The upcoming Melissa McCarthy film "The Happytime Murders" made headlines last month due to its legal skirmish with Sesame Workshop over its raunchy trailer. But the film is far from the first time that puppets have danced over the boundary of good taste. Read on for more examples of puppets behaving badly.
"The Happytime Murders":
After the trailer for this Brian Henson-directed crime comedy was released, Sesame Workshop -- the people behind "Sesame Street" -- filed a lawsuit
, contending that the trailer, which bore the tagline "No Sesame. All Street" and features, among other things, "ejaculating puppets," tarnishes the Sesame brand. The suit quickly came to a climax, with a judge siding
"Team America: World Police": When the puppets in this 2004 Trey Parker/Matt Stone offering weren't busy bungling their way to preserving America's freedom, they occupied themselves with graphic sex, projectile vomiting and reflecting on the symbiotic relationship between, vaginas, penises and rectums.
"Avenue Q": This stage offering boasted everything you wouldn't expect from a production centering around puppets: Sex, drinking, surfing the web for porn and a musical not to bigotry in the form of "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist."
"Crank Yankers": This Comedy Central offering famously -- and hilariously -- featured puppets reenacting crank phone calls sometimes veering toward the obscene.
"Let My Puppets Come": Gerard Damiano is probably best known for directing the groundbreaking 1972 porn film "Deep Throat." But he also helmed this 1976 curiosity, about a group of executives who, deep in debt to the mob, turn to making a porn film as their financial salvation.
"Live Freaky! Die Freaky!": This stop-motion animation oddity from 2006 was based on the Manson Family murders, so you can be sure that its puppets were misbehaving. And it had a killer voice cast including the members of Green Day, Kelly Osbourne, Asia Argento and numerous others.
Triumph the Insult Comic Dog: This stogie-chewing pooch certainly lives up to his name, bringing a raunchy pizzazz to otherwise serious events with his crude interviewing style.
"This Is Spinal Tap": Jacking the top billing from David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel and Derek Smalls? Not cool, Puppet Show. Not cool
"Meet the Feebles": Before he tackled the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, Peter Jackson gifted the world with this 1989 offering, which guided the genre of puppet-based entertainment into very dark territory.
"Mongrels": Profanity? Check. Incontinence? Check. Cannibalism? Check. The critters in this BBC Three series weren't afraid to take a walk on the wild side.
"Puppetry of the Penis": OK, so this stage show didn't technically involve puppets. But its exploration of origami-like contortions involving male genitalia was decidedly raunchy.
"ALF": Yes, this furry, wise-cracking extraterrestrial won our hearts in the NBC sitcom, which aired from 1986 to 1990. But let's not forget that he tried to eat the Tanner family's cat.