There are very few shows that are able to work when the main character is big, talking, dinosaur puppet, oh no wait, there is only one.
Dinosaurs was unique, epic, and iconic. It was truly one of a kind, and it was well loved by everyone who watched it. But the show wasn't as easy to make as all the other sitcoms we watched on TV, for very obvious reasons.
When all of your main characters are trapped inside big dinosaur costumes with robotic elements to them, you have an added level of difficulty that other shows do not have to deal with.
While we may not have understand just how much work was going into the show when we were young, looking back we've learned a lot about the series and just how complicated it really was. There was a lot of secrets on that set, and we're here to reveal them to you!
1. The set was top secret
Well, not TOP secret, but no press was allowed on set during the first season because the producers and network executives didn't want pictures of the puppeteers with only parts of their costumes on and spoil it for the kids.
2. Earl was overdramatic for a reason
All of those sighs and big groans were because it was the only way the actor who played him could see out of the costume. He would often sigh when he had to walk around because that way he could see where he was going.
3. Puppeteers were a sleepy group
The costumes were too big and complicated to take on and off all the time, so in between takes the actors were stuck inside. But obviously filming days are long and have a lot of downtime, so they would often fall asleep inside their costumes.
4. Baby Sinclair's catchphrase is from an actual baby
The writer and creator of the show Bob Young got the iconic catchphrases "not the mama" and "I'm the baby, gotta love me" from his own son. Those phrases would go on to be printed on clothing and merchandise.
But those aren't the only secrets about the Sinclairs...
5. The Sinclair family was genetically impossible
Earl was a megalosaurus and Fran was an allosaurus, but their children are not real types of dinosaurs at all. I guess it's what they imagine would have happened if those two types of dinosaurs could have kids.
6. The episodes were released on VHS to help finance the show
It was really expensive to make a show with a bunch of enormous puppets, so they decided to quickly release the first six episodes on VHS so they could make a little bit of money back for the next episodes.
7. They built all the original puppets in 10 weeks
They had a very short window to build the characters before filming, but they managed to get the first versions done in 10 weeks. After the initial build, they gave the puppets some improvements to perfect them over time.
8. Many of the puppeteers had impressive resumes
The puppets needed a lot of talented people to operate them, so the Dinosaurs crew hired Steve Whitmire, who performed Kermit and Ernie, Dave Goelz who was Gonzo, and Kevin Clash who was Elmo to play the roles.