This past weekend The Happytime Murders hit the big screens. Although it may come as a shocker as first glance, the 90 minute Muppet movie was truly “no Sesame all street.” However, this isn’t the first time the creatures of Jim Henson’s Workshop were to be seen with viewer discretion. We here at Nerdy Scoop have scoured the internet and our movie/tv box set collections like over protective parents to bring you a list of times The Muppets went full PG.
1. That Time Katy Perry Was A Guest
I’d say this is where it began. The dawn of over-censorship and people catching feelings to quick. Prior to the premiere of a new season, Sesame Street uploaded this video as a teaser. Shortly after, it was decided that the episode that popstar Katy Perry made a guest appearance was on would be pulled from the air. Why the controversy? It was because the utter she wore on the show was deemed “too revealing.” This is laughable, however, not only because Katy has worn more revealing outfits, but if the outfit was too revealing for kids, why not just tell her to change at the time of the taping? Although we don’t know if the dress in the video is the dress in question, we are sitting back and sipping tea as Tinker Bell gets to wear a similar outfit since 1953.
2. The Fluppets Christmas Special
Shortly after her Sesame Street controversy, Matt Groening got Katy Perry to guest star on an Christmas themed episode of The Simpsons were we see the Christmas Eve dreams of various characters. In Maggie’s dream about The Fluppets (the legal way for Fox to shoutout the Disney owned Muppets) viewers got too see a 14+ puppet show that centers The Simpson family leaving to go on a Hawaiian vacation, while Moe gets to house sit and invite his girlfriend, Katy Perry. Just like any Simpsons episode, this is laced with raunchy jokes and gags that is definitely not suitable for younger viewers. One that pops eyes is the end-credits scene where Moe tries to kiss Katy, but can’t reach so he opts to kiss her belly button instead. We shortly figure out he went too low when Katy says, “Uhh, that’s not my belly button….. but I didn’t say stop.”
3. Robot Chicken Gags
The Muppets on an 18+ show on a Cartoon Network late night block called [adult swim]. To show this to a doe-eyed, innocent child is purely irresponsible! Above is just a ‘best of’ compilation made by [as] which includes cracked-out, drunk Muppets, and a guy in a Kermit costume getting beat up. But there are MANY more as the show has 9 seasons. There is also this one that may or may not have been the inspiration for HTM:
4. The Land of Gorch
Jim Henson got a gig on the first year of SNL (November 22nd 1975 to be exact), where he debuted for one time only “The Land of Gorch.” Mind you, this is Saturday Night Live we’re talking about, so Jim really took advantage of the air time that would be the peak of all children’s bedtimes and went FULL uncensored. We mean scary, unfriendly looking puppets, and some that even drink and was caught smoking “craters.”
5. The Muppets Revival (2015-2016)
2015 and 2016 saw the revival of The Muppets on the small screen. With only 16 episodes, those were the only years that saw the revival. It is understandable however, as the ABC Family show made the show put emphasis on FAMILY, as in “parents, please watch this with your kids.” I mean, it was expressed that The Muppets was not intentionally for kids when Jim Henson first started the franchise.
There are many moments throughout the season that were targeted for mature adolescents and their parents (the show did have an 8pm airtime to its defence) such as the one above were Zoot draw something on a birthday card that requires him to turn it into a saxophone. There was also another instance regarding Zoot when Kermit holds a staff meeting, and Zoot wakes up and says, “Oh, this is a meeting? Well, I’m Zoot and-” until he is cut off by a “It’s not that kind of meeting.”
There is also that time were Scooter mentions The Electric Mayhem are legally happy:
When Animal refuses to go on tour again and live a rockstar life because he is too tired:
And when Fonzy tried online dating:
6. Frozen… What?
The 1992 A Muppets Christmas Carol was definitely something younger viewers may have needed a hand to hold onto due to some frightening images such as the Marley’s ghost, Scrooge himself, and of course the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The writers did however manage to keep parents interested in the tale that has had countless iterations, by slipping in a play of words. When Kermit is asking Scrooge for more coal, the other rats in the building posse behind him saying, “All our pens have turned into ink-sicles,” while another rat adds, “Our assets are frozen!” Well played Disney… well played.