Fraggle Rock’s making a comeback! 10 things you probably didn’t know about the 80s hit!

If you were of a certain age in the early 1980s, there’s probably no denying that Fraggle Rock was one of your favourites, and now it’s been announced that The Fraggles will make an official comeback in a live-action movie which will see Hollywood cutie Joseph Gordon-Levitt star AND produce.

For those of you born post-1990s that made have no idea who the Fraggles are, they’re puppets, who live in a cave next to the home of a man named Doc, and they’re literally music mad, oh, and their neighbors are Gorgs and Doozers (and an oracular heap of trash). To celebrate the frankly AMAZING news that the puppets will be returning to our screens we’ve compiled a list of ten things you might have never known about the hit children’s series. Get ready for a serious nostalgia overload!

The Fraggles were almost called The Woozles

“It’s a variation on a character group that dated back to the early ’70s called Frackles. I think it was probably just that they were looking for a word they liked as much as that one,” Goelz said after revealing that Fraggle itself has no specific meaning. An archivist at the Henson Company, however, confirmed that—while Jim Henson and show writer Jerry Juhl liked the sound of “Frackles,” who were the bad guys from The Great Santa Claus Switch—the show was originally called Woozle World. That name was abandoned when they discovered that Woozles were already characters in Winnie the Pooh. The duo also thought up the name Fraggle Hill, but ditched after they thought it sounded too British.


Things backstage could get pretty scary!

Scaring competitions aren’t new to the Muppet world. Goelz has said that the legendary Frank Oz had a phobia about seeds and once Jerry Juhl put birdseed between the slates of venetian blinds in the Muppet workshop nap room right before Oz went in there and closed them, prompting the seeds to go everywhere. But the pranks didn’t end there. Goelz one extracted a revenge plan on his “fake enemy” Don Sahlin, from the Muppet art department, who had once rigged his desk to “explode” with puppet-making materials. Keeping in mind that Sahlin would leave work around 4pm and return to work later that night, when an employee who entered the building unoccupied would have to throw a master switch in a breaker panel in a small bathroom, he devised this plan:

“I had it off and the whole place looked like nobody was there. I sat down on the toilet and I covered myself with black duvetyne, that black velour stuff, so that when he came in and reached for that switch there would be a human hand on it. I would win for all time! 8 o’clock came, 8:15, 8:30, 8:45—and I’m still sitting on the toilet in this bathroom under a black cloth. It was a hot summer night, the air-conditioners were not on. I thought, ‘He’s not a guy of absolute rigid habits, maybe he’ll come later.’ 9:00, 9:30. Finally about 10:00 I realized he’s not coming back tonight. So he survived. And I never tried it again.”

Things in front of the camera could too!

Fraggle writer Jocelyn Stevenson also fell victim to a scaring prank during her time on the show. Goelz got her during a lunch break once by sneaking up on her while she was at an ATM — and then ruined all of her attempts to get him back. Stevenson then decided to get her own back in another way, by writing the Season 3 Fraggle Rock episode ‘Scared Silly’.

Each Fraggle was inspired by a specific puppeteer

Goelz remembers going to New York to “meet” the puppets that had been created for Fraggle Rock. He was instantly suspicious that the puppets had been made with exact puppeteers in mind, even though the writers alway denied it. “I looked at the cameras and I thought, ‘Well, I’ve gotta be Boober,” he recalled. “Years later, Jerry Juhl did cop to it.”


Fraggle Rock was a career highlight for some

“Our video editor, Pat Hamilton, who, sadly, died recently—I saw him last summer at a little impromptu gathering in Toronto— it turned out he had left video editing when he was about 30,” Goelz previously revealed. “He was about 25 when he worked on our show. He left video editing and became an IT person. I said, ‘Why did you change careers?’ And he said, ‘I peaked too early.’ After Fraggle there was just not going to be anything else like it. I do feel like that feeling in the room gets on the screen.”


Not every audience watched the same Fraggle Rock

Despite what you might have thought, the outer space (a.k.a human world) scenes that frame episodes of Fraggle Rock differed depending on audience. Apparently the idea was inspired by Sesame Street’s use of different-looking streets to personalise the episodes. 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 everywhere else, is called Croquette. The actors were all domestic talent.


Goelz couldn’t make it to the Fraggle-themed Ben Folds Five video shoot — but he was still in it!

The Fraggles made an appearance in the video for Ben Folds Five’s ‘Do It Anyway’ last year, but the plan came together last minute and Goelz couldn’t get to L.A. in time to do the puppet work for Boober and Travelling Matt. That’s not to say he didn’t star in the video though. At the end of the video, when the catchy theme song shows up, that is Goelz’s voice. He was dubbed in later for the “Down at Fraggle Rock”.

One character was made to look like Jim Henson

Cantus the Minstrel, who made his first appearance on Fraggle Rock in the first season episode The Minstrels was actually made to resemble show creator Henson! Well they both had floppy hair and bears!


Not every puppeteer got the part they wanted!

Karen Prell, the voice of Red Fraggle, auditioned for the role of Mokey and was desperate for the role. After her audition, Henson called her up and decided to hire her, but not for the role she wanted. Prell was excited to have been recruited but when she hung up the phone she thought to herself, “They want me to play RED?!”


The names Gobo and Traveling Mat are film industry jokes!

Gobos are used to control the shape of light emitted from a source and traveling mattes are used to combine two or more image elements into one final image.