- Grogs (YTV)
Grogs were the different puppet characters on various YTV programming blocks between
1992and 1994. They were created by 21 year olds Jason Hopleyand Jamie Shannonin their first professional puppeteering job. The duo later founded The Grogspuppet company, and went on to do other puppet based entertainment such as the " Mr. Meaty" show, " Nanalan'", and Playhouse Disney. Hopley and Shannon originally began the low budget project as volunteers, after having dropped out of York University. After the initial success of the Grogs the pair were hired full time by YTV.
The most famous of the Grogs was Warren Chester Grog, a turtle/moss character resembling a chia-pet with a grumpy voice and cynical disposition. Other Grogs included Gidian, Chigonk, Rosencrantz, Jasper, Filth, Sorbet, and Iffer. During the Grog era, a ceiling hung television was prominent on the YTV's programming blocks and the PJs of these blocks sat behind a desk in a style similar to a news broadcast. The Grogs were very popular, receiving as much fan mail as the human PJs.
The Grogs had a number of specials on YTV. Most notably on
January 1, 1994, the Grogs - led by Warren - staged a fictional coup of the YTV television station and "hijacked" the network, which was renamed WTV (as in "Warren TV"), to establish their demands. This was eventually thwarted by PJ Fresh Philand PJ Jenn at the conclusion of a long-running plotline. This signalled the end of the Grog era. Behind the scenes a dispute had broken out between the station and the puppeteers. YTV wanted to produce toys based on the Grogs, Hopley and Shannon demanded rights over their creations and were fired by the station. A new series of puppets, called "Fuzzpaws", eventually took over the roles of the Grogs.
* [http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=-S9wv09c2hc&fmt=18 "WTV" on YouTube]
*"Puppeteers pull their own strings." Nicholas Kohler. "The Globe and Mail." Jan 8, 2004. pg. R.1
*"Grogmakers plan monstrously fun Christmas for YTV viewers;" Janice Kennedy. "The Ottawa Citizen." Dec 14, 1992. pg. B.11
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