When people think “puppet show”, The Muppets usually come to mind. But there have been countless other puppet series throughout the — some were quite good, and some were rather bad. And in the case of the following examples, some seemingly designed to prevent kids from ever turning on their TVs again. Here are the most disturbing puppet shows ever created:
Pompel og Pilt
Finally answering the age-old question “What would your soul’s screaming look like if filmed with hand puppets?”, this Norwegian kiddie show was cancelled because it was deemed unsuitable for young viewers by both child psychologists and the parents who had to pry their kids from fetal positions after watching it. Supposedly created to stir children’s imaginations, the series was about two mute, unblinking repairmen who systematically destroyed everything they touched in a world devoid of color. The only other human in the show was an eyeless janitor named “Gorgon”, which was also the name of the snake-tressed Ancient Greek creatures who turned anyone who looked at them into stone. Of course, if that wasn’t enough to shatter young psyches, the main characters also occasionally ran into a screaming mop who only spoke in pictures and ate keys (probably a symbolic representation of the idea that there was no escape from this nightmare).
The New Zoo Review
Starring Freddie the Frog, Charlie the Owl, and and southern belle Henrietta Hippo, New Zoo Review taught cooperation, courtesy, and cringing at the sight of mutant creatures. Dancing, singing, and — in one blooper found on YouTube — cursing at each other, the three animals lived in a small town with two humans (who had to have been banished there for crimes against humanity).
The BJ and Dirty Dragon Show
Sounding more like a porno than a children’s television show, The BJ and Dirty Dragon Show is still beloved in Chicago, where it ran as a local kid’s program. The show starred BJ, the human mayor of Cartoon Town. There, all the residents were puppets who look liked wax figures melting right before your eyes.
But the real star of the show was Dirty Dragon — a mailman who regularly ate everyone’s mail. As for what exactly made the dragon “dirty”, perhaps off-set he liked to curse, tell naughty jokes, and visit the Cartoon Town brothel never seen on camera.
Peppermint Park was a kid’s show starring dead-eyed, mumps-riddled puppets so hideously designed you’d swear they were made in a blind panic. The show offered lessons about the letter “M” and only the letter “M” (apparently Peppermint Park couldn’t meet the financial demands of the rest of the alphabet) and that the color red is not the color blue. Also, the show starred a character named “Ernie”, which makes it clear that this show is basically Sesame Street if it was hit by a pandemic.
Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Show
Let’s just get this out of the way first — the name of the two characters in the above photo are Chip the Black Boy and Mr. Grey Spaceman (the fact the show and characters were created by an African-American puppeteer doesn’t make that any less cringe-worthy). We should also note that, for a show whose focus was Christian Science teachings and anti-drug messages, quite a few of the songs and skits were really about the puppeteers’ ex-wife. (Other songs touched on aliens, trains, and more women who left him). And it is also important to state that this public access show ran for 20 years and produced thousands of episodes featuring anti-drug pandas, Count Smokula, wall-to-wall opera, and various puppets literally falling apart during the taping.
The 5 Most Disturbing Puppet Shows