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Henson Alternative


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The Henson Alternative logo, which echos the logo of Henson Associates, a former title of The Jim Henson Company

Henson Alternative is a production and distribution brand of The Jim Henson Company. The productions under the Henson Alternative banner feature more mature themes and content than those traditionally associated with Henson Company.

According to Nicole Goldman, Henson Company Vice President of Marketing and Publicity:

"Henson Alternative" is a title that lets our audience know that what they're watching is not intended for our youngest viewers. Most people know the Henson Company for their successful work with The Muppet Show and Sesame Street, but we have a number of shows that are geared towards older audience members."[1]

The Miskreant Puppets


In 2011 the Jim Henson Company branded the group puppets used in the Henson Alternative shows as the Miskreant Puppets (a brand trademarked by the company in May 2011).

Many of the puppets are recycled from past Henson Company projects including Jim Henson's Animal Show, City Kids, Animal Jam, and others. As the shows have grown, new and original puppets joined the catalog. In 2006 dozens of new puppets were designed by Julianne Buescher and Drew Massey; and built by Buescher, Massey, Patrick Johnson, and Sean Johnson with help and guidance from veteran Muppet designer/builder Jane Gootnick. Gene Barretta designed the puppets for the Late Night Buffet with Augie and Del and Tinseltown pilots, many of which were recycled in future Henson Alternative Productions.

List of productions

Puppetup cast

Puppet Up! puppets.

Puppet up

The cast of Puppet Up!


The hosts of Late Night Buffet with Augie and Del


Bobby Vegan and Samson Knight from Tinseltown.


The Hot Dogs are a recurring group of characters in several Henson Alternative productions.


Stuffed and Unstrung


Larry Miller and the cast of Late Night Liars.

Skreet and Yaeger

Skreet and Yeager from S.U.D.S.


Neil Patrick Harris in Neil's Puppet Dreams.


The cast of That Puppet Game Show.


Paul F. Tompkins and cast of No, You Shut Up!

Puppet Up! - Uncensored (2005 - present)
Puppet Up! (previously titled Jim Henson's Puppet Impov) is a live stage show that mixes puppetry and comedic improv. The live show, which launched in 2005, has toured the United States, Europe and Australia and was featured in a television special on TBS, a web series on, and an exclusive film for the Center for Puppetry Arts. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

Late Night Buffet with Augie and Del (2006)
The company developed and piloted a late night talk show entitled Late Night Buffet for TBS feautring Brian Henson and Bill Barretta as co-hosts Augie and Del. The series was promoted at Comic-Con in 2006, however it was not picked up for a series. Kathy Najimy, Fred Willard, Hal Sparks and Kaitlin Olson appeared in the unaired test pilots. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

Tinseltown (2007)
Tinseltown was a pilot developed for the Logo Network. The pilot followed the life of Bobby Vegan, an outspoken and struggling entertainer (and a pig), and his life-partner and manager, Samson Knight (a bull). The pilot aired on November 2, 2007 as part of the network's "Alien Bootcamp" anthology series although the series was not picked up for more episodes. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

Del's Vegas Comedy Binge (2007)
Del's Vegas Comedy Binge was a series of webisodes produced in 2007 for starring Delbert Kastle, co-star of the Late Night Buffet pilot, as he explored The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas, NV. The show was released on in the last week of November 2007, and features appearances by Wayne Newton, Frank Caliendo, Bill Engvall and others. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

Stuffed and Unstrung (2010)
Stuffed and Unstrung was a live improv stage show that evolved from Henson's previous production Puppet Up! - Uncensored. "Stuffed and Unstrung" marked the debut of a completely revamped production featuring all new technical effects and original music and staging. Created and developed by Brian Henson and Patrick Bristow, the show debuted in March 2010 with a special 10-week limited engagement at the Union Square Theatre in New York City. The show featured recreations of classic Henson bits, including "I've Grown Accustomed To Your Face" and "Java." The show was also featured in an episode of The Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump and Last Call with Carson Daly.(more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

Hot Dog TV (2010)
Hot Dog TV (or HDTV), is a series of one-minute interstitials featuring puppet hot dogs. The series first ran on Cartoon Network in the summer of 2010. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

Late Night Liars (2010)
In 2010, Henson Alternative produced Late Night Liars, an original late night comedy game show hosted by Larry Miller and featuring a cast of original puppets. The series premiered on the Game Show Network (GSN) June 10, 2010 and lasted eight episodes. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

Alt/Reality (2010-2011)
Alt/Reality is a a sketch-style web-series that parodies reality TV. Episodes were released on the Henson Company's YouTube channel throughout 2010 and 2011. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

The 53rd Grammy Awards (2011)
The 53rd annual Grammy Awards were held on February 13, 2011 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and was broadcasted nation-wide on CBS. The Jim Henson Company's Henson Alternative puppets performed back-up for a performance of Cee Lo Green's "Forget You" by Green along with Gwyneth Paltrow. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

Simian Undercover Detective Squad (2011)
Simian Undercover Detective Squad (also known as S.U.D.S.) is a webseries featuring two monkey declivities - Skreet (Allan Trautman) and Yeager (Ted Michaels). Fifteen webisodes premiered exclusively on the Xbox and Zune networks in April 2011, and select episode were re-released on The Nerdist Channel in 2012. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

Marvin E. Quasniki for President (2011 - 2012)
In 2011, the Jim Henson Company partnered with The Nerdist Channel to create a series of exclusive YouTube videos for Marvin E. Quasniki, a puppet character performed by Paul Rugg running for President of the United States. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

Ain't It Cool with Harry Knowles (2012)
Ain't It Cool wasn web series on the Nerdist Channel hosted by film critic Harry Knowles. The Jim Henson Company provided a puppet version of Knowles, performed by Artie Esposito, for the program. In the May 24, 2012 episode, the puppet interviewed Sesame Street performer Caroll Spinney and director John Landis. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

Neil's Puppet Dreams (2012)
Neil's Puppet Dreams was a 7-episode webseries produced by The Nerdist Channel and The Jim Henson Company's Henson Alternative brand. The series was created by and stars Neil Patrick Harris. In the series, Neil has an affliction that causes him to have dreams that are populated by puppet characters. Guests on the show included Nathan Fillion, David Burtka, Michael Serrato, and Joe Manganiello. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

Ketchup with the Hot Dogs (2013)
Ketchup with the Hot Dogs is 6-episode webseries a 2013 Henson Alternative webseries that features comedic recaps of recent television series (including True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Homeland, Dexter, The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad) reenacted by hot dogs. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

That Puppet Game Show (2013-2014)
That Puppet Game Show was BBC variety and game show which ran from August 2013 to January 2014. The show was produced by the BBC in conjunction with The Jim Henson Company and features the Miskreant Puppets. In the series, Dougie Colon hosts a game show in which celebrity contestants go head to head in challenges set up by the show's "experts." Eight episodes were produced. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

Good Morning Today (2013-2014)
Good Morning Today was a short-form series that billed it'self as "a morning talk shows show that takes place in a parallel universe." The program was created using the Henson Digital Performance Studio to animate digital characters in real-time. Good Morning Today aired on Fusion in 2013 and 2014. Human guests on the program included: Chris Hardwick, Tony Hawk, Ken Jeong,Conan O'Brien, Danny Trejo, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Fred Willard, "Weird Al" Yankovic and others. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)

No, You Shut Up! (2013-present)
No, You Shut Up! is an comedic news talk show on the Fusion channel that was created by David Javerbaum (the former head writer and executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart). The show features Paul F. Tompkins and a panel of puppets and celebrity guests debating about the different issues of the day from their unique perspective. Guests on the show have included Jack Black, John Cho, Seth Green, Riki Lindhome, Diego Luna, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Andy Richter, Rich Sommer, Nicole Sullivan, Patrick Warburton, Fred Willard, and "Weird Al" Yankovic. The cast appeared on the February 23, 2015 episode of Comedy Central's @Midnight with Chris Hardwick. (more on the Henson Alternative Wiki)


  1. "The Jim Henson Company Podcast", Episode 17. October 26, 2007

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