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Series / That Puppet Game Show

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That Puppet Game Show is a series by The Jim Henson Company that ran on The BBC in 2013. The basic concept is a Game Show in which celebrities are given silly things to do by a group of manic puppets, with their winnings going to charity. The show seems to have been an attempt to recreate the magic of The Muppet Show in a different format. It was not entirely successful in this. (But then, it took a season for The Muppet Show to find its feet.) The cast included British Muppets stalwart Louise Gold, CBBC puppeteer Dave Chapman and Jim Henson's son Brian.

In 2014 it was announced that it had been axed due to poor ratings and reviews.

The presenters were:

  • Dougie Colon (pronounced "Cologne") — The host. A fairly generic Game Show Host, always ready to banter with the guests. Has Peter Kay's accent and Bruce Forsyth's chin.
  • The Amazing Ian — An armadillo, and the Mental Agility expert. Despite being an expert in Mental Agility, he's generally shown to have poor reasoning skills, possibly because he's often holding a martini glass backstage.
  • Jake Hamilton-Jones — The Nature expert. An Australian who is a parody of Crocodile Dundee and Steve Irwin.
  • Amber O'Neill — The Showbiz expert. A bit vapid. The younger sister of Mancie.
  • Eddie Watts — The Music expert. A shy music geek with a crush on Mancie.
  • Miss Jemima Taptackle — The Sports expert. A stereotyped PE teacher type.
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  • Dr Strabismus — The Science expert. A Mad Scientist.
  • Clyde — A crab who announces the scores. Usually in the middle of some complicated situation with his family, so Dougie has to draw his attention back to the show.
  • The Hot Dogs — a group of talking sausages that perform various functions as part of the games.

The "backstage" characters were:

  • Mancie O'Neill — The producer, who is constantly stressed from trying to get the show to work in spite of whatever craziness is going on (similar to Kermit on The Muppet Show or Nigel from Muppets Tonight). Mutally attracted to Eddie, but equally unlikely to say anything.
  • Udders McGhee — A male cow(?) who owns the studio. Looks and sounds a bit like Boris Johnson. Has very little idea what the show actually involves or who anyone who appears in it is.
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  • Fenton — A tortoise who acts as a gofer. Well-meaning but, of course, incredibly slow.
  • Monkey and Mouse — The janitors. Mouse is prone to philosophical musings, which Monkey then punctures with inane comments.

This series contains examples of:

  • 419 Scam: In "Staying Alive", Ian is delighted that a Nigerian politician wants to give him money.
  • The Alcoholic: The Amazing Ian is sometimes portrayed as this.
  • Amazing Technicolour Population: Mancie is blue, Amber is green and Dr Stabismus is yellow. The other human puppets have Caucasian skin tones.
  • Brand X: In "Jake's Dark Secret" Ian offered Eddie a chocolate bar, which just said "Chocolate" on the wrapper. The weird part was that the wrapper was purple and the word was written in a swirly handwriting font, so it looked almost exactly like a Cadbury's Dairy Milk bar.
  • British Brevity: One season of 8 episodes.
  • Compliment Backfire: In "Superstition", after Amber presents "Life's A Speech", Udders tells Mancie she should be very proud of her daughter (Amber's her younger sister).
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Eddie and Mancie. In "Superstition" they finally do so.
  • The Lad-ette: Miss Jemima Taptackle has elements of this. When Eddie Watts thinks he needs advice on masculinity in "Manschool", Miss Taptackle is his first choice.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Except when noted, most of the puppet characters are human-ish.
  • Last-Name Basis: Ian is on this with Dougie, apparently just so he has more opportunities to mispronounce it.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr Strabismus.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: Jake in "Jake's Dark Secret".
  • Nerd: Interestingly, Eddie Watts. It would be obvious to make the music expert cool, but instead Eddie's the guy who says "Now, there's an interesting story attached to this record..."
  • The Nicknamer: Clyde comes up with new nicknames for the contestants at end of every round.
  • Not Now, We're Too Busy Crying over You: In "Jake's Dark Secret", Eddie disappears after a camping weekend with Jake, and the others (mostly Ian) suspect he ate him. Jake eventually explains that he simply made the mistake of giving Eddie chocolate, and he went mad for a bit.
    Ian: You expect us to believe that? You ate him! And you're going to swing for it! There isn't a jury alive that won't convict ... Oh, hey Eddie ... I never liked you! I always knew you were a canni... Eddie?
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Miss Taptackle, who is an expert on all sports.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You: The host of the show is Dougie Colon, who insists on his surname is pronounced "Cologne". Ian the Armadillo always says "Colon", believing Dougie to find it endearing.
  • Rules Spiel: Each of the experts has one to describe their own round.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Eddie and Jake.
  • Sound Proof Booth: Averted. There isn't one, so the contestants have to wait in the toilets, which is an excuse to have them encounter the back-stage characters and/or plot.
  • Speed Round: Several of the rounds are against a clock, but That Puppet End Game fits the trope exactly.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Mancie and Amber.