IFC SPECIAL AND FILM PARODIES (2005-6)
Though the creators owned the Fox puppets from the sitcom, they chose to go back to the low-fidelity look of the original 1999 IFC shorts and have the puppets rebuilt to match their old looks. Old characters from the public access and IFC days returned to join the regular cast. Sadly, the creative rights to Fox characters such as Tardy Turtle and Susan the Monster were still owned by 20th Century Fox, and could not make the transition to the new series. Cameo appearances by human actors from the Fox show and elsewhere rounded out the cast.
GREG THE BUNNY
After returning to IFC in 2005 to do his “Fur on the Asphalt” reunion special, a new Greg puppet was built. Contrary to rumors, the Fox puppet is still owned by Dan Milano but the creators chose not to use it since they wanted to start anew. Greg’s button eyes were restored to his head, but it was decided that the moving mouth concept would remain. Finding the mechanism a little awkward, it was later removed for the 2005 series of Greg the Bunny Parodies and has never been used again. This decision fully restored Greg to the way he’d appeared in the original 1999 IFC series.
WARREN “THE APE” DEMONTAGUE
Though the creators still own the puppet used on Fox, a new Warren puppet was built, restored to the color, size and shape of the original 1999 version. His voice and character were also restored, having been slightly repressed in the Fox series. Also restored was his very dark personality. Warren’s persona remains much the same, though through the world of the Film Parodies shot in 2005-6, he now added serial killer to his list of vices, having gone on a murder spree with Greg in the “Naturally Sewn Killers,” parody.
FREDERICK “COUNT” BLAH
Blah’s look was also restored to the 1999 version, which meant a very noticeable change from his appearance on the Fox show. This confused many viewers, though fans of the original series saw it as a return-to-form. In keeping with this concept, Dan Milano resumed the role of Count Blah from Drew Massey, who had performed him on the Fox series. Drew and Dan continue to work together, and respect each other’s take on the character. Blah flirted with his more bi-sexual side in the 2005 “Fur on the Asphalt” special. He sings “Man In Motion” at a local cabaret and (in a scene cut from the special) bickers with his latino lover. He is also very open with his sexuality in interviews done for UGO.COM around the time of the special. Though this is still a part of Blah’s character, it was mentioned less in the 2005-6 series. Instead, more attention was paid to Blah’s history in cinema, most notably his film “Martian Serum 7 From Mars.” We also learn more about his departed wife Maldora, who was mentioned on the Fox series.
PALCHETTI “PAL” FRIENDLIES
Pal Friendlies, a character briefly seen in the 1999 IFC episode, “The Rapture,” returned to the GTB cast in the 2005 “Fur on the Asphalt” special. Since the original Pal Friendlies was actually a version of the original Blah puppet, an entirely new look had to be created for the character. He was built by Matty Brooks of “Crank Yankers” fame, and his appearance was based (like his persona) on comedian/filmmaker Albert Brooks. Pal, who appeared as a newscaster in the 1999 series, was now re-conceived as the Agent who represents our puppet stars. Sweet, neurotic, totally clueless and with no clout whatsoever, he is a terrible agent.
The persona of “The Wumpus” was created by friend and GTB alum Chris Bergoch for his NYU short film, “Dak Delgatte: Intergalactic Detective.” Played by Dan Milano, Wumpus was a hyperactive alien who refused to vacate an innocent woman’s home. He later returned in other projects, including an appearance in the “Surprise Lunch” episode of Junktape. In 1999, a version of the Wumpus was originally conceived for use to deliver trivia on the IFC show, but was cast aside in favor of Warren the Ape. Years later, Wumpus joined the cast of the 2005 IFC series of film parodies. A custom puppet was built based on sketches by Dan Milano and Spencer Chinoy. Wumpus’ personality had changed over the years from silly to intelligent. On “Junktape,” Wumpus actually had more dignity, confidence and back-bone than most of our puppet stars. But in 2005, in an attempt to fill a void left by Tardy Turtle, Wumpus was re-conceived as an idiot even dumber than Greg. Being a Monster puppet, it has also been speculated that Wumpus is capable of great strength and violence. He is still performed by Dan Milano, and Chris Bergoch is consulted about his character. In 2005-6 Wumpus played a series of roles such as a sheriff, (“Ya Know, For Kids!”) a hitchhiker (“Naturally Sewn Killers”) and a murder victim (“Blue Velveteen”). But most often, Wumpus appears as his loveable yet possibly-dangerous self. He is featured in the 2006 episode, “Monster,” and on the 2006 webisode, “Monster Puppets.”
Since the Fox series was cancelled, Seth no longer plays Jimmy Bender. He now appears as a version of himself, an actor who appeared with Greg on their cancelled sitcom, “Oh You Two!” (a parody version of the Fox series). Seth appears in the “Fur on the Asphalt” special, where we see him in a sexual relationship with a woman who appears to be his Grandmother, and in “Auto Focus,” where he and Greg do a PSA for reading.
Gilbert appears as a version of himself in “Auto Focus,” as a puppet porn enthusiast, “Monster,” as Greg’s best friend and “Wacky Wednesday,” as a guy trying to return a dead Mogwaii to a Chinatown curio shop. Gilbert and Greg get along so nicely that we’ve taken to the idea that they are best friends in real life.
Performed by Victor Yerrid, Wayne is a puppet version of the exploitive television journalist played by Robert Downey Jr. in Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers.” In our parody, “Naturally Sewn Killers,” he takes a liking to his human editor, played by Chris Bergoch. The puppet used was actually created to play Willem DeFoe in our “Auto Focus” parody. But when that role was re-written for Warren, the puppet was used to play Wayne instead. A beard and moustache was added, using double-stick tape and clips of hair from the afro Greg wore in our “Dead Puppet Storage” episode.
Performed by Paul McGuiness, Elephant Man was created to appear in the “Blue Velveteen” episode (2006). He was added to the cast soley as a reference to the David Lynch film about John Merrick. In the episode, he appears as Warren’s roommate, who Greg mistakes as Rocky Dennis from the movie “Mask.”
LANNIE THE EDITOR
Performed by Matt Vogel, Lannie is the editor of Greg’s movie in the “Passion of the Easter Bunny” episode (2006). A sweet and over-worked guy who just wants to get home to his wife and sick daughter.
Performed by Victor Yerrid, Isabella is a puppet based on the Isabella Rossilini character in David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet.” Much like the “Geri” puppet who appeared in our “Dead Puppet Storage” episode (2005), she is a character made specifically for the episode, rather than a signature member of our cast.
MARK BORCHADT AND MIKE SHANK
Known best as the subjects of the documentary film “American Movie,” Mike and Mark appear (as themselves) in “Passion of the Easter Bunny: A Fabricated American Movie,” in which they help Greg with the making of his biblical epic.
Appears in the “Fur on the Asphalt” special (2005) as co-star of the fictional network sitcom “Oh You Two!” with Seth Green and Greg the Bunny. He also appears as Greg and Warren’s prison mate at the end of that episode.
THE PRISON WARDEN
Fox series alum Bob Gunton appears in the “Fur on the Asphalt” special (2005) as a prison warden, an homage to the role he played in “The Shawshank Redemption.”
Appears in the “Fur on the Asphalt” special (2005) as himself, and an estranged friend of Warren the Ape. Warren claims that Jon’s IFC series “Dinner for Five,” was a show concept that Jon stole from him.
JOHN ROSS BOWIE
Appears in the “Fur on the Asphalt” special (2005) and the “Naturally Sewn Killers” episode (2005) as an IFC executive. In the latter, he meets his fate at the end of Warren’s shotgun.
SARAH SILVERMAN, LOU FERIGNO, ADAM GOLDBERG, MARTHA PLIMPTON
Appear in the “Fur on the Asphalt” special (2005) as themselves, as guests at Warren’s table in his “Supper With Friends” pilot, a strikingly similar series to Jon Favreau’s “Dinner for Five.”
Played by Dan Milano and Chris Bergoch in “Sleazy Riders,” (2005) as two effete hillbillies who shoot Greg off his motorcycle. A more traditional (but no less offensive) version of these characters can be seen in the deleted scenes section of the “Greg the Bunny: Best of the Film Parodies” DVD (2006).