Murray Clampton holds the dubious distinction of serving the shortest ever tenure with the Children’s Television Workshop.
In January 2003, the day after Clampton was hired, he debuted his Muppet “Slicy”.
Slicy came from a broken home, and his defining characteristic–other than his purple fur and googly ping pong ball eyes–was that he was a recovering ritual cutter.
In Slicy’s one and only Sesame Street appearance, he explained his troubled past in song; the segment featured Slicy singing an ill-conceived parody of the Red Hot Chili Peppers song “Scar Tissue” featuring the band’s bassist Flea bopping along to the music, clad in only a pair of tighty whities.
The next day, the segment was screened for a focus group before going “live”, and the response was so negative–one comment from a focus group member read “Why don’t you just create a Muppet based on that naked Vietnamese napalm girl and set THAT to song?”; another read “This makes me WANT to cut myself–I’m assuming that wasn’t your intention.”–that the CTW brass were left with no choice. The day after the focus group, Clampton and Slicy were given their walking papers, a mere three days after being hired.
This has been MEMORABLE (For The Wrong Reasons) MOMENTS IN MUPPET HISTORY.
NEXT TIME: The Disastrous Pairing of Manic Mike (the bipolar/male stripper Muppet) and Pope Benedict XVI.