Late last month, just when the world needed it most, Crazy Frog announced his return.
Crazy Frog is back, and better than ever. The wacky amphibian we all know and love, famous for a remixed version of the song from Beverly Hills Cop has a #newalbum coming out soon.
In case you forgot: Crazy Frog was created by Erik Wernquist (with sound effects by Daniel Malmedahl) circa 2003. He was originally known as "The Annoying Thing" which is a little on the nose but I respect it, and gained attention on Wernquist's website and on file-sharing services. A couple of years later, ringtone service Jamster licensed the character's signature "two-stroke engine" sound effect, recorded by Malmedahl in 1997, and turned a rebranded "Crazy Frog" into a marketing phenomenon. The unsettling character experienced a huge heyday in the aughts, but his popularity soon waned.
Anyway, Crazy Frog is back with a new album. And I guess he has a penis now? (Or always had a penis and I'm just learning about this?)
An extremely European thing about Crazy Frog is that he just runs around with exposed genitals. Highly libertine stuff. This fact has confounded me and I spent far too much time researching the mystery of Crazy Frog's dingaling, but this is my newsletter and I'll do what I want.
Apparently, the saga of Crazy Frog's stuff stretches back years. The original site set up by Wernquist hosting the Annoying Thing video features a 3D model with clear genitalia. But after the character was licensed by Jamster and achieved mainstream success, the penis disappeared. Sort of. Apparently in some TV ads, Crazy Frog retained his endowment, which alarmed viewers, who then complained to the Advertising Standards Authority in the U.K.
From the 2005 report, "Crazy Frog can keep his ding-ding di-di-ding ASA says" published in the British magazine Campaign:
The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that Crazy Frog has nothing to be ashamed of, after judging complaints that television ads for the animated ringtone character showed he was endowed with 'inappropriate and embarrassing' genitalia.
The advertising watchdog said that there were no reports of children being concerned by the ad and only adults had complained.
In addition, the ad had already been given an ex-kids restriction, meaning that it should not be shown around programmes made especially for children. This was because the ad contained a text number to make an order.
Some of the 60 complaints mentioned that the ad was annoying and was broadcast too frequently, but the ASA said it was for the advertiser and broadcaster to decide how often a particular ad is shown.
Gradually, Crazy Frog's crazy frog (I'm running out of euphemisms) began to disappear. On YouTube, where Crazy Frog has 7.7 million subscribers, the video for his most popular song "Axel F" features no visible schlong. The lack of penile representation in Crazy Frog's mainstream, American incarnations would explain why I was surprised to see it last month.
Other videos from a decade ago, such as "Popcorn" and "Last Christmas," do show penis, while "We Are the Champions" is once again lacking penis. The frog is inconsistent. Most curiously, the videos for "Crazy Frog in the House" and "Cha Cha Slide" are composed of the same footage, but one uses the adults-only Crazy Frog CGI model and one uses the family-friendly one.
The corporeal manifestations of Crazy Frog are no help here. The primary image for Crazy Frog on Wikipedia is a low-resolution photo (likely taken with a flip phone) of someone in a Crazy Frog mascot suit. No schvantz to be seen.
Particularly disconcerting is this photo from Crazy Frog's Facebook page, where the character's mascot costume appears to lack the fully modeled package of the CGI frog, but does include a bump in the lower region hinting at the existence of... something.
The good(?) news is that nobody buys ringtones anymore and so Crazy Frog can embrace his best life as a social media-native monster, where the community standards allow for this type of nudity. On the verified TikTok account, a penis. On Instagram, clearly a penis. On Facebook, there it is. All of these platforms prohibit real nudity, but have carveouts in their community guidelines for artistic, educational, and satirical purposes. I assume Crazy Frog fits into one of those. (Twitter's guidelines allow for explicit nudity.)
To try and resolve the mystery of Crazy Frog's penis once and for all, I emailed the address listed on the Frog's official Facebook page and got a response from an email registered to a German domain name almost immediately.
Okay! I hope this clears everything up.
Crazy Frog can now let his freak flag fly -- and I'm certainly not going to bodyshame him for living out loud.
The main conceit of this bad piece by CNN politics reporter Chris Cillizza is that reopening the economy right now is similar to a very famous
in which a group of World of Warcraft players have their plans ruined by a single guy who charges in and screws up everything while yelling "Leeeeroooy Jeenkiiiins!" Cillizza is trying to score internet points by referencing a stale meme that doesn't even really articulate the situation very well. Leeroy Jenkins is a fun meme about a screw-up that had no tangible negative effects to anyone involved (it was later revealed to be staged anyway). Preemptively reopening the economy is going to get people killed, specifically minorities and blue collar workers
who are already bearing the brunt of this pandemic in multiple ways
. To connect the current situation to some ancient lighthearted meme is not only terrible punditry and bad internet-culture writing, it's a borderline offensive take that actively makes people stupider. It's like when
Benny Johnson described “The Story Of Egypt's Revolution In ‘Jurassic Park’ GIFs“ at BuzzFeed
. Or like if one were to describe a pandemic that is
disproportionately killing black people
as a "Harlem Shake." Bad stuff!
Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer are getting divorced. Palmer announced the divorce to her Patreon subscribers (maybe before telling Neil)? And then Neil Gaiman updated his Goodreads profile (Goodreads is a site for people who think reading books makes them special) for the first time in seven years to note that he was perusing Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He later said he was hacked.
Doja Cat update