Spike the TSA hedgehog dances while the NSA owl grooves in the background.

Spike the TSA hedgehog dances while the NSA owl grooves in the background. HBO

Last Week Tonight: Take a Cue From Japan and Get Agencies Some Mascots

Scales, the blind iguana, would probably increase interest in the Department of Justice, right?

Everyone knows Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl as federal agency mascots. You might've heard about Dunk, the NSA's new computer graphic mascot who encourages recycling. In fact, our Tom Shoop has written a series of Fedblog posts enumerating the various mascots agencies had during earlier days of the Internet in order to make agencies more kid-friendly on the Web.

Well, John Oliver wants to round out the roster. Sunday, Last Week Tonight ended its show with a segment on Japan's increasing mascotization of agencies, facilities and governments. It turns out that Japan's got too many mascots representing entities as varied as prefectures, prisons and cities. However, at the end of the segment, Oliver suggested some ideas for federal agency mascots. His suggestions include:

  • An NSA owl wielding a magnifying glass.
  • Spike the TSA hedgehog, "who collects four-ounce bottles of shampoo and Swiss Army knives."
  • Scales the blind iguana of justice
  • Character actor Bob Balaban representing, for some unknown reason, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
  • and many more.

Watch for yourself below and see if your agency's mascots fits its essence.