One-Hour Special The Jim Henson Company’s PUPPET UP! – Uncensored Being Taped at The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas for Monday, Nov.20, Premiere on TBS
Hollywood, CA (October 31, 2006) – Improvisational comedy gets a fresh twist this November when TBS presents The Jim Henson Company’s PUPPET UP! – Uncensored, a one-hour special to be taped before a live audience at The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas. The special, in which puppeteers construct improvised scenes from the audience’s suggestions, will tape Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., then premiere on TBS Monday, Nov. 20, at 11 p.m. (ET/PT). The Jim Henson Company’s PUPPET UP! – Uncensored is executive-produced by Brian Henson and Lisa Henson. The special is produced by Martin Baker and co-produced by Eric Poticha. Patrick Bristow (Ellen, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) serves as the stage show’s director and host.
“Even before creating comedic puppets for the early days of Saturday Night Live, The Jim Henson Company has been on the cutting edge of both comedy and puppetry,” said Michael Wright, senior vice president of original programming for TBS and TNT. “We are thrilled to be working with them on this very funny project, which pushes traditional comedy improv to a whole new level.” Brian Henson said, “We began doing puppet improv workshops to hone our comedy skills and realized that we were having so much fun that audiences might enjoy watching too. It has been amazing to see our troupe evolve, and I am sure our Vegas shows will be our best yet.”
The Jim Henson Company’s PUPPET UP! – Uncensored is a demonstration of what happens when the perilous and provocative forms of traditional comedy improv are mixed with a bunch of irreverent puppets. With a motley group of characters brought to life world-renowned puppeteers, The Jim Henson Company’s PUPPET UP! – Uncensored is truly innovative comedy. Premiering in March 2006, the show has played to critical acclaim and sold out crowds at both the HBO Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Performing the puppetry for the show are some of The Jim Henson Company’s top puppeteers, as well as some of the country’s top comedy improvisers. The cast includes Brian Henson, Second City alum Julianne Buescher, Tyler Bunch (Sesame Street), The Groundlings’ Ted Michaels, Drew Massey (The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz), ACME Comedy Group founding member Paul Rugg, Allan Trautman (Greg the Bunny) and Victor Yerrid (Team America).
The Jim Henson Company’s PUPPET UP! – Uncensored will be filmed as part of HBO and AEG LIVE’s The Comedy Festival, taking place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas Tuesday, Nov. 14—Saturday, Nov. 18. TBS is serving as title sponsor of the five-day event, which will feature more than 50 performances, events and screenings. The mission of The Comedy Festival is to bring together the biggest stars and cutting-edge comedy talent in a broad range of programming, from star-level performances and special events to stand-up, sketch comedy and film. In addition to The Jim Henson Company’s PUPPET UP! – Uncensored, The Comedy Festival will feature Comic Relief 2006, starring Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg and simulcast on HBO and TBS Saturday, Nov. 18, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
The Jim Henson Company’s PUPPET UP! – Uncensored marks the second TBS project from The Jim Henson Company. Earlier this year, The Jim Henson Company filmed a pilot for The Late Night Buffet with Augie and Del, an irreverent show hosted by puppets Augustus Pfiffle and Delbert Kastle who interact with live celebrity guests in a talk-show format. The Late Night Buffet pilot was produced for TBS by The Jim Henson Company, with Brian Henson (Farscape) as executive producer and puppeteer and Bill Barretta (The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz) as co- executive producer and puppeteer. TBS, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is television’s “very funny” network. It serves as home to such hot contemporary comedies as Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond, Family Guy, Seinfeldand Friends; original comedy series, like the upcoming scripted comedies My Boys and 10 Items or Less; specials and special events, like The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas, for which TBS serves as title sponsor; blockbuster movies; and hosted movie showcases. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a TimeWarner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and a leading provider of programming for the television industry.