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Greg the Bunny was an American sitcom that originally aired on FOX in 2002. It starred Seth Green and a hand puppet named Greg the Bunny, originally invented by the team of Sean S. Baker, Spencer Chinoy and Dan Milano. Milano and Chinoy wrote and co-produced the FOX show. In the show, Greg was the co-star of a children's television show called Sweetknuckle Junction. Like The Muppet Show, Greg the Bunny treated puppets as though they were real creatures within the reality of the show, although in this show, they were treated as a racial minority, sometimes struggling against second-class citizenship. The show was spun off from The Greg the Bunny Show, a series of short segments that used to air on the Independent Film Channel, which were based on the cable access show called "Junktape".

The show's latest spin-off is called Warren The Ape, premiering on June 14, 2010 at 10:30PM on MTV.

History

"Junktape" was a half-hour, bi-weekly cable access show created by Sean S. Baker, Spencer Chinoy and Dan Milano. The show aired on New York City's Manhattan Neighborhood Network, Monday nights at 11:30 PM. Eventually, the show got the attention of the Independent Film Channel and given its own series of regular segments starring one of Junktape's main characters, Greg the Bunny. The Greg the Bunny Show on IFC involved Greg and other characters introducing independent films being screened by using skits that parodied the films.

The FOX show made its debut in March 2002 and its last episode aired in August 2002, with two episodes unaired. Its failure was largely ascribed to the show runner and networks' seeming cluelessness as to the direction they wanted the show to take. The network promoted Greg the Bunny as a puppet show for adults, but within the show itself, they insisted on toning down its edgier aspects. The creators felt these changes caused the show to lose something, and gave it much more of a traditional sitcom feel. The show runner and network also wanted to focus the show more on the human cast, while the creators maintained that the puppets were the heart of the show. Despite these problems, the series acquired a significant cult following, and was eventually released on DVD in 2004. *Singer Daniel Johnston and his band were approached to write the theme song, but it was rejected. The band Ween was also asked to write a theme, which was also rejected.[1]

In August 2005, Greg the Bunny returned to the IFC, in a series of short segments, both old and new spoofing movies such as Annie Hall, Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, Fargo, Blue Velvet, Easy Rider and Pulp Fiction. The cast for these segments primarily features puppets Greg and Warren Demontague, with appearances from Count Blah, new character Pal Friendlies, and returning character The Wumpus. Tardy the Turtle and Susan were unable to appear in the IFC series because they were the property of FOX.

Characters

There have been many puppets that have been used on the show. Several, including Cranky, were reused from a children's series, The Adventures of Timmy the Tooth. The gopher puppet from Caddyshack made a guest appearance in the episode "Jimmy Drives Gil Crazy".

Greg the Bunny is the title character of the show. On the show, he acts mostly as comic relief, and jokes are made at his expense (particularly by Warren) about how he cannot act and that he's just there to look cute. In the IFC series, he lives with Spencer Chinoy and Sean S. Baker. In the FOX series, he lives with a boy named Jimmy Bender (played by Seth Green). Greg underwent many changes throughout the course of his career. The original Greg had buttons for eyes and did not have a mouth. In the FOX series, he was given a moving mouth, and, for the later episodes, plastic eyes. When Greg returned to IFC, his button eyes were restored and he lost his mouth. In the MTV series spin-off, Warren the Ape, Greg makes an appearance when Warren spends time with him to become sexually abstinent. However, it ends up with the clueless Greg being arrested as a pedophile and losing his virginity while in jail. Greg the Bunny is performed by Dan Milano.

Warren DeMontague is the second main character on the show, later staring in his own series Warren the Ape. He is the only character who uses a separate character name on Sweetknuckle Junction, playing Professor Ape. He portrays himself as a veteran stage actor trying to make a new name for himself while having several substance-related vices. He initially despises working with Greg the Bunny because of his lack of stage experience. Warren is performed by Dan Milano.

Fredrick "Count Blah" Blah is another actor who had worked with Warren DeMontague many years ago. He is a parody of Count von Count of Sesame Street fame, although he regularly claims that the Sesame Street Count stole his act and took away his fame ("Show me another vampire, especially a puppet vampire, that was working in the mainstream industry before I came along. Suddenly I find out some bearded hippie is looking for folks to be on his new children's program and that he was looking for a vampire. The next thing I know he's got some fucking OCD numerologist on the show, ugly purple skin, counting up and down, it was just disgusting, blah. He's not even Romanian, he's freaking Italian, and he knows it, blah"). He says "Blah" at the end of most of his sentences, although it sometimes comes out as "Bleh." In the IFC series, Spencer often asks Blah when directing to stop saying "Blah." This makes Blah very upset, as he insists that Blah is his gimmick. Blah was another puppet who underwent changes between series. In the IFC series, he has lighter skin and smaller eyes than he does on the FOX show. He is performed by Dan Milano in the IFC show and by Drew Massey on the FOX show. Count Blah is briefly forced to change his name to "Count A'ight" (after a distorted pronunciation of "all right"), because the producers want to modernize the show. When the new edgy Sweetknuckle Junction fails to pan out, he becomes Count Blah again.

Tardy the Turtle is a character exclusive to the FOX show. He is portrayed as a slow turtle (hence his name), in the sense that he is regularly late as well as likely being mentally retarded, and often says very random things ("Crayons taste like purple," "... the green ones make me horny," "... drumsticks can also be chicken") in the manner of Ralph Wiggum. Tardy also ends some of his sentences or when he is frightened with a high-pitched squeal much like Leonardo DiCaprio's character, Arnie Grape, in What's Eating Gilbert Grape. When FOX cancelled the series, the puppet was "stolen," and FOX claimed copyright to it. Tardy did make an "appearance" on the IFC DVD in one of the pre-episoded audio introductions. He was portrayed by Victor Yerrid.

The Wumpus is a character exclusive to the IFC show. He is a parody of Sesame Street monsters, and is very clumsy. The Wumpus first appeared in the early nineties in a Chris Bergoch short. He is portrayed by Dan Milano.

Pal Friendlies is a character exclusive to the IFC show. He is the talent agent of all the puppets who work on the show, although he is a very ineffective one. He also doubles as a lawyer in some episodes.

Appearances in other shows

Greg the Bunny made a guest segment on Mad TV (episode 719, aired 2002): in it, Greg, the jaded pro, deals with an audition for a minor part from his psychotic first drama teacher.

Greg the Bunny appeared in an episode of Duel Masters, portrayed as the world's second best duelist.

Peter also mentioned Greg the Bunny at the beginning of the Family Guy comeback episode "North by North Quahog", when he was listing the shows that Family Guy was cancelled to "make room for" (roughly shows that were cancelled and their entire run was between the original cancellation and return of Family Guy). As he says "Greg the Bunny", he moves his head toward Chris, referencing the fact that Seth Green, one of the stars in Greg the Bunny, is also Chris's voice actor.

An original Greg the Bunny short was created by Dan Milano for the 100th episode of the podcast "Star Wars Action News". While no other puppets were featured, the skit showed Greg playing with his favorite Star Wars action figures. Creator Dan Milano also was featured in a second, separate, video segment.[1]

DVD releases

The original "Greg the Bunny: The Complete Series" DVD was released Oct. 19, 2004.[2]

The IFC series was partially released as "Greg the Bunny: Best of the Film Parodies" Oct. 24, 2006.[3]

The remainder of the IFC series released as "The Passion of Greg the Bunny: Best of the Film Parodies, Vol. 2" May 6, 2008.[4]

Cast

Actor Role
Seth Green Jimmy Bender
Eugene Levy Gil Bender
Sarah Silverman Alison Kaiser
Dan Milano Greg the Bunny / Warren DeMontague (Professor Ape) (voices)
Drew Massey Count Blah / Dr. Aben Mitchell / Gay Bear / Herbitta Hymina (voices)
Bob Gunton "Junction" Jack Mars
Dina Spybey Dottie Sunshine
Tim Curry Cranky (voice)
Victor Yerrid Tardy The Turtle / Mr. Hygiene
James Murray Rochester Rabbit / Susan the Monster / Jamaican Guy (voices)

Episodes

References

External links

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