Puppets can be cutesy, creepy or, in the case of the Muppets’ Animal, downright crazy. And while music videos only have a few minutes to develop their characters, they can sometimes take on a life of their own. Here are our 10 favorite music videos with puppets.
10. Brighton Port Authority – “He’s Frank”
Iggy Pop sings lead vocals on this track from Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim). An Iggy Pop puppet also beats the crap out of the puppeteers trying to control him—and eventually Cook himself.
9. Mastodon – “Deathbound”
Leave it to Mastodon to take adorable puppets and turn it into an ultra-violent music video. It’s no surprise either that the hilarious folks at Adult Swim were behind this.
8. The Boy Least Likely To – “Be Gentle With Me”
It sucks to lose your girlfriend to a puppet. It sucks even more when your girlfriend is Rashida Jones. The members of Boy Least Likely To find that out the hard way in their tragically adorable video for “Be Gentle With Me.”
7. Supergrass – “Pumping on Your Stereo”
The brainstorming session for this video probably went something like this: “Let’s give everybody in the band hyper-extended puppet limbs.” It makes for a startlingly trippy effect.
6. Genesis – “Land of Confusion”
The best way to navigate the muddled world of 1980s world politics? With puppets, of course. Creepy, creepy puppets.
5. Advance Base – “Summer Music”
We don’t know who’d have the nerve to break the heart of this fluffy blue monster (courtesy of the Jim Henson workshop no less), but someone did and he’s determined to get her back Say Anything-style.
4. Lily Allen – “Alfie”
Lily chides her little brother for his slacker habits because apparently even puppets chug beer and smoke weed.
3. The New Pornographers – “Use It”
The New Pornographers take the “band as puppets” theme a step further in their video for “Use It”. Their every movement (and emotion) is literally manipulated by a host of puppeteers including David Cross.
2. Herman Dune – “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know”
Jon Hamm (yes, THAT Jon Hamm) befriends a hitchhiking yeti. This is the road trip your twee-pop dreams are made of.
1. Weezer – “Keep Fishin’”
Like Elton John and Alice Cooper before them, Weezer makes an appearance on The Muppet Show and the gang’s all here—Kermit, Gonzo, Fozzie and scheming kidnapper Miss Piggy. It’s so fun and nostalgic that it almost makes you forgive their post-Pinkerton output. Almost.
While they’re technically not music videos, the BBC has created one of the funniest series on the web—Misery Bear. The antics of the world’s most depressed teddy bear are frequently soundtracked with music by artists as cute and melancholy as its protagonist (Bon Iver, Belle & Sebastian, Sufjan Stevens).