Muppet Glory

The post below gave me the following idea for a discussion:

Who is your favorite Muppet – and WHY. PLEASE get into character analysis, and character interpretation, etc.

Let’s NOT include Sesame Street Muppets for this go-round. I want to hear the Muppets people love from the Muppet Show and all the Muppet movies.

And most importantly – I really want to hear WHY. If you love Gonzo, gimme the reasons.

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69 Responses to Muppet Glory

  1. Wutzizname says:



    Animal was my favorite muppet for 1 reason and one reason only. I could relate to him better than anyone. I should take this moment to explain that I was on Ritalin as a kid. I loved Animal. When I watched the show, I became Animal.

    Loud, obsessive, easily pacified by beautiful women who would rub my head…and often shielded from the outside world by family and friends.

    He and I also had drums in common.

    Animal is one of the greatest Muppets of them all. The living Id.

    Well, maybe not ‘Living’ but…you know what I mean.


  2. Anne says:

    I am a Swedish chef fan. He was incomprehensible and always sang that little song to himself – so jolly, and yet so mysterious.

  3. Heather says:

    I’m also voting for Animal. I guess his ability to act like, well, an animal, and get away with it appealed to me. My parents were pretty strict and I regret not giving them a run for their money. The crazed look in his eye, the endearing way he’d furrow his brow… it’s all good.

  4. Emily says:

    What were those two grumpy old guys that sat up in the balcony ripping on everybody on the old “Muppet Show” called? Remember how they always had the last joke? My favorite one is where the camera’s on the balcony for the final shot, but they’re nowhere to be seen. They finally sit up from crouching on the floor and one of them says “Hmmm…still haven’t found the chewing gum.”

  5. Dave J says:

    Statler and Waldorf, Emily. Wouldn’t say they were my favorites, because it’s just impossible for me to even pick a favorite from that show, but I’m definitely inspired to quote…

    STATLER: Shakespeare would’ve hated that.
    WALDORF: You should know, you dated his sister!
    BOTH: [laugh]
    STATLER: Boy, was she ugly.

  6. David says:

    I love the little shrimp guy. He’s not in every movie but he gives his best performance in Muppets From Space. His timing and bad latin accent are comedic genius. He’s extremely small but his presence on the screen is enormous. He has a confidence and a belief in himself that is extraordinarily attractive to me. I love him.

  7. David says:

    I detest Miss Piggy. I find her humor to be flat and the way she treats Kermit and everyone around her is not at all funny. I find no redeeming qualities in her character. I respectfully disagree with Stephanie Klein.

  8. red says:

    I have a strange love (bordering on pity) in my heart for Beeker. He lives his life on the edge of terror. At all times. He does not know what is being asked of him. He cannot even speak like a normal person. His terror has frozen up his voice-box. And yet- he manages to get his message across just fine. I admire that. I admire how he continues to try to function, even though he is obviously very very very frightened.

  9. I am a Swedish chef fan.

    Another worthless THS note: did you know you can set your Google Language preferences to Bork, Bork, Bork? Go to the Google Search Page, hit Preferences, then choose Bork, Bork, Bork! from the drop down in the Interface Language section. Save the whole thing, and off you go. Hilarious.

    Um gesh dee bork, bork!
    (Nute-a: Setteeng prefferences veell nut vurk iff yuoo hefe-a deesebled cuukeees in yuoor brooser. Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp!)

    (Of course, there are other choices like Klingon, Elmer Fuddish and Pig Latin, but who cares, um dee foomdy fishy chowder?)

  10. red says:

    The Swedish chef always vaguely disturbed me … but only because of the human hands. I found that disturbing.

  11. David says:

    I’m peeing my frigging pants!!

    “He does not know what is being asked of him”

    I’ll never look at Beeker the same way again!

  12. jean says:

    I have to go with Kermie. Why? Well, because, frankly, I’m in love with him. he is everything a frog should be. Sensitive, emotional, stubborn, cute. some might say he is reminiscent of a man I know. They also might say I am remarkably like Miss Piggy…

  13. Anne says:

    I once looked up my high school crush (he’s a professor now and there’s a picture of him on his university’s website). At the time, I liked him b/c he had the potential to be very cute, rather than b/c he was actually very cute. And I was a bit astonished by his appearance when I saw the picture (not having seen him for 10 years). He looked exactly – but EXACTLY – like Beeker.

  14. Anne says:

    by the way – am sitting here cracking up over “hurty flurty schnipp schnipp” &c.

  15. Heather says:

    David – Build a jacuzzi and they will come, mmm’kay?

    I’m thinking that I also should have said Kermit – that’s my brother’s nickname (purely based on his childhood love of Kermit). shhh…don’t tell him.

  16. Dan says:

    The shrimp guy in Muppets In Space is genius. So is the crab.

    “If you build it, they will come. Ok?”

    //He lives his life on the edge of terror. At all times. //

    That absolutely killed me.

  17. Bryan says:

    Out of all of Beeker’s pity-inspiring moments, the one that is forever burned into my memory is from the show in which Michelle Pfeiffer was the guest star. She is on a “Meet Some Eligible Batchelors” game show, and two of the contestants are Beeker and Animal. When Michelle says that she likes men who are funny, Beeker says something unintelligible, and Michelle responds angrily, “That’s not funny! That’s sick!”


    Animal, on the other hand, simply attacks her and runs her off the stage.

  18. Bryan says:

    My favorite, however, is Gonzo. He is so utterly free of self-consciousness, fear, and societal restraint, yet not in a primitive way like Animal. If he finds a woman attractive, he says, “Hubba, hubba,” and makes eyes with her. If he wants a taxi, he throws himself in front of it. If he gets thrown off an airplane, he yells, “Whoopie!” If he gets his nose stuck in an elevator door, he thinks it’s fun and does it again.

    And that all is just from “The Great Muppet Caper.”

  19. Bryan says:

    He’s very resourceful, too. In “Caper” when he, Kermit, and Fozzie find themselves in a dinner club that they cannot afford, he immediately starts selling his services as a photographer to the other guests. He also takes the picture that exposes the jewel thief.

  20. jess says:


    I have Animal underwear. I love them.

  21. Emily says:

    My favorite line from a movie is one of Gonzo’s from Caper. During the opening credits, he, Fozzie and Kermit are floating in a hot air balloon. Gonzo looks over the side and asks “I wonder how far you could plummet before you blacked out?”

    I used to watch that movie constantly as a kid. There are so many jokes, cameos and adult references that I missed until I was older. Am I the only one that thinks that a lot of the humor in the Muppets is meant more for grown-ups?

  22. Bryan says:


    I LOVE that line! Then when Kermit tells him not to try because he is needed for the movie, he says wistfully, “It’s sure tempting.”

    You’re definitely right about Muppet humor being mainly for adults. I loved Caper as a kid, but I didn’t realize how funny it was until I saw it as an adult.

  23. Dan says:

    //Am I the only one that thinks that a lot of the humor in the Muppets is meant more for grown-ups?//

    Nope. It’s kinda like classic Bugs Bunny that way. Something for the kids, something for the folks.

  24. Bryan says:

    Incidentally, since I kind of dissed Animal in favor of Gonzo, I should say that another of my favorite moments from Caper is when Kermit first meets Animal.

    Kermit: What’s wrong with your drummer? He looks a little crazed.

    Floyd: Oh, he’s just upset about missing the Rembrant exhibition at the National Gallery.

    Animal: (in his characteristic almost unintelligible yell) Renoir!

  25. Emily says:

    How about when they’re running over their list of supplies they need for the caper:

    Fozzie: Wax lips?

    Dr. Teeth: Oh man, I just had ’em.

    I forget who: Did you leave them in your other pants?

    Dr. Teeth: I don’t have no other pants.

    And “Happiness Hotel” is the best song from a movie ever. “…but if you don’t mind friendly animals and can learn to stand the smell…”

  26. Obscurorant says:

    Rainy Day Randandom

    Will Wheaton brings to you another tale of poker adventure, this time in a Vegas cardroom.

  27. red says:



  28. Bryan says:


    That’s a great one too. I also like the darkroom scene where Gonzo blames Piggy for the jewel theft.

    Kermit: She was dancing with me.

    Fozzie: That’s right. And you know what they say; you can’t dance and steal at the same time.

    Gonzo: No, I think that’s you can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

    Fozzie: No, I think it’s you can’t pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time.

    Kermit: What difference does it make? She didn’t steal the jewels!

    Gonzo: I bet I can do it.

    Kermit: Do what?

    Gonzo: Pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time. (Proceeds to do so)

    Fozzie: Oh, that’s easy. Anyone can do that. (Proceeds to do so)

    Kermit: Will you guys knock it off?!?!?!

  29. I had it bad for Scooter. I think it was his shiny jacket or something. I also had a crush on the suave-yet-dumb pig in Piiiiiiiiiiigs in Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!

  30. Bryan says:

    By the way, Emily, now you have that silly tune stuck in my head. “But if the road’s been kinda bumpy, and you need to rest a spell, then welcome home to Happiness Hotel.”

  31. Emily says:

    Oh, there are bugs (there are bugs)
    And there are lice (there are lice)
    Sure we have our little problems but you’ll never beat the price!
    We’ve got every kind of critter
    We’ve got every kind of pest
    Still, we treat them all as equals just like any other guest

  32. red says:

    I can hear that announcer’s voice now.


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  34. Dave J says:

    Curly: that would be Link Hogthrob, none-too-subtly-veiled parody of Capt. Kirk.

  35. Dave J, I am way impressed with your Muppet name knowledge! If I may pick your brain further, what was the name of the chick who was in Dr. Teeth’s band? I think she was also a nurse in Veterinarian’s Hospital. Janice or Janet? Or am I totally making that up?

  36. red says:


    Janice. I love Janice. I remember her saying into the silence in the elevator in the first Muppet Movie: “Yeah, so we were all on the beach totally naked …” and that had NOTHING to do with what everyone else was saying.


    As I recall – Janice had no eyes. Her bangs completely covered the eyes.

    I love Janice. Or … should I be spelling it Janis you think?

    Dave J?

  37. red says:

    Only I don’t remember that she was a nurse in a vet’s hospital. Shaking with laughter at the thought … heh heh heh heh

  38. Janice/Janis IS the best. I loved her wee guitar. I wanted it. And yes, her bangs totally covered her eyes and she had one big white tooth it seemed.

    I’m pretty sure Janis and Piggy were the nurses at the hospital and Rawlf was the doctor. I can even see her wearing the scrubs.

  39. Dave J says:

    I think it was spelled Janice, and I know her and Piggy were the nurses on Vets’ Hospital, although they were playing characters with different, more “soap-opera-esque” names. And she’s a great example of how there’s so much humor in the Muppets that bypasses the kids: Janice was a hippieish Southern California beach/surfer girl who obviously added considerable amounts of pot to her pre-existing natural spacy ditziness.

  40. red says:

    Also, can we just take a moment and revel in the name:

    DR TEETH???

    I mean, that is just GENIUS

  41. red says:

    I absolutely love Janice. Yeah, I never would have gotten all of that humor but now?? She’s an icon.

  42. Dave J says:

    Doctor Teeth is indeed pure genius, but even better is the full name of the band, namely “Doctor Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.” Perfect. I love it.

  43. red says:

    Aurora Borealis
    Shinin’ down on Dallas
    Can you picture that?

  44. Brian B says:

    I’m seriously laughing and crying at the same time! Oh, God how I miss that show. A little part of me died with Jim. And now you’re all bringing back sweet sweet memories.

    One time in college a bunch of us sat around trying to remember as many muppet names as possible. The most obscure we could come up with were New Zealand, he of the Boomerang Fish act, and Nigel, the orchestra conductor.

    I’m torn picking a favorite. I loved Dr. Strangepork, and the Swedish chef, and Animal, but yeah, I have to agree that Beaker was my favorite. Something always told me he was actually smarter than Honeydew. I disagree with the comment “He does not know what is being asked of him” — on the contrary, I think he knew exactly how cockamamie and lethal the doctor’s inventions were, but he couldn’t do a damend thing about them — like being in one of those nightmares where you just can’t escape.

    Even Piggy had her moments, but the only character I never ever could stand whatsoever was Robin, Kermit’s “cute” little nephew. Bleah.

  45. red says:

    Nigel!! Brian B, good one.

  46. Dano says:

    your brains are all so tinys… there is no other choices:

    Pepe the King Prawn, hokay!

  47. Dave J says:

    Brian B, because I’m pedantic, that’s LEW Zealand. :-p

  48. Laura says:

    Looking back in hindsight, the sheer genius of The Muppets is amazing. For kids it’s a bunch of puppets singing, performing, and doing cool things. But the humor is really geared towards adults, and it was so clever. The Muppets may carry on without Jim, but they’ll never be as good or as special as they were. Kermit to me is always synonomous with Henson, and when I hear him today, it makes me cringe. The heart and soul of Kermit is gone, and it’s difficult for me to except the modern Kermit. I’m not one who typically get’s overly emotional when a celebrity dies, but a handful of celebrity deaths actually broke my heart, and when Jim Henson died, he was one of those.

    We recently got Labrynth and The Dark Crystal on DVD. The Dark Crystal DVD had a bonus feature, showing the making of the movie. It was unreal the work that was put into it, considering they didn’t have the luxury of computer animation to fall back on. It was all puppets, and robots, and choreography and hundreds of people working. And the end result was awesome, definitely one of my favorite movies ever.

    As far as favorite character, I’d have to say Kermit, he was the glue to hold it all together. Although I also have a special place in my heart for Gonzo, especially when Piggy was a total bitch to him.

  49. Cara Remal says:

    “I have a strange love (bordering on pity) in my heart for Beeker.” – Red

    Oh my God, I love Beeker too! He really makes me laugh the hardest. I find him absolutely hysterical. The way he looks, the funny garbled sounds he makes, the way his mouth flaps, the fact that he’s shaped like…well, a beeker! He’s a subtle nervous geeky presence, never the central focus of attention, but somehow that very fact makes it even funnier for me.

    I have a Beeker finger puppet that I got from Starbucks proudly displayed on a shelf next to Pooh and Tigger.

    Wow, a thought just occurred to me. Call me crazy, but does Beeker not remind you of Professor Kelp from The (original) Nutty Professor?

  50. graboy says:

    British TV interviewer Michael Parkinson once had Kermit and Miss Piggy on his show. It was better than any of his hundreds of ‘live’ guests and for mine was his best show ever. Miss P. was being flirtacious with the host and at the same time both Muppets were insulting each other without the restraint required for a child audience. Beyond brilliant.

  51. Dave J says:

    Sam the Eagle was the perfect pompous, self-important comic foil. I’m remembering a particular exchange from Muppet Treasure island, where he’s the First Mate and describing the Captain, who we don’t yet realize is Kermit, something like…

    SAM: The Captain is not as gentle and easygoing as I am. He is a raging tornado, posessed of inner demons the likes of which mere mortals cannot fathom.

    GONZO: He has demons? Cool!

  52. Emily says:

    Dave — remember that moment from Caper, after they finish singing “Happiness Hotel”? Sam peeks his head out of one of the doors and disapprovingly declares “You are all…WEIRDOS.”

  53. Dave J says:

    Bwahahahaha!!! I do remember that now, and it’s been too long since I saw Caper, or any of this stuff actually.

  54. red says:

    I love that Sam the Eagle describes himself as “gentle and easygoing”. heh heh heh

  55. red says:

    I know – I haven’t seen Caper in years.

  56. ricki says:

    Oh, my gosh.

    Brian, were you and I separated at birth? I have never met another person who REMEMBERED the orchestra conductor, let alone considered him a favorite character.

    Nigel was among my favorites too, loved his sheer cluelessness in dealing with the Electric Mayhem band.

    (Of course, a lot of my ‘relating’ probably came because I was that weird kid who liked classical music when all the other kids knew the Top 40 list for the week stone-cold).

    Gonzo was another favorite, but I think it wasn’t so much for his gonzoness (heh…never got the Hunter S. Thompson reference before now) but for the fact that he was a ‘something’ – he wasn’t clearly identifiable as any animal, and as a result, was sort of an outcast in a way. I felt like there was a pain and a loneliness under all the bravado, because he didn’t know what species he belonged to…

    (I was not, as you might guess, a popular child when I was in school).

  57. red says:

    Ricki – What a heartfelt FUNNY comment. I loved Wutzizname’s comment above, how he said he loved Animal the most – because he could see himself in Animal, he related to Animal.

    God. I MISS that show. Such a beautiful thing!!

    And I am laughing out loud remembering Nigel trying to deal with Dr. Teeth …

  58. ricki says:

    red, I miss the show terribly too.

    One of the few “celebrities” I actually cried hard over the death of was Henson’s.

    I’ve heard that the whole show is out on dvds and that’s almost enough to make me run out and buy a dvd player (yes, like you, I’m a “late adopter” as well).

    I think it’s a testament to the cleverness and skill of the writers and Muppeteers that some 20 years later, we’re discussing the psychological motivations of the characters they brought to life. (There are Hollywood actors who come across as more wooden to me than, say, the Swedish Chef.)

  59. owlish says:

    Animal! Animal!

    He always had the best lines.

  60. Dano says:

    OK … I love Pepe, OK. A relatively recent character, OK. Introduced in 1996, OK.

    Why? Personality, OK. And he’s cool, OK. And funny as hell, OK.
    He’s brought some adult content to the mix, OK, kind of amping it up for some of the other characters, OK. He chews the scenery a little but meshes well with the ensemble, OK.

    He’s in Muppets From Space, OK.
    But my favorite Pepe performance, OK, the one in which he stole the show, is in the Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie from last year (or was it in ’02, I forget … damn, OK. ) it’s on video but was also on NBC/Hallmark, before the Evil Mouse Empire bought our beloved Muppets, OK — that’s just my opinion, OK.
    (Gonzo is very sweet in it as well and the whole cast, Lew, Beeker, Kermit especially when he loses his cool — all of ’em are great — as a version of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ I think you movie geeks will love it, OK).

    Pepe came to life in the short-lived ABC series Muppets Tonight, OK, where he was part of sort of a vaudeville duo with an elephant, OK, which you’d have to see to understand, OK.

    He also did the Weezer-Muppets video special on MTV, OK, and, some Odyssey Channel promos, and for a while he was spokesprawn for Long John Silver in commercials and LJS website content, OK, which seemed weird and traitorous and sacrilicious (as Homer Simpsons would say, OK), for the shrimp to be selling shrimps, OK, it would be like Kermins working for Doc Hopper’s in real life or something like it, OK.

    He also did that weird Other Half daytime ‘The View’ knockoff for males, OK, for Valentine’s Day 2003, OK, wearing a black turtleneck and gold chains — being a Lothario is part of the Pepe charm, OK; face it, he’s cuter than Danny Bonaduce, OK, but who isn’t?, OK — but some ridiculous Bush/terror announcement preempted the show and ruined my tape and I am still mad, OK!

    Un-Be-Lievable, OK! If I see Bush I will crush him like a plankton, OK!

    He’s Iberian, and apparently peoples of that region who also speak English say OK a lot, OK. This is somewhat documented, OK.

    He hits on Joan Cusack in the Christmas movie (“Jou know, I like my coffees how I like my womens — a LAHH-TAY, heh heh”) and on Katie Holmes in the space movie, OK.

    He will be Toto, a speaking role, in the next Muppet movie, OK, based on the Baum Oz books more than the Judy Garland musical, OK. It’ll be on ABC’s Disney show in May of ’05, OK, so set your TIVOs, OK. And I suppose this means there will be Pepe toys again, OK… I bought some (Pepe on the beach, OK) as gifts last Christmas — showed ’em around to a couple of folks in my newsroom and then THEY started ordering them).

    I do need to mention Pepe’s Muppeteer, Bill Barretta, OK.

    See for more Muppet Love, everybody, OK? OK. I can tell some of you will not get much work done Friday, OK. Linked below as “my” URL, for today anyway, OK. There’s a whole Pepe FAQ, OK. Although I might have just done that for you, OK.

    Thank you, and for my services,
    “Kermins, I will need a ticket to Miamis, OK.”

    (P.S. — all the OK’s aren’t nearly as annoying as I’ve probably made them seem. Pepe rocks.)

  61. red says:

    Dano –

    Extremely random reference comin’ at ya – but did you ever see Lethal Weapon II (I think it was the second one – with Joe Pesci turning in this HYSTERICAL performance??) And one of the things he does is say, “Ok ok ok ok” all the time.

    He is always saying “Okay” – so funny.

  62. Dave J says:

    Tangent from Dano’s comment: have I mentioned before that I find Joan Cusack not only brilliantly funny but extremely hot?

  63. Ken Hall says:

    I’m going with Floyd, for two reasons:

    1. He’s the bass player. Bass players must stick together.

    2. He’s cool, but you really don’t know much about him other than that he plays bass, he seems to be Dr. Teeth’s “executive officer,” and he gently keeps Zoot and Animal on the same page, or at least in the same chapter, with everyone else. Plays his cards close to the vest.

    Second place goes to Fozzie, because two of the undergrad girls working on a (Cleveland State class) marketing research project in London three years ago described me as Fozzie( and partly because y’all have bogarted Beaker).

  64. Dano says:

    Dave J:

    That is just what Pepe says, OK…. when he abandons the Muppets amid financial crisis threatening their theater.

    Kermit: But Pepe, what about our dream?

    Pepe: But Kermins, jou are forgetting Ricky Martins, and his dream — to salsa with Pepe.
    Besides, she’s HOOTTTTT, OK… chiga-chiga-ching, chig-ching-ch-ging…”

    followed by the coffee line, as Cusack says:
    “Starbucks run?”

    I loved Joanie in School of Rock.

  65. Laura says:

    For the past few days, I have had that Mahna Mahna song in my head. It’s a catchy song, despite having no real lyrics.

  66. Dave J says:

    I’ve loved Joanie in everything she’s done, Dano; I mean, even the DirectTV commercials. But her quintessential role for me will always be Cyn in Working Girl, where I think she really has some of the best lines:

    “Wuddaya’ need speech class faw? Ya’ tawk fine.”

    “Get you something, Mistah’ Trainor? Coffee, tea…me?”

    “Six THOUSAND dollahs?! It’s not even leathah!”

    And finally this, which really shows her character as the Sancho Panza she is to Tess’s Don Quixote:

    “Sometimes I dance around my apartment in my underweah. Doesn’t make me Madonna. Nevah will.”

  67. munchi says:

    their pictures since most of us havnt seen them in over 20 years

    i’d say my fav was the swedish chef becuase i loved the sound of how he spoke that was no better then “hoov-de-noov-de-hoov-de-noov” and so on and the crazy way he chopped his ingredients [sort of like how martha stewart looked chopping her lettuce on cbs b4 court lol] sh*t was just flyin everywhere when he cooked. and werent his giant eyeborws [unibrow?] totally blocking his vision? i wonder if he had all 10 digits? also, my mother being german i liked the pseudo-european language i could adopt w no knowledge of a foreign language. into adulthood i think when i cook i go “hoov-de-noov-…” and toss in a few “yumpin-yiminy’s”

  68. Dano says:

    I just loaned ‘Muppets from Space’ to a co-worker who MUST see everything Katie Holmes has ever done.

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