pawnee pride

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.

Parks and Recreation Is Secretly Fraggle Rock