How To Stuff Chickens And Influence People
The Crapfest makes a mess

The media audience is a harsh mistress. These days, if you want to get attention on local TV, it isn't enough to be a couple of smart, weird guys who put on a lusciously low-tech show about life, love, and urinary catheterizations. If you really want to capture the spotlight, you have to fuck chickens.

See also...
... by Annalee Newitz
... in the Whoa! section
... from November 22, 1999

It's this simple lesson that Colin "CoSu" Sullivan and Scott Taylor recently learned when their two-year-old talk show, The Crapfest, airing on Cambridge public access station CCTV, ran a very special episode on August 25 about "female anatomy and hygiene." Because the two perennially dateless 19-year-olds had no actual women in the studio willing to bare their pussies, they demonstrated some shockingly well-informed sexual techniques on a roasted Cornish hen.

Dubbing the chicken Melinda, Sullivan proceeded to arouse it with a vibrator, informing his audience how to locate and stimulate the clitoris and g-spot in the process. Taylor cheerfully joined in by licking the chicken "clit" with his tongue and making yummy noises as the vibrator continued to buzz. Except for the part where they pulled "ovaries" made of marshmallows from between Melinda's drumsticks and ate them, the bit was actually pretty educational. After all, how many 19-year-old men know that what a woman really needs to come is a vibrator and some g-spot stimulation?

But the Cambridge community was not pleased. After receiving a number of complaints, Cambridge city councilor Sheila Russell denounced the show and initiated an as-yet-to-be-defined "investigation" into it.

Responding to community pressure, CCTV executive director Susan Fleischmann moved the show to a later time slot at 9 p.m. While staunchly defending the station's right to air The Crapfest, Fleischmann nevertheless admitted, "[I]t's difficult to defend a show that I, too, might also find to be offensive."

Not surprisingly, the angriest complaints came from local feminists. Nancy Ryan, director of the Cambridge Women's Commission, wrote an op-ed piece for the Cambridge TAB in which she described the now-infamous Chicken Episode as a "'ceremony' ... usually performed in the privacy of a beer-soaked frat house basement for the benefit of drooling, over-stimulated freshmen seeking their first sexual conquest." Ryan marveled that Sullivan and Taylor couldn't see the "rape factor" inherent in their display.

Unlike some of her fellow feminists, Ryan emphasized that she doesn't think The Crapfest should be censored, and that she doesn't think Sullivan and Taylor are "bad" for being slightly pornographic. The problem is their sense of humor. "When a joke includes crushing ovaries, I want to point out how that might affect some people," said Ryan. "I have my preferences about humor and I don't want people to spend their time developing humor that has an undercurrent of violence."

For their part, Sullivan and Taylor adored the attention. The following week, they parodied their critics -- particularly Ryan -- for being offended and forcing their live show back to the late hour of 9 p.m. "It's past my bedtime," Sullivan complained.

The Crapfest also returned to its regularly scheduled dose of unhinged anatomy jokes. Sullivan -- dressed as recurring character Professor CoSu -- demonstrated how to pierce and circumcise a penis using a hot dog, a ballpoint pen, and a box cutter. Pre-Chicken episodes had featured penis catheterizations, urinary swabbing, and a scatting demonstration done with brownies and Taylor's grimacing face.

A popular segment on the show called "Date Update" features Taylor -- often sporting a T-shirt that reads "whore" -- giving us humiliating confessions about his pathetic love life. "It's like therapy for me, really it is," laughed Taylor self-deprecatingly.

Perhaps there is a rape factor on The Crapfest, but whose rape is it anyway? Are these Cambridge native sons really drooling frat boys, or are they more like turn-of-the-millennium versions of Robert Crumb and Aaron Cometbus, blurting out their deeply personal, occasionally degrading experiences to entertain us?

One thing's for sure -- Sullivan and Taylor will never be frat boys. Both dropped out of Emerson College after just a few months because they couldn't afford it and had nothing in common with the affluent student population. Taylor currently works as a gofer at a hospital, and Sullivan is unemployed. "We're blue collar," said Sullivan simply. "I would hope people see us as working-class." (Just as an aside, it's interesting to note that middle-class feminists have occasionally been known to portray working-class men as sexist, violent lugs.)

None of this concerns Sullivan and Taylor especially. They're not in this to make a political point. In fact, they'd much rather talk to me about which cartoon characters they want to be. "I'd be Homer with a beard," quipped Sullivan in non-sequitorial fashion. Taylor chimed in, "I think I'd be Hong Kong Fooey, you know, that karate dog idiot."

One thing The Crapfest superstars are serious about is their sense of humor. "Our humor is about shock value, and it's so eccentric that it's not very accessible to a lot of people," commented Sullivan. Taylor added, "A lot of people write us off as two stupid guys who are fucking chickens. We don't think of ourselves as stupid. We're actually quite obscure." Witness their bizarre attachment to forgotten '70s TV celebrity Nipsey Russell, whose image they've enshrined on The Crapfest set.

But why the obsession with genitals?

"Why not?" asked Taylor. "Genitals sell," joked Sullivan. And then, like it was an afterthought, Taylor deadpanned, "Will you be sure to mention our penises in your article?" No problem, guys.

Annalee Newitz is one of those annoying feminists who thinks chicken fucking is funny and that Andrea Dworkin is a rapist.