Kidding is a TV series which began in 2018, focusing on Jeff Pickles, host of beloved long-running children's show Mr. Pickles' Puppet Time whose off-camera life is affected by personal tragedies and emotional crises.

In interviews, creator Dave Holstein noted that while the premise recalls Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and Sesame Street, it was not intended as a parody. One way to avoid that was hiring Joey Mazzarino as a staff writer to create the Mr. Pickles segments: “I said, ‘Joey, I don’t want to make fun of children’s television, it’s too easy. I don’t want to do a parody of Sesame Street. I want to do a show that would legitimately have the language, and the characters, and the substance of a children’s show."[1]

In another interview, Holstein noted that "We pulled a lot from Sesame Street in terms of their approach and their language with children. The language they use on these shows is very specific and we wanted to get that right. They created a world that has its own rules, parameters, and mythology, and we wanted to create that as well," and also mentions Mr. Snuffleupagus in relation to the walkaround puppet Snagglehorse on Kidding.[2]

Muppet Mentions

  • In the first season episode "Every Pain Needs a Name," Seb says that a toy company has been asking to make talking Jeff Pickles dolls "ever since Molest Me Elmo."



  1. IndieWire. "‘Kidding’: Michel Gondry and Dave Holstein on Finding the ‘Scary’ Side of Mr. Rogers to Save Us From Antihero TV" Sep. 10, 2018.
  2. "Kidding Asides." Oct. 04, 2018.
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