The Tinseltown pilot's title screen.


Bobby Vegan and Samson Knight.

Tinseltown was a television pilot produced by the Jim Henson Company for the Logo TV network.

The 15-minute episode debuted on Logo on Friday, November 2, 2007 as part of the Alien Boot Camp program block and was also viewable on Logo's website.

The show follows the lives of a gay couple as they try to balance their work, their relationship, their family and their lives in Hollywood. The series, a mock-reality show, showcases the life of fading Hollywood star Bobby Vegan who is an outspoken and struggling entertainer (and a pig). Bobby's life-partner, soul mate and manager is Samson Knight (a bull). The two puppets have a 13-year-old human foster son named Foster.


The Henson Company started shopping the project around to networks in 2006 after producing a five-minute presentation tape for the project. [1] The sample of this pitch tape was shown at the 2007 Comic-Con International. Brian Henson and Bill Barretta served as the lead producers, writers, directors and stars of the series.

Along with Henson and Barretta, Del Shores served as a producer and writer for the show; and Eric Poticha served as a co-producer. The human cast of the pilot included Paul Butcher (as Foster), Mia Sara (as Lena) and Francesco Quinn (as Arturo).

According to casting director G. Charles Wright, Logo did not pick up the pilot presentation for any more episodes.[2] The characters of Bobby and Samson however lived on. The couple hosted a special tour video created for the "Adventures by Disney" tours of the Henson Studio lot. In the video Bobby and Samson provide an overview of the history of the facilities. The characters returned as the fictional producers of the 2010 stage show Stuffed and Unstrung. A promotional Twitter account and Facebook page were established in February 2010 with regular updates from the two characters as they prepared for the show's debut - Bobby focusing on getting the greatest talent, while Samson is more into the stage show's state-of-the-art technology. In September 2011, Bobby and Samson appeared in an exclusive YouTube video introducing the website's spotlight playlist celebrating Jim Henson's 75th birthday.

In 2018, the characters made a return at the Puppets for Puppetry event which was held at the The Jim Henson Company to celebrate Caroll Spinney who received an honor from the Center for Puppetry Arts.[3]


The cold open of the episode opens with Samson and Bobby enjoying a romp under the sheets. Samson says he has to get up, but Bobby begs him to go one more time and the show cuts to the opening title.

Samson has lined up an exciting audition up for Bobby. On the way to the audition Lena helps read lines with Bobby in the limo. Samson calls to check-in with Bobby – making sure they are running lines and are on their way to the audition. However Bobby isn’t interested in working, so he tells Arturo to "turn this bus around" because he wants to go shopping.

In a lavish musical montage Bobby, Lena and Arturo hit the town to shop 'til they drop. Their day is filled with shopping, trying on clothing, getting their hair done, flirting with guys, looking at jewelry and plenty of drinking.

The trio returns to Bobby and Samson's house where Samson is preparing dinner. Lena is smashed so Bobby tells Arturo to take her home. Bobby inquires as to what Samson is preparing. The menu includes snap peas, duck – two foods that Samson knows Bobby can’t stand. Bobby detects that Samson is upset, and soon Samson asks how the audition went. Bobby lies about going and being brilliant, but Bobby soon realizes that Samson already knew Bobby blew it off.

Foster enters the kitchen, grabs a beverage from the fridge and leaves. Samson realizes that Foster just grabbed a beer and is concerned as Foster is only 13, but Bobby brushes it off, saying, "Oh it’s a light beer". The couple continues to fight about the missed audition. Samson is upset Bobby continues to blow the auditions off; Bobby is upset Samson keeps lining up minor roles. Bobby says he doesn’t want to keep doing auditions for pointless pilots – he wants a substantial role in a network show. That’s when Samson reveals he has lined an audition up for "The Lisa Kudrow Show" which excites Bobby and the couple ends their feud. They excitedly dance around the kitchen until Bobby, still slightly intoxicated, wipes out across the floor.

Later that night Samson is in bed reading while Bobby is in the other room, trying to figure out what to wear to the big audition. Samson tells him not to worry about it, as whatever he chooses will be fine. Bobby then tells Samson that he has a surprise, and to close his eyes. Bobby enters the room dressed in some newly purchased "leather daddy" apparel. Bobby says he wants to show Samson, who is stunned and a little excited by the sight, some appreciation. The episode concludes as Bobby pounces on his lover.



Bill Barretta: Bobby Vegan
Brian Henson: Samson Knight
Mia Sara: Lena
Paul Butcher: Foster
Francesco Quinn: Arturo
Michelan Sisti: assistant puppeteer (Bobby Vegan)
Drew Massey: assistant puppeteer (Samson Knight)


Executive Produced by: Brian Henson, Bill Barretta, Del Shores
Co-Produced by: Eric Poticha
Produced by: Chris Plourde
Written by: Brian Henson, Bill Barretta and Del Shores
Directed by: Brian Henson and Bill Barretta
Music composed by: Jeff Sudakin
Characters designed by: Gene Barretta
Puppet Wrangler: Scott Johnson
Puppet Supervisor: Jane Gootnick
Puppet Builders: John Criswell, Jane Gootnick, Paul Hartis, Scott Johnson, Marian Keating, Michael Oosterom, Julie Zobel


  • The song that plays during the shopping montage is "Bring It On" by Debby Holiday.


  1. Wallenstein, Andrew. "Jokes That Kermit Wouldn’t Dare Tell", The New York Times. November 12, 2006
  2. Hot in Hollywood- Casting Apersions: So Gay

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