I never imagined the edgy Bullwinkle cartoons, specifically the nefarious Soviet spies, Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale, would be in the same category as cutesy Hello Kitty.
But apparently, OPI, the global nail polish powerhouse, views things differently.
If you’re curious how I stumbled across this unusual marketing combo, check out my humor essay, “My First Fish Pedicure,” at BostonHerald.com.
FOR ALL YOU NAIL POLISH FANS WHO HAPPEN TO BE CARTOON FANS OR FOR YOU BULLWINKLE FANS WHO DON’T WANT TO LEARN ANY MORE ABOUT NAIL POLISH…
12 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE KNOWN ABOUT BORIS & NATASHA
1. Boris was a graduate of USC, the Ukrainian Safecracking College.
2. In one of his countless failed attempts to harm All-American Bullwinkle, Boris once disguised himself as a female moose!
3. Natasha has far more testosterone than Rocky the Flying Squirrel. Voice actor June Foray, the alter-ego of Ms. Fatale, sometimes also read the high-pitched squirrel’s lines. Foray also voiced “Nell,” the girlfriend of Dudley Do-Right, who apparently had a railroad tracks bondage fetish.
4. These Soviet spies were actually from the nation of Pottsylvania, not one of the free nations absorbed by imperialistic Russia. However, Pottsylvania was “a country composed entirely of spies. Even as schoolchildren, Pottsylvanians were taught only the ABC’s — assassination, bomb throwing, and conspiracy — with an occasional course in advanced sneaking and prowling.”
5. Although it is assumed that Boris and Natasha were married, the Bullwinkle narrator never clarified their relationship status or if things were simply platonic.
6. Natasha usually wore purple skirts, though occasionally ventured into red.
7. The Japanese government briefly took Bullwinkle off the air in the 1960s to avoid offending Soviet diplomats.
8. Boris Badenov’s name is a clever spin on Boris Godunov, a famous opera by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky and Russia’s tzar from 1598-1605. This definitely went over many six year olds’ heads.
9. For fun, Boris enjoys throwing rocks at the UN Building (yup, that line was in a kid’s cartoon!)
10. Boris once tried to smuggle an “atom-bomb watch” into the United States by hiding it in his laundry. Again, nice to freak the kiddies out about our weak customs inspections and border security.
11. Boris and Natasha believed in torture. One favored form: Forcing Bullwinkle to watch them devour a “chocolate-marshmallow-strawberry hot fudge sundae without sharing any.
12. In 1966, the spies co-starred with the Lucky Charms leprechaun in breakfast cereal TV commercials.
(Source Material: “The Moose That Roared,” by Keith Scott)
Did we miss out on anything? Discreetly share your Boris & Natasha knowledge with us at cultureschlock (at) gmail. com
Like Cartoons? Learn more about the historical presidential campaigns of Yogi Bear, Fred Flintstone and Linus Van Pelt from the Peanuts gang.
What’s it like to be lunch? Read the gripping first-person account, “My First Fish Pedicure,” a story that may force you to re-evaluate your relationship with your feet — and the people you love the most.