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Grogs (YTV) facts for kids

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Grogs were the different puppet characters on various YTV programming blocks between 1992 and 1994. They were created by 21-year-olds Jason Hopley and Jamie Shannon in their first professional puppeteering job. The duo later founded The Grogs puppet company, and went on to do other puppet based entertainment such as the Mr. Meaty show, Nanalan', Playhouse Disney, and Hotbox. 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 frog/turtle/moss character 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, Warren staged a fictional coup of the YTV television station and "hijacked" the network, which was renamed WTV (as in Warren TV), and involved him locking up any way in or out of the YTV studio and assigning Filth as the chief engineer. The takeover was announced by Warren in late 1993, and the character started a tie-in contest in which kids could fill in some "skill-testing questions" printed on the Christmas edition of TV Guide, send it to YTV and, if at least one answer was correct, could win one of 100 t-shirts signed by him. Each shirt displayed an image of the Grog encircled in words reading, "On Jan. 1st, 1994, TV Guide and I helped Warren Chester Grog take over YTV to create a network with attitude: WTV." The takeover was eventually thwarted by PJ Fresh Phil and PJ Jenn at the conclusion of a long-running plotline.

This signalled the end of the Grog era, as a dispute had broken out between the station and the puppeteers behind the scenes. YTV wanted to produce toys based on the Grogs, but Hopley and Shannon demanded rights over their creations, which resulted in the pair being fired from the station. A purple, gum-covered TV/computer named Snit soon filled in the "fictional host" niche, from 1994 until 1997. A new series of puppets parallel to Snit, called Fuzzpaws, eventually took over the full roles of their early 1990s counterparts in 1995.

  • "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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