Muppets, run for cover. ”Greg the Bunny” (Fox, Wednesday, 9:30 p.m.) is blowing the lid off of the secret lives of puppets (or, as they prefer to be known, Fabricated-Americans). EW.com talked with Greg about puppet prejudice, his pre-TV makeover, and why he really wants to direct.
How does a fabric bunny break into show business?
I always wanted to be an actor. All most puppets can get are circus fairs or kids’ shows since Henson pretty much had a lock on the puppet acting community. So I became a street performer, wrestling pigeons for money. It was lucrative, but I’d have to use half my profits to get a TB shot.
Do you live in fear of red wine stains and chocolate?
No, but we tear very easily. I have a seamstress I go to when I need a little work done, and I had complete reconstructive surgery after signing on with the network. They replaced my buttons with eyeballs, gave me a movable lower jaw, that sort of thing. I’d love to share documentary footage of my surgery, kind of like Carnie Wilson.
Has the network recommended any other changes?
Anger management classes. It’s good to be a cutie pie, and I think Fox finds me sweet and marketable, but it doesn’t get me laid. And it’s hard to maintain an image of a sweet adorable little bunny rabbit when you have to deal with all the egos in Hollywood.
Is there a bias against puppets in Hollywood?
I walk into a restaurant now and get a table, whereas before people would scream and kick me. But I think that’s probably because I’m a celebrity. To most people I’m still just a sock, but a celebrity sock.
Are you ever mistaken for other celebrities?
Mostly the bunny on Captain Kangaroo. We both have that velveteen quality. And one time somebody thought I was Bjork, but it was dark.
How do your human co-stars feel about working with puppets?
Eugene Levy has puppet lineage, and he’s not ashamed of it. You can see it in his eyebrows. Seth Green has gone to a lot of pro-puppet benefits. Sarah Silverman, she has a heart of gold. Very funny, very beautiful, very flatulent. Bob Gunton [Junction Jack] is the only one who’s a little shifty. He’s the kind of guy who’ll step on you and say it’s an accident, but he’s such a good actor I can’t tell if he’s lying.
Can you address the rumors that puppets are actually controlled by humans?
There are some self-hating puppets who subscribe to that theory. There are churches devoted to The Arm and so on. But I’m here to tell you it isn’t so. I’m not one for sodomy, and I think it’s me who makes all my decisions. It’s a matter of belief.
Has a human ever tried to ”master” you?
Very often people go, ”Oh, you’re so cute!” and pick you up, and that’s the first place the fingers go. You’ve just got to clench, and, if possible, bite.
Now that you have your own show, what’s your next step?
I want complete creative control. I would love to direct. I will need a step ladder to do it, but I believe I have the vision.
Is there a Greg the Bunny doll in the works?
I spent the last four months at a bordello, and we’re cranking out the little suckers. They’ve all got my eyes and my voice. It’s been a hell of a lot of fun, and all on Fox’s dime.