Total Nerd The 13 Strangest Kids' Shows From The '90s All Had Puppets  

Anna Lindwasser
567 votes 132 voters 5.6k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up the most bizarre '90s puppet show.

The '90s brought some great cultural content, but it also brought some seriously strange pieces of media. While there were plenty of weird movies and cartoons out there, some of the weirdest examples are actually puppet shows from the '90s. What were some of those weird children's puppet shows? Let's jump in.

Among these insane '90s puppet shows were ones with human-puppet hybrids, aliens, dinosaurs, inter-species families, and things we'd all generally acknowledge are the stuff of nightmares now. In fact, there may be many a '90s kid still in therapy over this weird subgenre of television.

If you were a kid back then, you might remember some of these crazy puppet shows for kids fondly, or not-so-fondly, and if you grew up during any other decade, prepare to be confused. Keep in mind that strange doesn't automatically imply bad. Some of these bizarre kids' puppet shows are actually excellent. In fact, in many cases it's their weirdness that makes them so great. 

1 90 VOTES


Dinosaurs is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 13 Strangest Kids' Shows From The '90s All Had Puppets
Photo:  Jim Henson Productions

Strangeness Level: 5 Programs Sponsored By "Beer" out of 5

What Made It So Weird: Dinosaurs is probably the most infamous puppet-based show of the 1990's, and for good reason. It's sort of like The Simpsons only, y'know, with dinosaurs. Despite the fact that it's set in 60,000,003 BC in Pangaea, the characters use technology from the 1990's.

Culturally, it's also pretty '90s - they even have a parody of MTV called DTV, where they play music by bands like Road Kyll and Lyzzard Skyzzard. One of the recurring gags involves Baby Sinclair hitting his father in the face with a frying pan. Oh, and they have an episode about workplace sexual harassment, which somehow manages not to be obnoxious. For all its weirdness, it's actually a pretty good show, with crossover appeal for adults.

Also Ranked

#78 on TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

#29 on The Best ABC Comedies of All Time

#3 on The TGIF Shows You Wish Still Existed

#20 on The Best After School Shows from the '90s

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2 68 VOTES

Muppets Tonight

Muppets Tonight is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 13 Strangest Kids' Shows From The '90s All Had Puppets
Photo:  Jin Henson Productions

Strangeness Level: 8 Flirtatious Glances At A Chicken out of 10

What Made It So Weird: Considering the presence of the word Muppets in the title, if you're not expecting weird you haven't been paying attention. Muppets Tonight focuses on a fictional TV Network staffed by Kermit, Gonzo, Miss Piggy and all the other muppets we know and love. Sketches on the show include dancing cheeses, a parody of Baywatch called Bay of Pigswatch, an Elvis muppet acting out various historical events, and a parody of The Real World where Clifford, Rizzo the Rat, Bobo the Bear, Bill the Bubble Guy, and Darci live together, and drama ensues.

It's a bizarre, hilarious show that's a window into '90s pop culture. 

Also Ranked

#69 on The Most Unforgettable '80s Cartoons

#12 on The TGIF Shows You Wish Still Existed

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Lamb Chop's Play-Along is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 13 Strangest Kids' Shows From The '90s All Had Puppets
Photo:  PBS

Strangeness Level: 68 Pieces Of Questionable Advice out of 70

What Made It So Weird: Lamb Chop's Play-Along may be best known for The Song That Never Ends, the song that every '90's kids made their parents miserable with during the show's heyday. While it's a genuinely cute and well-done show, it's got some pretty weird parts. For example, two of the main puppet characters are named Hush Puppy and Lamb Chop, which are food items, and the third character is named Charley Horse, which is a painful muscle spasm. They're all voiced by Shari Lewis, and all sound pretty similar, other than Hush Puppy's constant use of the word "ain't."

Some of the messaging gets a little strange, too. In one sketch, Shari Lewis tries to convince Charley Horse that it doesn't really matter that his best friend moved away, because he can totally just make new friends, or get used to being alone, because ultimately you can't count on anyone except yourself. That's questionable to say the least.

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Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 13 Strangest Kids' Shows From The '90s All Had Puppets
Photo:  Viacom Productions

Strangeness Level: 17 Staff Cat Trainers out of 20

What Made It So Weird: While Sabrina the Teenage Witch was primarily about Melissa Joan-Hart's adventures as a witch attending high school, it also featured Salem Saberhagen, her requisite black cat. Salem was sometimes played by four different actual black cats named Elvis, Lucy, Witch and Salem. Whenever he had to do something a real cat couldn't do, like have a facial expression or be thrown across the room, he was replaced by a raggedy puppet.

What's even more bizarre about Salem is that he's actually a warlock, condemned to spend 100 years as a powerless cat for attempting to take over the world. While enacting that macabre plan, he also had a girlfriend named Shelley and attended his cousin Cheryl's bat mitzvah. Pretty good for four cats and a puppet.

Also Ranked

#19 on The Best Teen Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Series

#71 on The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

#16 on The Greatest Sitcoms of the 1990s, Ranked

#21 on The Best ABC Comedies of All Time

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