You can always tell when you’re watching an early series episode of Gilligan’s Island. Not only because it was obviously shot in the days before the world changed over to color… but during the uber-famous intro to the show, only five of the show’s seven stars get their moment of fame inside of the life preserver. Despite the show being the ultimate closed door tale due to the desert island theme, the Professor and Mary Ann always got the shaft due to either time constraints or lack of star power… and were merely referred to in the original theme song as “the rest.”
Well, today’s post in my Meet the Critters series is going to honor Shelf Critter Theatre’s “the rest.” You’ve met the series’ stars and recurring characters over the past five months, and maybe gotten an autograph and selfie or two. Now it’s time to give a brief moment of glory to the tireless critters who toil in SCT anonymity. They rarely get yanked off the shelf and thrust into one of my silly productions… but without their invaluable contributions, the show just wouldn’t work out.
And now, a tribute to Shelf Critter Theatre’s forgotten background players….
George, my name for the unicorn from the Despicable Me movies, was a star on The Nest before SCT even came into existence. It’s true that George appeared in Shelf Critter Theatre’s very first scene, and has popped up only once or twice since then, never again with another speaking role. He did get the honor (seen above) of being the aggressor in my very favorite Buster death scene. Apparently, SCT has room for only one white and pink unicorn thespian…
This Scrat is a former McDonald’s toy who used to have a much larger role in my early critter productions… but not only wound up being used less and less, but had his very identity yanked out from under him by his now much more famous big brother. Poor guy.
Zac is short for Prozac, as in the so-called “happy pill,” and it takes little stretch of the imagination to see where that name came from. Another ceramic squirrel find from my friend Hottie, Zac had a few roles in the dying days of SCT’s first season, but has really only appeared once since I revived the show last Fall. His overly spastic and giddy dialogue along with his can’t-bring-me-down attitude was always a plus to any episode he appeared in…
Seymour is an elf on the shelf that Bacon sent to The Nest a few years ago, and who doesn’t have much of a function in the SCT world outside of being Bad Santa’s more rational helper in the holiday themed episodes.
Belly Hung Lo is a golden Buddha figurine I bought at Mecca last year who I’ve worked into a few recent stories as the owner of a very seedy Chinese buffet, the one Fuzzywig would no doubt love to sell Fleabag to. He speaks in a stereotypical Chinese accent, and often loves to pass out fortune “cookies” that contain the same lame joke about a man going to Bangkok…
The Squirrel Parents:
This pair of Mecca salt shaker squirrels are the infrequently appearing mother and father of the five squirrel children. The mom shows up the most often, and often takes a more medieval approach to child rearing, while the dad usually just sighs at his wife’s antics and admits that they’ll “just have to make more.”
Ricky The Praying Raccoon appeared as a one-off joke in my Pied Piper story since the way his paws are positioned along with the pleading look in his face, he has the look that he is desperately praying for some kind of divine intervention. In reality, his paws aren’t even together, but if there’s one thing even I’ve learned while doing these character bios, SCT personalities are largely based on an object’s appearance. Ricky’s turned up in a few of my more recent episodes (Usually this stock photo from his original appearance), often when SCT goes way outside of the bounds of common decency and needs a prayer to keep its author from being struck by lightning…
Robofox is a robotic fox I built from a kit we were selling at Mecca this past Christmas. In SCT, he was built by Fuzzywig as a potential replacement companion over Fleabag… and turned into an eye laser destroying fiend who likes to “disassemble” things. He’s the cutest little harbinger of Armageddon you’ll ever lay eyes on, though.
Sage and Caper:
Sage is a skunk humanoid girl who has to be one of the more unusual critter finds I have made, and who was the star of SCT’s comeback episode last September. She loves critters and is one of Fleabag’s few champions on the Shelf. Caper is her little skunk companion who carved out a mini niche for herself when I set her on fire in the background of her debut episode and only Alice noticed. That led to me occasionally working her into future episodes under the gag that nobody ever noticed when she appeared. Hey, at least you made “the rest”…
Another McDonald’s My Little Pony toy that arrived too late to be included in The Nest’s core four, Pinkie has her own small recurring role in SCT as the owner of the “gentlecritters club” where Mitzi works as a pole dancer. Pinkie’s usually worried about losing her business license due to Mitzi trying to train Tina as a dancer or shaking her tushie for the Squirrel Children…
Bub is a little troll-like creature who appeared as a one-time gag in Mitzi’s tribute to “Santa Baby” as a critter with no weewee because it fell off. I used him again with that same humorous condition. Getting older really does suck…
Ultraviolet the glowing unicorn has the extremely bad misfortune of debuting around the time the little Mitzis hatched and got saddled as the unofficial father of Zeeba, which also led to his only token reappearance. He’s a really cool looking winged unicorn that has hidden body markings that only show up when the purple light he came with is shining on him.
Brother Bear is a large plush of the Berenstain Bears character that Merby sent to me last year, hoping he would be SCT’s next breakout star. Unfortunately, he refuses to either stand or sit up and can only lay on his back… which I’ve played off of in his few appearances as him having a “manufacturing defect.” Brother Bear seems pretty chipper about life though, despite his disabilities (You probably would too if Mitzi jumped you)….
And there are others who have made even fewer and less memorable SCT appearances… but they’ll just have to settle for anonymity and whatever minimum wage is for critter actors. Now that you’ve met almost all of the critters who make the Shelf go round, for the final installment in this series next Thursday, we’ll meet the other inanimate objects that help make Fridays so insane… the ubiquitous Shelf Critter Theatre props!