2020 will be remembered for a lot of controversial things; let’s be honest about that. The virus, politics, a lack of professional sports, and more. But there have been some cool things worth remembering, too. The Last Dance. The phenomenon that was Tiger King. Zoom calls and family game nights. And for video game lovers, there’s the upcoming The Last of Us Part 2 and Cyberpunk 2077, there was Final Fantasy VII Remake, and the big one – Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Animal Crossing has transcended the video game medium. It’s flooded Twitter timelines since its March 20 launch, which is beyond difficult to maintain. Truthfully, I cannot remember a game impacting the general public as much as Animal Crossing: New Horizons has in its mere two-month lifespan. You could say that the original Halo trilogy had this effect. Call of Duty and GTA have reached the mainstream media too, but to my knowledge, neither have sparked a late-night talk show.
Yes, I said late-night talk show. Possibly the most wholesome thing to come from the launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is Gary Whitta’s late-night TV-style program called Animal Talking. Whitta, an accomplished screenwriter and games media figure (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Book of Eli, PC Gamer, Kinda Funny), has been a popular Twitch streamer for a while now. His followers, called The Legion of Gary, have enjoyed Whitta’s Animal Crossing streams since the game’s launch. But Whitta wanted to give them something more, thus Animal Talking was born.
The Arrival of Animal Talking
About a month or so ago, Whitta decided to try something new for his streams. He created Animal Talking, a late-night talk show set in the world of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing. Hosted inside his Animal Crossing home, Whitta created a picturesque late-night TV set. Lighting fixtures, a hosting desk, a couple of couches, an instrumental stage. The whole nine yards.
The efforts paid off. Whitta’s Animal Talking has been a smash hit. Viewer rates have skyrocketed for Whitta while streaming the program on Twitch from his California home. The show debuted with an appearance from Naomi Kyle. Soon after, several equally impressive guests joined the party, including Twitch streamer Kate Spark, Mike Drucker, and musician Raquel Lily.
A-Listers Joining The Show
The guest list grew to even greater heights in the following weeks. Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller and the ladies of What’s Good Games stopped by the show in mid-May. Within a single week, Whitta managed to get several A-list celebrities on the show. Names like Elijah Wood, Greg Grunberg, Danny Trejo, and T-Pain should ring a bell.
A real head-turner, Animal Talking is scooping up Fallon and Kimmel-level guests. And Whitta didn’t stop there. He’s been in talks with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about joining an episode. David Mandel, of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld, stopped by the show on May 22 alongside gameindustry.biz reporter Rebekah Valentine. Two days earlier, Duncan Jones and Paul Scheer appeared on the program.
Gary Whitta is back in June for Season 2
If you haven’t been following Animal Talking, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do. But if that’s not your style, you’re in luck. Whitta has announced via his Twitter account that Season 2 is coming June 1. A full guest list hasn’t been shared as of yet, but two names have been announced. The first, coming to Animal Talking on June 1, is Shaggy. And after that, on June 8, Sting!
Shaggy and Sting, and both will be performing live. This is awesome! The limit for Whitta and Animal Talking appears endless. Who knows who else will be tagging along? Maybe AOC does show up? Perhaps Reggie? Become one of Whitta’s legionnaires and find out on June 1 at Whitta’s Twitch channel or after the fact on his YouTube channel.
One last thing, if you haven’t been sold on Animal Talking check out this quick clip featuring Danny Trejo and Elijah Wood on the show.
Try to tell me you’re not on board with the show now!