Anderson Cooper as a silver wolverine Animorph

In pursuit of something else, I came across a Gawker piece from 3/31/14 that began with this identification:

(1) Silver wolverine Animorph and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper

This led quickly into a dense thicket of popular culture, taking me into the comics, the movies, sexual slang, action figures, Canadian currency, language play, fierce animals, and more. (There will be some discussion of man-man sex in plain terms here, but nothing alarming, and the images aren’t X-rated.)

My route to Anderson Cooper started with recent postings of mine on uses of the word cocksucker — which led to an interview of Cooper on the question, an interview in which (deliciously) he used the word several times, though pausing briefly each time before blurting it out. The Gawker piece (by J.K. Trotter) was a report on that interview.

Some relevant background on Cooper, from Wikipedia:

Anderson Hays Cooper (born June 3, 1967) is an American journalist, author, and television personality. He is the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°. The program is normally broadcast live from a New York City studio; however, Cooper often broadcasts live on location for breaking news stories.

… Cooper and his boyfriend, gay bar owner Benjamin Maisani, have been dating since 2009.

Cooper has been openly gay since 2012. Maisani was born January 27, 1973, in Corsica, France; that makes him six years younger than Cooper, who, because of his silver hair, looks older than he is, even when he’s groomed for youthfulness:


Maisani and Cooper on the street together in NYC:


Lots and lots of photos of the couple — in suits on public occasions, riding bikes together, walking the dog, Maisani cuddled on Cooper’s shoulder, and so on. Maisani seems to be hunkier than Cooper, but he also seems to be subordinate in their relationship. It’s not at all uncommon for an older gay man to pair with a younger one, often with an emotional resonance of subordination, and there are men who seek out such relationships, having a preference for one or the other role in them.

[Digression: there are two dimensions here: the emotional resonance of a dominant-subordinate relationship, which for gay men can be ritualized as a “Daddy – Boy” pairing and is in principle independent of age (and physical size and strength); and a preference for a younger or older partner, which is in principle independent of the emotional resonance between the men. In male-female pairings, it’s so common for men to prefer relationships with younger women that there’s no standard term for a man who seeks out such relationships; but for a woman who seeks out relationships with younger men, we now have the slang term cougar; see my 7/14/14 posting “The animal report”, which has a section on cougars in this sense.

In related news, this blog now has a “Daddy – Boy, DILF” Page (under “Xwriting”/”XBlog essays”), where DILF is ‘Dad / Daddy I’d like to fuck’ (see in particular my 6/13/14 posting “DILF days”).]

That brings me to the question: what do you call a gay cougar? People have suggested pink panther, playing on the Pink Panther cartoons and movies, on pink as a gay color, and on the panther as another fierce cat; and gougar, a portmanteau of gay cougar. Now it looks like J.K. Trotter, who did the Gawker piece, fixed on wolverine (another fierce animal of wild Canada), giving us silver wolverine Animorph to refer to Cooper: silver for his hair, wolverine for his relationship with the younger Maisani.

I’ll get to the Animorphs in a bit, but first two other kinds of silver wolverine.

A wolverine on a silver coin. From a site offering coins for sale, a

(2) 2014 Canada 20 Dollar Silver Wolverine


(Gulo gulo is the scientific name of the wolverine; gulo is Latin for ‘glutton’. Some discussion of the animal at the bottom of this posting.)

A silver-colored Wolverine action figure. For the 25th (silver) anniversary (2007) of the Marvel Comics character Wolverine, we got the

(3) Marvel Legends Silver Wolverine action figure

by sculptor Dave Cortez:


On Wolverine, from Wikipedia:

Wolverine is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, most often in relation to the X-Men superhero team.

Born James Howlett and commonly known as Logan, Wolverine is a mutant who possesses animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities, and powerful regenerative ability known as a healing factor. … The character first appeared in the last panel of The Incredible Hulk #180, with his first full appearance in #181 (cover-dated Nov. 1974).

… Wolverine is typical of the many tough antiheroes that emerged in American popular culture after the Vietnam War; his willingness to use deadly force and his brooding nature became standard characteristics for comic book antiheroes by the end of the 1980s. As a result, the character became a fan favorite of the increasingly popular X-Men franchise. Wolverine has been featured in his own solo comic since 1988.

He has appeared in most X-Men adaptations, including animated television series, video games, and the live-action 20th Century Fox X-Men film series, in which he is portrayed by Hugh Jackman in all eight films

Wolverine in the comics:


And as portrayed in the movies by a frighteningly ripped Hugh Jackman:


For a photo of Jackman looking like an ordinary human being (in a mullet), see this posting from 10/9/15.

Finally, the Animorphs.From Wikipedia:

Animorphs is an English language science fiction series of young adult books written by K. A. Applegate and published by Scholastic. It is told in first person, with all six main characters taking turns narrating the books through their own perspectives. Horror, war, dehumanization, sanity, morality, innocence, leadership, freedom, and growing up are the core themes of the series.

Published between June 1996 and May 2001, the series consisted of 54 books and includes ten companion books, eight of which fit into the series’ continuity (the Animorphs Chronicles and Megamorphs books) and two that are gamebooks not fitting into the continuity (the Alternamorphs books).

The story revolves around five humans, Jake, Marco, Cassie, Rachel, and Tobias, and one alien, Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill (nicknamed Ax), who obtain the ability to transform into any animal they touch. Naming themselves “Animorphs” (a portmanteau of “animal morphers”), they use their ability to battle a secret alien infiltration of Earth by a parasitic race of aliens

The books were developed into

a 26-episode television adaptation made by Nickelodeon … The series was broadcast from September 1998 to March 2000 in the United States and Canada (Wikipedia link)

In any case, it looks like the writer Trotter of (1) was playing with two senses of wolverine in it: Cooper exemplifying the gay equivalent of cougar, and a fierce creature that Cooper is able to animorph into.

Here’s the creature:


Some discussion of Gulo gulo in my “Nicknames and mascots” posting of 8/24/12. Not a creature you would want to tangle with.

One Response to “Anderson Cooper as a silver wolverine Animorph”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    I would argue that for people in their forties, six years is not a very big difference.

    I would also argue, somewhat less seriously, that looking like an ordinary human being (in a mullet) contains a contradiction.

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