Disney prides itself on being the happiest place on earth, but that probably doesn’t mean a happy ending. It was recently discovered that Disney owns the domain MuppetFucker.net. However, the Mouse isn’t trying to protect his wholesome family image against the rising tide of Pornhub oddities. It’s all because of one deejay from the early 2000s.
YouTube Muppet researcher Joshua Gillespie recently shared some findings from a dive into Disney’s Muppet-related domain names, after coming across one little gem.
“It was an ‘Oh my God,’ and then laughing for about five minutes uncontrollably,” Gillespie told io9. “Cause I’m thinking Disney, nice super friendly. I know the Muppets can be pretty vulgar, [but] just knowing that Disney owned it is what made it the funniest.”
The response was joyous. After a tumultuous week in politics, combined with bigoted attacks and fear of even more bigoted attacks, knowing that Disney was sitting on MuppetFucker.net was a well-deserved breath of fresh air. But, why do they own it in the first place?
Turns out, Disney didn’t actually register it themselves. Gillespie said further research shows the domain was previously registered by the Jim Henson Company in 2001. This would mean Disney had acquired it, along with all the other non-MuppetFucker domains, when they bought out the company in 2004.
Now, cyberporn was an issue in the early 2000s, but it wasn’t the force-to-behold that it would become later. And this was two years before Avenue Q debuted, so doing it Muppet-style wasn’t exactly part of the larger cultural vernacular. Muppet fucking may not have been something that was catching the Jim Henson Company’s eye, at least at the time, but the company did find out about a deejay whose name they did not care for.
Austin resident Noah Lee started going by the DJ name Muppetfucker in 1995, after he and a friend of his came up with it and thought it was funny. He used the name for six years, and owned several MuppetFucker domain names, including MuppetFucker.net. Lee told io9 the Jim Henson Company likely found out about Muppetfucker after he performed at SXSW in March 2001 and got a review in a local weekly magazine. A few days after the review came out, Lee got a cease-and-desist letter from the Jim Henson Company, which demanded he stop using the name Muppetfucker and hand over all domain rights.
“The day the letter showed up, I walked to my mailbox and opened it up, and when I pulled out that Kermit letterhead I knew right then it was over,” Lee told io9. “Many people said I should try and fight it or that I could pick something similar like ‘Puppetfucker,’ but let’s face it, nothing is funnier than Muppetfucker, as this latest round of people discovering the name proves.”
So there you have it. Disney isn’t preparing for some NC-17 romp in the hay with Kermit and Miss Piggy—they’re just holding the baggage from Jim Henson’s rivalry with a vulgarly named deejay. But hey, at least we can still get a laugh about it.