The Five: Hybrids
Here's a fun game to entertain yourself at home. Take any random object around the house and imagine its molecules combined with that of a man. Then speak in a deep announcer voice and make up a TV show about it. For example:
He's half man, half spatula. Despite the cruel world that shuns him he fights a battle against the forces of evil in his underwater helicopter. He is Spatula Man.
For this edition of The Five we're talkin' about our favorite hybrids. Here's five of mine. As always, share some of your own.
Spock (Star Trek): Any real Star Trek fan knows that even though he's often described as Vulcan, Spock is actually only half-Vulcan. His mother, Amanda, was human while his father, Sarek, was Vulcan. Having the stubborn logic of a Vulcan and the emotion of a human kind of made him a one-man Mulder and Scully. You can read more about this in my new book, How To Make Really Bad and Unfitting Analogies (Random House).
Wuzzles: The Wuzzles was a Disney cartoon (not to mention a series of books and toys) that came out in the mid 1980s. Each Wuzzle was a combination of two different animals. One of my little brother's favorite toys growing up was his stuffed Rhinokey, a combo rhinoceros and monkey. The show also featured Eleroo, Butterbear, Moosel, and Bumblelion.
The Six Million Dollar Man: What's so great about being the Six Million Dollar Man? It's not the super strength or super human ability. It's all those cool retro noises your body makes when you move around. If I were Steve Austin I don't think I would have bothered helping people, I'd just stay home and listen to my elbows make noise. Whoa, that's trippy.
Octo-Parrot (The Simpsons): This exchange between Homer and two scientists in the episode "HOMR" (a.k.a. the "crayon in the brain" episode) begins with one of my favorite Simpsons lines:
Homer: I'm a Spalding Gray in a Rick Dees world. Change me back to the blissful boob I was.
Scientist: I'm sorry, we don't play God here.
Homer: That's ridiculous. You do nothing but play God, and I think your octo-parrot would agree.
Octo-Parrot: Rawk! Polly shouldn't be!
Chairface Chippendale (The Tick): Long before The Tick became both an animated and live-action series, it was a comic book. I was one of the lucky few to discover the comic book in the late 1980s, but I and other early Tick fans were also unlucky as creator Ben Edlund abandoned the series after only twelve issues in the middle of a major cliff hanger. Chairface Chippendale, a crime boss with the body of a man and a chair for a head appeared in at least one episode of the animated series that I can remember, but his first "real" appearance was in issue Number 7 of the comic book. This issue was also the first appearance of another character that occurred on the animated series, The Man-Eating Cow.
Of course, Ben Edlund went on to work on The Venture Brothers, which, like Annie, I'm also a very big fan of. I guess that means I forgive him for not finishing his little comic book all those years ago.