Don’t Hug me I’m Scared is Back with a New TV Show


Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared

Jaxon Deary, Staff Writer

Known for its surrealism and bizarre themes of horror, Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared made an iconic reputation for itself on YouTube in the early 2010s. Presenting itself as a colorful children’s television show, much like Sesame Street, coalesced with violence and dark comedy that hide thinly under the surface. The juxtaposition of chipper singing puppets and gory folk horror is what made this series a great success on YouTube’s platform, quickly earning its massive fanbase in the company of thousands of theories and analyses, all on the show’s recurring cryptic themes. 


Created by artists Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling, this crowdfunded web series has now accumulated over 216 million views on YouTube in only six episodes. These videos would be slowly uploaded over the period of four years, 2011 to 2015, but this never seemed to discourage their dedicated fans. Each episode is carefully handmade with felt puppets and felt life-sized furniture.. with the artistic touch of offal-stuffed horrors. The careful attention to detail and hidden messages are what made the YouTube series so overwhelmingly successful. 


Now, over six years since the last webisode, Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared has finally moved to television in the U.K (Thankfully, all of these episodes have already been uploaded onto YouTube for everybody to watch). 


As Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared moves to television, more notable names have joined the team: Edinburgh comedy award winner Sam Campbell joins as a new writer, and Megan Ganz (writer for Community & It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) is now the story editor for the team. Comedians Phil Wang, Jamie Demetriou, and Lolly Adefope are now the voices behind new characters, too.


The TV series carry similar plotlines compared to its YouTube counterpart; a mysterious visitor, most commonly a felt inanimate object, coming to life and singing to the three characters (who are only named ‘Red Guy’, ‘Yellow Guy’, and ‘Duck’), seemingly teaching them a lesson on creativity, dreams, or technology before they begin to enact chaos. Establishing a feeling of existential dread and terror within the brightly colored space later in each episode, the team successfully preserved the look and feel of the original web series. 


With the longer runtimes come longer adventures in each episode. Like the original series, Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is now a sequence of self-reliant half-hour episodes, focusing on a ‘lesson’. Whether it’s about identity, workplace atmospheres, the importance of family, or even death, the show is shamelessly innovative and experimental in its art form; combining segments of puppetry, live-action, claymation, traditional animation, and computer animation. 


It’s as artistically abstract and disturbing as ever since the internet dark comedy transitioned into a full-fledged television show.