Jim Henson's Little Muppet Monsters

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Jim Henson's Little Muppet Monsters
Jimhensonlittlemupppetmonsters.jpg
Format Animated series
Created by Jim Henson
Starring Jim Henson
Frank Oz
Jerry Nelson
David Rudman
Richard Hunt
Camille Bonora
James Kroupa
Voices of Greg Berg
Bob Bergen
Richard Hunt
Hal Rayle
Frank Welker
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 3 (15 unaired)
Production
Location(s) Manhattan, New York City
Running time 30 minutes per episode
Production company(s) Henson Associates
Marvel Productions
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original run September 14, 1985 – September 28, 1985

Little Muppet Monsters is a short-lived Saturday morning live action/puppet (muppet) television series, airing only three episodes on CBS in 1985. The first season of Muppet Babies did so well in the ratings, that CBS decided to expand the series from a half-hour to an hour, pairing Muppet Babies with Little Muppet Monsters. They called the hour-long package Muppets, Babies and Monsters.

Plot[edit]

The show was anchored by three young Muppet monsters: Tug (performed by Richard Hunt), Boo (performed by David Rudman) and Molly (performed by Camille Bonora). The three have started their own basement show following an incident where Scooter has them put in the basement after Molly and Boo played water polo in the living room. They are joined by Nicky Napoleon (performed by James J. Kroupa) and his Emperor Penguins as their music act.

Production[edit]

Storyboard director Scott Shaw discussed the show in MuppetZine issue #3 (Winter 1993). "The concept of this second half-hour was neither simple nor particularly well-developed," he said. "A trio of new (live-action) Muppet Monster Kids, working from the basement of the adult Muppets' home, create their own television station which broadcasts only to the TV sets in the house upstairs. Their 'shows' were such regular segments as "Pigs in Space: The Animated Series", "Kermit the Frog, Private Eye", "Muppet Sport Shorts" with Animal, "Gonzo's Freaky Facts and Oddball Achievements," and "Fozzie's Comedy Corner", among others.

Although thirteen episodes were produced (some of which were incomplete at the time of cancellation), only three of them ever aired; Henson Associates and CBS agreed that the concept had never been properly thought out and just wasn't up to Henson's high standards. It was Jim Henson himself who pulled the show from the Saturday morning lineup.[citation needed]

"I've always felt that the juxtapositioning of live-action and animated Muppets invited an unfavorable comparison, to which the cartoon version inevitably suffered; the puppetry was just too good. The combination of Muppet babies, adults and kid monsters was very disorienting. Also, due to a lack of development time, the concept — and therefore, the writing and designs — never quite jelled."[citation needed]

"The now-vacant second half-hour was filled with repeats of the first season's Muppet Babies episodes, and the ratings stayed strong."[citation needed]

Muppet performer Kathryn Mullen has a different version of the story behind the series' cancellation. According to Mullen, Marvel Productions failed to deliver the full season's animated segments in time for airing. CBS responded by rerunning episodes of Muppet Babies to fill the second half hour until Marvel finished the series' animated segments. Due to high ratings from Muppet Babies reruns, the network decided not to pick up the remaining episodes of Little Muppet Monsters.

The three completed episodes never appeared on television after their initial airdates. Plans to officially re-release the three episodes have not been made.

Despite its quick cancellation, the instrumental version of the theme music for Muppets, Babies, and Monsters would be used over the closing credits of Muppet Babies for the duration of that show's run.

In 1990, segments of the animated "Pigs in Space" and "Kermit the Frog, Private Eye" from the second episode of Little Muppet Monsters titled "Space Cowboys" was re-shown in the final episode of Muppet Babies titled "Eight Flags Over the Nursery".

Episodes[edit]

No. in series No. in season Original air date Episode title Synopsis
1 1 September 14, 1985 "In the Beginning"
2 2 September 21, 1985 "Space Cowboys"
3 3 September 28, 1985 "The Great Boodini"

Unreleased Episodes[edit]

  1. Hi, Mars
  2. Monster Measles
  3. Gonzo's Talent Hunt
  4. Can't Stop the Music
  5. Boo Monster Ace Reporter
  6. Feels Like Rain
  7. Foo-Foo Phooey
  8. Penguin for a Day
  9. Gunko
  10. Mail-Order Guest
  11. Title Unknown
  12. Title Unknown
  13. Title Unknown
  14. Title Unknown
  15. Title Unknown

Cast[edit]

Muppet Performers[edit]

Main article: List of Muppets

Voice cast[edit]

Crew[edit]

Creators[edit]

  • Characters designed by: Michael K. Frith
  • Tug built by: Ed Christie
  • Molly built by: Joanne Green
  • Boo built by: Rollie Krewson

Other media[edit]

  • Tug Monster, Molly Monster, and Boo Monster were seen briefly in the special The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, which was broadcast on January 21, 1986. The special was shot before the suggestion was made to take Little Muppet Monsters off the air, so the show cheerfully plugged the Muppets' latest production—even though that production had been canceled four months earlier.
  • Boo Monster appears in The Jim Henson Hour episode "Outer Space." He is seen as an audience member of the "Miss Galaxy" pageant.
  • The puppet for Tug Monster was later seen in Muppet Time as Do Re Mi Monster.
  • The puppet for Tug Monster was later seen as different customers in Mopatop's Shop.

References[edit]

External links[edit]