According to a recent interview with Stephen White, when he joined Barney & Friends during production on Season 1, there were three other costumed characters to be on the show alongside Barney and Baby Bop, which included a reggae-calypso chicken, a western-country cow, and a frog modeled after the Big Bopper Chantilly Lace (popular in the 1950's). Kind of a strange idea, isn't it? These would eventually be degraded to puppets before being entirely removed from the show due to production struggles.
In addition, he felt that the show was missing the kind of humor that could reach out to a wider audience, so in earlier scripts he tried to incorporate that. For instance, when writing Playing It Safe, for the scene where Barney gets the cardboard boxes for the kids to make into cars, White proposed having Barney wear a plaid jacket and talk like a used car salesman. Seems kind of odd for Barney to talk like that, doesn't it? Well, the creators thought that, having more experience with the character than White, even though they did think it was funny.
You can read that article here, http://playgroundhollywood.blogspot.com/2015/11/interview-stephen-white-writer-from.html