A Chicken Named Dennis refers to a series of short, surreal, text-to-speech pieces by ThornBrain. The pieces are from the perspective of an unnamed British man as he talks about his chicken, Dennis, his pigeon, Devin, and the surreal life they exhibit.
Info and History
It is unclear which of the characters and names came first. It is assumed that Thorn's surreal/humourous Christmas 2009 video, Mary Winters Oldspice, is the origin of the entire in-joke, as it refers to "a pigeon named Devin". The current manifestation of the in-joke likely originates from the early-2010 review of The Hero of Time on the FATLPs channel: a chicken in the movie is mockingly marked as one of the best actors in the film, and it is named Dennis in the credits. It was intended to be named Devin but Thorn simply got the name wrong; however, referring to a chicken as Dennis and a pigeon as Devin stuck.
The in-joke was originally intended for Sgt Frog Abridged, with plans for its use as far back as the team's formation in December 2009: all birds were to arbitrarily be named Devin, and should Dororo be mis-named "Devin", he would fly off-screen like a bird. While this never found its way into the series, Thorn did find a use through surreal, Chriddof-inspired text-to-speech clips: an unnamed British man talks about his beloved pet chicken, Dennis, and his disliked pigeon, Devin. The man details the trio's unlikely day-to-day-life and the things he and the two birds do, all usually kept to one or two sentences; each different piece begins with "I like chicken. Mine is named Dennis" or "I don't like pigeon. Mine is named Devin".
Thorn gathered the original Dennis pieces and released them on January 8, 2010 as A Chicken Named Dennis - Episode 1. Several additional pieces were written for Devin the Pigeon, which he finally released on October 9, 2010.
Thorn considered writing a third episode in early 2012, but he held off on the new material to instead use it as bonus clips in his Let's Play of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The audio is placed over footage of the in-game chickens, Cuccoos, which can be possessed if the player attacks them enough times.
Appearances and References
- Mary Winters Oldspice - Earliest known referral to "a pigeon named Devin".
- A Chicken Named Dennis - Episode 1
- The Hero of Time review - Second appearance of Dennis the Chicken; may have been the origin, but the dates are too skewed to confirm this.
- A Pigeon Named Devin - (Dennis Episode 2)
- Best Wishes Abridged - Ash's Mamepato, a pigeon Pokemon, is named Devin.
- TheStrawhatNO! - Dennis text-to-speech pieces were occasionally used as intros for the uncut versions of Twilight Princess parts. Cuccoo-possession sequences were used as video.
- Dennis' text-to-speech audio is spoken by the Acapela program on the Graham (UK) setting.
- The program has been used and referred to by Chriddof, who was the inspiration for the Dennis recordings. Thorn had made several Chriddof-inspired surreal videos on his YouTube Poop account using text-to-speech, many of which also have roots in TheMidnightFrogs' formation-era Skype calls and in-jokes, such as Tamama Tits.
- The original video was recorded over Skype, with Thorn holding his earphones to the mic while playing the Acapela program's audio. Some of the lines were contributed by then-friends of TheMidnightFrogs, primarily ThePS2God and LordMog, who were also in the Skype call as it was being recorded and can be heard laughing at one point. All Dennis/Devin pieces after were recorded with Audacity.
- Acapela cannot pronounce "Devin" correctly, pronouncing it instead as "divine", so it is spelled out while recording as "Davin".
- The background music in both videos were songs dropped several octaves in Sony Vegas, which caused them to become unrecognizable and also caused the tempo and audio data to skew. The Devin video primarily featured Sawtooth's music, notably the song "A Song for Dennis".