Before he found his niche as the creator of Alf, Paul Frusco made a series of puppet shows for Showtime that established him as perhaps the most accomplished of all Jim Henson imitators. The puppets in The Crown of Bogg, his 1981 Showtime Halloween special, look a lot like less-evolved Muppets. The kingdom of Bogg looks a lot like Fraggle Rock, and the script, while a bit lacking in the pacing department, is full of funny one-liners that sound like Muppet Show jokes. The look and feel of the special reminds me a LOT of those early Muppet specials, like The Muppet Musicians of Bremen.
|"The Crown of Bogg" is a strange special. In the underground kingdom of Bogg, King Mildew is just about to officially declare his son, Milo, the heir to the throne. Milo is a bit unsure he wants the hassle, but the king convinces him with a fairly unmemorable song entitled "On Top Is Best." (Yes, I know...that's what she said). However, the king's brothers announce a challenge, and The Three Wise Guys, a trio of Boggians who deal with this sort of issue, declare that the crown will go to anyone who can retrieve the original Crown of Bogg, which has been gone for years.|
The crown is known to be in a museum just above the surface, where it is said to bear a terrible curse (the nature of which is unknown). Anyone who went to get it before has never come back. With his brothers in hot pursuit, King Mildew and his son head for the museum, which is throwing a Halloween party that night.
|There are plenty of parts where this half hour special sort of drags, but, overall, it's a very impressive attempt to duplicate a Muppet special. Most kids who saw this would probably assume that it was, in fact, the Muppets, which I suppose was probably the point. The one-liners are funny enough that they wouldn't have been disappointed.|
"The Crown of Bogg" aired on Showtime in 1981, and was re-aired occasionally throughout the mid 80s. There was never a VHS or DVD release, but a TV rip hit youtube just after Halloween in 2009, bringing to light one of the most notorious of the formerly "long lost" specials. Enjoy!