It’s almost Mallards bobblehead season, and we have feelings

In Microtones, our newsletter-first column.

In Microtones, our newsletter-first column.


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In last week’s Microtones we talked about the inevitability of “hammock season” but this week I wanted to take a look at another facet of spring: the bobblehead promotions the Madison Mallards dream up.

As a promotion, bobbleheads are a proven method for getting folks in the door, and the Mallards are especially good at energizing the trinket-seeking quadrant of our lizard brain. The great Obama/Romney bobble-off in 2012 (“presented by Schoep’s Ice Cream”) was my first taste of that sweet spring-loaded nectar. I’ve been back a number of times explicitly in search of some wobbling oddball or other.

As we’ve noted in the past, the Mallards have a spotty batting average in the realm of plastic gewgaws, from the delightfully absurd “Balking Dead Maynard” to last year’s egregiously malformed Chris Farley bobblehead. The team has also drawn a couple of times on Farley’s Matt Foley character—perhaps it’s available through some arcane licensing loophole that allows the Mallards to pry his motivational-speaker visage from the hands of SNL’s Lorne Michaels for one-off moldings.

The Mallards have opened the door for fans to submit ideas for future bobbles, but it’s unclear which (if any) are coming from that pool of input. What I want to do is publicly suggest a bobble in the hope it comes to fruition: Kato Kaelin.

That’s right. The guy whose main claim to fame was living in OJ’s pool house. He’s originally from Milwaukee. He’s a sports nut. And (most importantly) I can’t imagine he’s ever turned down any personal appearance opportunity. To be clear, this last bit is not a knock on the man: If the tables were turned. I’d be milking that cash cow for all it was worth too, so long as I could afford a boat that mysteriously “sleeps 44.”

Here’s my pitch: Bring Kato in, have him sing the national anthem as a cross-promotional tie-in reprise of his small but memorable cameo on the TV show Baskets, and make a bobble to promote it. It’s a free idea for the taking, Maynard, yours to run with as you see fit.

The Mallards have yet to announce their lineup of bobbles for 2018, but rest assured that we’ll treat that as breaking news and report it out as expeditiously as possible, even if they end up trying for an ill-advised third attempt at a Chris Farley that doesn’t look like Chris Farley.


New this week:

From a wealth of shorts to Don Hertzfeldt’s latest, Reid Kurkerewicz, Grant Phipps, and Scott Gordon took a a look at animated work worth catching at the 2018 Wisconsin Film Festival.

On the podcast: Scott had a fascinating and informative conversation with Capital Times reporter Lindsay Christians about her recent cover story highlighting sexual misconduct in Madison’s restaurant community.

Elsewhere on Madison internet: Over at the Cap Times, Chris Lay wrote up Working Draft, a new brewpub on the near east side. The new album from Madison post-punk oddball Educational Davis, which we wrote about recently, is available on Bandcamp. The excellent Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré will play a June 8 show at the North Street Cabaret.

This week’s Madison calendarThe Murder Of Fred Hampton at Vilas Hall, Dumb Vision at Mickey’s Tavern, Dessa at the Majestic, Ought at the High Noon Saloonand more!

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