Little Muppet Monsters (partially found puppet TV series; 1985)
In 1985, after the first season of Jim Henson's Muppet Babies brought in huge ratings, CBS decided to expand the series from a half-hour to an hour-long block, pairing it with a show called Little Muppet Monsters to make a full hour-long package called Muppets, Babies & Monsters.
Plot[edit | edit source]
The show was based around three young Muppet monsters: Tug (performed by Richard Hunt), Boo (performed by David Rudman) and Molly (performed by Camille Bonora) who, after an incident where Scooter put them in the basement because Molly and Boo played water polo in the living room, host their own basement-based TV show featuring a musical act with Nicky Napoleon and his emperor penguins, a few cameos and segments (like "Fozzie's Comedy Corner" and a segment with Gonzo) from characters of The Muppet Show (including The Electric Mayhem during the opening credits, excitedly watching the show at home on their television and sofa), recurring animated segments like "Pigs in Space," "Kermit the Frog, Private Eye" and "Muppet Sports Shorts" (featuring Animal) and one original Muppet song per episode.
Cancellation[edit | edit source]
The show was cancelled after three episodes, replaced by reruns of Muppet Babies, and was never rerun afterwards (although segments of "Pigs in Space" and "Kermit the Frog, Private Eye" from the second episode were used in the final episode of Muppet Babies). According to Muppet performer Kathryn Mullen, this could have been because Marvel Productions were having trouble getting the animated subjects in between puppet wrap-arounds and found footage for the entire season ready for airing, leading CBS to respond by rerunning Muppet Babies in the show's place until Marvel Productions had finished the animated segments. However, the rerun's ratings were quite high, leading CBS to cancel Little Muppet Monsters outright (making this similar to Cartoon Network airing the Teen Titans Go! marathon in 2017).
But storyboard director Scott Shaw claims that, despite 15 other episodes being made, it was cancelled simply because Jim Henson felt that the concept and show itself wasn't up to his standard of quality, leading him to request its cancellation.
However, according to Mullen, the remaining fifteen episodes were never finished; the puppet wrap-arounds were made, but the animation was never put in, and there were a total of thirteen puppet segments shot (though most of the money was put into the show's animation). There were ultimately only three "true" episodes made ever.
The concept of a combined puppet/animation show was more successfully revisited by Henson’s company in 1992 with the airing of Dog City. Even some shows such as Nini's Treehouse had the similar concept.
Availability & Episode Listing[edit | edit source]
Surprisingly, in addition to the three aired episodes, footage of the puppet segments of three other unaired episodes have surfaced. They were originally uploaded by the YouTube channel Henson Rarities in 2015, but the channel has since been terminated. Likewise, mirrors have also shown up.
|#||Episode Title||Air Date||Status|
|1||In the Beginning||Sept 14th, 1985||Found|
|2||Space Cowboys||Sept 21st, 1985||Found|
|3||The Great Boodini||Sept 28th, 1985||Found|
|6||Gonzo's Talent Hunt||Unaired||Partially Found|
|7||Can't Stop the Music||Unaired||Lost|
|8||Boo Monster Ace Reporter||Unaired||Lost|
|9||Feels Like Rain||Unaired||Lost|
|10||Foo-Foo Phooey||Unaired||Partially Found|
|11||Penguin for a Day||Unaired||Lost|