This theoretical paper attempts to define some of the key components and challenges required to create embodied conversational agents that can be genuinely interesting conversational partners. Wittgenstein's argument concerning talking lions emphasizes the importance of having a shared common ground as a basis for conversational interactions. Virtual bats suggests that-for some people at least-it is important that there be a feeling of authenticity concerning a subjectively experiencing entity that can convey what it is like to be that entity. Electric sheep reminds us of the importance of empathy in human conversational interaction and that we should provide a full communicative repertoire of both verbal and non-verbal components if we are to create genuinely engaging interactions. Also we may be making the task more difficult rather than easy if we leave out non-verbal aspects of communication. Finally, analogical peacocks highlights the importance of between minds alignment and establishes a longer term goal of being interesting, creative, and humorous if an embodied conversational agent is to be truly an engaging conversational partner. Some potential directions and solutions to addressing these issues are suggested.