Welcome one and all fans of one of YouTube's most popular shows, Puppet History, which may have just made their own history with a Season 4 cliffhanger finale comparable to Star Trek: The Next Generation "The Best of Both Worlds" and The Simpsons "Who Shot Mr. Burns?". The episode, "The Demonic Possessions of Loudun" covers the Loudun witch trials in 17th century France as puppet The Professor (Shane Madej) and students Ryan Bergara and Sarah Rubin compete for the honor of being named the episode's History Master. The episode also features cameos from previous Puppet History episodes including exploration of the show's long-running lore about The Professor's encounter with a meddlesome genie. And that's about the most we can say without spoiling anything.
Did you watch it? Great. Major Puppet History spoilers ahead– you've been warned!
In the final minutes of the episode, it is revealed that Ryan, after 4 seasons of losing every single time, has made a deal with Satan himself (of course, a puppet), to be awarded the title of History Master in exchange for the Professor being mind-controlled by the demon Asmodeus to wish away his ability to travel through history back to the genie (also played by Madej) who granted him that power. The genie then zaps The Professor back to the Cretaceous Period wherein a final scene we see him fall from the sky and fall right into the awaiting gullet of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The show then announces "RIP The Professor" and declares him "(Canonically dead FYI)." WTF?
They seem at least somewhat serious about this, too, offering new Puppet History merch like black t-shirts that say "RIP The Professor." This hits extra hard after fans had to wait a few extra days for this episode, originally slotted for Friday, Oct 1 but was released Sunday, Oct 3.
"Canonically dead FYI" seems pretty clear, and yet… how do you have Puppet History without The Professor? Will Season 5 be hosted by Puppet Satan? Do they track down the genie and unwish The Professor's demise? Or will another puppet take The Professor's place? I personally trust Bergara, Madej, and executive producer Steven Lim who collectively make up Watcher channel's main creative team to have already thought through this next step.
For those not in the know, Puppet History has been one of the most popular YouTube series of the last few years, with usually around half a million to three quarter million viewers of their shows, which also include Lim making ultimate expensive meals for different people (like the time he made $127 Boba tea for Simu Liu to celebrate the opening of Shang Chi). Madej and Bergara also host other shows about true crime and horror/ghost stories, an outgrowth of their previous work at Buzzfeed Unsolved before leaving to found Watcher. Puppet History remains the crown jewel of the Watcher channel's popularity and has a dedicated fanbase, most of whom are crying their eyes out right now. We can hope for the best for the "Canonically dead, FYI" The Professor and also hope Ryan Bergara feels real good about himself right now.