Bugs Bunny has got nothing on Rabbit Bites, the popular series that gives a whole new meaning to the term “wise cracking rabbits.”
I know what you’re thinking: Rabbits? Are you serious? But before you pass off Rabbit Bites as some bush league, pet show, Easter fest, or any kind of cutesy homage to the furry creatures, you should know that this Internet series – on the Web since June 2006 and recently inked a sponsorship deal with Purina – is nothing of the kind. Rabbit Bites is a pop culture critique show with doses of acerbic wit hosted by two live, “talking” rabbits named Buns and Chou Chou.
Executive producer and creator Nicholas Quixote (who founded Quixote Broadcasting with Renaldo Quixote) “wanted a show with more intelligent hosts than the typical entertainment TV show. So, he enlisted his two pet rabbits,” one male and grey (Buns) and the other female and black and white (Chou Chou). Each episode, featured weekly on sites like salon.com, is a commentary on celebrities, pop culture, generational trends, or the current state of vlogging and Internet media. Buns, with his British accent, often heads up the rabbits’ biting, harsh style of critique, while Chou Chou (pronounced “shoe shoe”) complements their comically scornful banter.
In the world of these two, no famous person or cultural phenomenon is off limits###: Britney Spears, Tom Cruise, Paris Hilton, American Idol, Project Runway, Alec Baldwin’s irate phone message to his daughter…the list goes on. Even the iPhone gets mocked. “I thought this would be sexy, hot, but all I see are a bunch of bloody nerds,” observes Buns outside an Apple store, where a long line of iPhone buyers are clamoring to get in.
When Buns and Chou Chou are not spoofing television shows, making fun of celebrities, or exposing the Overly Narcissistic Vlogger, they’re also dipping into other components on Rabbit Bites, like Coffee with Chou Chou, a talk show with real and amusingly doctored interviews. And there’re no end in sight: In the future, movie reviews may be added, and actors like Janeane Garofalo and YouTube stars like Barats and Bereta are slated to make an appearance.
Just how do Buns and Chou Chou get their chatter on? Quixote, who does their voices, reveals, “I know it’s going to sound like a joke, but believe it or not, good old carrots seem to work the best. They like them, and they are just hard enough to chew that it might take them five seconds to finish a bite,” during which time cameras are rolling to “capture” their next zinger. Yes, it’s bizarre, it’s unconventional, it’s not what you’d ever expect.
But under the layers of seeming stupidity lie incisive observations and even random, unexpectedly philosophical, artistic, or historical references sprinkled throughout the show, like this little nod to Vermeer in the CSI episode. These allusions and critiques make the show more than just two rabbits “talking” in high-pitched tones. And once I got past the chipmunk voices, I often found there is a point to unearth – sometimes so scathing or brutally honest that Perez Hilton seems polite by contrast.
This odd-ball, surrealist quality – and freedom to say anything about our culture when a human is not the star of the show – help to explain the appeal of the series. Like those animals in the classic book Charlotte’s Web, if you listen carefully, these two rabbits just might surprise you.