The 80s were awesome in so many ways. One of them was the five glorious seasons of Fraggle Rock, a whole new world represented by a trio of species—the fun-loving Fraggles, the work-loving Doozers and the oafish Gorgs—who dwelled in a series of interconnected, subterranean caves. The show, and the new world it created, was a global hit. Here are 13 things you might not know about the beloved series and its cast of characters.
1. The theme song was a hit.
"Dance your cares away,
Worry's for another day,
Let the music play
Down at Fraggle Rock."
2. The Fraggles were almost called… the Woozles.
That name was abandoned when they discovered that Woozles were characters in Winnie the Pooh.
3. Each puppet was personalized to a puppeteer.
The puppets were inspired by the quirks of each puppeteer. Karen Prell was the nasal-voiced puppeteer behind Red Fraggle.
4. Pranking was common backstage.
The writers often strayed from the script to prank fellow puppeteers. Don Sahlin, from the Muppet art department, had once rigged Goelz’s desk to “explode” with puppet-making materials.
5. It was the first American show to be broadcast in the Soviet Union.
The Berlin Wall fell just 10 months after Fraggle Rock started airing in the former USSR. Coincidence? Well, yes.
6. Not every audience saw the same Fraggle Rock.
The "outer" space (a.k.a. the human world) scenes that frame the Fraggle Rock episodes varied according to audience. Goelz says the idea was inspired by Sesame Street‘s use of different-looking streets in different countries to personalize the episodes.
7. Henson had lofty goals for the show.
"Fraggle Rock‘s simple ambition to open kids’ eyes to the interconnectedness of all things and the unassailable fact that their own actions would have consequences." -Jim Henson
8. Traveling Matt's name is a pun.
Traveling Matt’s name is a play on the term “traveling matte,” the video editing technique that was used to create his segments, wherein two or more images are combined into one.
9. Fraggle Rock lives on as a new series.
In addition to the original series being available via DVD and streaming, the kids' animated show Doozers introduces a new cast of lovable characters to the Fraggle Rock universe.
10. The target audience was somewhere between Sesame Street and Playboy.
"The target audience was the 'mid-kid,' beyond Sesame Street but not yet, 'reading Playboy'; still able to become lost in the magic of fantasy and music and storytelling" -Michael Frith
11. Not every country saw the same humans.
Doc, the Fraggle Rock human, is an inventor in Canada and Germany. In England, he’s a lighthouse keeper. In France, he’s a baker—and his dog, named Sprocket elsewhere, is named Croquette. The actors were local talent.
12. Most of the British episodes are missing.
The original recordings of many of the British segments went missing years ago. Recently various media outlets and fans of the show have set about staging appeals to the public to share their VHS tapes of the original series so that the U.K. version of the show is not lost forever.
13. Fraggle Rock, the Movie is on its way.
After a series of ups and downs, the Fraggles are finally headed for the big screen.
In March, Variety announced that the Fraggle Rock movie is indeed happening, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt set to produce and star in it.
H/T Mentalfloss.com, Time.com, GeekDad.com