Monday, February 27, 2012


Puppets are living beings in the main Toobworld, working and living alongside human beings. We've seen this in shows like 'Sesame Street', 'The Muppet Show', 'Captain Kangaroo', 'The Hap Richards Show' (my personal entry - a local Ct. kids show from the 1960s), and 'Breakfast Time' on FX.

But not all puppets are puppets; they only look like puppets to us. Such TV characters would include 'ALF', Salem the Warlock turned cat, 'Cousin Skeeter' (although he could still be a puppet, but adopted), the Fraggles, Rigel VII' of 'Farscape', Barney and the Sinclairs from the time of the 'Dinosaurs', and the Shansheeth of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures'. Mr. Moose, Dancing Bear, and Bunny Rabbit from the Treasure House are puppet folk; Grandfather Clock may not be.....

True puppets are spirit entities who take on a visible shell in order to be seen. And once they take on that shell, they assume the personalities (or the properties in some cases) of that body.  They would then act in a manner in keeping with that bodily form.

So Miss Piggy would consider herself a pig, Chairy a chair, and Big Bird a very big bird. Outside of their shells they are formless spirits, who may not even have a sexual identity.

The inspiration for these beings comes from "The True Histories" by 2nd Century AD author Lucian of Samosota. He wrote of the Isle of the Blessed where spirit beings gave themselves form by draping themselves in purple spiderwebs. (This Isle of the Blessed should not be confused with that to be found in 'Merlin', which is set in an alternate TV dimension.)

These spirit beings were eventually visited by men who created a wide variety of puppet shells for them to wear instead of the fragile spiderwebs. Representatives from the Houses of Henson, Tillstrom, and Baird were chief among these.

The Toobworld version of the Isle of the Blessed is known as The Living Island, which has several vest-pocket kingdoms within its borders, such as Tinkerdee and Gortch (to be found in the volcanic northern regions of Living Island.) Many denizens of the Living Island have moved to other parts of the world, mostly settling in the United States, while a few humans have also emigrated to the land of the puppets.

So this post is serving as a reminder for the splainin of puppet folk in the TV Universe.....

'Phineas & Ferb'
'The Muppet Show'
'Tales Of The Tinkerdee'
'Saturday Night Live'
'Kukla, Fran & Ollie'
CBS 'The Morning Show'
'The Captain Kangaroo Show'
'The Hap Richards Show'
'Barney and Friends'
'Breakfast Time'
'H.R. Pufnstuf'
'The Sarah Jane Adventures'
'PeeWee's Playhouse'
'Cousin Skeeter'
'Sesame Street'

(My thanks go to Thomas Paul Jennings of the Crossovers Forum on Facebook for pointing out this video.)



Jim Peyton said...

I guess HR Puffenstuff inhabited the Island of Psycillocybin

Toby O'B said...

If you mean I forgot to add that to the "Shows Cited", you're right. Pufnstuf lived on the Living Island....