The Last Word: Hypnotoad Creator Eric Kaplan on TCU’s Viral Mascot

“The Hypnotoad is a strange angel. If that can blow TCU higher and higher, I’m happy.”

Eric Kaplan
TV Writer/Producer and
“Futurama” Hypnotoad Creator
.…on what his creation may mean for TCU in tonight’s national championship football game, via WFAA.

Here's "who said what" in Dallas Innovates Every Day.Millions are mystified by how the unranked TCU Horned Frogs have made it all the way to tonight’s College Football Playoff National Football Championship game against the No. 1-ranked Georgia Bulldogs

But ask many TCU fans and they’ll say the answer is obvious: Hypnotoad

Originally created by Kaplan for the 2001 “Futurama” episode “The Day the Earth Stood Stupid,” Hypnotoad has been co-opted by millions of TCU fans as a viral, meme-friendly, species-close-enough buddy of the school’s Horned Frog mascot.

That’s fine by Kaplan, who’s also written for “The Simpsons,” “Rick and Morty,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” and other shows.

“I think it’s great that we’re all on the same team together,” Kaplan told WFAA. “And props to the players. Props to the coach. They’re awesome. I think props to the meme dude. He’s done some awesome meme-duding. I think it’s great.”

Yeah Frogs! Good luck tonight—and may the Hypnotoad be with you. 

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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R E A D   N E X T

  • The Centanni Lab at TCU has received a $10,000 grant from the GRAMMY Museum for a study exploring connections between musical instruction and brain improvements that might help with dyslexia. "We've found in the last few years that there may be some overlap here—a really interesting way of using our knowledge about musical training to learn some more about what's happening in the brain in individuals that have dyslexia," Dr. Tracy Centanni told Dallas Innovates.

  • Researchers at UT Austin published a study in July called "I share, therefore I know? Sharing online content—even without reading it—inflates subjective knowledge." The study, published by the Society for Consumer Psychology, explored how sharing online content affects what people think they know. Turns out, they think they know a lot—which isn't necessarily the case at all.

  • TCU's 150th anniversary kicks off January 23, 2023, but the university isn't waiting to ring out in celebration. Today Boschini—joined by Neeley School of Business Dean Daniel Pullin, and other TCU leaders, students, and alumni—rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

  • Kaplan was the keynote speaker at last week's 11th annual luncheon of the Collin County Business Alliance. Here's a look at how he views the U.S. economy, and why he believes education and workforce skills training are the biggest keys to a "successful city" going forward. Government spending, printing money, and keeping interest rates near zero was like "driving your car at 120 miles an hour," Kaplan said. "And right now, we're in the process of slamming on the brakes."