See How Parks and Recreation Is Secretly Fraggle Rock


Today marks the 30th anniversary of Fraggle Rock's debut. The noble adventures of Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, and Red set a high-water mark for children's television, which is why so many years later the opening strains of Let the music play [clap clap] can still elicit a joy response from any sentient creature.

Even though Fraggle Rock itself ended in 1987, there's a version of the show still present today. It's not an obvious analog or a direct descendant, but Parks and Recreation is secretly one massive Fraggle Rock tribute, from the catchy theme song to the message of community spirit. We'll prove it:

Leslie Knope is Red.

Photo: NBC, Jim Henson

They're both spirited, determined, and likely to bite off more than they can chew.

Ben Wyatt is Wembley.

Photo: NBC, Jim Henson

Both are anxious and sometimes unsure of themselves, but supportive and deeply ethical.

Andy is Mokey.

Photo: NBC, Jim Henson

They're the dreamy ones, the ones with the kookiest ideas and most active imaginations. Mokey's more intellectual than Andy, but they're both massive optimists.

April is Boober.

Photo: NBC, Jim Henson

Bring on the super-deadpan, low-energy distaste for everything.

Anne is Gobo.

Photo: NBC, Jim Henson

Every group needs a practical member.

Donna is Cotterpin.

Photo: NBC, Jim Henson

They're both defined by their passions: Cotterpin for her art, Donna for her Mercedes.

Tom is Uncle Traveling Matt.

Photo: NBC, Jim Henson

They both like scarves, and they both love giving silly names to everyday objects.

Ron is Marjory the Trash Heap.

Photo: NBC, Jim Henson

When anyone needs sage, if slightly odd, wisdom, they know whom to ask.

Chris is Architect Doozer.*

Photo: NBC, Jim Henson

Organization and orderliness matter, whether you're constructing Doozer lattices or maintaining peak physical condition.

Gerry is Junior Gorg.

Photo: NBC, Jim Henson

Doofy, clumsy, and full of inconviences, but they're ultimately well intentioned.

Tammy is a Poison Cackler.

Photo: NBC, Jim Henson

Well, they are both part spider.

Joan Calamezzo is Inkspots.

Photo: NBC, Jim Henson

Just because.

Champion is Sprocket.

Photo: NBC, Jim Henson


* This article has been updated with a correct picture of Architect Doozer.