_gryphon) June 9, 2019
It is this quote that we are going to be over-analysing today. I have broken this down into three main points as to why this definition of the job of a comedian is not only a fundamental misunderstanding of the role, but also a resignation of the foundational principles of comedy.
Being a con's programming director may sound easy on paper. You take a bunch of panel submissions, and assign them to rooms. However, there are a bunch of logistics involved. Like the conflicting interests of the panelists, who want to attend other events themselves, or making sure there are no schedule overlaps by knowing which rooms are available, and when.
And now to that list of concerns we can add: Making sure that inviting a particular headliner won't cause interpersonal issues with other performing talent who'll be attending.
IndyFurCon, a furry convention that takes place in Indianapolis with a Hawaiian theme this year, found itself in the midst of a gnarly programming snafu last week when it began to announce its guests for this year's gathering.
In order to celebrate their tenth anniversary, there was a decision to try and bring back the special guests they'd honored in all their prior years of operation. Things have changed in that decade though, and one of the returning alumni, 2 Gryphon, was seen as being too controversial. This led not only to Internet outrage, but other performers to back out of their planned attendance.
Have you ever had that moment at a convention? You know, that moment? You’re walking around, minding your own business when a random attendee walks up to you. They start chatting it up well enough, but several minutes later you realize that their story isn’t all that interesting. You’re bored and listening to an uninteresting person drivel on about their life story that you never asked for.
That experience is basically a summary of what you are in for with Netflix’s mockumentary Mascots. Scores of minutes wasted on backstories of uninteresting characters, going to an only slightly interesting competition, told in the most uninteresting way imaginable.
While some confuse fursuiting with mascotting, as some reviewers for this film have they are two completely different things. One fur on my twitter feed had requested if this was any good. To them I can say, no, no it is not.
What the Fox?!, my newest anthology, will be published soon by Thurston Howl Publications. It can be pre-ordered, and after March 3, 2018 it should be available for purchasing directly from their online catalogue.
Bringing together twenty-one original short stories and two reprints, this 291-page collection is about anthropomorphic animals in funny situations. It's designed to appeal to both science-fiction and fantasy fans, as well as fans of humor in fantasy.
Everything from a llama barbershop quartet to a lupine generation gap, a rabbit king battling a dinosaur (or is it a dragon?), a human with a spider fiancée, a dog-hating postal worker turned into a were-chihuahua, inept wolf Vikings, to a dog movie screenwriter – and much more! All these stories are for your imagination and enjoyment. Plus you get each author's favorite animal joke, and a recommended-reading list.
The La Jolla Playhouse, in La Jolla, California, a suburb of San Diego, will present the world premiere of a new play, “The Squirrels”, during its 2018-2019 season. The dates and casting have not been set yet.
“The Squirrels” by Robert Askins, directed by Christopher Ashley.
Winter is on its way, and the squirrels are restless. Mistrust is growing between the Grey Squirrels, who enjoy a rich cache of nuts, and the outcast, hungry Fox Squirrels. When a wily outsider ignites a savage war, the consequences are catastrophic. This epic play reveals the animal instincts driving us all.
The choice of species is fitting for the local given the squirrels in Southern California are primarily fox squirrels and gray squirrels.
An article on November 8 in the San Diego Union-Tribune says that Director Ashely calls the new work "playful and super-funny and unexpected in every possible way," and says that as with good sci-fi, the fantastical setup allows the piece "to explore our society with just enough remove that you can make bold, interesting statements. It’s squirrels in a tree, but you would recognize lots of things in this cultural moment."
Ashley noted that the costumes were not going to look like 'Disneyland', but they will convey an essential ‘squirrel-ness,’ to coin a term.
Tickets to the Playhouse’s 2018-2019 season are available only via subscription at the moment: (858) 550-1010 or lajollaplayhouse.org.
Keep tuned in as more news will be added here when it is available. It will be interesting to see how much the play’s costuming looks like fursuits.
Space Dandy is cuming (pun deliberate) in January 2014 – but not to America.
The news is spreading that it was announced at guest Shinichir? Watanabe’s panel at Otakon 2013, August 9-11 in Baltimore, that he is directing Studio Bones’ new TV anime space comedy, Space Dandy, scheduled for broadcast next January in Japan.
This is exciting news because Watanabe is the brilliant director of Cowboy Bebop, and two of the sequences in The Animatrix, among others. Though Dandy may be human, there are plenty of anthropomorphic aliens in it, starting with Meow, his partner.
Watanabe said that this will be "not an anime to be taken seriously." Oh, you think!?
Rabbit Valley Comics has expanded its digital product offering to include short stories by Graveyard Greg, digital versions of 2 The Ranting Gryphon's stand up comedy videos, as well as audio collections by JackRabbit and 2.
Rabbit Valley launched the digital items store this February, with novels by Alflor Aalto and Wolf and a host of comic books, including Spooo Presents titles, Circles, Fast Boyz Delivery Service, and The Royal Tale.
I haven't seen this shared around until I noticed it on the Bay Area Furries mailing list.
According to their website:
What's your Fursona? Thats [sic] the million dollar question asked in this fast paced black comedy web series about the adventures of Virginia Blake - a successful investigative journalist - who is writing an expose on the FURRY underworld to save her tarnished career!
Walt Disney Pictures have announced several upcoming feature films, and among them is the sequel to the successful 2011 re-launch of The Muppets. Currently titled The Muppets… Again, the new film is scheduled for release in March of 2014. According to The Muppet Wiki, “The film is planned to be a ‘comedy caper’ set in Europe. Ricky Gervais will star as ‘a male lead whose intentions are always in question’ along with Ty Burrell as an Interpol inspector, Tina Fey as a ‘Russian femme fatale,’ and a ‘slew of cameos’”. [Oh like they ever have that in a Muppet movie!] The sequel will be again directed by James Bobin, and scripted by Nick Stoller, who co-wrote the 2011 film with star Jason Segel.
For those who missed it (or are too young), Rocko’s Modern Life was a Nickelodeon TV cartoon that ran for four seasons (52 episodes) from September 1993 to November 1996. The main characters, as described by Wikipedia, were Rocko, an anthropomorphic wallaby immigrant to America, “the gluttonous steer Heffer, the neurotic turtle Filburt, and Rocko's faithful dingodog, Spunky. The show is laden with adult humor, including double entendres, innuendos, and satirical social commentary.”
The Cartoon Brew has announced that on Saturday, October 6, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., there will be a voice cast and production crew reunion at the Downtown Independent L.A. Theatre (251 South Main Street, Los Angeles, Calif. 90012; (213) 617-1033; email).
Voice actors Carlos Alazraqui, Mr. Lawrence, Tom Kenny, Charlie Adler along with creator Joe Murray and couple of directors, Swampy Marsh, and Dan Povenmire will perform several episodes live and hold a panel discussion and a meet-the-cast autograph session.
Tickets are $30 each, plus $4 shipping & mailing if you order in advance instead of planning to buy them at the box office if any are left. “Parking can be a challenge.”
The Cartoon Brew reports that at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, July 27, at the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club in North Hollywood, voice actor Rob Paulsen who played Yakko on the Spielberg/WB animated TV series Animaniacs, and composer Randy Rogel who wrote the songs, will present a 1 ½-hour live medly of Animaniacs songs, including their most popular numbers plus others that were cut from the TV cartoons, for a live podcast. Age limit: 18 and over. Tickets are $20. At Universal City Walk, 1000 Universal Studios Boulevard, unit #222, Universal City, CA 91608; (818) 824-6545.
Paulsen was also Dr. Scratchansniff and Pinky of Pinky and the Brain on Animaniacs, several characters on Tiny Toon Adventures, and many roles going back to Raphael of the original 1980s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV cartoons. If you are in the Los Angeles area, this is a rare chance to see the man who has brought many of TV’s and motion pictures’ anthropomorphic characters over the last thirty years to life.
Black Sheep (2006) is certainly an interesting film. It comes from New Zealand and certainly doesn't seem to be trying to break any stereotypes as there are quite a few well-defined ones in here. It's a horror comedy and while I can't say it's a genre I am familiar with this film does have a few scary scenes as well as a bit of entertaining humour.
This film is a lot like Resident Evil but with sheep. A farmer is experimenting with genetic engineering and when some environmentalists spill some waste from the facility they cause the sheep to start eating meat and attacking people. In addition whoever is bitten by a sheep turns into one. This leads to a race to survive and contain the outbreak for the protagonists. The humour is mainly provided by one of the environmentalist who makes a variety of new-age quips about their chakra and provides scented candles.
From the archives — a 1970s Robert Klein stand-up routine on anthropomorphism:
British digital TV channel BBC Three has commissioned an adult puppet series featuring anthropomorphic animals.
We Are Mongrels, a series of 8 x 30 minute episodes, follows the exploits of a country fox who decides to discover "the real wild life" in the city. He travels to the Isle of Dogs and meets up with a range of different characters including a "sexy" Afghan hound whom he falls in love with, a street cat, and a sarcastic pigeon from Blackburn.