I Truly Hope The Horrible Creature Known As Marsupilami Is In Hell

Were I to imagine my brain as a house, each room accounting for a different memory, the corridor leading to the room that holds my memories of the yellow fictional animal Marsupilami would be a dusty one, thick with cobwebs. I do not think of this creature often. There are long, pleasant stretches of my life — woefully unappreciated at the time — where I do not think about him at all. Then, as surely as trucks must periodically smash into the Montague Street Bridge, another involuntary memory will bring the furry Belgian sex pest with a springy tail back into the forefront of my consciousness, ruining my day, and possibly my week.

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Marsupilami, such as he is, first entered into the mind of Belgian cartoonist André Franquin in the early 1950s. Much later, Marsupilami entered into the minds of Australian children thanks to Saturday Disney, which broadcast both Raw Toonage (the show in which Marsupilami first appeared on television) and also the eponymous 1993 spin-off show that the creature was given soon after, for no good reason whatsoever.

In this Disney incarnation, Marsupilami only ever appeared in 25 episodes of television. 25 short cartoons. A mere drop in the ocean of children’s cartoons made available to the young Australian in the early 90s — a fleeting flash in the pan. And yet, somehow, this bastard is stuck intractably in my head.

Perhaps you feel my hatred for this beast is irrational. Perhaps you feel I am being hyperbolic when I talk about actively praying that his tail gets caught in a wheat thresher. I urge you to watch even just the opening sequence of his television show and to state that you feel differently about him:


Perhaps you watched that and thought, ‘Who is this marvellous creature who can employ his extraordinary tail as a motorboat propeller, a helicopter rotor, and, yes, even as an upright bass?’ Sure, you could allow yourself to be fooled by the cheap tricks. But while you were distracted by his antics, you were missing the chaos that he caused, and the deep, profane rudeness of his existence.

Most animals exist in a natural equilibrium with their environment. It stands to reason; that’s why it’s called ‘nature’. Outside of the brief flurries of excitement during feeding frenzies and mating season, life in the wild is a slow, serene, and peaceful rhythm. People buy (or, at least, used to buy) CDs of ambient recordings from forests and rainforests and jungles because they find in them a sense of calm. They do not expect to hear some sickeningly hued spring-powered ape shouting his wretched catchphrase (“Houba!“) while he contorts himself into the shape of a paperclip or whatever for zero laughs.

I don’t judge him for being what he is, perhaps simply for the reason that I do not understand what he is. Marsupilami, we are helpfully told, is a Marsupilami. His name is also his species, much like in the case of Pikachu or Andre the Giant. His name (in French) is a portmanteau of ‘marsupial’, ‘friend’, and an even more inexplicable animal from Popeye known as Eugene the Jeep.

Image result for eugene the jeepPictured: What the fuck are you, mate.

I do not despise Marsupilami for being a Marsupilami. It is not his fault that he was born into the body of elastic technicolour monkey-leopard with a tail like a chameleon’s tongue and a brain like a bucket of hammers. That is, presumably, the devil’s fault. I despise how he acts.

For whatever reason, this animal was given the gift of speech. Unfortunately, he was not given the gift of manners. Despite living in an animal kingdom where all communication is sparse, unambiguous, and pragmatic, his is the exact opposite. He does not cease to talk, his words are meaningless, and seemingly he does it purely because he cannot stand to be alone with his own thoughts.

Although a marvel of the animal kingdom and more than likely an endangered species, Marsupilami has squandered the good-will and love he would surely have received by being a raucous, uncouth bastard. If the creature known as Marsupilami still lives, I hope it is in pain. If he is in the afterlife, I hope that he is in Hell.