Greg the Bunny
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|Greg the Bunny|
The cover for the Greg the Bunny DVD
|Created by||Steven Levitan, Spencer Chinoy, Dan Milano|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||33 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||20th Century Fox Television|
|Original channel||Fox (2002)
|Original run||March 27, 2002 – December 16, 2006|
Greg the Bunny is an American television sitcom that originally aired on Fox TV 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.
Junktape was a half-hour, bi-weekly Public-access television 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.
In August 2005, Greg the Bunny returned to the IFC, in a series of short segments, spoofing both old and new 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.
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 (who prefer to be called by the politically correct term "fabricated Americans"), sometimes struggling against second-class citizenship.
- Jimmy Bender (played by Seth Green) – The human roommate of Greg the Bunny and the son of Gil Bender.
- Gil Bender (played by Eugene Levy) – The overwhelmed TV producer of "Sweetknuckle Junction" and the father of Jimmy Bender.
- Alison Kaiser (played by Sarah Silverman) – The network executive that Gil Bender works for.
- "Junction" Jack Mars (played by Bob Gunton) – The host of "Sweetknuckle Junction." Even though he has a distaste for puppets off-camera, Jack is the drinking buddy of Warren DeMontague and Count Frederick Blah.
- "Dottie" Sunshine (played by Dina Waters) – The beautiful human co-host of "Sweetknuckle Junction." She is more comfortable around most puppets than any other person.
There have been many puppets that have been used on the show. Several of these puppets were reused from 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 (performed by Dan Milano) – A rabbit who 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. 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 plastic eyes for the later episodes. When Greg returned to IFC, his button eyes were restored and he lost his moving 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. He was built by Paul McAvene.
- Warren DeMontague (performed by Dan Milano) – An ape who is the second main character on the show later starring 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.
- Fredrick "Count Blah" Blah (performed by Dan Milano in the IFC show, Drew Massey on the Fox show) – A vampire who is another actor that 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 Count von 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 f***ing 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 even told Greg the Bunny that he is not Count von Count and that he doesn't know Big Bird. 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. 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 Turtle (performed by Victor Yerrid) – A turtle who is 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. In the opening credits, it's said that he graduated from Harvard at the head of his class, indicating that there is a possibility that he is a Savant. Someone that resembled Tardy makes an appearance on the IFC DVD in one of the pre-episode audio introductions.
- The Wumpus (performed by Dan Milano) – A monster character exclusive to the IFC show. He is a parody of the Sesame Street Monsters and is very clumsy. The Wumpus first appeared in the early nineties in a Chris Bergoch short.
- Pal Friendlies – 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.
- Cranky (performed by Victor Yerrid) – A camera man who is often annoyed at things. He is a recycled version of Cavity Goon from The Adventures of Timmy the Tooth.
- Dr. Aben Mitchell (performed by Drew Massey) – Aben is the leader of the Pro-Puppet Movement and an advocate on Puppet Rights. Being a Live-Hand Puppet, Drew Massey is assisted in performing him by James Murray.
- Elephant Man (performed by Paul McGinnis) – A puppet character that is modeled after Joseph Merrick who is exclusive to the IFC show.
- Gay Bear (performed by Drew Massey) –
- Hurbada Hymena (performed by Drew Massey) – The leader of the Militant Puppet group.
- Rochester Rabbit (performed by James Murray) – A gruff rabbit who is the former puppet host of "Sweetknuckle Junction."
- Susan Monster (performed by James Murray) – A large furry purple monster with six breasts and a deep voice who is exclusive to the FOX series. In "Surprise," Susan is revealed to have a habit of eating cats.
- Crippled Writer (performed by Victor Yerrid) – A writer that wears leg braces.
There were also some background puppet crew members that were recycled from the Gingivitis Gang members from The Adventures of Timmy the Tooth.
The episodes appear in production code order on the DVD release.
|Title||Original airdate||Prod. code|
|Reworked and aired as "Welcome to Sweetknuckle Junction."|
|#||Total||Title||Original airdate||Prod. code|
|1||1||"Welcome to Sweetknuckle Junction"||March 27, 2002||1AEV01|
|Greg goes in for an assistant's job at Sweetknuckle Junction, and walks out with a starring role. Cameo: David Spade.|
|2||2||"SK-2.0"||March 31, 2002||1AEV04|
|When the show bombs with a children's focus group, Alison plans changes—and Jimmy's ideas just might be the trick.|
|3||3||"Jewel Heist"||April 3, 2002||1AEV11|
|Greg is jealous when Jimmy gets a new love interest (Lindsay Sloane) whose dog is quite aggressive. Meanwhile, the gals revolt when Gil doesn't invite them to a paintball weekend with an intense instructor (David Koechner).|
|4||4||"Greg Gets Puppish"||April 10, 2002||1AEV09|
|The head of a puppets rights organization orders Greg to familiarize himself with puppish culture—to the detriment of the show.|
|5||5||"The Singing Mailman"||April 17, 2002||1AEV12|
|Dottie is blackmailed by a guy (Michael McDonald) who has a dirty tape of her—and plans to post it on the internet if she can't get him a role on the show.|
|6||6||"Rabbit Redux"||April 24, 2002||1AEV06|
|Greg feels guilty for stealing Rochester's job, and wants to patch things up. Meanwhile, Jimmy wants to score with Alison.|
|7||7||"Surprise!"||May 29, 2002||1AEV10|
|Alison tries to fool a TV Guide reporter (Sasha Alexander) into believing that the cast is a happy, functional family, in hopes of getting on the cover.|
|8||8||"Father & Son Reunion"||June 5, 2002||1AEV07|
|Father/son relations between Jimmy and Gil are damaged when father doesn't tell son that his parents' marriage is over.|
|9||9||"Piddler on the Roof"||July 28, 2002||1AEV05|
|Believing that Alison won't let him do Shakespeare on the show, an angry Warren takes a leak in her open convertible. Warren auditions to play Claudius to Gary Oldman's Hamlet.|
|10||10||"Blah Bawls"||August 4, 2002||1AEV13|
|Warren can't get over his ex-wife, Maggie (Marilu Henner), and Count Blah can't get over his dead wife, Maldora... until he meets Maggie.|
|11||11||"Dottie Heat"||August 8, 2002||1AEV03|
|Dottie is crushed when Greg lies to the gang, and tells them that he did the nasty with her.|
|12||12||"Sock Like Me"||October 19, 2004||1AEV02|
|Alison forces the staff to undergo puppet sensitivity training after somebody writes the "S" word ("sock") in the men's room.|
|13||13||"Jimmy Drives Gil Crazy"||October 19, 2004||1AEV08|
|Warren plots to get even with his bad neighbor Corey Feldman. Meanwhile, Jimmy feels unloved when Gil yells at him.|
|1||1||"Bunnie Hall"||August 19, 2005|
|Greg falls for a beautiful (live) lobster. An extended reference to Woody Allen's Annie Hall.|
|2||2||"The 13th Step"||August 26, 2005|
|Warren tells the show's creators that he is going to Martha's Vineyard with his wife Maggie. But he actually goes to a lonely room at the Carter Hotel. There, Warren obsesses over calling his wife, with whom he is in a trial separation. An homage to the Coen Brothers' Barton Fink.|
|3||3||"Sleazy Rider"||September 2, 2005|
|Greg, Warren and crew are tired of working for 'the man' and hit the road in search of real America. An homage to Easy Rider.|
|4||4||"Dead Puppet Storage"||September 9, 2005|
|A behind-the-scenes look as crew struggle to shoot Warren, Count and Greg applying their lauded acting talents to perform their favorite Pulp Fiction scenes.|
|5||5||"Blah!"||September 16, 2005|
|Greg runs into his idol, puppet actor Frederick "Count" Blah. He befriends the washed-up vampire and gives him a part on the show.|
|6||6||"You Know, For Kids!"||September 23, 2005|
|Homage to Coen Brothers films Fargo and The Big Lebowski as Greg and Warren attempt to defraud IFC by staging an inept kidnapping plot. Also features a nod to the thriller Seven with the Wumpus playing the role of Kevin Spacey.|
|7||7||"The Addiction"||September 30, 2005|
|After watching vampire movie The Addiction Greg becomes convinced he's been bitten by a vampire.|
|8||8||"The Blues She Is My Friend"||October 7, 2005|
|This black-and-white prison movie, inspired by the Jim Jarmusch film, Down by Law, features Greg and Warren as prison inmates who learn that show biz is the worst prison of all.|
|9||9||"2001-1 Space & Stuff"||October 14, 2005|
|This ambitious homage to Stanley Kubrick and 2001: A Space Odyssey features Greg and Warren as astronauts on a mission to Jupiter.|
|10||10||"Sex, Button Eyes, and a Video Ape"||October 21, 2005|
|While Greg the Bunny and Seth Green are shooting a public service announcement (PSA), a creepy technician played by Warren the Ape tries to get the two actors involved in pornography. An homage to Auto Focus.|
|11||11||"Martian Serum 7 From Mars"||October 28, 2005|
|Along the lines of Ed Wood, young, enthusiastic Greg seeks to make a short film about his idol, the great Count Blah.|
|12||12||"Naturally Sewn Killers"||November 4, 2005|
|Warren snaps, pulling Greg with him, as he launches into a maniacal Natural Born Killers-esque spree.|
|13||13||"Daddyhood"||November 11, 2005|
|This loving tribute to David Lynch's Eraserhead features Greg the Bunny as a lonely father to a baby potato.|
|14||14||"The Godpappy"||November 18, 2005|
|Violent and gripping, this homage to The Godfather features Count Blah as the Don, Warren the Ape as Tom Hagen, Gary the Bunny as Sonny, Marc Grass as Solazzo and Greg the Bunny as Michael.|
|1||15||"Wumpus the Monster"||November 11, 2006|
|This parody of "Monster" explores what it means to be a monster puppet. When Greg befriends the Wumpus out of pity, he gets more than he bargained for.|
|2||16||"Sockville"||November 18, 2006|
|After being knocked unconscious, Greg dreams of visiting the town of Dogville, a town defined by chalk outlines in a black void.|
|3||17||"Blue Velveteen"||November 25, 2006|
|Greg suspects Warren of Wumpus' murder and decides to use his boy detective skills to investigate in a spoof of David Lynch films namely Blue Velvet, as well as his Twin Peaks series.|
|4||18||"Plush: Behind the Seams"||December 2, 2006|
|A rockumentary on Greg and Warren's band Plush, one of the few all puppet pop groups.|
|5||19||"Wacky Wednesday"||December 9, 2006|
|In this parody of "Being John Malkovich," Greg buys a magical Aztec dog skull from a curio shop in Chinatown.|
|6||20||"The Passion of the Easter Bunny: Fabricated American Movie"||December 16, 2006|
|Hoping to ride on Mr. Gibson's coattails, Greg decides to direct and star in a biblical epic motion picture.|
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 the Duel Masters episode "Kokujo Strikes Back", 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' 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.
The original "Greg the Bunny: The Complete Series" DVD was released Oct 19, 2004.
The IFC series was partially released as "Greg the Bunny: Best of the Film Parodies" Oct 24, 2006.
The remainder of the IFC series released as "The Passion of Greg the Bunny: Best of the Film Parodies, Vol. 2" May 6, 2008.
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