Back in 1990, before 30 Rock and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip NBC considered picking up a different show about an entertainer managing a variety show in New York. Pretty normal, right? Did I mention that this entertainer happens to be a poorly-constructed marionette that looks suspiciously like Conan O'Brien? The pilot was never picked up, but you can watch the opening credits below. If the show was anything like the theme song, it was immediately off-putting, completely inane, and about twice as long as it should be.
If you've ever watched The Muppet Show and thought, "I like this, but I wish it featured more puppet dicks" then you would be very sad to learn that Alligator Boots never got picked up. In 2008 Kanye West teamed up with Rhymefest to make what was described as a "hip hop Muppet Show." There are no episodes available online, but you can still watch the "making of" video, featuring a bear singing about putting his penis in Kim Kardashian's vagina. To Kim Kardashian. While she is dressed in Princess Leia's slave outfit. And Kanye watches.
Aliens in the Family
Aliens in the Family was part of ABC's TGIF line-up for two short weeks in 1996. It's kind of like The Brady Bunch except one family is composed of creepy alien puppets instead of creepily wholesome people. This show's got it all: canned laughter, Newt Gingrich jokes, and a major character that speaks in an obnoxious, robotic voice. Full episodes are available on YouTube. See how far you can make it before turning it off in disgust (I got as far as the line "I REQUIRE PUDDING.")
Gerry Anderson made a pretty nice career for himself creating puppet shows that people actually liked watching. Shows like Thunderbirds and Stingray used supermarionation to animate puppets in a way that delights British people and creeps out everyone else. Though most of his projects were a success, Anderson's last attempt at a supermarionated show, The Investigator, never took off. Some sources say that Anderson himself was embarrassed by the production quality, while others say he couldn't find a buyer, but everyone seems to agree that the show was kinda crappy. The Investigator is about a boy and a girl who are shrunk to the size of puppets by an intergalactic being in order to stop an art thief. If you're anything like me, you may ask how being shrunk would be helpful at all for a mission like this. You can find out by buying The Investigator here. Or, if you are still like me and don't really care that much, you can just watch the trailer below.
Much has already been said about Poochinski, the abysmal ABC pilot about a cop who is reincarnated as a talking dog. The show has a monumentally stupid premise, but more importantly in the world of this article, a horribly designed dog puppet. It looks kind of like someone skinned a bulldog and stuffed it full of Jell-O. Jell-O with the voice of Peter Boyle.
Lost on Earth
In 1997, USA aired Lost on Earth, a show about a news anchor who is forced to host a children's puppet show, only to learn that the puppets are not actually puppets, but aliens stuck on earth, trying to find a way home. 1997 wasn't that long ago and I think I remember it pretty well but I have no memory of this show ever existing. Which seems to be how USA wants it. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?), there's almost nothing about it on the Internet. All that remains are a few reviews, describing the show as "mirthless," "a lost cause." Oh, and the picture below that teases our imagination like some sort of horrible erotic fan dancer.