Everybody loves a great puppet show, and in honor of the decade that doesn’t get written about much, I give you the 10 Greatest Puppet TV Shows of the 90s. I didn’t want to include the 80s for various reasons, but mainly because there would be a lot more obvious choices in that list. Hopefully you’ll remember some shows you haven’t thought about in a long time, or discover some you’ve never heard of.
10. The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss
First up is the short-lived puppet series based on the works of Dr. Seuss. The Wubbulous World ran on Nick Jr. for two seasons (96-97) and included all of the classic Seuss characters, but in new stories. I always had a fascination with shows that I knew I was too old for in the 90s, and I remember watching a few episodes of this. I loved how well Dr. Seuss’ characters translated into puppet form. I’d take a movie in this style over either of the horrible live action Seuss stories any day.
9. Dog City
Dog City was a cartoon/puppet hybrid show that aired from 1992-1995. It was a spinoff of the Dog City segment on an episode of the Jim Henson Hour, which was all puppets. The puppet segments revolved around Elliot Shag, a dog cartoonist who creates the detective character Ace Hart. I know there was more cartoon than puppets, but I still had to include it.
8. Lamb Chop’s Play-Along
You didn’t think I’d leave Shari Lewis’ oh-no-that-damn-song-is-stuck-in-my-head Lamb Chop’s Play-Along off the list did you?
7. Cousin Skeeter
Cousin Skeeter barely qualifies as a 90s puppet show, but two years is good enough for me. It ran from 1998-2003 on Nickelodeon and focused around Bobby Walker and his crazy puppet cousin Skeeter, voiced by non other than Whatever Happened To Bill Bellamy. I hate when crazy puppet cousins move in with me almost as bad as when crazy puppet aliens do.
6. Allegra’s Window
Allegra’s Window was another Nick Jr. show that I secretly watched even though I was 9 when the series premiered. Allegra is a preschool aged puppet voiced by Kathryn Mullen, who is a Muppet regular with roles including Mokey Fraggle and Kira in the Dark Crystal. This show was supposed to show you life from the point of view a three year old puppet, so I’m sure plenty of hilarity ensued.
5. Under the Umbrella Tree
I’ve written about Under the Umbrella Tree a couple times before, and it was a show I remember watching a lot in the early 90s. This show originated in Canada on CBC but was aired in the United States via syndication on the Disney Channel. It was created by Noreen Young, and ran for 280 episodes. I couldn’t let a 90s puppet show list not include Under the Umbrella Tree.
If you’re a fan of this show, I’ve got a review coming up soon of the DVDs Noreen Young has available on the official Umbrella Tree website.
Aw, nothing says nostalgia for me like classic 90s Nickelodeon. Weinerville was arguably one of the more bizarre shows of the 90s, and that’s saying a lot. The show was the brainchild of Marc Weiner, and featured his unique style of puppet humor. This show is a classic to me, and I’d love to see some episodes again. I’ll never forget Dottie, Boney the dinosaur and Socko.
3. Eureeka’s Castle
Again with the classic Nickelodeon, what did I tell you? Eureka’s Castle was a staple of my early early years. I remember watching this at my grandma’s house while she tried to stuff me with any food she had in the house. The show had awesome characters, including Eureeka (duh), Magellan the dragon, Batly, Quagmire, and Bog. As I’ve said before, I really want some episodes of this show on DVD.
2. Muppets Tonight
I’m a pretty big Muppets freak, and I remember being very excited about Muppets Tonight when it premiered on ABC in 1996. I don’t know if I followed the series for the entirety of the two seasons it aired, but I remember loving it. It was supposed to be the spiritual sequel to The Muppet Show, taking place in a TV studio rather than a theater. It introduced some new Muppets like Clifford and Pepe, and had a slew of celebrity guest stars. What other show could get Coolio and Don Rickles in the same episode?
In my opinion, Dinosaurs was one of the best shows of the 90s, period. This is a damn funny show, and if you haven’t seen it since its heyday you should check it out. It had a lot of social commentary underneath all the animatronic dinosaur baby humor. It lasted four seasons, and luckily they’ve all been released on DVD in two volumes. The adventures of the Sinclair family was one of my favorite sitcoms of the 90s, even though Earl’s boss scared the crap out of me.
So there are my picks for the ten greatest puppet TV shows of the 90s, did I leave any out?