What Not To Wear If You're a Corporate Mascot Comedy writers Dewayne Perkins and Aasia LaShay Bullock recall the outfits of beloved corporate mascots like Mr. Peanut and Cap'n Crunch.
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What Not To Wear If You're a Corporate Mascot

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What Not To Wear If You're a Corporate Mascot

What Not To Wear If You're a Corporate Mascot

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(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: This is ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and mindfulness. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Thanks, Jonathan. Joining us right now, we have Dewayne Perkins, a comedy writer for "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "The Amber Ruffin Show" and the new "Saved By The Bell" reboot, and Aasia LaShay Bullock, who writes for the shows "Space Force" and "Upload." Dewayne, Aasia, welcome to ASK ME ANOTHER.

AASIA LASHAY BULLOCK: Hey.

DEWAYNE PERKINS: Hello. What to do?

EISENBERG: (Laughter) So - OK, Dewayne, you're from Chicago. Aasia, you moved there from Dallas.

BULLOCK: I did.

EISENBERG: OK.

BULLOCK: Oh, yes, you're better than Google.

EISENBERG: So - but then you're both at University and Second City at the same time.

BULLOCK: So my freshman year, I saw a video of him online dancing with a dance group that was not good.

(LAUGHTER)

BULLOCK: And so I slid in his DMs and was like, oh, that dance group is not good, but you're a star. You're clearly the Beyonce of this dance group. Do you want to be best friends? And then he was like, yeah (laughter). And that's how it happened.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Wow.

BULLOCK: Yeah, and I started taking classes at Second City. And I was like, these people are terrible, but you're a star. Would you come to Second City and, like, be a star with me here?

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: So - and, Dewayne, you were - for a brief time in high school, you were part of the football team.

PERKINS: I was a football player, yes. I was a jock.

EISENBERG: You were a jock...

BULLOCK: I love this story.

EISENBERG: ...But were convinced by a coach, an acting coach, to leave.

PERKINS: Yes. My football coach was like, oh, if you guys do ballet, it will help you play football better.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

PERKINS: And so I started taking ballet classes, and I was like, oh, no one's hitting me here, so I'm just going to do this instead.

(LAUGHTER)

PERKINS: So then I was like, yeah, that's a chop (ph). I'm not doing this anymore. I'm going to go do performing arts. And my improv coach was very "Blind Side." And she was like, hey, you can do whatever you want. Go do acting. And I was like, yes, white woman, I will.

(LAUGHTER)

BULLOCK: Come on, Sandra Bullock.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right, we have a couple of great games for you. Would you like to play some wacky games?

BULLOCK: Yes.

EISENBERG: Excellent.

PERKINS: Yes, please.

BULLOCK: Let's get wacky.

EISENBERG: OK, so you're going to be competing against each other, and this first game is about the most famous characters in the world, corporate mascots.

PERKINS: (Laughter).

BULLOCK: Very familiar.

EISENBERG: So it's multiple choice. We are going to name a non-problematic corporate mascot.

(LAUGHTER)

BULLOCK: OK. We'll see.

COULTON: We think.

BULLOCK: I'll be the judge of that.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And then we're going to list three clothing items. And you just have to tell us which item of those three is not in the character's ensemble.

PERKINS: Got it.

EISENBERG: Let's start easy. Dewayne, this one's for you.

PERKINS: OK.

EISENBERG: Mr. Peanut...

PERKINS: Heard of him.

EISENBERG: Mr. Peanut's full name was Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe.

BULLOCK: Smythe.

EISENBERG: What was not included in his ensemble - A, a pocket watch, B, a monocle, or c, spats?

PERKINS: Ooh. OK, this is difficult because what is a spat?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I also had to look it up. It's short for spatter dashers. It's that classic outdoor footwear accessory that you put kind of on the top of your shoes...

PERKINS: Oh, yes.

EISENBERG: ...So your shoes and socks don't get splattered...

PERKINS: Got it. OK.

EISENBERG: ...You know, during murders.

(LAUGHTER)

BULLOCK: Like, oh, no, my shoes.

PERKINS: OK. He for sure had a monocle. But in my brain, this man is naked, so...

(LAUGHTER)

PERKINS: ...I don't think he has a pocket or a pocket watch.

EISENBERG: Yeah, you're correct. Absolutely.

PERKINS: Ah.

EISENBERG: Pocket watch is correct. But he's got a top hat. He's got a monocle. He's got white gloves, a cane and spats. And you're right, really no other clothing.

BULLOCK: That's nasty.

COULTON: All right, Aasia. Here is one for you.

BULLOCK: All right.

COULTON: Travelocity's mascot is a garden gnome who travels the world. What is not a part of the Roaming Gnome's look - A, combing his beard out in points like a starburst surrounding his head, B, rakishly bending his conical hat so that it hangs down at a 90-degree angle, or C, hiking up his belt to about nipple level?

PERKINS: (Laughter).

BULLOCK: I mean, it's like a pretty classic gnome, which is why the starburst beard - I don't recall that being associated with gnome culture. I mean, I'm no gnomeologist (ph).

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: Sure. I mean, you respect gnome culture, even if you're not totally...

BULLOCK: Right.

COULTON: ...Familiar with it.

BULLOCK: Yeah. So, you know, I try to - I have, you know, a few gnome friends. So I think it's the...

COULTON: (Laughter).

BULLOCK: I really think it's the beard sunburst. That just sounds absurd to me.

COULTON: You know, it is actually the rakishly bent hat.

BULLOCK: What?

COULTON: Well, he does have a hat...

BULLOCK: This was tricky.

COULTON: ...But he just wears it like normal. Gnome-style.

BULLOCK: See? That just seems - you know, I'm not going to judge a gnome. I'm not a gnome.

(LAUGHTER)

BULLOCK: The gnomes can do whatever they want to do.

COULTON: They can do whatever they want.

BULLOCK: Yeah. Like I said, I'm not here to tell gnomes how to live their lives (laughter).

EISENBERG: OK. Dewayne, which of these is not included in Cap'n Crunch's uniform?

PERKINS: OK. All right.

EISENBERG: A, a peg leg, B, strangely large epaulets. Or C, a bicorne hat with his eyebrows on it?

PERKINS: OK. He for sure has that hat with the eyebrows because I've always been, like, sir, what is this? And then...

(LAUGHTER)

BULLOCK: Sir?

PERKINS: I'm going to say the peg leg, because he is a captain. Even though he gives pirate energy, I don't think he's a pirate. He's a captain. And I don't think he, like, be out here doing things to make him lose a leg.

EISENBERG: You're right.

COULTON: (Laughter).

PERKINS: So I'm going to say...

EISENBERG: You're right.

PERKINS: ...Peg leg.

EISENBERG: Peg leg is correct.

COULTON: Yeah.

BULLOCK: (Laughter).

COULTON: This is the last question, Aasia. And it is for you.

BULLOCK: All right.

COULTON: And there's a little audio for you here.

BULLOCK: Ooh.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Count Chocula) I'm the super sweet monster with the super sweet new cereal, Count Chocula.

COULTON: So that, of course, is Count Chocula.

BULLOCK: Yes, African American icon Count Chocula. Yes.

COULTON: (Laughter) Yes.

BULLOCK: Huge fan.

COULTON: Which of these articles is not part of Count Chocula's aristocratic mystique - A, a long, luxurious, cocoa-colored cape, B, a sash awarded for his service as part of a balanced breakfast, or C, frilled sleeves, like that shirt from "Seinfeld."

BULLOCK: The sash is giving me pageantry. And it seems like a bit of a clash of the aesthetic. Dewayne, how do you feel about this?

PERKINS: I mean, just thinking back on it, puffy shirts remind me of Prince, and I don't remember him giving Prince energy.

BULLOCK: Fair. Fair.

COULTON: (Laughter).

PERKINS: But I think he might have a sash.

BULLOCK: OK. So no puffy shirt? Is he, like, it's just - it's cape, crop top, sash?

(LAUGHTER)

BULLOCK: No puffy shirt with sleeves on it?

PERKINS: Wait. See now...

BULLOCK: Sleeveless? Are his arms exposed? Like, does he have - is he ripped? I don't know.

EISENBERG: Have you ever seen Count Chocula's tummy?

COULTON: Six pack.

BULLOCK: (Laughter) His midriff is out.

COULTON: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

BULLOCK: His cape is cropped, too. I don't know. I like it.

(LAUGHTER)

BULLOCK: I don't actually care what the answer is, here's my version of Count Chocula, OK?

(LAUGHTER)

BULLOCK: He has a reversible cropped cape. It's velour on the inside.

COULTON: Yeah.

BULLOCK: And he's wearing a crop top. He has a little bit of man cleavage.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: Sure.

BULLOCK: And the sash is framed on the wall somewhere. He doesn't wear it anymore 'cause it's tacky. He's giving very "Bachelorette" vibes, you know?

EISENBERG: I like it.

(LAUGHTER)

BULLOCK: Like, you don't need a sash in public, Count Chocula.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: You're going to go with - you're going to go with sash?

BULLOCK: I'm going to personally go with sash.

COULTON: You are absolutely correct. He does not have a sash.

BULLOCK: Thank God, Count Chocula. Oh, gosh, I'm so glad we're on the same page.

EISENBERG: Amazing game. Everyone won. The show won the biggest, though.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: We all win. We're all winners.

EISENBERG: The show won the biggest.

BULLOCK: It's my favorite kind of game. I love when everyone's a winner.

COULTON: Yeah. Yeah.

BULLOCK: I hate when people lose.

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