Real Southerners become Popular

It should come as no surprise to most people that Penguins are cool these days. In fact, they seem to be at the top of the cute animal pile, recently out pacing puppies, kittens, and koalas. Last fall, the meteoric Penguin rise was briefly challenged by the two Panda births in the US, but Penguins maintained their death grip on one the cute list lead.

If you visit the video site youtube.com and search for Penguin, it will return more than 230 short Penguin movies. More importantly, when you search for "play cole" you will find a series of brilliant and hilarious films uploaded by "playcole".

Naturally, the popular March of the Penguins movie had a lot to do with this. It a lovely story about struggling against adversity to simply live and do your part for your society and...well, I haven't actually seen it, but I do have the DVD sitting on shelf, and I hear it's very good.

This isn't the first time Penguins have tried to ascend. Burgess Meredith brought The Penguin into living rooms at the Same Bat Time and Same Bat Channel several times, but it didn't quite stick in the pop culture.

Interestingly, the Penguins (the birds) come across more tenderly in the Batman Returns, featuring a decidedly more interesting Penguin (the bad guy) played by Danny DeVito. It's been years since I've seen it, but as I recall the birds actually carry away the dead or dying DeVito, and take him back to the sewers. It was one of the more touching moments I remember from the series of movies. I'm sure Jon will correct me if I misstate my Batman lore.

And in the 1980's the genius of Berkeley Breathed gave us Bloom County and Opus the Penguin. Of course later in the strip Binkley announces that Opus looks much more like a puffin than a penguin, but no matter. I proudly wore my "Don't Blame Me. I Voted for Bill 'n' Opu shirt," and anxiously awaited the release of the Deathtongue CD. I hoped someone in Antarctica would find that damned step stool. But while Bloom County may have given us Opus fever, it didn't really give us Penguin fever.

My girlfriend actually was a big Penguin fan before they became popular. Actually, she often does that with new trends. She becomes a big fan before any of them become trendy. This happened with Penguins, flip flops, toe rings, Coach bags, iPods, and a number of other items. She tends to get into these things 6 to 12 months before the explode into the pop culture. Now, I just need to figure out how to make money off of this phenomenon, but that's another story.

Regardless, she doesn't abandon things once they get trendy, which is fortunate. People who abandon something simply because it's become popular are annoying. I'm sure we all know someone who says things like, "I used to like that band, but then the got too popular." Why should popularity make something somehow less worthy or likable? But that's a rant for another day. Regardless, my girlfriend doesn't stop liking things once they become popular.

So now your thinking, "OK Cromely, this is mildly interesting and would have been relevant 6 months ago. Why are you writing this now?" Well there are two reasons. First, of all, I didn't have this blog 6 month ago.

The second reason, however, is advertising.

Within the past few months, there has been an increase in the Penguin advertising. John O'Hurley of Seinfeld fame is now doing car insurance commercials featuring penguins. There's also an Jeep commercial featuring a Penguin that wants to go to Florida.

So finally, here is my point. I predict at least 4 commercials will air during the Superbowl next week that will feature Penguins. There. Now, it was worth reading the entire post for that, wasn't it?

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