Greg the Bunny has the most imaginatively silly premise around: It’s about a kiddie TV show called ”Sweetknuckle Junction” with a cast consisting of human actors portraying characters like railroad engineer Junction Jack (Bob Gunton), and puppets, including the title character. The puppets are treated by the actors, producers, and crew as though they were ordinary, walking, talking organisms. Add SCTV’s Eugene Levy, still money in the bank for combining drollness with artful stupidity, as Junction’s harried director-exec producer, ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer”’s genial Seth Green as his slacker son, and the often riotously funny stand-up comic Sarah Silverman as a network exec, and you’ve gotta have something hilarious, right?
Wrong, I’m sorry to say. Every actor’s skills are squandered on stereotypes. (Silverman’s Alison is a particular disappointment; handing the role of a dense, tense TV executive to a performer so capable amounts to an insult.) Greg himself is a whiny little tuft of fur who lacks — and I know how ridiculous this sounds — personality. There are lots of ”seen ’em comin’ ’round the Junction a mile away” jokes about puppets as ”fabricated Americans,” exploitive humans are referred to as the ”flesh-Man,” and there’s a directive from the series’ fictitious network to ”find the next Elmo!” In an effort to prove they’re cutting edge, the ”Bunny” writers toss in jokes that are less shockingly funny than joltingly off-putting. Says one puppet about a dog, ”If I wanted someone to lick my face and poop on my lawn, I’d get back together with Farrah Fawcett.” Hey, I don’t care if Farrah was wifty on Letterman — that’s just mean and gross. And that yuk is from the ”special” episode scheduled to air on Easter Sunday; I think the Easter Bunny will have a few choice, withering words to say this year about ”Bunny.”