Friday, December 28, 2012

These aren’t the Muppets you were looking for – but these puppets sure are a fun alternative!

My generation grew up watching Neil Patrick Harris as Doogie Howser and Jim Henson’s Muppets on television.  Things are a little different now with Harris’s breakout role being the womanizer Barney Stinson on the CBS comedy “How I Met Your Mother” and the Jim Henson Company has a division called “Henson Alternative” that provides puppet productions for “adult” entertainment. This transition has led  us now to Neil Patrick Harris and Henson Alternative teaming up with the Nerdist youtube channel to create a new edgy puppet show that you definitely shouldn’t watch with your kids – but which is a hilarious time out for us grownups.

NEIL’s PUPPET DREAMS takes you into the mind of Neil Patrick Harris when he falls asleep.  In the show, his “dreams” all take place in a puppet world, animated by the Jim Henson Company, and involve raunchy humor, sex jokes, and slapstick antics.  New episodes are posted on Tuesdays by the Nerdist Channel that can be viewed via youtube:

In 2004, the Jim Henson Company sold the rights to the Muppets to the Walt Disney Company, who now own all Muppet-related trademarks including the word “Muppet.”  Henson has been working to continue its puppetry and animation history by developing new brands to entertain both children and adults.  For younger audiences they have reinvigorated Fraggle Rock and created new shows such as Dinosaur Train, Sid the Science Kid, Pajaminals, Unstable Fables, and TheDoozers.  They’ve also expanded with “Henson Alternative” to utilize puppetry to provide mature comedy content to audiences who grew up watching Sesame Street.  They have produced Puppet Up! – Uncensored  a live improv show which has also been featured on a television special and web-series on  During the 2012 elections, Henson Alternative was the puppet master behind the third-party presidential candidacy of Marvin E. Quasniki ( which I wrote about in an earlier post ) the Turquoise farmer from Tonopah, Nevada.

Now, Henson Alternatives has teamed up with Neil Patrick Harris, who displays his Harold & Kumar side in this production, and The Nerdist (which features all things involving geeky entertainment through their website, a premium YouTube channel (, the Nerdist News daily e-newsletters, 1.7 million Twitter fans and a podcast network which is also produced as a TV show on BBC America) for this wacky carnival side show of a web-series called NEIL’S PUPPET DREAMS.  Check out this episode which features Neil falling asleep at a diner and how the puppets take over the joint in his dreams:

If you enjoy old-school Eddie Murphy standup and Three Stooges comedy skits than you’ll probably get a chuckle from this new puppet-based web show.  I just wouldn’t watch it with the kids around!

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