Dillion: Hello again and welcome back to "Toon Time Tonight"! I'm your host Rod Dillion! Just as promised, we have a special treat for you tonight. That's right, folks. In his very first live interview, meet the star of the recently nominated short, "Homeward Bound", the one… the only… the elusive… Furrball!
Furrball (via Claude): Hello.
Dillion: Translating for Furrball is the legendary Claude Cat. Nice to have you with us as well, Claude! It's been a long, long time.
Claude: Sure has, but I wouldn't call myself a legend.
Dillion: Well, you know I'm nice like that. Anyways, let's get started. I guess the first thing on everyone's mind has been answered by your presence, Claude. That is can you speak English, Furrball?
Furrball (via Claude): I can understand it. Isn't that enough?
Dillion: Okay, then why don't you speak it? An homage to Tom Injury, perhaps?
Furrball (via Claude): Rigid vocal cords. I'm going to probably start taking speech lesson after school.
Dillion: So "Duck Trek" was…
Furrball (via Claude): I read the lines perfectly in Catonese. Norm McCabe was directing and he thought it'd be funny if I used my mother tongue and they did subtitles for me. Spielberg overruled him during the editing process and got some hack to dub in my lines.
Dillion: Talk about a Star Wars moment.
Furrball (via Claude): I certainly felt like Darth Vader when we saw it afterwards.
Dillion: Moving on, then. Can we talk about some of your trademarks, or will that weaken the mystique that is uniquely Furrball?
Furrball (via Claude): What mystique? People don't know about me because no one ever asked before.
Dillion: Then let me be the first. The ear.
Furrball (via Claude): Didn't see that one coming. Honestly I do a lot of lucid dreaming. Half the time I can't tell whether I'm awake or asleep and honestly I don't really care. It's all real, far as I'm concerned.
Furrball (via Claude): So I dunno what really happened myself. It was either a pack of rotties or a time when I was at the pound and they tried to tag my ear, but failed.
Furrball (via Claude): Maybe I escaped in the middle of the process. Didn't want a radio transmitter on me forever.
Furrball (via Claude): Yeah. I think that's what happened, but again, I dunno. Seems if it really happened, I wouldn't be able to remember in such detail. But a pack of rotties wouldn't have stopped at the ear, so… I guess the mystique remains.
Dillion: Even so. So what about the bandage?
Furrball (via Claude): You do a lot of interviews Mr. Dillon?
Dillion: Call me "Rod" and yep I've done more than my share it seems.
Furrball (via Claude): You ever ask Mr. T why he has all those chains? You ever ask rappers why they were alarm clocks around their necks?
Furrball (via Claude): So why are you asking me about the bandage?
Dillion: I'm sorry, I…
Furrball (via Claude): It's cool. I just don't wanna answer the question. (laughs)
Dillion: Alright… I won't press the matter. So about your craft, did you start becoming a method actor when you enrolled in the Looniversity?
Furrball (via Claude): Method act…? You think it's all a front?
Dillion: …Well yeah. I mean the APA or Child Services or the Humane Society would've gotten you by now if you didn't have a permanent residence, right?
Furrball (via Claude): They gave up on me years ago. Way before I started school.
Dillion: So you're… homeless?
Furrball (via Claude): I prefer to be called a stray. Strays don't have a home… they're nomads. Perpetual campers. That's what I am.
Dillion: Since you were-
Furrball (via Claude): Orphaned immediately. Dunno anything more than hiding in a cardboard box eating trash as a kitten.
Dillion: Oh my god… But you're cool now, right?
Furrball (via Claude): Because I'm on TV? Because I go to school?
Dillion: I mean, uh… yeah!
Furrball (via Claude): Acme Loo isn't a boarding school. I don't think I'd stay there even if it were.
Dillion: Why, for goodness sake?! Can't you stay with friends or teachers? Aren't you Sylvester's number one student?!
Furrball (via Claude): I tried it before, believe me. Whenever I'm in a nice, warm place, things go wrong. It starts to feel really confining and I get nervous around families and make a lot of mistakes. Cause a lot of trouble. If I make it to sleep, I sleepwalk outside. I guess my subconscious is telling me I don't need to hide from what I am.
Dillion: So all that business about the cardboard box in the alley is true?
Furrball (via Claude): What? No! Do you know what it's like in the rain? Have you ever had to smell soggy cardboard? If anyone catches on to a routine, it's dangerous on the streets. I sleep under cars, in flat tires, condemned apartments, wherever no one is, basically.
Dillion: Are the, well locals, friendly?
Furrball (via Claude): The hookers? The pimps? The dealers? They don't bother me. I don't have anything to steal and there really isn't any reason to mess with a stray in the first place.
Dillion: No, I guess not.
Furrball (via Claude): Sometimes they share a snack with me.
Furrball (via Claude): Well, once or twice.
Dillion: I see. So are you… happy? Resentful? Angry? Content? Apathetic?
Furrball (via Claude): It depends on the day and the weather. I'm generally nihilistic. You're probably gonna have to edit that one out.
Dillion: So there's no right or wrong?
Furrball (via Claude): No, more leaning to there not being an objective truth… I guess they're related.
Dillion: Okay, well I can't blame you for feeling that way. Especially after… Well, what does the future hold for Furrball? A spinoff miniseries, perhaps? A feature film, maybe?
Furrball (via Claude): I hope not. I'm not really into this whole genre. Or acting, for that matter. It seems so very degrading and clichÈd at times.
Dillion: So what are you doing there?!
Furrball (via Claude): What do you mean?
Dillion: You didn't just wake up one day and say you wanted to bunk the system by joining it.
Furrball (via Claude): Hey I was just minding my business, taking a nap at the park when Buster and Babs started making all this noise and a huge line gathered somewhere. I just wanted them to shut up, but when I came to complain, they thought I was auditioning and gave me a part.
Dillion: So what're you going to do after you finish school?
Furrball (via Claude): They set up some kinda trust fund for me so I'll get it when I graduate. Then, I'm going to rent a room somewhere and get a regular job. You know, an electrician or a plumber. Some job where people look down on the guy, but really need 'em. Seems appropriate for me.
Dillion: Don't take this the wrong way… I've interviewed so many toons and most seem to be completely the same, just toned down a little off camera, but you seem to be living two lives here. How does completing a short like "Homeward Bound" feel to you as opposed to the necessary clichÈ in "Let's Do Lunch" with Sweetie?
Furrball (via Claude): Please don't mention her again. Ever.
Dillion: Harboring some bad f-
Furrball (via Claude): Seriously. I'd say "Ya gotta pay the rent", but I don't have a home in the first place.
Dillion: All in good time, Furrball. You made your bed, now-
Furrball (via Claude): Who made it?! I'm done with this.
Dillion: Whoa, whoa, whoa, Furrball, please. I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that… Just kinda seems to me… That last part of "Furrball's Follies" when you ran out of the house into the alley, giving up on finding a place to stay, that somehow you really do prefer the streets to a warm home.
Furrball (via Claude): Is that how you see it?
Dillion: You could be in any home you wanted to be in, when it comes down to it. I mean, right?
Furrball (via Claude): This is the problem. There's always been this formula. "Adopt the poor defenseless kitty". Well it's bullshit, really.
Dillion: How so?
Furrball (via Claude): What is so wrong about having the desire to be free to make it through life on your own accord? I don't want to live on the streets, but if it means I have to to be able to still call the shots in my own life, then that's the price I have to pay. But you're saying that I asked for it.
Dillion: I wasn't trying to-
Furrball (via Claude): You're saying that I ran away from home or something. I never had a home to begin with.
Dillion: Yeah… I guess I see where you're coming from. It's a bit surprising that you can be so articulate for someone that doesn't actually speak.
Furrball (via Claude): So now Catonese isn't a language?
Dillion: No, I…
Furrball (via Claude): Forget about it.
Dillion: So let's try to clarify your role in Tiny Toon Adventures.
Furrball (via Claude): My role?
Dillion: Indeed. You only have two antagonistic roles thus far in the show. More often than not, you're the go-to guy for stunts and the sympathetic cat with "Charlie Brown" syndrome. Your best work seems to come when you're doing a silent short. I loved the story about you and the yellow ribbon. Seemed so organic. That's a lost art form. Telling a story without words. Not enough people give you credit for that.
Furrball (via Claude): I forgot the question, but thanks.
Dillion: Ha ha ha! I think I did too. Anyways, who do you get along with at the university? The rumors of you and Fifi have persisted since "Aroma Amore"!
Furrball (via Claude): She doesn't live in a broken down Caddy in the local dump. Just for the record.
Furrball (via Claude): And we're not an item and never have been.
Furrball (via Claude): We don't ever meet off screen. She lives in her world. I survive in mine.
Dillion: Do you socialize at all, despite the communication barrier?
Furrball (via Claude): I sometimes hang out with Dizzy. He's pretty sensitive to the fact that he has to play an idiotic savage type creature with a heart of gold.
Dillion: He's different off-screen?
Furrball (via Claude): Most of them aren't. He's the exception of exceptions.
Dillion: I'd say you were if you weren't using Claude to translate, but I'll have to take your word for it. What about the other mutes like Little Beeper or Calamity?
Furrball (via Claude): I feel for Beeper. He's never going to be taken seriously and no one's ever going to ask about him. If there were a lake monster in The Great Salt Lake in Utah that has never been seen before, I'd compare Little Beeper to the that monster as opposed to Nessie who doesn't really exist but continues to draw attention.
Dillion: You two ever hang out?
Furrball (via Claude): Are you kidding? I'm always starving when I'm around him and his scent makes me hungry for chicken. No way.
Dillion: So what about Calamity?
Furrball (via Claude): He's a complete mute, but he's got stock in wooden signs and Sharpies. We really don't share any interests and both agreed not to hang out just for the sake of us being mutual loners.
Dillion: So, just Dizzy, then?
Furrball (via Claude): … yeah, pretty much. It's not like I really have a lot of time to hang out with anyone anyway, though. Besides, I hate it when they act like they're walking on eggshells when they talk to me. When they start to complain about their petty problems and get depressed about normal teenage stuff, if they're around me, they shut up and seem to silently resent the fact that they can't feel sorry for themselves when they're around me. It's always awkward. That's if they even notice me.
Dillion: Makes me feel uncomfortable just thinking about lunchtime in the cafeteria.
Furrball (via Claude): It was for about a week. But at least no one tries to bully me. That's the good thing about being invisible in plain sight.
Dillion: Yeah. You don't really look it, but I'll bet you'd win almost any fight you got into.
Furrball (via Claude): I'll never tell.
Dillion: Heh. So how does it feel being one of the very few original characters on the show? Most of the other major characters are 2nd or 3rd generation from Looney Tunes or other factions… If you don't have family in the business it's so hard to get in. How does that feel?
Furrball (via Claude): I'd trade a normal life for this any day. As l long as I'm here, though, it does give me a bit of satisfaction knowing that. Though it's hard to be proud of being a homeless TV actor.
Dillion: I'll bet it does. Mixed bag at best, eh? So what's with your extremely high threshold for pain? I mean this is beyond the normal toon. You do these shows like you haven't got a nerve cell in your body!
Furrball (via Claude): It's kind of a "mind over matter" thing. I learned a very young age that pain wasn't going to kill me. A lot of toons think it on the outside, but they never really know it so they panic at the last second amplifying the pain by a lot, which is why they can't do some of the things that I can. But you should ask them. I dunno what goes on in their heads. Maybe they don't want to show how much they can take because the writers will go to town with them and destroy their careers. I'll bet Wile is kicking himself for saying "yes" all those times when he started out.
Dillion: He probably is. Well, Furrbal, I really want to say that it's been a pleasure and I really appreciate the opportunity. I hope we can interview you again in the future when you're older and under similar circumstances when you're up for another reward.
Furrball (via Claude): Thank you.
Dillion: Good luck to you, Furrball and I wish you the best in life.
Furrball (via Claude): I appreciate the attention. Take care.