Moondog Hosts Mascot Workshop

From left to right: Moondog, Crunch, Slamson, Stuff, Coyote and Bear.
For two days last week, some of the NBA's funniest -- and furriest -- mascots descended upon the Rock and Roll capital for a Mascot Workshop hosted by the Cavaliers' cool canine, the Moondog. Mascots from Minnesota, Seattle, Orlando, Sacramento, San Antonio and Utah joined our high-flying hound for two days of helping the critters further develop their characters and become better performers and assets to their teams.

On Friday, August 12 all of the in-game entertainers took the stage at Wilbert's in downtown Cleveland for an impromptu jam session that you might just be seeing on the jumbotron during one of this year's Cavaliers games.

In between his busy schedule of conducting workshops and chasing mailmen, the Moondog took a few minutes to sit down (and then sit up) to talk with about the workshop, its fuzzy participants and the recent inductees into the Mascot Hall of Fame.

Check out the photos from Wilbert's! On Tuesday, the Phillie Fanatic, the San Diego Chicken and the Phoenix Suns Gorilla were inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame. How do you feel about your chances to end up enshrined one day? Will the mascot steroid scandal affect your chances with the Mascot Writer’s Guild?

Moondog: I have never….I repeat, never, used steroids. (finger wave included).

While I am in impeccable shape, I am blessed with good dog genes and don’t see the advantage.

When you look at the legends in the industry you can see that bulking up doesn’t help: A scrawny chicken, a phat Phanatic and a wimpy monkey? None of those furballs are on the gas. Can you comment on Florida Marlins manager Jack McKeon’s comments regarding the Chicken?

McKeon: "We win the pennant, and they want to make the Chicken bigger than the team. Our marketing people think he's putting people in the seats. Marketing people thought he was the reason we were putting people in the ballpark. Once you see him 10 or 12 times, come on. Fans liked him. The Chicken is all right. Do your act, and get the hell off the field.”

Moondog: Clearly that septuagenarian dinosaur Jack McKeon is just angry that the Chicken beats up a fellow dinosaur Barney. Maybe Jack can trade in his ring for a sense of humor.

However, I have to agree that “marketing people” are knuckleheads….I mean, have you ever met Len Komoroski? Tell us about the mascot workshop that you hosted here in Cleveland. Which mascots attended the workshop? And was your furniture covered in fur after they left?

Moondog: Squatch (Seattle) and I hosted five of the NBA’s top mascots for a meeting of the small minds. We had two intense days of meetings, following by two intense nights of clowning around. Each mascot presented a topic ranging from how to create a good video series to how to pick-up a cheerleader. We even had a guest speaker on fitness and diet (I need to cut back on the kibble).

We had seven mascots from around the NBA: Sacramento, Minnesota, Orlando, Utah, and San Antonio’s famous Coyote joined the host dog and Seattle’s Squatch.

There was some extra vacuuming involved, but I covered most of the furniture in plastic before they came. My favorite clean-up story is probably the guitar we rented had a huge wad of green fur stuck in the chords….probably the first time the music shop has had to deal with that. On Friday afternoon, you and your cohorts rocked out at Wilbert’s Bar and Grille. I noticed that the Utah Jazz Bear had no rhythm. Is it that bears have no rhythm or is it because he’s from Utah?

Moondog: He actually got a ton of grief from the other critters about that. It’s because he is from Utah. Other bears I know have great rhythm…..TC Bear (Minnesota Twins) and Grizz (Memphis Grizzlies) can dance like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire (respectively).

We found that not only does Bear have no rhythm, but he can’t dance, can’t play the drums (or even pretend to), and he doesn’t know the difference between a bass and an electric guitar. I am not sure he even knows how to play the radio. This weekend you hosted a wolf, a lion, a coyote, a bear, a sasquatch and a Stuff. What in God’s name is a “Stuff”? Should we be afraid of it? And what are those things that come out of his nostrils?

Moondog: Stuff is a “magic” dragon. I don’t think he’s been able to conjure up any worthwhile magic since they pulled off the back-to-back lottery picks. I just get worried whenever I order “Hot Stuff” pizza….then I really start to wonder what’s on my deep dish.

After spending a couple days with Stuff, there is nothing to fear about him.

As for the nostrils….I think that’s snot, but I never got a good look at it. Which mascot would you least like to be stuck on a desert island with?

Moondog: First of all, none of these guys smell very good….so give me the upwind side of the island.

Stuff has that nose problem and is pretty obnoxious, so he’s out. Sacramento and Minnesota just can’t be trusted, so they are out. No one would want to rescue the Bear, so you’d be stuck forever.

The Coyote might be solid, with his connections over at ACME, he could probably build a rocket or a boat to get off the island.

In the end, I would probably pick Squatch….there are a ton of people out looking for Bigfoot, so we’d probably be rescued before too long. What did you do as far as accommodations? Put newspapers down? A litter box? Or did you just have them use the backyard? Did anyone have to be reprimanded for drinking out of the toilet?

Moondog: Actually NBA mascots are pampered superstars, demanding of the highest quality accommodations. Rooms with a view, those big fluffy robes, all-night room service, turn-down service, a nice mint (the chocolate kind) on the pillow, mini bar (unlocked), and a staff that understands the grind of our high-stress life of entertainment. We are, after all, very refined world-renowned entertainers.

Drinking out of the toilet is underrated. I mean it’s often the coldest water in the house. Did you learn anything at the workshop?

Moondog: Other than don’t invite six NBA mascots to town without notifying the authorities first?

I think I picked up a few ideas and got motivated for the upcoming season….I am looking forward to the debut of the mascot music video. We had a great time shooting that and hopefully the fans enjoy it.