If on your commute to work today, you stopped in you tracks, paused your podcasts, and thought to yourself “you know, I’d really like to see a puppet achieve a roping orgasm before my week is over,” that’s an extremely specific and weird thought to have, and also, the first red-band trailer for The Happytime Murders is here to scratch that particular itch.

In a world where puppets and humans coexist peacefully (and otherwise), private investigator Phil Phillips (longtime Muppets puppeteer Bill Barretta) finds himself chasing after a serial killer who’s executing onetime cast members of the popular ’80s show The Happytime Gang, and other puppets as well. Paired with the intrepid LAPD Detective Edwards (Melissa McCarthy), the unlikely team has to work its way through a criminal underworld full of puppet sex workers, puppet drug dealers, and indeed, puppet murderers.

Needless to say, this long-gestating and clearly R-rated project is a far cry from anything the Jim Henson Workshop has ever released to the public before. Not surprisingly, it took a while for the project to come to fruition, so so it’s a treat to finally see director Brian Henson’s demented creation heading for movie screens, where it’ll almost assuredly be the future subject of a news story about a disinterested parent dragging their poor children to watch consenting puppets bone.


The Happytime Murders will bounce its way into theaters on August 17th. The cast also includes Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, and Elizabeth Banks.