Punch and Judy

Jim Henson with Mr. Punch and his slapstick

Jim Henson and the crocodile

Punch and Judy is a traditional puppet show featuring Mr. Punch and his wife Judy. The performance consists of a sequence of short scenes, each depicting an interaction between two characters, most typically Mr. Punch and one other character who usually falls victim to Punch's slapstick. It is often associated with traditional British culture, but has its roots in the 16th-century Italian commedia dell'arte, and is an integral part of the traditional arts throughout Europe (e.g. as "Kasper und Gretel" in Germany). The show is performed by a single puppeteer inside the booth.

Jim Henson describes the show in The Muppets on Puppets along with a demonstration of the puppets.

Most of the puppets in this country came from a puppet character called Punch of Punch and Judy shows. And Punch has been around in England for over 300 years.

And Punch is a funny little character with a high squeaky voice. Punch always had a club or stick with him which he would beat up the other characters with and the other characters would always beat up him. This particular one is called a 'slapstick' - it's made in two pieces so when the two pieces hit together it makes a loud noise.

Now there were always several other characters in a Punch and Judy and one of these was a crocodile. And the crocodile was the beginning of certain other characters, like Ollie of Kukla, Fran, and Ollie. And the crocodile is character who always tries to eat up the other characters. He would chew on them. Punch would always save himself by taking his stick and sticking it into the crocodile's mouth.
Jim Henson, The Muppets on Puppets (1968)


  • Muppet versions of two Punch and Judy characters (Punch himself and the crocodile) were created for episode 508 of The Muppet Show and appeared thrice later.
Wikipedia has an article related to:
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.