Byron’s TV Listings, Dec. 3

Great 70's TV lineup!! | Tv guide, Vintage tv, Classic television

G’day! Byron the Quokka here–and if you’re not out Christmas shopping, or if you’ve been shopping and you’re tuckered out, Quokka University has just what you need! Great TV shows, of course. Like these.

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 05  COUNTRY QUACK–Tasteless sitcom

Doc Fugu (H. P. Lovecraft) convinces Mrs. Wadman (Rita Moreno) that she’s given birth to kittens; but he’s unwittingly started a feud with Mrs. Shrike (Debbie Reynolds), who last year supposedly gave birth to eight baby rabbits. Watch the June Taylor Dancers get caught in the crossfire!

Ch. 10  NEWS WITH BATTLIN’ BILLY–News and fisticuffs

The famous baseball manager (oh, come on, he’s famous! you don’t need his name) anchors a staff of reporters who really irritate him, and he doesn’t mind saying it with his fists. Tonight: Dan Rather gets pushed down the stairs and Billy’s carried off in handcuffs. Substitute co-anchors: Shari Lewis and Lambchop.


What happens when Taylor Swift finds a cobra in her bed? Can Chuck Connors stop his car after they drain out all the brake fluid? And how about those missing steps in Mia Farrow’s house? Wait’ll she gets up at night to have a glass of water! Host: Jimmy Fraud.

8 P.M.  Ch. 15  MOVIE–Sharp social commentary and pretentious babble

In “Who’s That Jidrool Who Doesn’t Like Me Anymore?” (Icelandic, 2004), Dustin Hoffman plays a down-and-out wine taster who’s given a second chance by Mothman (Nigel Bruce). Complications arise when he falls in love with a woman (Totie Fields) who thinks she’s an electric blender. Music score by some kook in Reykjavik.

Ch. 28  CAPTAIN ONIONHEAD–Science fiction Western

Capt. Onionhead (Buster Crabbe) has to use all his ingenuity to save Professor Carbuncle (William Lundigan) from crazed space pirates led by Lulu Smythe (Susan Sontag). One false move, and we lose Wyoming! Cute but Dispensable Sidekick: Sam Jaffe. Secret Agent Disguised as Baby-sitter: Mike Mazurki.

I don’t know if it’s true that watching shows like this makes you irresistible to phone scammers; I prefer to think of us as providing a sorely-needed luxury to the human race.

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Byron the Quokka, signing off…

Byron’s TV Listings, Nov. 26

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1964

G’day! Byron the Quokka here, with fantastic weekend television brought to you by Quokka University… where all we do, really, is hunt up rare TV shows, never mind teaching courses. Anyhow, here are some samples:

6:30 P.M.  Ch. 08  SLAPSTICK NEWS–A news show, sort of

Finally! You don’t have to sit there growling and fuming as the news anchor talks down to you and tells lies. Here, the anchormen and anchorwomen stand a good chance of getting a pie in the face! You’ll know who it’s going to be, but the victim won’t. Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite, Paula Zahn–splat! Take that, motormouth!

Ch. 14  BACKYARD SAFARI–For children and goofy adults

Who needs rhinos and lions and giraffes when you’ve got ants, aphids, and starlings? It’s a lot cheaper, too! Join great white hunter Abe Vigoda as he sidesteps a charging ground beetle and bags an earthworm with his shotgun Celebrity guest: Sandra Day O’Connor. Bearer: Yogi Bearer (get it?).

6:45 P.M.  Ch. 29  FOREIGN MOVIES IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES–Pretentious twaddle

Impress your friends! Watch Bergman’s Wild Strawberries in the original Swedish, no subtitles, no dubbing, and say things like “Some of the subtler nuances don’t translate all that well.” Do the same with Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress and they’ll gasp in awe! Host: Marcel Marceau.


Hanky (Andre the Giant) wants a tricycle for his birthday, but Mozgush and Doblast (Arthur C. Clarke, Sonja Henie) have already bought him a king-sized hamster wheel. Uncle Hisstah (Frank Botox) is called in to make peace! Provider of Superfluous Exclamation Points: Joyce Carol Oates.

7:04 P.M. Ch. 42  SAGEBRUSH SAM–Underwater Western

People didn’t dig this when it came out in 1964, but Sagebrush Sam, TV’s first underwater Western, is now arguably the most popular show in television history. This week: Can Marshal Dan Schimmelpfennig (Don Adams) hold his breath long enough to burst into the Sea Horse Saloon and arrest manic gunslinger Nijam Mohandalakshiraj (Richard Simmons) for copyright infringement? Can he hold his breath long enough to say the name? Sparky: Shari Lewis. The June Taylor Dancers: The Elvira Pushcart Dancers.

Boy, oh, boy! I can’t wait to hunker down in front of my TV set with a handful of tasty leaves and bubble gum!

74 Quokka Eating A Leaf Images, Stock Photos & Vectors ...

This looks like a good one. See you next week!

Byron’s TV Listings, Nov. 12


G’day, everybody! I hope you’ve set aside enormous blocks of time for TV viewing, because we’ve outdone ourselves this week, bringing you the hit shows that never had an audience! Here’s a brief sample from our menu:

8:45 P.M.  Ch. 03  NEWS WITH LIVERWURST–News & commentary

Join Mr. Schlockengruber at the Garden State butcher’s counter, while he serves up the day’s news while serving his customers, too. Is it any wonder that he sometimes gets mixed up? But you’ve got to see him wield that cleaver whenever it’s Congress in the news. Weather: Carlos the Delivery Guy (he would know).

9 P.M.  Ch. 08  THE W TEAM–Action & Inaction

The A Team’s busy, the B Team’s all shot up, and eventually we work way down to the W Team (“When it really doesn’t matter, send for us!”). Pro wrestling legend Silvano Magucci (Dean Rusk) leads his team (Salvador Dali, Theda Bara, Elmer the Bull–he provides the glue–and Ernie Bushmiller) in one hazardous but completely unimportant assignment after another. Tonight: Find Ted Mack’s dentures.

Ch. 14  THE BARE FACTS–Lewd sitcom

What happens when a retired superhero (Bob Costas) opens a nudist colony in Alaska? WARNING: Much of this show had to be blacked out. Especially those parts with the June Taylor Dancers. And the mosquitoes and black flies. This week: Ozzie (Francisco Franco) loses his pants in a strip poker game. [We do not see the point of playing strip poker at a nudist colony, but apparently the focus group likes it.]

Ch. 33  TONS O’ TALK–Celebrity talk & variety

Jimmy Fraud interviews celebrities you never heard of! Icepick Sam, Dr. Foo the Mad Dentist, Susan Gesundheit… Hear him ask the questions you would ask if you had any idea why these people are famous! With the Karamazov Bros. and their orchestra.

9:08 P.M.  Ch. 56  MOVIE–Marital Arts

In Secret Techniques of the Drunken Water-Dowser (Chinese-Canadian, 1998), a disgraced Mountie (Groucho Marx, CG) enters Hung Lo Monastery, where Master Chee (Larry Storch) teaches him secret techniques. Meanwhile, Bigfoot (Linda Hunt) ravages the countryside–and the monks can’t seem to stop it. Can Sgt. Woo Wei Shu recover his honor by kung-fuing Bigfoot into oblivion? Song: “I’ve Got Spurs That Jingle-Jangle-Jingle.”

Well, that’s that! Someday the whole world will shut down just so people can tune in to Quokka University for thrills ‘n’ chills.

Meet the Quokka

Byron the Quokka, signing off.

Byron’s TV Listings, Nov. 5

TV Guide October 27-Nov 2 1984 (5) - Flashbak

G’day, shipmates! Byron the Quokka here–unlike that pantaloon Joe Collidge, I can find my tail with both hands–but even better, I’ve found your weekend TV menu! Here are a few samples to inflame your curiosity.

8:30 P.M.  Ch. 42  GRABBUM GENERAL HOSPITAL–Melodrama

Who said soap operas can only be shown in the daytime? What else would you call it when Dr. DiBono (Mendel Rivers) chases Nurse Knox (Joey Heatherton) all around the operating theater while the hapless patient (Sidney Greenstreet) tries to stitch himself closed after surgery? Guest star: Roderick Usher.

Ch. 44  RAWHIDE IN AFRICA–Western set in the East

What do the cowboys of Rawhide do in between cattle drives? They drink and gamble away their pay and have to take second jobs! And this job is a doozy–herding wild gnus across the Serengeti Plain, vexed by lions, leopards, and unfriendly local people. Eric Fleming and young Clint Eastwood star–with all footage shot in luxurious Scotland.

8:43 P.M.  Ch. 56  MR. FIX-IT NEWS–Yes, it’s news

Kill two birds with one stone! Bobby the Recluse shows you how to deal with clogged sinks and balky toilets while Carmen Miranda (computer-generated, but you’d never guess it) sings and dances the day’s top news stories. Weather: Johnny Cash.

9 P.M.  Ch. 06  MOVIE–Pastoral science fiction tragedy

In “Mistress Bumbles’ Labor Lost” (Pre-Columbian Studios, 2008), Director Pie Traynor improves on Shakespeare by ascribing his own script to The Bard. Mistress Bumble (Lucy Lawless) turns into Xena Warrior Princess whenever she emerges from her country cottage; and the man she loves, barefoot shepherd Jim Northrup (Omar Sharif), can’t make up his mind–about anything! Featured: the June Taylor Dancers as sheep.


Bucky (Max Von Sydow) wants to join the Spanish Foreign Legion, but Mom (Heather Locklear) and Uncle Fidget (Taras Bulba) try to stop him by walling him up in his room. Meanwhile, Poppa (Andy Devine) gets a job as a tightrope walker. Special guest star: a live Tyrannosaurus.

Well! You can’t miss these shows, can you? I guess you could, but you’d surely be the poorer for it.

Happy quokka says hi

Byron the Quokka, signing off.

Byron’s TV Listings, Oct. 29

Garage Sale Finds: What was on TV December 15th through 21st, 1979

Blimey, only two days left till Halloween! Better get my El Kabong costume out of mothballs.

G’day, all! Byron the Quokka here, with indescribably wonderful TV viewing for your weekend. I mean, we’re talking “Soak your brain!” Here are a few samples.

4:37 P.M.  Ch. 06  QUICKIE NEWS–(It might give you a headache)

What do you get when you take last night’s 60-minute news show and speed it up so it can be watched in just three minutes? You get Rottnest Island’s most popular news broadcast! And maybe a bout of queasiness to go with it. Anchor: Sid the Parrot.

4:40 P.M.  Ch. 06  MOVIE–Underwater adventure

Now that the three-minute world news is over, relax with Who Be Digging Up the Coral? (Indo-Jamaican, 1987: 360 minutes, counting commercials). Rishi Vijaya Gupta stars as a cynical but idealistic chain store magnate who seeds coral reefs off Jamaica so he can plant “treasure” in them and dig it up later. The bloodthirsty but benign local sheriff (Elston Howard) opposes him. Mrs. Hashimoto: Heather Locklear.

5 P.M.  Ch. 12  JIMMY FRAUD PRESENTS–Variety

What a lineup! The June Taylor Dancers dance to the Guatemalan Runner-Up National Orchestra’s rendition of “I Got Coccyx Troubles,” Al Gore recites “Dinner With Dracula,” and The Amazing Bruno tries again to re-materialize, having de-materialized three weeks ago. Jimmy’s Monologue: “Why I Deserve a Raise.”


Chiang Kai-shek and Minnie Pearl host this hideous display of misbegotten fake “sports” shunned by the other networks! Now you can see ’em all: tightrope-pogosticking, wasps’-nest bothering, soccer with a bowling ball (those headers are murder!), getting stuck inside the clothing donation bin, and so much more!

5:30 P.M.  Ch. 26  JUMPIN’ SPINNIN’ KICKS–Kung-fu crime drama

Dragon Bone Hill, Iowa, has an all-girl police force–and criminals beware! Every one of these beauties can wipe you out with secret jumpin’ spinnin’ kicks, taught by Master Wong Wei (Claude Akins). They can also leap backwards 20 feet in the air! This week: Hot on the trail of a misgendering ring, Officer Schadenfreude (Christie Brinkley) accidentally leaps onto the wing of a jet plane passing overhead. Hysterical passenger: William Shatner.

How about that, folks? Did you ever think you’d see that kind of programming on your TV? I’m lucky if I get any at all.

Quokka - The Australian Museum

Byron the Quokka, signing off.

Byron’s TV Listings, Oct. 22

tv guide sears portrait studio 1987

Crikey, it’s almost November! G’day out there–Byron the Quokka, with another weekend’s TV viewing that’ll make you wish you could start your life all over again just so you could see these shows for the first time again… Oh, never mind! Here’s a sample.

6:30 P.M.  Ch. 12  NEWS WITH RUDE NOISES–News & commentary

Actually it’s mostly commentary, as the boisterous studio audience constantly interrupts anchorman Dan Rather with an assortment of disrespectful noises that we will not attempt to describe here. Inexplicably, the show became a mega-hit and was only canceled when Rather refused to allow hard objects to be thrown at him.

Ch. 42  MOVIE–Mostly stock footage

In The Bowery Boys Meet the June Taylor Dancers at Jimmy Fraud’s Lousy Barbecue (Swedish, 1996), a safari in unexplored Africa winds up in Muesli Township, NJ, just in time for a free-for-all! (This is the film that soured the relationship between the Bowery Boys and the June Taylor Dancers and prevented a merger). Captain Queasy: Rip Torn. Mrs. Picasso: Nina Khrushchev. Song: “I Got Chiggers”

6:45 P.M.  Ch. 08  HOLD THAT U.T.I.!–Medical game show

Which celebrity guest has the most awkward medical condition? Which member of the studio audience will be sacrificed to cure it? This week’s guests: Howard Da Silva, Chiang Kai-shek, Billie Jean King, Theda Bara. With Billy Martin and his orchestra. Host: (Refuses to divulge identity).

7 P.M.  Ch. 14  ADVENTURES OF WU WEI-SHU–Western

Gunslinger Chad Votingmachine (Cy Young) searches the Wild West for the baby-sitter who stuck him with the nickname Wu Wei-Shu, “the Tail-less Rat.” If only he could remember her name, what she looked like, etc.! Sidekick: Russ Tamblyn. Moping Minnie: Some stupid idiot in a toreador’s suit. Tonight’s episode: “Heee-yahhh!”

7:07 P.M.  Ch. 63  SEMINAR: SHAKESPEARE’S SUPER-HEROES–Academic twaddle

Everybody knows those dumb comic book movies would be a thousand times better if they had Shakespearean dialogue, according to our host, Prof. Edgar Gunnysack. “Then again,” he said, “Shakespeare would be better if he’d put some super-heroes in it! I mean, have you ever sat through Two Gentlemen of Verona, or wherever it was?” This week, “Batman” gets a complete dialogue makeover (“Forsooth, young Robin, I cly thee right well–but soft! What light through yonder window breaks?” “Beshrew me, Batman! Methinks they butt together well!”) You get the idea…

All right, all right! Maybe that Shakespeare thing is a bit too much to bear! But I’m telling you, the rest is solid gold!

378 Quokka Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images

Byron the Quokka, signing off!

Byron’s TV Listings, Oct. 15

Garage Sale Finds: What was on TV November 18th through 24th, 1979

G’day! Byron the Quokka here, hosting your weekend TV festival brought to you by Quokka University, Region AA2 Pick-up Stix champions! Here’s a little sample of what we’ve got lined up for you this weekend:

5 P.M.  Ch. 08  IT AIN’T YOUR DAY–Game show

If you thought Queen For a Day was total trash, wait’ll you see this! One of the guests is a pathological liar; the others are the tragic victims of horrible fates. Can the celebrity panel pick out the phony? If they can’t, we shoot Chuck Connors! Host: Chief Justice Earl Warren. With Turok Son of Stone and his Orchestra of Honkers.


Edgar Buchanan stars as wandering gunslinger Francis X. Sapirstein… who sings his gun to sleep each night and talks to it all day. This week: The Shoggoth Gang (the June Taylor Dancers) put a price on Francis’ head–$3.98–and then try to collect it themselves! Sheriff Lugnuts: Maurice Chevalier.

5:22 P.M.  Ch. 22  GARGLING NEWS–Indescribable

Can you announce the world’s news and gargle at the same time? Anchorwoman Ginger Foogu can! Well, all right, nobody can make head nor tails of what she’s saying–and the commentary by Karl “Chainsaw” Mulligan doesn’t help. But you can always read the newspaper while you’re watching!

6 P.M.  Ch. 43  MOVIE–Jungle adventure

“Vampire of The Lost World” (Mexican, 1963) features Steve Reeves look-alike Jorge Meniscus [Editor: We don’t believe he looks like Steve Reeves] leads an expedition of school children and maniacs into the depths of the New Jersey Pine Barrens in search of a lost city full of vampires–stealthily stalked every step of the way by a Soviet super-spy (Dan Blocker).

6:20 P.M.  Ch. 64  THE BOOGALOOS–Sitcom/Philosophical reflections

Poppa Boogaloo (Carl Sagan) goes into hysterics when he can’t find his lucky tie-clip… and the family’s afraid to tell him that Joody (Donna Reed) is dating a man who sneaks up on people and scares them. Momma: Heather Locklear. Soopy: Dr. Phil. Man Who Sneaks Up on People and Scares Them: Lorne Greene.

Okay, that’s it for free samples! If you want any more, you have to watch it on your TV set.

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Byron the Quokka, signing off!

Byron’s TV Listings, Oct. 8

TV Guide Oct 2, 1970 | Program pages from the Minneapolis-St… | Flickr

G’day, g’day, and happy weekend! Byron the Quokka here, with absolutely the very best in television, the best shows of the last 800 years! Brought to you by Quokka University, where a degree in Nothing Studies means just that.

Behold a few samples:

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 02  THE MICROBES–(Best sitcom ever)

Kate Smith and Stan Laurel star as Alice and Jerry Microbe, whose neighbors can’t see them without a microscope! (I don’t know why they put in that exclamation point. Someone please take it away.) This week: Alice gets lost in Mrs. Moseby’s rug. Mrs. Moseby: Shari Lewis. Sasquatch: Harold Stassen.

Ch. 08  THE NEWS IN DANCE–News & commentary

Join the June Taylor Dancers in presenting and analyzing the world’s news in interpretive dance! Tonight: Turkey, Paraguay sign non-aggression pact; Congress investigates pro wrestling match-fixing scandal; 450-pound pole vaulter sets record. Song: “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”

7:42 P.M.  Ch. 17  MOVIE–Science fiction

In “Able was I, Ere I Saw Elba” (Hong Kong, 1975), the Shaw Brothers’ five-hour epic, kung-fu meets string theory. A drunken guard (Luis Tiant) falls in love with a pineapple from another dimension (Linda Hunt), who is able to look sort of like a woman when the mood takes her. Together they plot to bring back Napoleon Bonaparte (Gabe Kaplan)! Too bad they only brought back half of him… Mrs. Hsing: Li Lo Liang.

8 P.M.  Ch. 46  GET RICH QUICK!–Self-improvement

Host Alan Diphthong filmed 12 of these episodes before he was sent to prison for fraud. Tonight’s projects: raising fleas for sale to flea circuses; a radish farmer in California switches over to taking money not to scare small children; start your own sky-diving school. Special guest: Bill Moyers.


It’s celebrities Chuck Connors, Abe Ribikoff, and Sally Field against three schlubs from the studio audience in a battle to see which team can stay awake longest through a reading of Silas Marner by a not-very-talented W.C. Fields impersonator. Winning team gets Batman wrist watches! Losing team gets doused with ice-cold water. Host: Porky Pig (don’t ask).

Well, if you think these are great shows, wait’ll you see the ones I haven’t written previews for! One of our emus went hog-wild after just half an hour’s viewing.

Meet the Quokka

Happy viewing! Byron the Quokka, signing off.

Byron’s TV Listings, Oct. 1

Retrospace: TV Guide #8: Feb 12-18, 1977

G’day, welcome to October! Byron the Quokka here–and have we got TV for you! No kidding–you’ll think you died and went to heaven. (Well, maybe not.) Here’s just a wee sample of this weekend’s offerings.

4 P.M.  Ch. 12  DOC MANOOJI–Western

Returning from a house call to Venus, Doc Manooji (George Windex) finds his home town of Batwurst, Arizona, populated by talking trees instead of people. It wouldn’t matter so much, only they never shut up! Mr. Larch: S. Hurok. Miss Maple: Joan Hickson. Little Elm: Ty Hardin


Contestants try to dilly-dally, dawdle, hem and haw, and fumfer their way to the great prize that hasn’t been delivered yet! Host Ed Mzee will lay out the rules, if he ever shows up. Music by those members of Marve Throneberry’s orchestra who have found their way to the studio.

4:06 P.M.  ANNOYING MOVIE–Psychological warfare

The Bowery Boys meet The Most Boring Man in India (Paul Lynd) in “Avast, Me Hearties” (Serbian, 2004), a movie that has absolutely nothing to do with any nautical subject and was only scheduled for 4:06 to irritate people. The Serbian Army planned to use this film against the Turks. Woody Strode: the Smothers Brothers. Susan Sontag: Heather Locklear.

4:30 P.M.  Ch. 03  STREETS OF HIDEOUS DOOM–Horror/mystery

A most cruel serial killer stalks the streets of Poobah, Vermont. Can the June Taylor Dancers stop him before he kills again? With only one episode, this series won the Shortest Series Award at the Project Mohole Film Festival. Mayor Piffle: Tony Blair. Mrs. Yang: Linda Blair (no relation)

5 P.M.  Ch. 31  THE SCHMENDRICKS–Situation comedy

A door-to-door salesman (John Astin) sells Penelope Schmendrick (this girl who was in my 8th grade class and then moved away) a super-pogo stick–and when Yobo Schmendrick (Lionel Barrymore) comes home from his job at the chariot factory, he finds a huge hole in the living room ceiling… with Penny’s head stuck in it! Paper boy: Fang Hsueh-ting. Papier-mache boy: William Shatner.

Well, now, that’s what I call television! In fact, I don’t know what else to call it.

Meet the Quokka

My cousin Flimzy–she’s camera-shy.

Byron the Quokka, signing off!


Byron’s TV Listings, Sept. 24

multiple image galleries

Yo-ho-ho, Byron the Quokka here with a weekend of spectacular TV! Here’s a little sample of what we’ve got lined up for you.

6:15 P.M.  Ch. 55  NIGHTLY GNUS–(Don’t ask)

Everything you want to know about wildebeests! Anchored by Jimmy Fraud–the absolute low point in his career. You don’t know what torment is until you’ve seen a journalist try to interview a gnu!

6:30 P.M.  Ch. 08  ALL ALONE AT THE MOVIES–Movie reviews

How about those movies that no one gets to see before they’re pulled out of circulation? Movies like Buccaneers vs. Sea Monkeys. Or The June Taylor Dancers Visit the Tomb of Svashnach the Terrible. Your hosts, Joe Collidge and Greta Thunberg, have seen ’em all!

Ch. 21  THE TWADDLERS–Sitcom with metaphysical overtones

Suddenly the Twaddlers have an extra grandpa (Felipe Alou) hiding in the closet! While Spurius (Gabby Hayes) frantically checks the family tree, Flotsam (Heather Locklear) tries to make borscht for the third grandpa before he carries out his threat to speak The Deplorable Word. King Edward III: Art Carney. The Other King Edward: Warren Oates.

7 P.M.  Ch. 16  MOVIE–Really stupid ‘Moby Dick’ wannabe

“Gimme That There Harpoon, Matey!” (Greek, 1951) was the movie that made star Otto Fungus’ career… as a bricklayer. Shot his acting career right down at once. Fungus plays Captain Jehoahaz, the fanatic who pursues a small dogfish called Roscoe but can’t catch him because, well, all dogfish tend to look like. A one-armed man (Barry Manilow) obsessively pursues Cap. Jehoahaz. Song: “Don’t Step on My Coccyx.”

Ch. 35  YOU BET YOUR LASSO!–Western drama/Game show

Before there was any technology to support such a venture, Popstone Studios introduced this “interactive Western.” Audience members were challenged to write letters to the producers suggesting where the plot should go next, and any viewer whose suggestion was used got to guest-star in that episode–usually as Marshall Pete Bazooka’s easily dispensable deputy. He also got some luggage, and a special lunch box with a secret compartment.

Well! I’ll be flabbergasted if these shows don’t give you a whole new perspective on something or other. Make sure you have plenty of nice leaves to munch!

Baby Quokka Eating Ficus Leaf on Rottnest Island Stock Photo - Image of  herbivorous, eyes: 201938562

(Fig leaves are good for something besides you-know-what!)