The puppet phenomenon in television may be one of the most delicate pieces of the puzzle when it comes to good or bad programming. The puppet can make or break a network's intricate campaign. Best-case scenario, the performance of a smart puppet can send a lame program into cult status. At worst, a bad puppet can turn a decent show into an industry joke. Here are the best and worst of both lists.
THE GREAT ONES
1. Bert (pictured above with lover, Ernie)
Featured on: Sesame Street
Approximate height: 2 feet, 3 inches
What makes him so cool: He's a gay-positive pioneer. He taught a young American generation to embrace homosexuals.
Catch phrase: "You're driving me bananas!"
His Sidekick: His ne'er-do-well life mate Ernie.
Human equivalent: Nathan Lane
2. Triumph the Comic Insult Dog
Featured on: The Conan O'Brien Show
Approximate height: About 6 inches, but remember, he's only a torso.
What makes him so cool: He's a trash-talking, cigar-chomping canine who doesn't take crap from anyone. He humps anything that isn't nailed - - doggy-style, natch - - and he doesn't think about peeing one people's legs when things don't go his way. He's Poochie incarnate.
Catch phrase: "That's a nice [fill in with the noun of your choice]‚Äîto poop on!"
His Sidekick: The guy who fists him from behind.
Human equivalent: Don Rickles - - no question.
Featured on: The Beany and Cecil Show
Approximate height: An even foot.
What makes him so cool: This strange Loch Ness monster-like creature was kind of like the spoiler of his time. He played everything really stupid, but those in the loop knew that he was just playing dumb to infiltrate the minds of those around him. Kind of like your boss.
Catch phrase: "Hot diggity-Dog." Admittedly gay, but that was racy back in his day.
His Sidekick: Beeny, the fey little imp of a boy‚Äîalways getting trouble, always depending on Cecil to bail his ass out.
Human equivalent: Patrick Ewing (if you go by the nostrils that is)
Featured on: The Davey and Goliath Show
Approximate height: A foot if he stood on his haunches.
What makes him so cool: Goliath, the coolest pooch made of clay, just had a calmness about him that you don't see in puppets anymore. He never really got all that pissed when Davey got trapped in some cave or ditch knowing full well that he was the one who'd have to save his ass. He took everything in stride and never broke character - - the consummate professional.
Catch phrase: "I don't know, Davey, what would [God/your mother/your father/Sally] think?"
His Sidekick: Davey, that pussy of a Latter Day Saint who couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag unless Goliath was there to do it for him.
Human equivalent: Nick Cave for all the Biblical references.
Featured on: Nickelodeon's Cousin Skeeter
Approximate height: 3 feet, 6 inches; 3 feet 9 inches with a fully picked afro.
What makes him so cool: This jive-talkin' bundle of felt is the baddest brown mound ever since Gary Coleman dressed up as Mr. T in that very special drug-awareness episode of Different Strokes. His official press sheet sums him up best: "He's a street-smart homeboy who's been there and done that."
Catch phrase: "The name is Skeeter! That's s-k-eeter!"
His Sidekick: Bobby, Skeeter's straight-laced cousin who always freaks out whenever Skeet tries to get his groove on - yep, another pussy sidekick.
Human equivalent: A cross between Roberto Benigni and a non-retarded Richard Pryor.
THE FUCKING DISGRACES TO THE PUPPET INDUSTRY
Alarcon co-founded outsideleft with lamontpaul in 2004. His work for o/l has attracted the attention of hundreds of thousands of readers, oh and probably the fbi too.