Shelf Critter Theatre and its fucked up brand of humor I have brought to my blog since 2016 would not be possible without the weird and….. well, wonderfully insane personalities of the inanimate objects that make up its cast. There are a lot of critters who have appeared in The Theatre since the beginning, and just in case you can’t tell the characters without a scorecard, here’s a little primer on just about everyone who’s gotten at least a few acting credits on the double set of black end tables….
Fuzzywig: A pint sized raccoon with a bit of a shady history and a love for a certain recreational drug. A stoner through and through, Fuzzy can usually be counted on to whip out a pipe and his pouch of what he called “the good stuff,” as well as a token 4:20 reference at some point in each episode. He fittingly has a mellow demeanor and a penchant for passive aggressive sarcasm.
Mitzi: A unicorn (often referred to as a “bimbocorn”) gal with an overly giddy personality that is about as overactive as her libido. She speaks like a cross between a valley girl and a texting tween, and often hilariously messes up more complex words and phrases (Mitzi-isms). Her entrances are often foreshadowed by a cry of “Yooooooohoooooo!” and she frequently refers to other critters as “kyoot” and asks if the “wanna do it.”
Snuggle: The famous ursine fabric softener mascot who has creeped out TV viewers for over three decades is well represented in SCT by this plush. Snuggle is brash, crude, and most of all a huge prevert. Not only does he hit on all of the Shelf’s females, but has a special affinity for its very young critterettes as well, especially Tina. You know shit’s gonna be fucked up when “Uncle Snuggie” walks on stage.
Troll: One of those creepy troll dolls that was all the rage in the early 90’s, the Shelf’s Troll is a big loser who usually gets stuck with the menial labor jobs that pop up in episodes, or is unemployed entirely. He is responsible for cleaning out The Nest’s executive washrooms, and is an exceedingly inept lackey and sidekick. He’s also unlucky with the ladies, which usually leads him to vent his sexual frustrations in rather…. awkward ways.
Chip: A rather serious looking squirrel (or possibly chipmunk, thus the name) who is the closest thing the Shelf has to a straight man. Chip generally shakes his head at the strange goings-on at the Shelf, and often expresses his desire to join a more normal acting troupe. Chip is most frequently paired up with Fuzzywig as a co-star, and is also the go-to critter when I need a solo host of a TV show parody.
Rainy: A rather surly skunkette who is easily angered and not afraid to use her infamous spray on anyone who she believes wrongs her. She carries around a rain gauge which she treats as her most cherished possession (her “precious rain gauge”), and constantly complains about the fact that it never rains on the Shelf. Rainy has little interest in the flirtatious nature of her co-stars, and when her eyes go red, it’s time to run for cover.
Buster: A hapless possum who is one of three characters who crossed over from my blog’s comic strip. Like in the comics, Buster’s recurring gag is that he usually meets a rather untimely and gruesome end each episode. Unlike his comic strip alter ego, who was a creepy sleazeball whose deaths reeked of karma… the Shelf’s Buster is quite happy-go-lucky and cheerful, right up until the very end…
Fleabag: Fuzzywig’s pet dog, who is extremely disobedient and always getting into trouble. Fleabag is constantly barking, hiding what little actual dialogue he has in between BARKs, tearing and chewing up important things, and using the entire Shelf as his toilet. Fuzzy constantly threatens to sell Fleabag off to the Chinese buffet when he acts up, but to everyone else Fleabag’s shenanigans are totes adorbs.
Shadow: A mystical umbreon from the Pokemon universe who has a wide variety of magical powers, including the ability to vanish and reappear. He thinks very highly of himself and talks down to the other critters who he believes aren’t worthy. His abilities tend to result in failure, particularly if ladies are present to give him an “uncomfortable feeling inside his Pokeballs.” Usually enters scenes with grand pronouncements he deems to be improtant, particularly around the time of the Contest of Whatever.
Uncle Sam: The Shelf President whose personality contains all of the usual “qualities” one would expect in career politicians. With SCT launching in late 2016, Sam has taken on a number of the quirks of a certain well known world leader, often wanting to check the credentials of “foreign” critters, ranting on “Tweeter,” and always proclaiming to make the Shelf great again.
Scratchy: The most prominent of the My Little Pony characters who appear in SCT, Scratchy is the Shelf’s music meister and all around cool kid. She likes to make references to popular lyrics when she talks, and will often dig out a 90’s Kevin Eubanks cassette, which is the only piece of playable music in the Shelf’s prop closet.
Tina: A tiny eight year old unicorn who is plays Scratchy’s niece. She’s far more streetwise than her years let on, which is good since she’s often targeted by the perverted Snuggle Bear. Like every other little girl, she thinks she’s a princess and has a mile long wish list she foists on Santa every year.
Mr. Fox: The big eyed and adorable critter known as Mr. Fox is one of the Shelf’s more enigmatic characters. He generally just appears out of nowhere, staring off into space, with absolutely nothing to say. His “dialogue” consists of a long string of ellipses, and staring into his eyes for too long has been known to have dire consequences for those foolish enough to get caught up in his trance.
The Squirrel Children: These five tiny squirrel brothers are always getting into some kind of mischief on the Shelf. They are merely credited as Child 1-4 and Littlest, and often talk in succession… usually ending with the Littlest threatening to tell his Mommy on someone. They try to stay away from girls who are full of cooties.
The Supporting Cast:
Sparklepony: A glittered up abomination of an old school My Little Pony, she’s usually criticizing everyone around her, particularly her husband who she loves to nag and her two children who she over-protects. She usually shows up to scold Rainbow Donkey every time he cheats on her with Mitzi.
Rainbow Donkey: Another character who crossed over to The Shelf via my comic strip, Rainbow Donkey is the henpecked hubby of Sparklepony. He’s usually very low key and submissive, due to holding up the unofficial code of conduct for unicorns. But that calm demeanor hides a playboy who willingly indulges in all of the attention he gets from the lady, much to his wife’s dismay.
The Sponkies: Two little “sparklecorns” who were quite literally conceived by former Nester Gentlestitches as the offspring of Rainbow Donkey and Sparklepony. This pair of brother/sister twins (Sponkie 1 is the brother with blue eyes, Sponkie 2 is the sister with red eyes) is a bit more laid back than most of the Shelf’s other rugrats. The boy is a bit more prone to trouble while the sister tries to keep her, and her parents, in line.
Zeeba and Bearcat: These two Hatchimal critters were “born” live in the final SCT episode of 2017 after Mitzi had unexpectedly laid two eggs several months prior. Zeeba (the purple one) in wild, crude, and later began to develop a signature fascination with mayhem and blood. Her sister Bearcat is the more rational one, always advising her sister to settle down… though she’s all up for the fun and games of the Shelf as well.
Hung Lo: The self-proclaimed generic Asian stereotype of the Shelf, Hung Lo is usually cast as the owner of a very seedy Chinese buffet that offers up fortune cookies that are really peanuts, and covets fresh meat like Buster and Fleabag to add to the cuisine. Hung Lo has a corny sense of humor, and loves to tell his favorite joke about a man going to Bangkok to many a groaning critter.
Luna, Twilight and Applejack: Luna (middle left) fancies herself as royalty and a goddess, complete with a haughty attitude and an expectation to be treated as nobility. Twilight (right) is the more sensible pony and is often cast in SCT as a teacher. Applejack (left) is a straight up farm mare, and not the swiftest horse on the racetrack. These three often appear together with Scratchy, where they sarcastically mock whatever appears around them.
Bad Santa: Credited as just Santa, but named because he is just the kind of “jolly old elf” you’d expect to be doling out the gifts on Shelf Critter Theatre. He’s sarcastic, hates his job (he’d rather be vacationing in Costa Rica), and is quite rude and crude to the critters who dare ask him for gifts each year. Don’t let the wink and a smile fool you…
Mary: A little lamb with the most adorable eyes, but she’s a very baa-aaa-aaad girl. Sweet but sultry, she’s jealous that Mitzi gets all of the attention as the Shelf floozy and wants to stake her own claim to the services of the other male critters.
Evil Squirrel: The boss and even “god” over the Shelf critters, Evil Squirrel is, of course, the third critter who crossed over from the comic strips… as you’d expect since he is the character who this whole blog in named after. Evil runs a tight ship on the Shelf and doesn’t tolerate those critters who can’t live up to his extremely high expectations… especially Troll, who he constantly has on latrine duty.
Big Scrat: This very large plush of the familiar Ice Age character is the Shelf’s resident sodomist… since we needed one apparently. He tends to pop up out of nowhere, usually right behind an unsuspecting critter, ready to treat them to a little jailhouse love. Big Scrat’s “meeting” usually have a dose of karma associated with them, and his most popular victim to back door is Snuggle.
The Bit Players:
Caper: Sage’s pet skunk who has developed a running gag in that she’s usually ignored by all of the other critters in any scene she appears in. This came about from her debut episode where she was set on fire and only one reader even commented on it.
Ricky: The praying raccoon, Ricky tries his damnedest…. er, darnedest to remain pious among the very wicked Shelf critters. He hasn’t had a whole lot of luck fitting in with the gang, nor gaining the approval of his boss Evil Squirrel. His first starring role is my absolute favorite episode of Shelf Critter Theatre I ever put together.
Bub: A friend and fellow ne’er do well of Troll, Bub’s signature gag that pops up every time he appears in SCT is that he doesn’t have a “weewee.” He seems awful carefree and happy despite his lack of, as Mitzi would say, “anything fun down there.”
Zac: Prozac Squirrel is defined by his extremely large and fake smile. He is ever happy and hyped up and will just babble on and on and on about everything, usually redundantly like a critter who drank an entire pot of black coffee.
Val: The Shelf’s version of Oscar the Grouch, only much more rude, annoyed and especially vulgar. You’d probably feel the same way if you were a unicorn trapped inside a crappy mug. And she’s armed with a variety of unicorn magic, including a death ray in her horn she can fire at those unlucky critters who get on her nerves.
Slider: The politically correct mascot of the Cleveland Indians ballclub, Slider is like the referee over good taste in SCT… usually butting in to admonish the other critters for things he finds offensive. He also plays a health inspector who is unsurprisingly showing up at Hung Lo’s door quite often looking for lost pets.
Squirrel Mom and Dad: The parents of the Squirrel Children, the mom is a neurotic with sociopathic tendencies towards both her husband and her children. Whenever the kids get offed, sometimes by the mom herself, Squirrel Dad often asks his wife if they should “make some more.” A question that doesn’t often end well for pops…
Brightbird: A tiny little green bird with a huge, honking brain tumor. He doesn’t have long to live, and he’s going to make sure he makes life as miserable as possible for everyone else while he still can.
Ninja On a Skateboard: Exactly what the name implies. He’s a tiny ninja who rides around on a skateboard slicing and dicing every critter he comes across. Because the Shelf always needs just a little more senseless violence.
Ultraviolet: A painted and glowing unicorn who shows up infrequently. His main moment of SCT glory was getting saddled as one of the fathers of Mitzi’s spawn. He does look pretty cool under the UV light he came with, which is where the name comes from.
Scrat: Originally destined to be one of the stars of SCT, Scrat wound up getting very few roles during the Theatre’s first season… and when Big Scrat came onto the scene later, the puny version all but disappeared. Though he does show up as Santa’s red nosed “squirreldeer” from time to time.
Brother Bear: A gift from Merby who couldn’t do anything but lie on his back, I used that as his calling card to work him into a few episode of SCT. He’ll explain his inability to sit, move or stand by claiming he has a “manufacturing defect.”
George: George the unicorn appeared in the very first scene of Shelf Critter Theatre ever, though it just wasn’t meant to be as he’s had scant few roles ever since. But his moment of glory killing off Buster in the first season finale is one of the Theatre’s more iconic and oft repeated images.