Cubs pre-Mardi Gras float shows devilish humor

Sounds like the start of a joke you might hear in a French Quarter dive bar: "Harry Caray, a goat and the devil are riding on a parade float ..."No punchline, but Carnival-goers likely got a laugh just the same when they watched all those figures...

Cubs pre-Mardi Gras float shows devilish humor

Sounds like the start of a joke you might hear in a French Quarter dive bar: "Harry Caray, a goat and the devil are riding on a parade float ..."No punchline, but Carnival-goers likely got a laugh just the same when they watched all those figures...

27 February 2017 Monday 17:04
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Cubs pre-Mardi Gras float shows devilish humor

Sounds like the start of a joke you might hear in a French Quarter dive bar: "Harry Caray, a goat and the devil are riding on a parade float ..."

No punchline, but Carnival-goers likely got a laugh just the same when they watched all those figures and others grace a Cubs-themed float parading through downtown New Orleans. The display was one of 24 floats in Le Krewe d'Etat's annual parade, which takes place the Friday before Mardi Gras on Tuesday.

"The theme of the parade ... is 'Zoo d'Etat,' and each float is a different animal, and so we're on the 'Holy Cow' float," said a New Orleans engineer, who in the tradition of the local social organizations called "krewes," asked to remain anonymous. Le Krewe d'Etat is known for satirizing everything from politics to sports. One float was titled the "Pelican'ts," featuring Chicago native Anthony Davis and a pelican with a Davis-style unibrow.

New Orleans-based The Royal Artists Inc. built the "Holy Cow" float, and sculptures such as the Caray character are papier-mache sculpted over a wooden armature, then painted. Ryan Blackwood, who designed the float, told Inc. on Monday, "I like to keep them cartoony, fun and easy to read. For this float we set the characters against the backdrop of a frozen-over hell."

Photos as the Cubs practice at spring training in Mesa, Ariz.

Characters depicted on the float include:

• At the front of the float, a prop of Caray holds a WGN-Ch. 9 mic in one hand and a Budweiser beer can in the other, and stands above a baseball inscribed with "108 years, 108 stitches."

• A bear Cub rides a goat and says, "Wow, hell really froze!"

• Bill Murray wears a Cubs cap and "Ghostbusters" gear and declares, "I ain't afraid of no goats."

• A pig in a Cubs uniform flies overhead.

• A jester figure on the float pays homage to the Milan Lounge, a bar and longtime Cubs hangout in New Orleans. The float's details were so secret before the parade that the bar's inclusion was news to bartender Chris Johnson. "I think it's awesome," he said.

Johnson explained that about 40 years ago, the Milan Lounge's original owner wanted to turn the place into a baseball bar, and the only options were the Cubs and Braves, because their games were carried by the WGN and TBS superstations, respectively.

"But it's New Orleans, so (bleep) Atlanta," Johnson said. Patrons have been pro-Cubs ever since, and the bar was packed when the Cubs beat the Indians in the World Series in November.

"Game 7 this year was out of control. You couldn't lift your arms to put your beer in your mouth," said Johnson, who was a Cubs fan before working at the bar.

"I used to be a Red Sox fan, then they won the World Series and I didn't care anymore. I like the underdogs, I like the curses being broken. But I'm sticking with the Cubs," he said.

plthompson@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @_phil_thompson

Caption Cubs' Brett Anderson on his first Cactus League start

Cubs pitcher Brett Anderson discusses his first Cactus League start, against the White Sox, on Feb. 27, 2017, in Mesa, Ariz. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Cubs pitcher Brett Anderson discusses his first Cactus League start, against the White Sox, on Feb. 27, 2017, in Mesa, Ariz. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Caption Cubs' Brett Anderson on his first Cactus League start

Cubs pitcher Brett Anderson discusses his first Cactus League start, against the White Sox, on Feb. 27, 2017, in Mesa, Ariz. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Cubs pitcher Brett Anderson discusses his first Cactus League start, against the White Sox, on Feb. 27, 2017, in Mesa, Ariz. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Caption Cubs pitcher Pierce Johnson on switching to the bullpen

Cubs pitcher Pierce Johnson discusses his new role in the bullpen on Feb. 27, 2017. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Cubs pitcher Pierce Johnson discusses his new role in the bullpen on Feb. 27, 2017. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Caption Joe Maddon on White Sox manager Rick Renteria

Cubs manager Joe Maddon discusses White Sox manager Rick Renteria as well as Cubs pitchers Brett Anderson and Caleb Smith on Feb. 27, 2017. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Cubs manager Joe Maddon discusses White Sox manager Rick Renteria as well as Cubs pitchers Brett Anderson and Caleb Smith on Feb. 27, 2017. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Caption Cubs manager Joe Maddon on World Series Game 7 and spring training

Cubs manager Joe Maddon on World Series Game 7 and spring training.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon on World Series Game 7 and spring training.

Caption Jason Heyward on level of comfort with new swing, support from Cubs

Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward discusses his comfort level with his new swing and the support from the organization on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward discusses his comfort level with his new swing and the support from the organization on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)

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