Editor's note: In 2012, we featured Todd Charles and his "Moogician" act, where he dresses in a cow-themed costume and performs jokes and magic tricks while promoting dairy consumption and dairy farming. Todd contacted us to let us know he and his team have released two dairy parody videos, "The Milk (is the Champion) Song" and "The Cheese Song." Learn more about the videos below.
Q. How long have you been working on the videos?
CHARLES: Basically about five months of just thinking about it, and then in three, 10-plus hour days creating them. With all the pre-planning and thinking of different shot ideas, a lot of it was improvised on the spot, when we actually saw what we had to deal with as far as shot locations. I originally recorded the music solely to use in my live performances, milk magic during the "Milk (is the Champion) Song" and cheese juggling during the "Cheese Song."
Dairy farmer Daniel Love had introduced me to the Peterson Farm Brothers music videos, which we both really enjoy. He then suggested that I produce a video, and since I had already recorded the milk and cheese songs, I agreed.
Originally, it was to be one video, with the cheese song as part a daydream sequence in the middle. But it ran too long, so we decided to create the two separate videos. The idea came up in March, and I was hoping to videotape it ASAP. But because of weather concerns, our schedules and knowing that Dan's farm (in East Waterford, Pennsylvania) looks great in August, we settled on Aug. 11-13. I had just completed a six-day, 18-show engagement at the Butler Farm Show, and was free until Aug. 14 when I was performing in upstate New York.
Q. "The Cheese Song" features clips of you interacting with people in New York City. What were some of the funniest experiences from your taping?
CHARLES: Taping in New York City was funny in itself, as I was dressed in my "Moogician" wardrobe, which stands out, but in NYC, nobody really cares. Some highlights were going into Alleva Dairy, which is the oldest Italian Cheese shop in the country (est. 1892), dressed in my crazy Holsteined-out wardrobe, and asking if I can videotape singing and juggling cheese. "As long as you don't create a raucous" was the reply, and so we went. The owner made sure I left with a nice chunk of provolone, which I must admit, best I ever had.
In Times Square it's mostly tourists, so I was getting the looks. But there's also all these costumed characters, like Spiderman and Elmo, who are there to pose in photos for a small price. They don't have a good reputation, especially with the police, so I had to disclaim I was one of "them" when I asked a police officer for directions to a good pizza place nearby. Scariest moment was sitting on the ledge of a building's rooftop, playing my mini banjo and singing, as I have a little bit of a fear of heights. All for the video; whatever it takes!
Q. What was the most bizarre question you were asked about dairying?
CHARLES: People are always asking me if the cows smell. I tell them, "Of course they smell! They also hear, feel and taste!" I also tell them the fact that cows can smell up to 6 miles away! What do they smell 6 miles away? Usually another cow! But the truth is they're not smelly animals; I'm sure you readers all know that!
Q. How are you promoting the videos?
CHARLES: The videos are on YouTube, as well as the Moogician website, and we've been telling all our friends, family and most importantly, our agricultural and fair acquaintances to please watch the videos and share. Many of my friends have put them onto their Facebook pages.
Yes, we're hoping for them to go viral, and my number one goal is to get recognition of the Moogician. When we approach and contact fairs regarding booking the Moogician show, I hope they'll already know who I am because of the videos. Also, there's hope that some large company would be interested in sponsoring the Moogician.
Besides having a great message promoting and celebrating dairy and dairy farming, I have the ears and the attention of a lot of people when I perform, and anyone who would consider sponsoring the Moogician will benefit by getting their message and products heard and seen by many many people.
Q. The dairy farmer you work with, Daniel Love, recently installed a robotic milker. Because of that, have you added any robotic milking jokes or tricks to your act?
CHARLES: I'm sorry to say that I haven't written any robotic milker jokes or any magic related to it neither. But since you asked, I'm now gonna work on that. I think there could be a new dance as well, "Doin' the milk robot!" Dan is excited to get the Lely Robotic (named Oscar) on tape, to include on a future video. I've already written the "Yogurt Song" and have ideas for the "Butter Song," both of which I also hope to produce videos.
Q. What's one of your best memories as the Moogician from the 2014 fair season?
CHARLES: I'd say my best memory from this year's fair season was a parent returning to tell me of how their boy would never drink milk, but since seeing my show and receiving one of my "magic color changing milk cups," they're enthusiastically drinking their milk everyday! Now that was a GREAT thing to hear! PTD