Michael Wermuth Down at Fraggle Rock

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Michael Wermuth – I very rarely write articles about Fraggle Rock. So far, in the history of The Muppet Mindset, I have only written one other Fraggle Rock article. It’s not that I don’t like the show, I do, but there are a lot of other Henson properties and franchises that I like a lot better. So today, I thought I’d write an article about my Fraggle Rock fandom.

2b55f-fragglebirthdayWell, for starters, I am unable to remember my first memory of the show, but I’m willing to bet it’s the McDonald’s Happy Meal toys of the show. I can’t remember if I watched the animated series in its first run, and I’d be very surprised if I saw the live-action show during its original run, but I feel like when the Happy Meal toys came out that I knew the show existed in both live-action and animated form. Maybe the commercials showed clips from the original (or both series) and the Happy Meal box was illustrated?

MFCMaBearandDocAnd then I was exposed to the Fraggles via their cameo in A Muppet Family Christmas, and had no idea that Doc and Sprocket were part of the show. I also assumed that Red was the star of Fraggle Rock as opposed to Gobo, but maybe it’s because it seems Gobo had the least to do in that scene (since Jerry Nelson was performing Robin who was featured more prominently in that scene).

Sometime later, my classroom had a few Fraggle Rock books, including Best Friends and Boober’s Giant Wish, and I would look in those books a lot. I’d also see Fraggle Rock books in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. And then I would get all of the Jim Henson’s Muppet Stories books, all of which would feature many Fraggle Rock stories.

55873-fraguel_museumIn 1992, my grandparents had recorded some children’s programming recorded from TNT, and although Fraggle Rock was not included, I did see a promo for a TNT program which featured clips from Fraggle Rock. This helped spark more interest in me seeing the show. That summer, I found a copy of the compilation video Doozer Music at the video store my family rented from the most and rented it. Later, I had a babysitter who had The Disney Channel, and I think it was on the first day I was babysat there, after school they had the TV on The Disney Channel and I was so happy and pleasantly surprised to see Fraggle Rock. I think the first episode I saw was “Wembly’s Wonderful Whoopee Water”. I would normally watch Fraggle Rock after school for the next few years, and ended up getting all five of the Jim Henson Video releases as well as the album Fraggle Rock: Music and Magic.

But then for some reason my interest in Fraggle Rock lessened while my interests in Muppets, Sesame Street, and other Henson properties have only gotten stronger. Maybe it’s because those properties have continued to have a lot of new productions and such, in addition to having a much bigger back catalogue. But despite that, I did purchase the first few Fraggle Rock DVDs, including the first season set, purchased the complete animated series set, and if that Fraggle Rock movie ever does get made I do plan to see it in the theaters.

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The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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