In this episode of Trivia Rewind, I’m talking TV pet stars. Over the years, a lot of shows have given us memorable pets from the fluffy to the scruffy. Here’s something you probably don’t know about me. My very first job after graduating from Baylor University with a TV/Film degree was with the PBS television series Wishbone. Remember that little Jack Russell Terrier that would delve into classic literature? That’s him. The dog that played Wishbone was named Soccer. He was quite the star on set. I still remember that the entire cast and crew of Wishbone celebrated Soccer’s birthday with a big cake. He was treated quite well. Sadly, Soccer died in 2001.
Dogs are quite popular on TV. Lassie has been ranked as the best TV pet of all time. But in this episode, it’s not just dogs I’m talking about. If you look back over the decades of television you’ll find pets like Mr. Ed the horse, Flipper the dolphin and even Aristotle the octopus. We love our pets both in real life and on screen.
In this week’s episode of Trivia Rewind, I’ll give you fifteen trivia questions about TV pets. After I give you the questions, I’ll give you the answers and some fun facts about each pet. Find out which TV pet was tragically killed on a television studio’s backlot when hit by a delivery vehicle. You’ll even find out which TV pet had a net worth of 3.2 million dollars. Those and so many more fun facts await you on this episode of Trivia Rewind.
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Here is the transcript. Spoiler alert! Unless you’ve already listened to the episode, don’t look below because you’ll find the answers.
Trivia Rewind Episode 32 – Famous TV Pets
[00:00:00] [00:00:00] Trivia Rewind.
[00:00:06] Hey Trivia Rewind listeners. I’m Debi Jenkins. In this episode, I’m talking TV pet stars. Over the years a lot of shows have given us memorable pets from the fluffy to the scruffy. Here’s something you probably don’t know about me. My very first job after graduating from Baylor University with a TV/Film degree was with the PBS television series Wishbone. Remember that little Jack Russell Terrier that would delve into classic literature? That’s him. The dog that played Wishbone was named Soccer. He was quite the star on set. I still remember that the entire cast and crew of Wishbone celebrated Soccer’s birthday with a big cake. He was treated quite well. Sadly soccer died in 2001.
[00:00:54] Dogs are quite popular on TV. Lassie has been ranked as the best TV pet of all time. [00:01:00] But in this episode, it’s not just dogs I’m talking about. If you look back over the decades of television, you’ll find pets like Mr. Ed the horse, Flipper the dolphin and even Aristotle the octopus.
[00:01:13] We love our pets both in real life and on screen. In this week’s episode of Trivia Rewind, I’ll give you 15 trivia questions about TV pets. After I give you the questions, I’ll give you the answers and some fun facts about each pet. Find out which TV pet was tragically killed on a television studio’s back lot when hit by a delivery vehicle. You’ll even find out which TV pet had a net worth of $3.2 million. Those and so many more fun facts await you on this episode of Trivia Rewind. This should be a lot of fun. So are you ready?
[00:01:51] Here’s question one. What is the name of the dog on the classic TV series The Brady Bunch?
[00:02:00] [00:02:00] Question two. What is the name of the dog seen on the television drama series Lost?
[00:02:10] Question three. On The Gilmore Girls what is the name of Lorelai’s dog?
[00:02:19] Question four. On the sitcom Friends what is the name of Ross’s pet monkey?
[00:02:27] Question five. On the animated television series SpongeBob Square Pants what is the name of SpongeBob’s pet snail?
[00:02:37] Question six. In the 1980s series Miami Vice what kind of pet did Don Johnson’s character Sonny Crockett have and what was his pet’s name?
[00:02:51] Question seven. What is the name of the dog owned by Paul and Jamie on the nineties sitcom Mad About You?
[00:03:01] [00:03:00] Question eight. What is the name of the Jack Russell Terrier on the sitcom Frazier?
[00:03:08] Question nine. What is the name of the Tanner’s dog on the sitcom Full House?
[00:03:16] Question 10. What is the name of the pet greyhound that belongs to the Simpson family on the animated series The Simpsons?
[00:03:27] Question 11. In the 1970s series Baretta, what kind of pet did Robert Blake’s character have and what was the pet’s name?
[00:03:40] Question 12. In the 1960s series Green Acres what was the name of their pet pig?
[00:03:48] Question 13. On the sixties television series Gentle Ben, what kind of pet was Ben?
[00:03:57] Question 14. [00:04:00] What is the name of the cat on the eighties sitcom ALF?
[00:04:05] And question 15. What is the name of the French Bulldog on the sitcom Modern Family?
[00:04:14] Well, those were our 15 questions. Let’s go back and get the answers and fun facts. Question one. What is the name of the dog on the classic TV series The Brady Bunch? Well, his name was Tiger and he was played by a dog with the same name. We all may know that Tiger was a dog on The Brady Bunch, but did you know that he only appeared in 10 episodes?
[00:04:39] I guess that dog house in their backyard made us think of him even when he wasn’t there. So what happened to Tiger? Well, the news isn’t good. According to metv.com the dog that played Tiger was hit by a delivery vehicle on the Paramount Studios lot. This tragic event happened when the [00:05:00] show was filming the episode titled “Katchoo.”
[00:05:03] The article talks about how the trainer found a replacement dog at the pound but he was not trained like the original Tiger. The trainer tried to replace Tiger without telling the actors or producers but it soon became obvious that the dog they were trying to work with was not the original Tiger. In an article on cheatsheet.com, Brady Bunch creator Sherwood Schwartz once addressed this topic. Schwartz asked, “You put an untrained dog in the center of a set and we’re filming?” The trainer simply replied, “I was hoping it would work.” If you watch season one and season two and look at Tiger, you’ll be able to tell that there was more than one dog used to play him. The fur color is different for one.
[00:05:50] Barry Williams, the actor that played Greg Brady confirmed the sad tale about Tiger’s untimely death years ago in his 1992 memoir [00:06:00] titled, Growing up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg. Another book titled The Encyclopedia of TV Pets discusses the dog situation in more detail and reveals that five dogs in total were used on The Brady Bunch.
[00:06:16] Even though he was only around for a short time Tiger was memorable enough for fans to remember him. Tiger ranked 50th in Animal Planet’s 2003 television special 50 Greatest TV Animals.
[00:06:31] Question two. What is the name of the dog seen on the television series Lost? Well, his name was Vincent. A Hawaiian dog named Madison played Vincent on the series. Madison is a female Labrador Retriever. She was in 16 of the shows 24 first season episodes and was the dog of the character Walt. In an article in Pittsburghlive.com they [00:07:00] once interviewed Kim Stahl, Madison’s owner and trainer who said, “She loves being the center of attention. She loves all the commotion. What people see on television is one thing but if the camera were to turn 180 degrees, so people could see what was going on behind the camera, it’s really quite amazing. She loves being in the middle of that.” The article also says, “Stahl said her highlight of the first season was in the finale when Madison had to swim out after a raft the survivors had launched. Stahl hid on the raft to get Madison to come to it.”
[00:07:36] In an article from the website called All Labs they quote Madison’s trainer as saying, “The attention that Madison gets while she’s at work is paycheck enough for her, which is why she does not manage her own career.” Stahl added with a laugh. Fans of the show will remember the series ending when Vincent truly proves he’s man’s best [00:08:00] friend.
[00:08:01] Question three. On the show Gilmore Girls, what is the name of Lorelai’s dog? Her dog’s name was Paul Anka. The name of the dog that played Paul Anka was Sparky. Paul Anka was adopted by Lorelai Gilmore in season six of the series and is a Polish Lowland Sheep Dog. Paul Anka remained a part of the series through the final season.
[00:08:29] For those younger TV viewers out there, they may not know that there is actually a real Paul Anka. He was once a successful Canadian-American singer songwriter who wrote and performed the 1960 song “Puppy Love.” Paul Anka even made an appearance on The Gilmore Girls in the episode titled “The Real Paul Anka.”
[00:08:52] Question four. On the sitcom Friends what is the name of Ross’s pet [00:09:00] monkey? His name is Marcel and he has sometimes been referred to as the seventh Friend. Marcel was a white headed Capuchin monkey. According to The Encyclopedia of TV Pets, two female Capuchin monkeys played Marcel. They were named Katie and Monkey.
[00:09:21] Marcel appeared through part of the second season of Friends. Katie was used in the more action-oriented scenes and Monkey was used for the sitting still scenes. In the summer of 2000 the pair shared duties as the rally monkey for the Los Angeles Angels baseball team. Katie was also in the movie Bruce Almighty as well as other productions.
[00:09:46] In a Today.com article they share what Friends star Matt LeBlanc had to say about Marcel. The article says, “LeBlanc remembered one time when the show’s stars were shooting on the soundstage and Marcel decided to make [00:10:00] a run for it, climbing the stage lights until she was high above everyone else. The monkey just goes whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, right to the ceiling.” LeBlanc recalled “and just disappears into the blackness of the stage.” LeBlanc and his co-stars were forced to stop shooting while the monkey’s handlers tried to capture the tiny diva.” In The Encyclopedia of TV Pets, it notes that the monkeys seem to like Matt LeBlanc the most, even though he wasn’t the Friend that had the monkey as his pet.
[00:10:31] There was one actor that didn’t like the monkey so much. A 1995 Entertainment Weekly article revealed who that person was. They quote David Schwimmer, the actor that played Ross as saying, “I hate the monkey.” And he says, “I wish it were dead.” I’m assuming he’s joking. He went on to say, “The trainers won’t let me bond with it.” Schwimmer explains. “They’re really, really possessive. It’s like [00:11:00] land on your marks. Do your job. Don’t touch or bond with the monkey. It’s a bummer.” Last I heard Katie the Capuchin has a new job. She has been cast as the monkey on the upcoming FX series Y: The Last Man.
[00:11:15] Katie now in her thirties is doing quite well. Capuchin monkeys in the wild have a lifespan of 15 to 25 years. However, Capuchins in captivity have been known to live as long as 50 years. Hopefully Katie has many more years ahead of her in her entertainment career. The show Y: The Last Man is slated to stream on FX on Hulu in 2021.
[00:11:43] Question five. On the animated television series SpongeBob Square Pants what is the name of SpongeBob’s pet snail? SpongeBob’s pet was a sea snail named Gary who meows like a [00:12:00] cat. Actor Tom Kenny provides the voice or I guess you’d say the Meow for Gary. He is also the voice of SpongeBob. In 2018 and 2019 Tom Kenny won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program. He got his start as a standup comedian. Well, actually before his standup comedy work a TV Guide biography on Tom Kenny said he bagged groceries at Price Chopper for six years before leaving his hometown to pursue a comedy career.
[00:12:33] Originally in SpongeBob Square Pants, Gary was just a background character. But as the show went on, Gary’s personality flourished and on March 22nd, 2000, he became one of the 10 main characters.
[00:12:49] Question six. In the eighties series Miami Vice what kind of pet did Don Johnson’s character Sonny Crockett have and [00:13:00] what was his pet’s name? His pet was an alligator named Elvis. While Elvis wasn’t a snuggly sidekick he did keep things in line on Sonny Crockett’s boat. A South Florida Sun Sentinel article from 1985 mentions that Elvis’s owner was named George Harwell of Flamingo Gardens in Davie, Florida.
[00:13:23] The article says. “Elvis is dark green, about eight and a half feet long and weighs about 300 pounds. Elvis’ is stand-in Presley is a few inches shorter and a few pounds lighter.” Harwell says Elvis was chosen for the role because of his size, not because he was trained. He said you can’t train an alligator.
[00:13:47] Sadly Elvis is no longer with us. A 2011 article from the Sun Sentinel said that Elvis is buried on the property of Flamingo Gardens. There is no mention of when or how Elvis died.
[00:14:00] [00:14:00] Question seven. What is the name of the dog owned by Paul and Jamie on the nineties sitcom Mad About You? The dog’s name was Murray and he was played by a dog named Maui. His breed is a Collie mix. Word is that a Hollywood animal trainer found the dog at a shelter. Maui started out his career by doing TV commercials and he was the understudy for the circus dog Bingo in the 1991 film of the same name. After being discovered Murray even once graced the cover of TV Guide. On June 18th, 1994, both Murray and another popular Hollywood dog star shared the cover of TV Guide.
[00:14:47] Question eight. What is the name of the Jack Russell Terrier on the sitcom Frazier? That dog’s name was Eddie and he was played by a Jack Russell [00:15:00] Terrier named Moose. Moose appeared as Eddie for 192 episodes of Frasier. In a BBC article it says that during the height of Frazier’s popularity, Moose received more fan mail than any of his human counterparts. On the show Moose played the role of Eddie for seven seasons and then his son Enzo had the role for the final four seasons. In a Reader’s Digest article titled “Millionaire Pets,” it’s reported that Moose made $10,000 per episode giving him a net worth of $3.2 million.
[00:15:40] Not only did Moose have the role of Eddie on Frazier, he was also in the 2000 film My Dog Skip where he played the older dog Skip. Eddie ranked fifth in Animal Planet’s 2003 television special 50 Greatest TV Animals. Moose [00:16:00] died in 2006 at the age of 15.
[00:16:04] Question nine. What is the name of the Tanner’s dog on the sitcom Full House? The Tanner’s dog was a Golden Retriever named Comet. Comet first appeared on Full House during season three in the episode titled “And They Call It Puppy Love.” Supposedly a rescue dog named Buddy had the role of Comet. Well, maybe. Some say it was a dog named Comet. I did find some controversy about this topic.
[00:16:37] One Buzzfeed article I found claims that the internet has it all wrong and that a dog named Comet actually had the role. The author of the article claims that Buddy did play the role of Comet in one episode only. An episode about basketball. It seems that the dog actors Buddy and Comet have gotten confused a lot over the years.
[00:17:00] [00:17:00] The dog named Comet also had a lead role in the movie Fluke. On Wikipedia they call this dog Buddy and link to an article that calls the dog Comet. Wow. Can this get any more confusing? Buddy the dog is known for his basketball skills and he starred in the movie Air Bud. So that would make sense that he appeared as Comet in the Full House episode about basketball.
[00:17:25] Sadly cancer took the life of Buddy. He died on February 10th, 1998 at the age of 10. According to The Spokesman Review, “his leg had been amputated six months earlier in an attempt to save him. Luckily he lived out his remaining days peacefully and died in his sleep in his San Diego home. “Whether it was Buddy or Comet that played the role of Comet, he was a loved dog by the Tanner family and fans alike.
[00:17:54] Question 10. What is the name of the pet Greyhound that belongs to the [00:18:00] Simpson family on the animated series The Simpsons? That dog’s name is Santa’s Little Helper. The little orange and Brown dog named Santa’s Little Helper appeared on the first episode of the Simpsons, the 1989 Christmas special titled “Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire.” He is abandoned by his owner after coming in last place in a race at the dog track. Homer and Bart bring him home and he becomes the family’s pet. Santa’s Little Helper ranked 27th in Animal Planet’s 2003 television special 50 Greatest TV Animals. He ranked seventh in a 2008 poll by Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan, that determined the best loved television dog of all time. Supposedly, the name is a spoof of the Rolling Stones song “Mother’s Little Helper.”
[00:18:58] Question [00:19:00] 11. In the seventies series Baretta, what kind of pet did Robert Blake’s character have and what was the pet’s name? The character Tony Baretta had a pet cockatoo named Fred. The main cockatoo that played Fred was a female named LaLa and she was owned by famed animal trainer Ray Berwick. Other birds did sometimes help LaLa with stunts. A cockatoo named Harold sometimes did stunts and flying scenes for LaLa. After Harold had an untimely death, a bird named Flying Sweetheart helped with the stunts as well as birds named Pooky and Lion Country Sweetheart.
[00:19:43] The cockatoo Fred was detective Tony Baretta’s sidekick. In real life one of the cockatoos that played Fred had his own run in with some criminals. In 1990, one of the Fred cockatoos was stolen from the San Diego Wild Animal [00:20:00] Park. A UPI article says that “after his rescue, Fred was a bit upset by his recent experience and had some roughed and tattered tail, breast and leg feathers, but appeared fine otherwise” the zoo said. The article also said “police surmised that Fred’s abductors probably became fearful of apprehension following intense publicity over the bird’s disappearance and simply dumped him by the side of the road.”
[00:20:29] In an article by Claire Britain-Warren she quotes a bird show trainer named Steve Martin who said “personally, I feel Fred did his fair share of harm to his wild counterparts. Many cockatoos were taken from their forest homes because people wanted to have a “Fred bird.” I did not realize it then but now I understand the impact that Fred had on wild populations of cockatoos and on all parrots in general.” After Baretta was [00:21:00] over trainer Ray Berwick showed off the birds in his animal show at the Universal Studios Tour in Southern California and the San Diego Wild Animal Park. There are a lot of white cockatoos out there named Fred whose names are inspired from the Baretta series. According to tvbanter.net LaLa died at the age of 70.
[00:21:24] Question 12. In the sixties series Green Acres what was the name of their pet pig? That pig was named Arnold Ziffel and he was owned by animal trainer Frank Inn. Supposedly Arnold the pig was a mere piglet. Piglets don’t stay piglets for long so each year a new piglet had to be trained for the role of Arnold. According to his bio on Findagrave.com. “Arnold could write his name, change channels on a television set, play the piano, drink with a [00:22:00] straw, deliver letters and newspapers, play cricket with a bat while predicting weather with his curly tail. He attended school while carrying a lunchbox in his mouth. Arnold was the main contributor to the success of the show and its ratings. He received thousands of fan letters.”
[00:22:17] Starting in 1967, Arnold won three Patsy awards, an award that was originated by the Hollywood office of the American Humane Association in 1939. Patsy is an acronym for Picture Animal Top Star of the Year. It’s kind of like the equivalent of an Academy Award that a human actor wins. There has even been an urban legend about Arnold the pig. Some say that when the show wrapped, the cast ate him. According to snopes.com that is false. According to The Encyclopedia of TV Pets, at one point, Arnold got more fan mail than the show’s [00:23:00] star Eva Gabor. One of the pigs that played Arnold is buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles and his date of death is reported as 1972.
[00:23:13] Question 13. On the 60s televivision series Gentle Ben, what kind of pet was Ben? Ben was a male North American Black Bear. Not a pet I’d want to snuggle up with on the couch. Originally the bear was owned by a man named Anthony Pelky who raised the bear from a Cub and while living with him, the bear was called Smokey. An animal trainer working on the upcoming series Gentle Ben bought the bear from Pelky for $600. Smokey wasn’t the only bear to play Ben. He was the bear seen in this series opening segment each week.
[00:23:54] Another bear named Bruno also played Ben in the series. Bruno came from [00:24:00] the Africa USA animal theme park. Bruno was known to love Coca-Cola. According to The Encyclopedia of TV Pets, a bear named Buck often was the double for Bruno.
[00:24:13] Question 14. What is the name of the cat on the 80 sitcom ALF? Well, that cat’s name was Lucky and its breed was American Short Hair. ALF was an alien that lived with the Tanner family. He came from a planet where they ate cats. So imagine the Tanner’s family cat Lucky having to live with ALF who always desires to eat him but ALF restrained himself. According to The Encyclopedia of TV Pets, a cat named Sparks had the lead role of Lucky. Other cats would share the role and their names were Gordo, FatCat, Electra and Sparkle. Imagine being a cat that has to be trained to work with a [00:25:00] puppet .
[00:25:01] And question 15. What is the name of the French Bulldog on the sitcom Modern Family? That dog’s name was Stella. There were two dogs that played Stella. One was Brigitte and she was introduced in season two when the character Jay Pritchett played by Ed O’Neill gets a dog. The other dog was Beatrice and she took on the role in season four. In 2012, Brigitte won the award for Best Dog in a Television Series at the inaugural Golden Collar Awards. Sadly Beatrice died just days after the series wrapped.
[00:25:43] Well, there have been a lot of memorable TV pets over the years. In this episode, I decided not to include any pets that would give away the name of the show based on their name. So that’s why TV, pets like Lassie, Wishbone, Flipper and Mr. Ed were left out of this. [00:26:00] So who’s your favorite TV pet? Come tell me on one of Trivia Rewind’s social media sites. You’ll find Trivia Rewind on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can visit triviarewind.com for links to our social media sites as well as more about this episode, including a transcript of the show. Please subscribe and leave a positive review wherever you listen to podcasts. Thanks for listening. I’ll be back next time for more Trivia Rewind.