According to the LA Times, GSN announced today that Henson Alternative (the adult division of the Jim Henson Company) will be making a game show called 'Late Night Liars,' which stars a group of alcoholic puppets.
The premise of the game show is this: Contestants (who are human) will have to distinguish between fact and fiction, as told by the aforementioned drunk puppets, as they compete for various cash and prizes. Characters include Shelley Oceans, Sir Sebastian Simian and William A. Mummy (get it?).
Actor/comedian Larry Miller will host.
"Jim Henson made a great discovery many years ago when he realized that pretending puppets are people is far easier than dealing with people who are puppets," Miller said in a GSN statement.
Comedy Central says that they have decided not to renew the comedy show featuring puppets. The comic will, however, still have a new comedy special on the network sometime next year.
Now, obviously, there are other things going on here that we as viewers will probably never be privy to. But still, when you have a new weekly show (as well as a couple of specials) that do so well in the ratings (even if the audience did drop a bit later in the season), it's odd that you cancel it. I'd love to hear what really happened.
But, since this is about television, I'm going to focus on what I'm thankful for in television and TV-related kind of things. We might share some items on the list, we might not. While the times might not be great for financial dealings, it's a wondrous time for television geeks like you and me. Or, maybe it's just me. So, exactly what am I thankful for? Read on.
Well, there's actually a spinoff to the show in the works. That's right, a spinoff.
The original creators are getting together with MTV for the new show Warren The Ape. The plot will find Warren depressed and broke after Greg The Bunny ended, so MTV approaches him to do a reality show about his life.
[via Pop Candy]
[via The L.A. Times]
The third annual New York Television Festival is now taking place in the Big Apple. As we did last year, we will review each of the pilots in competition there. This is the first of those reviews.
Last year I decided not to review any of the pilots from the New York Television Festival, but this year curiosity got the better of me and I said yes.
I decided to review one of the comedy DVDs. More specifically, the one featuring a pilot with puppets. You know what I learned, Mable? I learned that if your plot is lame and contrived, having puppets as half your cast doesn't improve things at all. Let's get into it (you can view the pilots at MSN):
If it weren't for public service announcements, kids everywhere would be drinking Liquid Plumber and throwing themselves in front of trains.
You know what I mean: those PSAs you watched as a kid told you how to be safe, avoid abduction, deal with bullies, eat the right foods, and seventeen ways to kill a man with a paper clip. I'd say, in most respects, TV raised you better than your parents ever could.
Anyway, here's a few old PSAs. Two come from Concerned Children's Advertisers in Canada, the last one from the American Lung Association.
Spitting Image was a satirical series focusing on politics and pop culture that aired in the UK from 1984 to 1996. American audiences may have caught a few primetime specials featuring the grotesque puppets, but other than those specials and Genesis' video for "Land of Confusion," the characters never really took hold in the US. It's somewhat of a shame, because they were really funny, and a lot better than D.C. Follies, Sid and Marty Krofft's lame attempt at political puppet humor. Not even Fred Willard could save that series.
Recently, two Spitting Image puppets, Margaret Thatcher and Gordon Brown, were purchased at an auction for £5,040 and £4,800. Had I known they were up for sale, I would have bid on them myself. What's £5,040 translate to in American dollars? Like a buck fifty? Or is that just a fantasy I've concocted to convince myself I could ever actually own one of those puppets?
If you've heard of Super Adventure Team, a short-lived MTV series featuring puppets a la Thunderbirds and Team America, you're a batter person than I, because I hadn't heard of it until recently, even though one of my favorite comedians of all time was behind it: Dana Gould, who would later go on to write for The Simpsons (he left the series last year).
Today, we will delve into the world of science. Slip on your safety goggles and follow me into the lab:
Science can be difficult to understand, which is why most science is controlled by evil geniuses. Some might argue that science is just a method of understanding the physical world, but that kind of thinking is why you're sitting in front of your computer reading this and some evil genius is inside his secret lair creating a laser that can turn hippopotami into bowls of tapioca.
See that Bart Simpson puppet on the right? I want it. I mean, I really want it. Unfortunately, it belongs to Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, so I'll have to use all my ninja cunning to sneak into her home and steal it from her.
The puppet is the creation of Jarrod Boutcher, who makes both replicas and original puppets, though he doesn't sell the replicas. Usually when you see "replicas" of the Muppets, they're not that good, but damn, Boutcher's puppets all pretty much look exactly like the real thing. I would kill for that Oscar the Grouch. Seriously, I would end another person's life for it. I know that's not really the "Sesame Street way" but where else are you going to find something that cool?
Even though you can't purchase any of his replicas, Boutcher does create original, custom-made puppets for a price. If someone from the Muppets is reading this: get this kid a job, already.
[via Jeff Pidgeon]
You can watch clips of the Jim Henson Company's Puppet Up! Uncensored improv shows on TBS' Laugh Lab site. New sketches will be added every Wednesday.
Puppet Up! Uncensored is an improved stage show from the Jim Henson Company that's essentially Who's Line Is It Anyway?, but with puppets. A Puppet Up! special was shown on TBS not long ago, and I found myself enjoying it, albeit intermittently.
We rejoiced when the first two seasons of the Jim Henson Company's Dinosaurs came out on DVD, and now it's time to rejoice again, because seasons three and four will be out on DVD in a single box set sometime this May. There's no official release date yet, and there are no details on extra features just yet, either. What we do know is that all thirty-six episodes from seasons three and four will be included, and that's awesome.
On a more personal note, an incidental character in the episode "If I Were A Tree" is actually named after a friend of mine (actually the younger brother of a friend, but a friend nonetheless) who passed away at a very young age. This is not a lie, the writers changed the name of the character after I wrote a letter to them asking them to dedicate a show to my friend, who liked the show. I consider the name change the next best thing to a dedication. In fact, I still have the episode on tape, and the script they sent me.
Moona. Foofa. Brobee. Toodee. Plex.
Either I'm typing in tongues or those are the names of some characters from the upcoming Nick Jr. series Yo Gabba Gabba!, a series I keep accidentally referring to as "Gabba Gabba Hey!" (curse you, Ramones!). Moona, Foofa, Brobee, Toodee and Plex are a cyclops, a pink flower bubble, a green something-or-other, a cat-dragon and a robot, respectively. Just the names and the descriptions of the characters has the preschool part of my brain excited to see what the shows is all about.
Yo Gabba Gabba! will be hosted by DJ Lance Rock and also feature special guests and animated segments. Based on the promo video, it looks like an eclectic mix of Electric Company-style retro and funky music mixed with the bright colors and simplicity of Teletubbies. You'll probably find it annoying, but if you have little kids, they'll probably love it. And yes, I do believe that is Biz Markie making an appearance in the promo.
The series hits Nick Jr. this fall.
Egad. I'm glad I purchased my Beany and Cecil DVD when it first came out, because it looks like the only way you can get it now is used, and it's not especially cheap. If you aren't lucky enough to own this DVD, you're not only missing out on a bunch of episodes of one of the best cartoons ever made, but you're also missing out on full episodes of Time for Beany, the puppet show created by animator Bob Clampett that he eventually retooled into an animated program.
Fear not, however, for Mark Evanier found a full episode of Time for Beany on Google Video, and I've placed it below for y'all. It's a full half hour, so get comfy first. This episode may very well be from the DVD I have, but I'm too lazy to check.
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