Josh Sussman has traded quips with Selena Gomez on "Wizards of Waverly Place" as a wizard-in-training who thinks he's a giant, and he's rocked out on "Glee" as McKinley High's resident gossip blogger. But he had never met a Fraggle until last night. Decked out in a vintage Fraggles T-shirt he's had for 10 years, Sussman was amped for the "Fraggle Rock" 30th anniversary celebration at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
"Meeting them is the coolest thing ever," he said. "You can't help but make eye contact. Even though, you know, there's nothing there. It's my favorite show. This is the perfect party for me. Having worked as an actor, getting invited to parties with free cocktails and gift bags is nice, but this party is really special. This party is meant for me."
If you're too young or too old (or too serious) to remember Fraggles, allow us: Beloved Jim Henson brought Fraggles to life. They're furry and small, and they live in the wall. They hate socks. They're indecisive. They have great names -- Boober, Gobo, Red -- and they hate to work and prefer to hang around binging on candy all day. Naturally, a lot of guys in Hollywood love the Fraggles.
Watch the "Fraggle Rock" opening theme:
"I'm an actor, so I'm definitely a Fraggle," said "Big Time Rush's" Stephen Kramer Glickman. "We go to work and complain all day. 'Oh, man, why aren't they working us? We're just sitting around.' And then they do work us, and we're, like, 'Oh, man, I'm so tired. I can't wait to take a nap again!' That's how actors are. Whenever I am having a bad day, I try to remember I had the worst jobs ever. I worked in a Sharper Image. I made some mistake there. I got fired. I got Fraggled."
With all the neon-bright Fraggle-themed cocktails and puppets making the rounds last night, the hotel's Spare Room almost felt like a Sharper Image store. Still, some people were expecting a little, well, more.
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"I feel like I should be on mushrooms right now," observed Bill Tangradi, aka Danny's friend from the "Danny's Friend" episode of "The Mindy Project." "There's no way Jim Henson did all of this sober. He must have messed with psychedelics."
Tangradi's wish list also includes going back to work for Mindy Kaling. "They are the coolest people I ever worked with. It was kind of awesome. I'm good friends with Chris Messina, so it was cool to work with a close friend. Please tell Mindy to bring me back. Be like, 'Oh, I just talked to Bill Tangradi. You should bring him back.'"
The bar felt like a romper room, with guests playing Jenga, hamming it up with Fraggles, and talking about great old TV shows. Sussman told us his favorite job ever was on the MTV show "Warren the Ape." It sounds pretty Fraggle-rific, too."It was about a monkey in rehab who sees Dr. Drew every week. I played his assistant," said Sussman. "Seth Green, Eugene Levy, Sarah Silverman -- they all appeared on the show. It was a spinoff of 'Greg the Bunny.' That was a dream job. I made some of my best friends. It's always heartbreaking when people come up and say that they loved it. MTV didn't advertise it. Darned MTV!"
Maybe Fraggles have the right idea, avoiding work? Young "Twilight" veteran Rami Malek, who will be in the film adaptation of "Need for Speed" alongside Aaron Paul of "Breaking Bad," certainly agrees. "You know, when people sit around and don't work, they're disgusting. But when Fraggles do that, it's endearing. It's amazing what you can get away with as a Fraggle."
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True. "Robot Chicken" player David Sheridan took it one step further. "I'm a Muppet, the first human Muppet. I have small, furry creatures controlling me right now."
Muppet or man, Sheridan definitely felt moved by the puppet scene. "I love Seth Green. I gotta call him," he said. "The only way I ever get jobs is when I bug my friends. No one's ever gonna call me. I gotta call them. Seth and his business partner opened up a studio, and they're doing some really creative stuff. It's the same kind of world as 'Fraggle Rock,' stop animation, stop motion. Putting the 'ate' in creativity."
You have to respect the Fraggles. Thirty years later, they haven't aged a day, they have superior taste in adult beverages, and they clearly make men in Hollywood want to shine. Long live the Fraggles.
The "Fraggle Rock: 30th Anniversary Collection" DVD set will be available on May 14.
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