It’s no secret that some folks have felt (HA!) let down by the reality of this summer’s most anticipated film (that didn’t involve Jason Statham battling a DinoShark or a bunch of insanely wealthy Asians). I’m referring, of course, to The Happytime Murders, a movie that set the bar high with that extended puppet cumshot right in the trailer, then failed to deliver (in her review, Kristy called it “deeply terrible”). But that doesn’t mean our interest in raunchy puppets has decreased! Oh dear me, no. If we can sexualize cartoons, we can enjoy some adult-oriented puppety antics.
And luckily The Happytime Murders isn’t the only game in town! So if you’re looking for a quick fix of puppets doing things that are strictly not-for-kids, we’ve got ya covered:
This Tony Award-winning Broadway musical is ALL about puppets doing normal adult human things… like surfing the net for porn.
Angel Season 5, Episode 14: “Smile Time”
You know how people still write think pieces about the impact that Buffy the Vampire Slayer had on television and pop culture? Well over on its spinoff, there was that one episode where Angel got turned into an adorable puppet by an evil kids show. Now THAT’S how you do a proper “fuck it” final season! The best part? Probably when he turned into an adorable vamp puppet. Or when he took his nose off.
Ash vs Evil Dead Season Two, Episodes 7 & 8: That Ashy Slashy Puppet
Bruce Campbell’s Ash has been a clueless cult icon for decades. And it turns out he’s just as weirdly charming in miniaturized felt! Of COURSE Ash gets along with his perverted puppet counterpart — though seeing Kelly battle Ashy Slashy was the real highlight.
Arrested Development: Franklin Delano Bluth
Gob’s obscenely racist puppet was practically a member of the family. Everyone treated him as a real character, regardless of who was voicing him — or how clearly you could see their mouths move while doing so. Such was the strength of Franklin’s over-the-top personality.
Team America: World Police
Not all puppets are the hand-up-the-butt cloth variety. But as the South Park creators proved — even marionette-style puppets can be offensive and raunchy. Oh, how offensive and raunchy. Full disclosure: I saw this movie in an IMAX theater when it first came out, which was a huge waste of money but also a decision I’ll never regret. Those strings looked MAGNIFICENT.
I’m including this movie despite the fact that yes, technically it’s a Jim Henson movie for kids. But even setting aside David Bowie’s spandex, can we take a moment to appreciate the fact that the first time we meet the animatronic Hoggle, he’s PISSING IN A POND and KILLING FAIRIES?
Honorable Mention: Dinosaurs
Because while it wasn’t raunchy or even made solely for adults, it DID end with the implied deaths of every character (as in: the extinction of the dinosaurs). That shit was HEAVY.
What are we missing? What are your favorite grown-up puppets?