Shannon Brown and Jonathan Ottke

Jonathan Ottke

Inspiration piece

Pippa and Gerald, by Shannon Brown


George: Hello, everyone, and welcome to Reality Watch, the podcast where we bring you the reality behind reality TV. As you all probably know, there was a big surprise in the fourth season of The Last Dating Show You’ll Ever Need, when Gerald and Pippa became a couple. We are fortunate enough to have them in the studio with us today, to share their story with us. So, please let me introduce, Gerald and Pippa!

Gerald: Hello!

Pippa: Thank you for having us.

George: In case we have some listeners that did not watch the show, you should know that Gerald and Pippa were two of the non-human participants.

Gerald: I’m an agamid, otherwise known as a dragon lizard, and my darling Pippa is a beautiful boxer mix with a delightful patch over one eye that sends chills down my spine.

Pippa: [Giggles] Well if you’re going there, we should mention that Gerald has lovely blue and purple markings that captivated me from the first time I saw him, not to mention the erudite air that got him on the show in the first place.

George: Always good to see the thrill is still there. I understand that you two getting together was not something that the producers had in mind?

Gerald: Yeah, the thing about reality TV is that it’s more manipulated and contrived than you’d ever imagine.

George: Believe me, you’re far from the first person who’s told us that.

Pippa: I can imagine! In our case, they were lining each of us up with our own prospects before the show even started. Originally, I was supposed to end up with Butch the Rottweiler, and Gerald was supposed to end up with Echo the gecko.

George: Right! So they must have really had to scramble to pair those two up with Feather and Roderick.

Pippa: Exactly. They nearly kicked us off the show, because technically in our contracts we weren’t supposed to take much initiative at all. But one of the shuttle buses broke down when they were moving us all between locations one night, and we were stuck together in a Denny’s in Glendale for hours while they arranged other transport.

Gerald: We just said hello to one another and sparks started flying.

Pippa: Yes, and by the time we discovered our mutual love for Gilbert and Sullivan, and the novels of Haruki Murikami, it was pretty much all over.

George: So you went to the producers and basically took over your own character arcs. To say that the move was controversial would be an understatement.

Gerald: We like to think of ourselves as groundbreakers. We were the first TV relationship to cross biological classes.

Pippa: Yes, it would have been unthinkable just a few years ago to have our relationship on TV. This shows how far we’ve come. I think of myself as Nichelle Nichols to Gerald’s William Shatner. [General laughter.]

George: A lot of people still voice strong disapproval of anything they’re not familiar with. What do you say to the trolls that post that the two of you are physically incompatible?

Gerald: People like that have no imagination.

Pippa: We just need to get creative. I don’t want to be indiscreet, but can I give you an example? Every few weeks, Gerald grows a new end of his tail that he can release at will. It’s a pretty big chunk and it continues to wiggle for about five minutes.

Gerald: Yeah, let’s just say our sexy times tend to coincide with those intervals.

George: Okay, enough said. Tell me, where do you go from here? Are you pursuing reality TV careers?

Gerald: Oh hell no. We’ve had more than enough of those people.

Pippa: We both had businesses before we even auditioned for Last Show. I’m a professional declutterer, and Gerald has a pest control business called Bug Out over in Santa Monica.

George: Very cool! Tell me about the decluttering.

Pippa: Well, what I noticed a few years ago is that sometimes when dogs become successful, they go a little crazy with acquiring stuff, sticks in particular. You go into their homes and they’re just everywhere.

George: So you help them pick their favorites and get rid of the rest? Marie Kondo for sticks?

Pippa: Well, sort of. But a lot of it is organization. I took the liberty of bringing a stick with me to the studio today. Take a look at it and tell me what you see.

George: Well, I’m not quite sure what to say. It’s a stick.

Pippa: Look at the deep brown color, with just a little bit of thin, peeling bark. That’s madrone, and it has a rich smell with just a hint of sagebrush and cypress, which tells me that it’s from the California central coast. Also, it’s just the right length, weight and taper for throwing. A strong human could throw this stick thirty meters.

George: So it’s also about learning more about your sticks.

Pippa: Exactly. We delve into the nature and history of each stick as well as its emotional value. So you end up with a stick collection that’s maybe a bit smaller but definitely better organized, more useful, and most important, meaningful to you. That’s the Marie Kondo part.

George: Wow, I can see how that’s a valuable service. How about you, Gerald? Why pest control?

Gerald: Well, George, I’ve always been a pretty decent manager. Plus, termites are absolutely fucking delicious. Can I say that on here? [General laughter.]

George: Sure, it’s not like we’re NPR or anything. [General laughter.]

Pippa: We’re certainly not too proud to leverage the hype from the show to get the word out about our businesses. Please follow us everywhere @GeraldandPippa.

George: I will do that, and listeners, all of you please do that too. Gerald and Pippa, thank you for being my guests today! It’s been lovely hearing a little bit of your story, and Pippa, I must say, I find your London accent captivating.

Pippa: Thanks, George! You’re not so bad yourself… as hedgehogs go. [General laughter.]

Gerald: It’s been great, George. Goodbye.

Pippa: Goodbye.

George: That’s our show for today, everyone. Tune in next week, when we’ll have Gladys and Mittens from Big Sister’s Cat House. Until then, watch your reality while you watch your reality!


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