15 Puppets: Give 'em a Hand!
WARREN ''THE APE'' DEMONTAGUE, Warren the Ape
The star of this Greg the Bunny spin-off may look soft and cuddly, but he's really an aggressively self-centered actor dealing with substance-abuse problems and using Machiavellian moves and a sharp wit to keep himself in the limelight.
PETER (JASON SEGEL) AND HIS DRACULA PUPPET ROCK OPERA, Forgetting Sarah Marshall
What better sign of Peter's quirky genius than the (eventually) successful opera that helped get him the girl?
GOB AND FRANKLIN, Arrested Development
It was often both fascinating and shudder-inducing to watch the delusional Gob interact with anyone, and that extended to his performance with his African-American puppet pal, Franklin. No, guys, ''It Ain't Easy.''
WAYLAND FLOWERS AND MADAME, Solid Gold
Sure, the raunchy, turban-clad Madame sat on Flowers' hand and had strings attached, but as she said, ''He's no ventriloquist and I'm no dummy!''
Prank calls plus foulmouthed puppets voiced by funny people like Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes, and Dave Chappelle equals cringeworthy good times.
THE MUPPET SHOW
Much like Kermit's merry band of entertainers, there's a generation of us who'd follow the frog anywhere. We watched him spend each episode dodging Miss Piggy, managing his crazy menagerie, and making sure the show would go on.
TRIUMPH THE INSULT COMIC DOG
The disturbingly harsh cigar-puffing dog got his start on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, but he's since taken on a life of his own.
MR. FLOPPY, Unhappily Ever After
For four years, Geoff Pierson's unstable Jack talked to his gray stuffed bunny, who talked back. Mr. Floppy was prone to some very un-PC rants.
GREG THE BUNNY
Seth Green's short-lived series (March-August 2002) employed a vulgar show-within-a-show setup — with the puppets as second-class citizens — and spawned Warren the Ape.
Though these puppets resemble Sesame Street characters, their show was definitely not for children, with its frank talk about sex and drugs. Like the disclaimer said: "If you allow a child to watch this show, you are a bad parent or guardian."
NEIGHBORHOOD OF MAKE-BELIEVE, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
It may be kitsch now, but admit it: You were soothed by the sound of the trolley car heading into the Neighborhood of Make-Believe to find out what was going on with Queen Sara Saturday and King Friday. Okay, maybe you were slightly weirded out, too.
THE SIFL AND OLLY SHOW
The singing sock puppets on this low-budget show kept things interesting thanks to their dysfunctional friendship and plethora of fake songs.
THE GREAT SPACE COASTER
You might as well get on board this trippy ride. Don't bother trying to figure out why Danny, Roy, and Francine were sent to the asteroid world — just enjoy the likes of Gary Gnu and Baxter.
The Fraggles laughed, sang, and learned life lessons in a wonderfully bright and fun allegorical world.
One! Two! Three! There are just so many reasons the Count, Cookie Monster & Co. are simply awesome, but the fact that they shepherded so many of us through childhood is reason No. 1.