If piglets are more your thing than pigskins, it’s likely that your DVR is already set for Animal Planet’s 10th annual Puppy Bowl, airing on Super Bowl Sunday this February. And if puppies in football jerseys weren’t enough to entice you into their pregame show (what are you, a monster?), Animal Planet is upping the ante with some of the Internet’s biggest feline celebrities: Keyboard Cat and Lil’ Bub.
Classic Internet celebrity Keyboard Cat, who has stolen over 30 million YouTube hearts, will be the star of the Puppy Bowl’s Kitty Halftime Show. The ivory-tickling feline will taking on Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” just hours before the singer himself will perform it at the Super Bowl Halftime Show, though I think we all know whose performance will be the must-watch, and it sure isn’t Mars. (The shows air at different times though, so no need to get catty.)
According to Keyboard Cat’s manager Ben Lashes, a Keyboard Cat Halftime Show has been nearly four years in the making, back when creator Charles Schmidt asked Lashes during the 2011 Puppy Bowl how to get Keyboard Cat to perform alongside the canine gridiron. Keyboard Cat’s Twitter would also light up with tweets during subsequent Puppy Bowls from fans requesting a musical cameo, so when Lashes was discussing other projects with Animal Planet last year, talk quickly turned to the ultimate tailgate. As he told the network, “It’s been a dream for four years, so we’ve got to make this happen!”
Meanwhile, rising young star Lil’ Bub will be checking in throughout the night from her studio in Chicago (here’s hoping that studio is in front of a toasty fireplace once again), ostensibly to point out the flaws in both teams’ offensive strategies—any smart cat knows that while a light footed rushing game looks flashy, defense wins championships.
In addition to the Internet’s biggest names, Animal Planet will be launching its first fantasy puppy draft (a safe bet for those who lost big in their earlier NFL fantasy drafts), live Instagram feeds of puppies and kittens who are watching from home, and best of all: penguin cheerleaders. The animal antics seem to exponentially rise from each Puppy Bowl to the next, so perhaps Lashes puts it best when he said “Dogs playing football and cats doing halftime shows will soon become the norm, so this is really a special moment in time.”
Indeed—any time the Internet can infiltrate our real lives to such an intense degree deserves mention. A faux Super Bowl halftime show featuring two of the biggest names in animal memes? The Web gods are surely pleased.