Tag: america’s got talent
As is now known by fans of Irving the talking dog — and I’m not one of them, at least when it comes to the talking part – the Boston terrier didn’t make it to the finals of “America’s Got Talent.”
Still, in terms of the exposure alone, it was a win for ventriloquist Todd Oliver, whose Branson, Missouri-based act has become more popular than ever.
Branson features three dogs in his performances, all equipped with flapping contraptions attached to their lower jaws. He controls the devices remotely, making the dog’s mouth move in time with the words he supplies, via ventriloquism.
In other words, Oliver uses his dogs for dummies.
No, I don’t think Oliver’s act should be banned. I don’t think we need to get PETA on the phone. I don’t think the appendages attached to the dogs for the act are hurting the dogs, or even bothering them to any great extent.
I am merely saying that it’s another example of us putting words in dogs’ mouths, of our humanization of them — solely for our own amusement.
I don’t like that Pedigree’s DentaStix ad campaign, featuring dogs with human dentures, either — for the same reason. In addition to the TV ads, the campaign allowed us to, with help from our computers, put not just human dentures, but the words of our choice, into dog mouths.
I’m not one of those to unnecessarily sound the anthropomorphization alarm — mainly because it’s too hard a word to say — but I do believe we should enjoy dogs as dogs, and not try to transform them into us.
Oliver seems like a nice guy who does a lot for dogs and animals, and as far as what he does to them for the act, it’s probably not abusive and even somewhat cute, at least for the first few minutes.
He says on his website that the device was developed with a veterinarian.
“Todd is just a true animal lover. He often assists local shelters and rescues dogs from unfit environments,” the website says. ”Everything in Todd’s act is 100% safe and registered with the USDA and the Missouri Department of Agriculture.”
I know that, again, I will be criticized for being overly sensitive, but in my opinion we’ve already tinkered with dogs too much — by shaping them, over the centuries, into breeds whose looks please us; by using them in lab experiments and, in recent years, cloning them; by dressing them up, teaching them to dance, and all the other things we do for our own amusement.
They’re pretty amusing and animated just as they are, without our help. Our attempts to make them more amusing, I think, are often both dopey and disrespectful. But who’s going to listen to me?
If only I could get a dog to say it.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 4th, 2012 under videos.
Tags: act, america's got talent, amusement, animals, anthropomorphization, dentures, dog, dogs, dogshaming, dummies, dummy, entertainment, funny dogs, humanization, humans, irving, irving the talking dog, mouth, pedigree, pets, talking dogs, tinkering, todd oliver, ventriloquism
Ostrosky Stern broke the news on Twitter this week, saying, “We lost our precious Bianca today. My sweet little girl, may you rest in peace. I love you forever.”
Howard Stern, who has Bianca’s name tattooed on his arm, also tweeted: “Tough day today my friends. Thanks for all the kind messages. Give your dog a hug for me tonight.”
The 10-year-old English bulldog participated in the couple’s New York wedding in 2008, and her photo is on the cover of Ostrosky Stern’s 2010 book (no relation to ohmidog!), “Oh My Dog: How to Choose, Train, Groom, Nurture, Feed and Care for Your New Best Friend.”
According to MSNBC, Bianca was purchased in 2002 from a “rescue breeder.” (Maybe they meant a breed rescue.) There has been no word on the cause of death.
The dog would often accompany Ostrosky Stern, who is a spokesperson for the North Shore Animal League, on appearances.
(Photo: Beth Ostrosky Stern’s Twitter page)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america's got talent, animals, beth ostrosky stern, bianca, bulldog, dead, death, dogs, english bulldog, grief, howard stern, north shore animal league, oh my dog, pet, pets, twitter
I wasn’t personally tuned in, but it seems Pup, the accordion-playing pooch vying to win the NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” competition, failed to make much of an impression last night.
Maybe he was overwhelmed by the bright lights, the big stage and the huge Hollywood crowd, but Pup only tugged a couple of times on the elastic strap attached to the accordion, and once it snapped out of his mouth, he stayed away from the accordion altogether.
After Pup balked, the act turned into a solo – basically his owner, Ed, singing and strumming “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”
Pup failed to live up to the expectations of the judges, and his owner, Ed, from Oakhurst, California — and anyone else who saw his impressive audition tape (above).
“If Pup had continued we may have had a sensation on our hands, but we’re never going to know,” said judge Piers Morgan, who “X-ed” the act early on.
“We had some problems,” Ed explained afterward.
Pup’s on air performance — a bit painful to watch — is included in the video below.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 11th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accordion, acts, america's got talent, animals, competition, dog, dogs, ed, music, musical, nbc, performances, pets, piers morgan, playing, pup, reality, talent, television, tv, video
“America’s Got Talent” is the grammatically incorrect name of an NBC television program in which three people who, as far as I know, have never displayed any of their own, judge whether other humans have talent.
This season, though, another species somehow sneaked in, or is it snuck?
A dog named Rory, whose Frisbee skills are indeed stunning, is one of five contestants who have made it to the semi-finals. Rory beat out singer and piano player Charles DeWayne for the final position.
Before the final vote judge Piers Morgan — a former tabloid editor who serves as the token British snot on the panel — said if the dog was chosen over DeWayne, it would be “the biggest scandal” in the history of the show.
Judges David Hasselhoff and Sharon Osbourne, however, called Rory’s performance “brilliant.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 16th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: america's got talent, david hasselhoff, disc, dog, flying, frisbee, judges, nbc, piers morgan, rockin rory, rocking rory, rory, sharon osbourne, talent, television, tv, video