Today's episode of The Steve Harvey Show featured the visibly uncomfortable host interviewing 11-year-old Mackenzie McCarty, a budding taxidermist who poses adorable little dead mice in fanciful costumes. It was even better than you're already imagining.
McCarty is from Philadelphia; she was the subject yesterday of a delightfully nonsensically-titled article about how she likes "stuffing instead of potatoes." (Never change, local news!) Today she fully messed up Steve Harvey's lunch hour, explaining in lavish detail and with evident joy that she deguts the mice, scoops their brains out with a "scooper," pops their eyes out with a "popper" and then dresses them up like leprechauns and characters from Grease. She said she got into taxidermy when she was nine and of her mom's five (!) pet squirrels died.
"She took me with her to a taxidermist and I was so fascinated," McCarty said, beaming at Steve. "She surprised me two years ago with a taxidermy class and I've been doing it ever since." She buys dead mice from pet stores, mostly, saving them from the undignified fate of being eaten by Petsmart snakes. (She told Philly.com she also uses roadkill.)
McCarty does all her own de-gutting and un-braining, stuffs them, dresses them, sews all the costumes and makes the tiny props. When it doesn't work out — like a squirrel whose little head came in a little misshapen — she made the feet into earrings and the tails into a tiny bow. She also bowls, does archery (shooting at a foam deer, because she's "strictly no kill") and is a Girl Scout. She has more hobbies than I do and all of them are cooler.
McCarty told Harvey — who kind of wilted over as the segment went on — that her friends and classmates think her hobby is "really creepy." That's because they're boring, Mackenzie. You are an honorary Jezebel for life and you can come sit by us. Please watch this full clip, for it is a joy.
Screengrab via Steve Harvey TV/NBCUniversal