A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mutt Actor

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I saw the latest installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. Since that time, I rented the second film of the trilogy, “Dead Man’s Chest”, so that I am now all caught up on the series. As I was watching these films, I couldn’t help wondering about the dog with the keys. He appears in all three films, but I couldn’t find any information on this mutt on IMDB.

It appears that he is one of the hundreds of uncredited extras who appear briefly, do their part, and obediently exit the set when the director yells, “Cut!”. I can hardly believe that he isn’t listed anywhere given his character’s integral part in the story. However, after an exhaustive, ten-minute Internet search for more information, I am happy to say that I was able to write a short biography of our pirate pooch. The following is nearly 1% accurate - more or less. Otherwise I made the rest up.

“Scooter”, as his associates in show business know him, was originally hired as a stunt double for Pluto. After a few years, the powers that be at Disney recognized that his talent could be used in their new entertainment foray, an amusement park called “Disneyland”. Here Scooter gave a live performance everyday in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” boat ride. He received one can of food daily and all the dog biscuits he could chew on for playing the part of the jail guard dog.

Scooter happily played this part for over a decade. Then, in 1967, turmoil engulfed the company and Scooter’s life. The founder, Walt Disney, had just died, and Scooter’s contract was terminated amidst rumors that he was leading a movement to unionize all of the animatronic actors in the park. Several lean years followed. Scooter survived on the occasional local dog food commercial, and guest spots on “My Three Sons” and “The Brady Bunch”. The only steady work he found during the 1970’s was at the Hanna-Barbera Studios, where he was hired as a stunt double for Scooby Doo.

It appeared that Hollywood was passing him by, particularly when he lost the title role of Benji to a younger mongrel. The 1980’s and 1990’s were not much better for him. He fell in with the wrong crowd: many weekends were lost in the company of Spuds McKenzie, the spokesdog for Budweiser. Scooter hit rock bottom in 2000 when the INS caught him smuggling chihuahuas from Mexico.

Well, as we all know by now, Scooter’s fortunes turned around when the “Pirates of the Caribbean” production was announced. His old agent tracked him down in a flea circus somewhere outside of Barstow, cleaned and sobered him up, and mended Scooter’s old differences with the Disney company. Disney is proud to have their longest serving employee back with them, and they are confident that he will appear in more productions as long as he stays a good dog. I for one can hardly wait for his next performance.


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