Drew Carey
October 22, 2002 7:22 AM   Subscribe

Drew Carey had a date with a Furry on last nights episode. Can you think of any other occasions where internet based subcultures or fads have broken through to prime-time? Is it only a matter of time until someone on 7th Heaven gets in trouble because of a post on a weblog?
posted by quibx (35 comments total)
First FPP, so please be gentle. I was just amused to find something that I had only seen on the net get widespread exposure.

I know Jump the Shark has a tentative TV deal, but I was surprised that we haven't seen a MeFi-style TV show, or more references to internet based culture in popular television.
posted by quibx at 7:26 AM on October 22, 2002

Willow "googled" someone on last week's Buffy.
posted by karenh at 7:27 AM on October 22, 2002

OK, I will admit that I am tragically un-hip, but WTF is a "furry"?
posted by stupidcomputernickname at 7:35 AM on October 22, 2002

Kill your television.
posted by Fabulon7 at 7:36 AM on October 22, 2002

A furry is a person who enjoy's dressing up like a giant stuffed animal. They go to conventions and and have separate lives as their fur characters.There is also an erotic aspect to it, where furries copluating is known as "Yiffing".I spend way too much time on the net.
posted by quibx at 7:39 AM on October 22, 2002

Furry's are people who dress up in animal suits or are generally interested in anthropomorphic animals. Sometimes (often?) there is a sexual aspect to it.

It will most likely destroy you, but feel free to click links from here to see more.

Just remember, there are certain things you see and you can't unsee.

As far as prime time exposure, there was a Furry special on MTV last year.

posted by malphigian at 7:40 AM on October 22, 2002

Curses, unclosed bold tag.
posted by malphigian at 7:41 AM on October 22, 2002

I saw that special! The look on the mom's face when the guy came out and she saw him wearing his furry suit for the first time was priceless!
posted by Cyrano at 7:43 AM on October 22, 2002

There was a recent thread in PVP about this phenomenon, too...
(Read here)
posted by jozxyqk at 7:43 AM on October 22, 2002

Oh, and fabulon7, that's so cool, TV sucks, like read a book man, they are so much inherently better than the idiot box.

For you.
posted by malphigian at 7:49 AM on October 22, 2002

These people are funny.
posted by Fabulon7 at 7:50 AM on October 22, 2002

I can't get the Onion at work--403-verboten, sorry.
Trust me, I have never, ever said that a book is inherently better than television. Never. But thanks for putting those words in my mouth.
posted by Fabulon7 at 7:53 AM on October 22, 2002

Apologies then, I did assume, you did post a completely tired and offtopic "kill your television" post in this thread, however.
posted by malphigian at 7:54 AM on October 22, 2002

Willow "googled" someone on last week's Buffy.

Willow can google me anytime.
posted by jonmc at 7:55 AM on October 22, 2002

Well, before this goes to a television/anti-television flamewar (I could care less what you do), I'd like to point out that the classic case of an internet phenomenon making its way onto mainstream TV was the Dancing Baby making its way onto Ally McBeal. (Disclaimer, self link)
posted by statusquo at 7:56 AM on October 22, 2002

I plead the 5th.
posted by Fabulon7 at 7:56 AM on October 22, 2002

It doesn't strike me as weird in any way that Internet phenomena will make their way onto television. People read newspapers on TV, people watch TV on TV. Now that such a huge percentage of the American public are hooked up to the Internet, it's only natural that the representations of those people on television will also be Internet users.
And since we all know that there is an enormous amount of strangeness on the Internet, it is not to hard to imagine why TV producers would want to include some of it in their shows...
posted by Fabulon7 at 8:00 AM on October 22, 2002

Furries were on ER last year.
posted by drinkcoffee at 8:16 AM on October 22, 2002

Were they embarassingly stuck together?
posted by Fabulon7 at 8:41 AM on October 22, 2002

Are furries really an internet phenomenon? I know it's become quite the way of interacting for members of many smaller fetish groups etc. But my understanding is that this is not so much a "web" thing.
posted by bitdamaged at 8:43 AM on October 22, 2002

Coming soon: band of perverts advances heretofore unknown fetish by purchasing product placement time to advance their nacent cause.

Lets call it concept placement, and remember, you heard it on MeFi first
posted by BentPenguin at 9:08 AM on October 22, 2002

Funny, I just over heard someone talking about goatse.cx while walking down the street yesterday. And if you don't know what that is, don't go there.
posted by atom128 at 9:08 AM on October 22, 2002

Are furries really an internet phenomenon? I know it's become quite the way of interacting for members of many smaller fetish groups etc. But my understanding is that this is not so much a "web" thing.

You're right, there were Furries before the web. I think the phenomenon is that the web makes Furries (and members of other subcultures) aware that there are other Furries out there, and are thus emboldened to come out of the Furry closet, such as it is. (Be assured that there is a college professor developing a Furry Studies curriculum as we speak.)

I'm curious, though. Isn't one of the points of a fetish that it's taboo? Wouldn't acceptance kind of take the fun out of it?
posted by Ty Webb at 9:23 AM on October 22, 2002

Joey(that's her name?) accidentally Emailed a "morning after the fling, what are we doing?" letter to her entire campus, instead of Dawson, on Dawson's Creek. I can't find the darn MeFi links to similar real-life happenings...

I was just flipping channels...

BTW, why does Joey look so dramatically less... endowed now than when she did her nude scene in the Sam Raimi film the Gift? Temporary augmentation? Sad, if that's the case...
posted by Shane at 9:50 AM on October 22, 2002

Maybe I'm making an unjustified leap in logic here, but aren't Furries as we know them today an evolution (ahem!) of some text-based MUDs/MOOs from "back in the day"? I remember bumbling into one of those years ago and being shocked - shocked, I tell you! - to discover "humans" pretending to be "animals" pretending to have "sex"...
posted by JollyWanker at 9:53 AM on October 22, 2002

Jesus effing christ, I'd thought I'd effing seen everything...
posted by timecube at 10:15 AM on October 22, 2002

...the Dancing Baby making its way onto Ally McBeal.

Heh, which later turned into a dancing baby devil on a particularly cool episode of Millenium (written by Darin Morgan, who also wrote the hilarious "From Outer Space" episode of X-Files, starring Charles Nelson Reilly as Jose Chung. An absolute classic. Both episodes are featured prominently on Morgan's website. A TV writer who obviously watches the internet and pop culture? Others?)
posted by Shane at 10:37 AM on October 22, 2002

Technically, Doogie Howser was TV's first blogger.

Sort of.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:48 AM on October 22, 2002

Converse interjection:

Wil Wheaton's blog is an example of the flipside of this; television making very popular online content.

Having written that, I'm discovering how unremarkable it is.
posted by armoured-ant at 11:41 AM on October 22, 2002

Although 'furriness' is often viewed as just a sexual fetish (as has been described above), the word can actually apply to a somewhat wider spectrum of people. Some are just fans of the kinds of cartoons that feature anthropomorhpic animal characters. Others like dressing up in fur suits and/or role playing as a furry alter ego, but only in a kind of 'for fun' sense, whereas others will do the same because they actually feel a deep spiritual connection with certain animals (somewhat like native American tradition of totem animals).

In all cases, it would be fair to say that although it all probably existed in people's minds before the internet, the easy communication brought about by Usenet (e.g. alt.fan.furry and alt.lifestyle.furry) and MUDs/MOOs (e.g. FurryMUCK) enabled it to attain subculture status. For more, a good place to start is PeterCat's Furry InfoPage
posted by chrismear at 12:03 PM on October 22, 2002

BentPenguin, i love the idea. just think of the possibilities ...

Ty, i think the attraction to any particular fetish or "deviant" behavior is rarely based on its taboo nature. maybe it's just me. i tend to think that deviant sexual behavior is healthier when the actual perversion is the attraction, not the fact that it's simply perverted (but i probably just learned that from Giles Goat-Boy).

i certainly have no sexual behavior expertise, but the more i think about it, i think the attraction to things taboo is a perversion/fetish in and of itself.

again, i'm not speaking from a whole lot of experience, but i get a sense that practitioners of alternative sexual behavior have a need for mainstream acceptance, i.e they'd like to be able to tell their friends about it and not have to hide their stuff. perhaps not a whole lot different than homosexual and interracial behavior 50 yrs ago. people don't like stigmas, and in this age (at least in America) deviant sexual behavior is definitely a black mark.

on the other hand, i do also hear comments like "part of the reason it's so fun is b/c it's naughty." well, duh. when isn't breaking rules fun?

i'm curious as to the portrayal of the furry on Drew Carey and also the furry community's response. anybody in the kno
posted by mrgrimm at 12:06 PM on October 22, 2002

for some reason, my last few characters always disappear. add a "w?" at the end of that last post. xxxx
posted by mrgrimm at 12:19 PM on October 22, 2002

The alt.fan.furry threads are already pleased nobody said the word "furry" and are having arguments about whether this was a show about furries, or just about fursuiters.

They also wonder whether naming the girlfriend Amy was a deliberate hommage or mere coinkydink. And "furry" stuff definitely existed before the net -- way back in the 80s there was Omaha the Cat Dancer, an adult comic book that included anthropomorphic animals (characters written with grace and wit) who tended to have fully X-rated sex about once an issue. But this gives a clue that a lot of people may be missing. The origins of the Furry subculture have a lot to do with the funny-animal genre of comic books and a bit of Japanese anime influence. That is, to my awareness, fewer people are interested in dressing up as an actual squirrel than are interested in dressing up as an anthropomorphic cartoon squirrel or another animated character, e.g. from Animaniacs. There are also links to net erotica written for non-human characters, such as Tolkienesque elves.
posted by dhartung at 12:49 PM on October 22, 2002

Back to the original question: On an episode of My Wife and Kids, Junior sets up a web cam in his room. The parents ended up having sex on his bed when the kids were away and, of course, they had an audience.
posted by onhazier at 1:26 PM on October 22, 2002

I don't think it's necessarily right to refer to furries as "an internet-based subculture". They're more of a subculture that happens to interact actively on the Internet. They also have some fairly large public gatherings, however.

Technically, you could say that fetish culture is "internet-based"... but then again, so is just about every other subculture out there nowadays. What I think makes furries more internet-based than most is just the very unique nature of their particular kink/interest -- it's rarer than most, and the Internet provided a good mechanism for allowing this small subculture to interact.
posted by insomnia_lj at 5:11 AM on October 23, 2002

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