The Muppets are an ensemble group of comedic puppet characters originally created by Jim Henson. The Muppets have appeared in multiple television series, films, and other media appearances since the 1950s. The majority of the characters listed here originated on The Muppet Show, a television series that aired from 1976 to 1981. Since then, several more characters have been introduced in other television series, as well as theatrical films.
The first Muppet characters appeared in Sam and Friends, a Washington, D.C.–based show which was broadcast from 1955 to 1961. Kermit the Frog was one of the show's regulars, and thus was one of Henson's first Muppet creations. The characters became a household name after their appearance in the children's television program Sesame Street. Henson was initially reluctant to become involved with Sesame Street because he feared being pigeon-holed as a children's performer, but agreed to work on the show to further his social goals.:5 The characters created for that series are now owned by the Sesame Workshop, the producers of Sesame Street, and are now considered a separate franchise.
- 1 Main characters
- 2 Supporting characters
- 3 Minor characters
- 4 Other characters
- 5 See also
- 6 References
Kermit the Frog
A pragmatic frog who is the straight man protagonist and de facto leader of the Muppets. Created by Jim Henson and introduced in 1955 on Sam and Friends, Kermit quickly became the de facto face of the early franchise, including regularly appearing on Sesame Street, sometimes as a reporter. He starred on The Muppet Show, as the showrunner, responsible for managing the show's production, and has appeared in every Muppet-branded production since.
A temperamental diva pig who is the Muppets' break-out and "authentic superstar".:28 Until 2015, she was the romantic significant other of Kermit's. Authors Maryanne Fisher and Anthony Cox call Piggy "uniquely strong and feminine", but "domineering and demanding." She was designed and built by Bonnie Erickson. Debuted in a 1974 Herb Alpert television special, where she was performed by Jerry Nelson. She is Oz's best-known character.:103
A naive, comically-disinclined bear introduced in The Muppet Show. Fozzie's characterization was created by Frank Oz, who performed the character from his debut in 1976 until Oz's retirement in 2000. Eric Jacobson has performed the character since then. Finch calls Fozzie "a sweetly insecure and absolutely terrible comedian". According to Oz, Fozzie is such a bad comedian that he "can't afford good joke writers, and he can't write good jokes himself but still a good character". He was designed by Michael K. Frith.:102
An eccentric hooked-nosed stunt performer and performance artist who debuted in The Great Santa Claus Switch as the Cigar Box Frackle. Gonzo's species has always been kept ambiguous, ranging from a Frackle in his early years, to avian in subsequent portrayals, and even alien in Muppets from Space. He was created by Dave Goelz, who has performed Gonzo since his inception.
Rowlf the Dog
A plainspoken pianist dog who first appeared in Purina Dog Chow commercials. He was designed by Jim Henson. He then appeared in The Jimmy Dean Show, as Jimmy Dean's sidekick. Finch calls Rowlf "the first fully rounded character performed by Jim Henson", and also calls him "wonderfully down-to-earth, with a dry, self-deprecating sense of humor" and "a master of the double take." He was built by Don Sahlin:32–33
- Performed by Richard Hunt (1976–1991), Adam Hunt (voice only, 1999), Matt Vogel (2000), Brian Henson (2002–2003), Rickey Boyd (2005), David Rudman (2008–present)
The loyal stage manager and gofer of the Muppet Theater and nephew of its owner J.P. Grosse. Richard Hunt based Scooter's voice and personality on how he remembered himself when he was younger. He was designed by Michael K. Frith. Debuted in the first season of The Muppet Show.:83
Animal, a savage, frenzied monster and the drummer for Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Author Christopher Finch calls Animal "the ultimate representation of a long line of Muppets who personify unbridled appetite",:103 both "carnivorous beast" and "physical manifestation of pure libido." He was designed by Jim Henson and built by Dave Goelz. Debuted in The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence. :77
Pepe the King Prawn
- Performed by Bill Barretta
A scheming and sassy Latino king prawn. Introduced in Muppets Tonight, he and Seymour would often work as elevator operator and commissary cooks. His first theatrical film appearance was in Muppets from Space. Pepe became the spokesman of restaurant chain Long John Silver's in 2002.
Rizzo the Rat
- Performed by Peter Linz
A shy, soft-voiced human-like character who is an obsessive fan of the Muppets. Introduced in the film The Muppets (2011), Walter is the younger brother of Gary (Jason Segel) in the film. Together—along with Gary's girlfriend, Mary (Amy Adams)—the trio assist Kermit in reuniting the Muppets, as an effort to raise enough money to regain control of the Muppet Theater from oil tycoon Tex Richman (Chris Cooper). After his successful contributions to the telethon with his lauded whistling act, Walter is accepted as a member of the Muppet ensemble. Walter returns in Muppets Most Wanted (2014), where he is instrumental in discovering Constantine's intentions and in rescuing Kermit.
Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem
A rock house band consisting of Dr. Teeth, the gravelly-voiced leader and keyboard player of the band; Floyd Pepper, the cynical "hippie" bass player; Janice, the lead guitar player with a flower child personality; Zoot, the laid-back saxophone player; and Animal, the crazed drummer. The trumpet player Lips was a later addition to the band. Other characters to perform with the Electric Mayhem on occasion were Rowlf the Dog on piano on many different occasions, Rizzo the Rat on cymbals in the "Paul Simon" episode, Beaker on vocals in the "Diana Ross" episode, Scooter in The Muppet Movie, and Clifford in The Muppets at Walt Disney World.
Statler and Waldorf
- Statler: Performed by Richard Hunt (1976–1991), Jerry Nelson (1975, 1992–2003), Steve Whitmire (2002–2016), Peter Linz (2017–present)
- Waldorf: Performed by Jim Henson (1975–1990), Dave Goelz (1992–present)
Two elderly and grouchy gentlemen who constantly heckle the Muppets from the audience, specifically from an upper balcony box on The Muppet Show.:40 Statler and Waldorf were named after two New York City hotels; the Statler Hilton and the Waldorf-Astoria. They were designed and built by Bonnie Erickson. Debuted in The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence.:43–44
- Performed by Dave Goelz
An inventive, yet aloof scientist who frequently performs science experiments and invention demonstrations that typically go awry and has an "affable cluelessness" whenever his assistant, Beaker, is a victim of these presentations. Bunsen serves as a foil for Beaker.:85 Bunsen debuted during the first season of The Muppet Show and was joined by Beaker during the second season.:96–97
Bunsen's lab assistant who performs ill-fated experiments which often result in him getting seriously injured. He was designed by Jim Henson and built by Don Sahlin. Beaker debuted in the second season of The Muppet Show.:96–97
The Swedish Chef
- Performed by Jim Henson (1975–1990), David Rudman (1992), Bill Barretta (1996–present), Steve Whitmire (1999), Dave Goelz (1999), Victor Yerrid (2006)
A chef that speaks in mock Swedish. Based on the "standard finger puppet",:77 the Swedish Chef was originally a dual collaboration between Jim Henson and Frank Oz, who provided the hands. Oz would deliberately do unexpected things, like tossing chickens and juggling meat cleavers, that Henson would have to improvise through. He was designed by Michael K. Frith and built by Henson and Bonnie Erickson. Debuted in The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence:102
A patriotic bald eagle and the group's self-proclaimed delegator of conservative values. Critic Jordan Schildcrout describes Sam as "a cross between Uncle Sam and the bald eagle (which is the U.S. national bird and symbol) with a dash of Richard Nixon, [who] represents a conservative, nationalist Puritanism that makes him a snob and a prude." He was designed by Jim Henson and built by Don Sahlin. Debuted in The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence.:832 Most recently, Sam has appeared alongside Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and Gonzo in The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History at the Magic Kingdom theme park in Orlando, Florida.
Camilla the Chicken
Camilla the Chicken is the female chicken that is Gonzo's love interest on The Muppet Show. This chicken with hay fever was performed by veteran Muppet performer, Jerry Nelson, and is seen frequently on The Muppet Show, but also makes appearances on the various full-length Muppet movies such as The Muppets Take Manhattan where she hyperventilates after attacking a villain and needs "mouth-to-beak resuscitation", and The Muppet Movie as Gonzo's plumber girl and is in the back of the car for the whole movie. She also appeared in TV specials such as A Muppet Family Christmas where she is seduced by the turkey who was invited to the family gathering by the Swedish Chef.
Camilla appears as Gonzo's business partner in the 2011 film The Muppets, where she and her chicken companions also perform "Forget You" in the big Muppet reunion show. In The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, Gonzo mentions that he and Camilla are engaged, but this is never elaborated.
Bobo the Bear
- Performed by Bill Barretta
Bobo the Bear is an imposing, yet easily amused and befuddled brown bear. He is notable as a more realistic, but still anthropomorphic portrayal of a bear, compared to the stylized appearance of Fozzie Bear. Bobo has been in several Muppet films as a major character and others as just a background character. One of his appearances was on Muppets Tonight as the security guard, where he was a seemingly clever and lovable character, with his tagline of "Have a good day, sir!". His character in Muppets from Space was named Renfro. The character appeared in the television special A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa, appearing alongside Nathan Lane as a pair of airport security personnel.
In The Muppets, Bobo appears as a henchman of oil tycoon Tex Richman (Chris Cooper), who wants to demolish the Muppet Theater and drill for oil on the site. Along with fellow henchman Uncle Deadly, Bobo is not fully aware of the scheme that Richman is doing; at one point, he even turns to Uncle Deadly asking, "Hey...you think we're with the bad guys?". He was seen partaking in the finale version of "Life's a Happy Song" where he was seen with Tex Richman's showgirls.
In the television series The Muppets, he plays a key role as the stage manager for the talk show Up Late with Miss Piggy.
- Performed by Kevin Clash
When The Jim Henson Hour was canceled, Clifford was the only major character (beyond the classic Muppet Show characters) to make further appearances. In 1990, he appeared as a member of The Electric Mayhem in The Muppets at Walt Disney World television special. In that special, Clifford played glockenspiel, tambourine, and cowbells. Months later, he then appeared in The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson, in which he read one of the fan letters about Jim Henson’s death. Clifford also made appearances on The Arsenio Hall Show and VH1. He also co-starred with Kermit in a sing-along video and appeared in a music video.
In 1996, Clifford became the host of Muppets Tonight, since no one else wanted the job. In addition to being the host, his appearance was changed as well. Most notably, he had visible eyes instead of his sunglasses and wore a suit and necktie instead of a Hawaiian shirt. The puppet's head was also built slightly bigger. In 2001, at a Muppet fan convention, Kevin Clash revealed that he disliked the eyes and will not perform Clifford again unless he is wearing his sunglasses.
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- Voiced by Matt Vogel
'80s Robot is a 1980s-esque robot chauffeur and servant that debuted in The Muppets. In the film, he lives in Kermit's mansion, after the breakup of the Muppets. '80s Robot also functions as a chauffeur and uses his databanks and search engine to locate the Muppet troupe. Created by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, the character—as his name implies—resembles the many robots who dominated the toy, novelty, and pop culture landscape in the 1980s. He uses slang from the era and offers such beverages as Tab and New Coke. '80s Robot is said to bear an uncanny resemblance to Omnibot 2000, a robot toy made by Tomy in the 1980s. '80s Robot was designed by Legacy Effects. He subsequently reappears in Muppets Most Wanted.
Andy and Randy Pig
- Andy: Performed by Brian Henson (1994), Steve Whitmire (1996–2016), Bill Barretta (2016-present)
- Randy: Performed by Dave Goelz (1994–present)
They debuted in Muppet Classic Theater, as Andy and Randy, along with their "sister" Sandy (played by Miss Piggy), starred in a version of "Three Little Pigs". In Muppets Tonight the characters were established as Miss Piggy's nephews. Although they were hired as production assistants, their severe ineptitude caused the show more harm than help. When faced with any task, Andy and Randy would exclaim in unison, "This job's too hard!" In addition to "working" backstage, Andy and Randy were featured in the recurring sketches, "Bay of Pigswatch" and "The Eagle's Nest".
- Performed by Steve Whitmire
Bean Bunny is a small rabbit that first appeared in the HBO special The Tale of the Bunny Picnic as the main character. Bean Bunny also appears in Muppet Babies, the Disney-MGM Studios theme park attraction Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision 3D, The Jim Henson Hour, and has had cameos in most Muppet films after The Muppet Christmas Carol. He was designed by Diana Dawson-Hall and built by Rollie Krewson.
- Performed by Dave Goelz
Beauregard is the backstage janitor and stagehand of indeterminate species. Debuting in season three of The Muppet Show, Beauregard originally wore a gray jacket over his plaid shirt, but in the fourth season, he stopped wearing the jacket. It is revealed in The Muppet Show On Tour that he calls his mop "Belleregard." Beaker occasionally assists Beauregard with stagehand duties. He tries to be helpful, but his dimwitted efforts frequently result in disaster. His slow wit is often preyed upon by other characters who use him to their own purposes. He has a characteristic blink and often turns to the camera and says, "Right". Beauregard has superhuman strength, which is illustrated by his ability to effortlessly lift and carry around objects that are far too heavy to carry, such as an anvil, couch or piano.
Beauregard appeared on the stage in various sketches and skits, including an appearance in the Veterinarian's Hospital sketch in episode 501 with Gene Kelly. Other times, Beauregard appears accidentally on stage during productions, still working on the props until he realizes that he is intruding and must either rush out of sight or attempt to blend in with the action. However, Beauregard was more comfortable backstage. It was here that a bunch of rats convinced him that he was an honorary rat so that he would let them eat food out of the refrigerator. To his delight, they even elected him president. When Kermit the Frog delivered an ultimatum—either the rats go or Beauregard does—Beauregard heroically took the burden upon himself, offering to leave. However, Miss Piggy helped him realize how the rats were taking advantage of him, so he stayed.
Beauregard also appeared in The Great Muppet Caper in 1981, where he played a taxi driver. He brought Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo to the Happiness Hotel, and right through the front door, into the lobby. Beauregard makes an oft-quoted joke in The Great Muppet Caper—when Kermit says that they will catch the thieves red-handed, Beauregard asks, "What color are their hands now?" Beauregard's other major role was in the 1990 special The Muppets at Walt Disney World, where he dragged Miss Piggy onto a series of thrill rides.
He has also made cameo appearances in later projects, including The Muppets Take Manhattan, Muppets Tonight, The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, and It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie. In the book Of Muppets and Men, Dave Goelz explains that Beauregard was based on the clumsy Wendell Porcupine from Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas. The main reason why Bo never became a star was because the writers thought he was too passive; he did not desire anything. This made Beauregard difficult to write for. In The Muppets, Beauregard is found by Scooter living in the janitor's closet of the old Muppet Theater, seemingly unaware that The Muppet Show is no longer on the air. In Muppets Most Wanted, Beauregard is the engineer of the train that is used for the Muppets' world tour.
- Performed by Matt Vogel
Constantine is an evil Russian frog who is considered to be the "World's Most Dangerous Frog", Interpol's most wanted criminal, and a doppelgänger for Kermit. Appearing in Muppets Most Wanted, Constantine differs slightly from Kermit in physical appearance as his eye pupils line up differently, and he has a shorter neck collar, and a distinctive mole on the right side of his face. In the film, Constantine escapes a Siberian gulag becoming a fugitive from the main prison warden Nadya (Tina Fey). Constantine collaborates with Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) to conduct robberies all across Europe, framing the Muppets as culprits until the two of them are defeated and arrested by the police.
The filmmakers tasked in designing Constantine originally planned to have him be a paler shade of green than Kermit. However, early camera tests revealed that the color differed too greatly from Kermit's, clashing with the filmmakers' intentions of having Constantine bear a strong resemblance to him. Instead, Constantine's neck collar was made shorter and with wider spikes. Following a suggestion by director James Bobin, Matt Vogel based his performance on the Russian antagonist, General Orlov, in Octopussy.
- Performed by John Lovelady (1974, 1976–1977), Jerry Nelson (1976–2003), Rickey Boyd (2005), Matt Vogel (2008–present)
Crazy Harry is a pyrotechnician obsessed with explosives, who first appeared in The Muppets Valentine Show and later, The Muppet Show. Crazy Harry has black scruffy hair, an uncombed chin curtain beard and huge, egg-shaped baggy eyes. Early in season one, he played triangle with the pit band. He usually carried a plunger box which would activate a hidden charge, often to his victim's chagrin. Once he assisted Gonzo the Great in a cannonball-catching act but perhaps overdid it on the powder, which resulted in an absurdly stretched right arm for Gonzo. In episode 28 he provided the "Ra-ta-ta-ta-ta!" chorus of "Chanson d'Amour", happily blowing the stage and performers to smithereens with his little plunger and cackling. Harry also played solo backup for Jean Stapleton's performance of "I'm Just Wild About Harry", with a collection of plunger boxes forming an "explodaphone", providing explosions at the end of every verse of the song. In the show's first couple of seasons, Harry's appearances were a regular running gag. After those first seasons, the gag was shelved along with Crazy Harry for the remainder of the show's run.
Crazy Harry also appeared in The Muppet Movie, complete with his explosive equipment, as one of the many Muppets in the audience to whom Kermit the Frog screened the film. He appeared in The Muppets Take Manhattan as a wedding guest. In 2009, he appeared in the Muppets' music video "Bohemian Rhapsody". In 2011, he appeared in The Muppets, blasting his likeness onto Mount Rushmore—destroying Abraham Lincoln's face in the process—during the film's montage. In 2014, he appeared in a Toyota Highlander commercial, blasting Gonzo from a cannon, like a human cannonball, through the sunroof. In 2014, he appeared in Muppets Most Wanted, in which a criminal uses the noise of Harry's explosions to cover the sounds of a break-in.
For the commercials for the then new TNT cable channel, Crazy Harry would be featured at the end of the commercials, prefixing his use of his plunger with the question "Did someone say TNT?"—followed by a maniacal laugh after the explosion. In the Dresden Files novel Blood Rites, several references are made to the "Bolshevik Muppet with all the dynamite". The phrase "Bolshevik Muppet" was then used as a warning by Harry Dresden to his allies just prior to setting off a large explosion.
Johnny Fiama and Sal Minella
- Johnny Fiama: Performed by Bill Barretta
- Sal Minella: Performed by Jerry Nelson (1996), Brian Henson (1996–2005)
Johnny Fiama and Sal Minella are a duo, with Johnny modeled after Frank Sinatra and Sal as a vest-wearing chimpanzee and Johnny's bodyguard. Johnny and Sal made their first appearances in Muppets Tonight. Johnny Fiama's surname is an anagram of mafia. His name suggests Johnny Fontane, the Sinatra-like character in The Godfather. Johnny appears in Muppets from Space (1999), after the cancellation of Muppets Tonight where he is seen as being roommates with Sal. He has a quick scene with a few lines of dialogue at Gonzo's party; when Sal cuts the cake meant for Gonzo's family, and Gonzo gets mad, they pretend not to have done so and go around asking who cut the cake. Johnny was a part of the main cast for It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002) where he is seen exchanging gifts with Sal Minella in the opening while singing "Jingle Bells". He is also seen trying to cheer Kermit up, along with some of the more prominent Muppets. Johnny's next film role was The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005) with Sal yet again. The two have quite a large role (though not as large as the previous film) as one of many of the Wicked Witch's (Miss Piggy) flying monkeys, though they appear multiple other times as well.
Lew Zealand is a tan humanoid Muppet with dark hair, a mustache, a red knobby nose, a ruff and a red suit. His name is a portmanteau of New Zealand and Lew Grade, the distributor of The Muppet Show. Lew started out as a Whatnot before a permanent puppet was made of him. Lew has an obsession for throwing fish, which are unique in that they return to him once thrown—hence the term "boomerang fish". His catchphrase is: "I throw the fish away, and it comes back to me!" Lew appears on The Muppet Show from season three onward trying to promote his Boomerang Fish act. He is also able to play a fish organ (a line of fish that, when squeezed, each gargle a different note). The sketches he appears in usually end with the entire stage in an uproar. In the "Marisa Berenson" episode, he played a major part in that episode by using his timely boomerang fish to prevent Kermit the Frog from being tricked into a real marriage during Miss Piggy's "wedding sketch". In the "Leslie Uggams" episode, Lew Zealand told Leslie how to be a great boomerang fish thrower by saying that "Well, you've got to have sole. And if you can't get sole, get halibut." In the "Lynn Redgrave" episode, he played a member of the Merry Men in the Robin Hood sketch.
Lew Zealand has made cameo appearances in The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, and Muppets from Space. Lew Zealand has a supporting role in The Muppets, where after rejoining the group to help save the Muppet Theater from Tex Richman, Lew assists in kidnapping Jack Black to be the telethon's celebrity host. He later encourages Kermit not to give up on the Muppet Theater. Lew reappears in Muppets Most Wanted, joining the rest of the Muppets on their world tour.
The Whatnot head construction for Lew Zealand was done by Dave Goelz and Lew Zealand's character finishing was done by Amy van Gilder. Jerry Nelson considered Lew Zealand to be a tribute to Frankie Fontaine. Nelson stated in an interview, "He had that dopey voice, but he could sing beautifully. We never did that part of it on the show, but just the idea of this guy who had a boomerang fish act. There were some really ridiculous acts on the show, and that was one of the all-time dopey ones."
Link Hogthrob is a dim-witted pig possessing traits of a stereotypical leading man, with wavy blond hair, a manly cleft chin, and a high opinion of himself. In The Muppet Show, Link is best known as the captain of the Swinetrek on the recurring sketch Pigs in Space where his unbridled machismo is often a source of conflict with his co-star, First Mate Piggy. Unlike Dr. Julius Strangepork, whose role on The Muppet Show would be primarily relegated to the Pigs in Space sketches including "Wonder Pig", Link would feature regularly both in the show's onstage acts and backstage mayhem. Hogthrob's singing talents featured a number of times in solos ("I Talk to the Trees", "Sonny Boy"), duets ("Là ci darem la mano"), and group numbers ("Sea Chantey," "The Rhyming Song"). Starting in the show's third season, Link was also featured as the police chief in the recurring Bear on Patrol sketches, where his dimwittedness was often the source of physical trauma to patrol officer Fozzie Bear. Jim Henson's son, Brian Henson, recalled that his father often used Link's deep-throated, pompous voice when performing some stereotypically-masculine chore, such as carving the Thanksgiving turkey.
Link was later one of the few classic Muppet Show characters to be used regularly in the Muppet Central control room on The Jim Henson Hour. A notable appearance was in episode 107, in which he believes that he has a disease called Canadian Snout Fever, after reading a book of silly diseases and by coincidentally encountering a number of things related to the book's symptoms. Other notable appearances include episode 105 (in which he tests the Response-O-Matic, a device used to change television programs based on what the viewers want), and episode 112 (in which he appears in a sketch as a food critic at a restaurant).
Since Jim Henson's death, Link has mostly remained a non-speaking Muppet, although he has since appeared occasionally in silent cameos in such productions as The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, Muppets Tonight and Muppets from Space. His only speaking roles from 1990 to 2011 were in the video games Muppet RaceMania and Muppets Party Cruise, as voiced by Steve Whitmire. Whitmire performed Hogthrob for the 2011 movie The Muppets. The appearance featured the first speaking appearance of the puppet ever since Henson's death. Hogthrob appears in several scenes in the background and gets a moment in the spotlight as part of a barbershop quartet, singing "Smells Like Teen Spirit". In Muppets Most Wanted, Link returned to prominence for the first time in decades, having several lines of dialogue and his own scene with Usher.
An animated version of Link was seen in Pigs in Space segments in Little Muppet Monsters (voiced by Bob Bergen) and an episode of Muppet Babies. A walk-around version of Link was created for The Muppet Show on Tour. An action figure of Link was produced in 2003 as part of Series 4 of Palisades Toys' line of Muppet action figures.
Marvin Suggs is a flamboyant musician that wears a frilly, multicolored shirt. He is best known for playing an instrument known as a Muppaphone, a group of small, round, furry pink and orange Muppets that emit a tonal "ow" (voiced by Henson and Jerry Nelson) when Marvin strikes them on the head with his mallet. During season three of The Muppet Show, Suggs and the Muppaphone were part of an "explicit criticism of violence" with Suggs being explicitly punished for his violence in an episode where a witchdoctor turns Suggs' head into a Muppaphone. The act has been compared to the sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus called "Arthur Ewing and His Musical Mice". He was designed by Rollie Krewson. He appears in 2011's The Muppets.
The Muppet Newsman
- Performed by Jim Henson (1976–1990), Jerry Nelson (1996), Brian Henson (2001–2003), Steve Whitmire (2008–2016), Eric Jacobson (2017–present)
The Muppet Newsman is the bespectacled newsman for The Muppet Show, who tries to deliver the news with accuracy, but is visibly flummoxed on camera by the day's latest bizarre story or interview. Interviews were a more common part of the Muppet News Flash segments in its first season, where the interviewees were portrayed by the show's guest star. From the second season onward, he would almost invariably suffer some calamity related to the story, such as having items dropped on his head or the newsroom destroyed.
Pops is an elderly doorman at the Muppet Theater in The Muppet Show. He greeted the week's guest star in every episode of the fifth season. He also had a major part as the innkeeper of the Happiness Hotel in The Great Muppet Caper. Since then, he has only made a couple of cameo appearances.
Robin the Frog
Robin the Frog is Kermit's young, sweet-voiced nephew. He has appeared in most Muppet productions since The Muppet Show (but is absent in Muppets Tonight). He loves to spend time with his Uncle Kermit, his best friend Sweetums, and his boys' club, the Frog Scouts. Robin first appeared in The Frog Prince as Sir Robin the Brave. One of his most famous moments was singing "Halfway Down the Stairs", a song based on a poem by Winnie the Pooh creator A. A. Milne. He also has an important role in episode 212 of The Muppet Show, when he was feeling sad for being so small until the guest star Bernadette Peters and all Robin's Muppet friends sing the song "Just One Person" to cheer him up. In the animated Muppet Babies series, Robin appeared as a tadpole in a fish bowl, as all the characters were younger versions of their live-action selves, and was said to be the son of Kermit's (unnamed and unseen) big sister.
Robin's roles in the Muppet movies varied from cameos to large roles, though he significantly has not appeared in a large amount of Muppet movies. In The Muppet Movie (1979), he had a small role at the beginning of the movie at the film screening where he asks Kermit if the movie is about how the Muppets got started. He also had a few other quick scenes and is with the other Muppets in the finale. In the TV special John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together (1979) Robin helps sing many of the Christmas Carols with the other Muppets and John Denver. In the TV movie Rocky Mountain Holiday (1982) Robin plays a more major role as he tries to help out as a Frog Scout and bonds with John Denver through the process. In The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984), he only appeared in the background at the wedding.
Robin played the role of Tiny Tim in The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), his largest role to date. His next appearance was in the direct-to-video Muppet Classic Theater (1994) where he appeared in "The Emperor's New Clothes" sketch in a minimal role, realizing Fozzie (the emperor) was not wearing clothes. He had a quick cameo (with dialogue) in Muppets From Space (1999) in the boarding house. His final role with Jerry Nelson as his performer was in 2002's It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, which was arguably his second-largest role to date; he appears in the Muppet Theater in a few scenes and in the Moulin Scrooge scene as the green fairy. After a five-year absence, Robin returned in A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa, performed by Matt Vogel. He wore his Tiny Tim attire in a 2009 appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and made a non-speaking cameo appearance in the film The Muppets. Robin, along with his Uncle Kermit, appeared again on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to sing "When the River Meets the Sea" on December 23, 2011, once again, performed by Matt Vogel. He also made a brief speaking cameo in 2014's Muppets Most Wanted, again performed by Vogel. Robin (voiced by Vogel) is the "guest star" of the February 23, 2016 episode of The Muppets titled "Little Green Lie". In the episode, Kermit and Miss Piggy pretend to still be in a relationship so as not to upset Robin, whose parents are divorcing.
- Performed by Carl Banas (1971), Richard Hunt (1976–1991), John Henson (1991, 1996–2005), Noel MacNeal (2008), Matt Vogel (2009–present)
Sweetums is a very large, imposing and hairy ogre about nine feet tall. Despite appearing physically intimidating, he is often depicted as friendly and harmless. Sweetums has very thick blondish-brown hair all over his body. He has a very large lower jaw, similar to a bulldog, which juts out, revealing two pointy teeth. He has thick, brown eyebrows over his large yellow eyes and large nose. He often wears a shabby, burlap-like brown shirt. Many are fooled by his intimidating appearance, but he is very nice and humble, hence his name, "Sweetums".
Sweetums first appeared on the television special The Frog Prince (based on the story of the same name) in 1971 as the henchman of a full-bodied Taminella Ginderfall (who was previously seen in the pilots to Tales of the Tinkerdee and The Land of Tinkerdee). There he tried to eat the hero, played by Kermit's nephew Robin. He later performed a duet with Robin and the two appeared together on merchandise as best friends. During his first appearance, Sweetums was performed by Muppeteer Jerry Nelson and voiced by voice veteran Carl Banas, but soon after, Richard Hunt made the character his own. Hunt gave life to Sweetums throughout the run of The Muppet Show and the first two Muppet movies. During the making of Muppet*Vision 3D, when Hunt's health deteriorated, Muppet creator Jim Henson's son, John Henson, did the puppetry, while Hunt did the voice. After Richard Hunt died, John Henson eventually took over both the voice and puppetry.
Sweetums also played a car jack in a used-car lot in The Muppet Movie where a salesman introduced him as his Jack. When called "Jack" by Kermit, he replied, "Jack not name; jack job!". After Kermit and his friends ask him if he wants to go to Hollywood with them, he shouts "Hollywood!" repeatedly and runs away, only to come back with his suitcase shortly after the group has left. He pursues the group for the duration of the movie, finally making it to Hollywood, bursting through the movie screen, shouting "I made it!!". There is an homage to this gag in The Muppets. He can also be seen in The Great Muppet Caper, Muppet Treasure Island, Muppets from Space, The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, and various other Muppet specials. Sweetums was performed by Matt Vogel in 2011's The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted. The character also appears at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios in Muppet*Vision 3D. He is the only Muppet to appear "live" in the show. All other Muppets that appear in the theater are audio-animatronics. The character was seen in an episode of Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony. In the 2015 TV series, Sweetums is in charge of the cue cards for the show.
Uncle Deadly is a sinister-looking, blue dragon-like monster who lurks around the Muppet Theater. He was originally performed by Jerry Nelson on The Muppet Show. In his first full part on the show, in episode 121, he was known as the "Phantom of The Muppet Show". Although he made his first appearance alongside Vincent Price on episode 119 of The Muppet Show, Uncle Deadly did not receive his proper introduction until episode 121. One by one, the Muppets tell Kermit the Frog that they have seen a phantom, but Kermit refuses to believe them until he sees Uncle Deadly with his own eyes. Once revealed, Uncle Deadly explains that he used to perform at the Muppet Theater, where he played Othello until he was killed...by the critics. Uncle Deadly sang a handful of songs on the show, including singing a bar of "You're Just in Love" with Ethel Merman and "Sheik of Araby", and performed in the Muppet Melodrama sketches with Miss Piggy and Wayne in season three. Although he did not have a major role in any of the Henson-helmed Muppet movies, Uncle Deadly did appear in the final group scenes at the end of The Muppet Movie and The Muppets Take Manhattan. He also appeared on The Tonight Show in 1979 when Kermit hosted.
In the December 2000 issue of the Writers Guild magazine Written By, which featured interviews with Muppet writers Jim Lewis, Kirk Thatcher and John Derevlany, it was mentioned that one of the projects Thatcher had in development was a Goosebumps-type TV show called Uncle Deadly's House of Badness. The project never got off the ground, and it is unknown if a pilot was filmed or even if a script was completed.
Uncle Deadly made his first appearance in over 20 years in The Muppets, in which he is voiced by Matt Vogel. He and Bobo the Bear are the henchmen of oil tycoon Tex Richman (Chris Cooper), who wants to demolish the Muppet Theater and drill for oil on the site. As Richman tries repeatedly to stop the Muppets from raising the funds to buy the theater, Deadly realizes his mistake and decides he too is a Muppet and not a Moopet. He forces Richman off the theater roof before he can cut the wires on the transmission tower and joins the group. Uncle Deadly is seen during the finale version of "Life's a Happy Song".
Uncle Deadly later appears in Muppets Most Wanted as the organist at Miss Piggy's wedding, performed again by Vogel.
In the 2015 TV series, Uncle Deadly is Miss Piggy's wardrobe supervisor and plays a featured part in the show.
On the Muppets' YouTube page, Uncle Deadly is the host of its "Muppet Thought of the Week" segment where he also contributed some thoughts.
- Not to be confused with the Fraggles from Fraggle Rock.
Frackles are a classification of Muppet monsters. They first appeared in a television special called The Great Santa Claus Switch. They would then appear in later franchises, such as The Muppet Show. Characteristics of a Frackle include fur and toothy beaks. They are normally small in stature, but there are exceptions. The Frackles became nameless, utility characters without personalities. They often changed appearance, performer, name and gender depending on the sketch and show. Gonzo originated as a Frackle. He appeared as a Frackle living in a cigar box in The Great Santa Claus Switch.
The Muppet version of the Penguins are often seen in various Muppet productions.
While most of them are nameless, there had been some known Penguins that were named:
- Gloria Estefan Penguin (performed by Peter Linz) – A Magellanic penguin chick who has a fondness for drinking martinis that debuts in the TV series The Muppets. He was adopted by Miss Piggy during her trip to Argentina and quickly forms a bond with Uncle Deadly.
- Nicky Napoleon (performed by James Kroupa) - A penguin from Muppet*Vision 3D and Little Muppet Monsters who is the leader of the band Nicky Napoleon and his Emperor Penguins.
- Winky Pinkerton (performed by Steve Whitmire in the "Loretta Lynn" episode) - A penguin who does bird impressions and is the first known Penguin to appear in The Muppet Show before the generic Penguins came into view. He was built by Brian Henson.
The Whatnots are Muppets extras designed with blank heads and customizable faces, clothes, and hair that can be customized for different roles. Similar generic puppets used for Sesame Street are known as Anything Muppets. The characters of Scooter, Lew Zealand, and Marvin Suggs were originally created using Whatnot puppets before permanent puppets were made for them. The Muppet Whatnot Workshop at FAO Schwarz opened in 2008, which allowed people to purchase a custom Whatnot with chosen clothes and facial features. Whatnot kits were later sold through Toys 'R' Us after the chain acquired FAO Schwarz.
|Afghan Hound||Louise Gold, Richard Hunt, Kathryn Mullen, Alice Dinnean||An Afghan Hound who first appeared in episode 214 of The Muppet Show.|
|Angel Marie||Bill Barretta, John Kennedy, Peter Linz, Tyler Bunch||An ugly green hideous monster who first appeared in Muppet Treasure Island.|
|Annie Sue||Louise Gold||A young female pig who is Miss Piggy's innocent rival. She first appeared in episode 214 of The Muppet Show.|
|Astoria||Steve Whitmire||Is the wife of Waldorf who appeared just once on The Muppet Show, in episode 413.|
|Beautiful Day Monster||Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Caroll Spinney, Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson, Dan Redican, Kevin Clash, Bill Barretta, David Rudman||A bluish-gray monster that debuted on The Ed Sullivan Show and appeared on Sesame Street.|
|Behemoth||Dave Goelz, Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson, David Rudman, Bill Barretta||A large full-bodied orange monster who is one of the Muppets who eat other Muppets.|
|Big Mean Carl||Bill Barretta||A shaggy horned-monster who enjoys consuming objects, other Muppets, normal animals, and, very rarely, even humans. He appeared as different occupations in Muppets Tonight. In the TV series The Muppets, Carl acts as the receptionist at the studio where Up Late with Miss Piggy is filmed. Besides being a Francophile, Big Mean Carl has a similar-looking sister named Big Mean Carla who is also carnivorous and in the real estate business.|
|Bobby Benson||Richard Hunt, David Rudman||Nuanced musician and director of the "baby band", who first appeared in episode 319 of The Muppet Show.|
|Bubba the Rat||Bill Barretta||A tough-talking rat.|
|Butch||Jim Henson||A Bengal tiger.|
|Chip||Gord Robertson, Dave Goelz||A nerdy technician who first appeared on The Jim Henson Hour where he was the technician of Gorilla Television. In the TV series The Muppets, Chip worked as the IT Technician for Up Late with Miss Piggy.|
|Denise||Julianne Buescher||A pig who is the head of ABC's marketing department. She is Kermit's girlfriend and love interest in The Muppets.|
|Doglion||Various performers||A large monster with a dog-like face that is often seen with Sweetums.|
|Dr. Julius Strangepork||Jerry Nelson, Matt Vogel||A pig that appears as a chief science officer in the "Pigs in Space" sketches on The Muppet Show.|
|Dr. Phil Van Neuter||Brian Henson||A mad scientist and veterinarian who is the host of the Muppets Tonight sketch "Tales from the Vet".|
|Droop||Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, Eren Ozker, Jim Henson, Richard Hunt, Peter Linz||A green monster with a long pointy nose and bird-like feet. Droop originated in The Great Santa Claus Switch where he was called Snivelly.|
|Emily Bear||Jerry Nelson||Fozzie Bear's elderly mother. Debuted in episode 216 of The Muppet Show.|
|Fletcher Bird||Graham Fletcher (performer), Steve Whitmire (voice)||A large multi-colored dancing bird.|
|Foo-Foo||Steve Whitmire||Miss Piggy's white Bichon Frisé dog, who is portrayed by both a puppet and a real dog. Debuted in episode 404 of The Muppet Show.|
|George the Janitor||Frank Oz, Richard Hunt, Steve Whitmire||A crusty old custodian on The Muppet Show who has no affection for anyone or anything except his mop.|
|Gorgon Heap||Various performers||A purple Muppet monster who is one of the Muppets who eat other Muppets. His appearance has shifted between a live-hand puppet form and a full-bodied puppet form.|
|Howard Tubman||Bill Barretta||A rich food-loving pig. His puppet was previously used for one of the native pigs from Muppet Treasure Island. Howard Tubman also makes a cameo as a guest at Miss Piggy's wedding in Muppets Most Wanted. In the season one finale of The Muppets, Howard Tubman hooked Scooter up with some acts that he represents.|
|Joe the Legal Weasel||Peter Linz||A weasel who works as the Muppets' lawyer. He is a recycled version of one of the Prairie Dog puppets from The Muppet Show.|
|Louis Kazagger||Jerry Nelson||A sports commentator.|
|Bip Bippadotta||Jim Henson, Bill Barretta||A purple, wild orange-haired Muppet in a green tunic, often paired with the Snowths. He is notable for performing "Mah Nà Mah Nà".|
|Mary Louise||Various performers||A little girl Whatnot with blonde hair. She made frequent appearances on The Muppet Show.|
|Mean Mama||Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Jim Henson, Jerry Nelson, Louise Gold||A large brown voracious monster. Her appearance has shifted between a live-hand puppet form and a full-bodied puppet form.|
|Mildred Huxtetter||Richard Hunt, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Louise Gold||An aristocratic and educated purple, beak-nosed woman.|
|The Moopets||Miss Poogy: David Rudman
Kermoot: Dave Goelz
Foozie Bear: Tyler Bunch
Janooce: Matt Vogel
Roowlf the Dog: Matt Vogel
Animool: Dave Grohl
|A street-themed Muppet tribute band based at a casino in Reno. It consists of Miss Poogy, Kermoot, Foozie Bear, Janooce, Roowlf the Dog, and Animool (a man dressed as Animal).|
|Mulch||Jerry Nelson (1980s)
Kevin Clash (1990s)
|A hunchbacked monster.|
|The Mutations||Various performers||A trio of full-bodied dancing purple monsters who are a parody of The Temptations.|
|Nigel||Brian Henson||A light green monster with a long pointy nose who serves as the stressed-out director of Muppets Tonight.|
|Mr. Poodlepants||Steve Whitmire||An eccentric fashion designer who first appeared on Muppets Tonight.|
|Seymour||Brian Henson||An elephant who was paired with Pepe on Muppets Tonight, working as an elevator operator and commissary cook.|
|Snowths||Frank Oz, Peter Linz, Matt Vogel, Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson||Two furry pink, tube-mouthed, horned creatures that assist Bip Bippadotta in his song, Mah'nà Mah'nà.|
|Sopwith the Camel||Jerry Nelson||A full-bodied Bactrian camel.|
|Splurge||Frank Oz||A large purple monster who is the first full-bodied Muppet. He debuted in Hey, Cinderella!|
|Sundance||Various performers||A lion|
|Thog||Jerry Nelson, Tyler Bunch||A large, blue full-bodied monster with a sweet disposition who first appeared in The Great Santa Claus Switch.|
|Timmy Monster||Jim Henson, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire||A large green monster.|
|Waldo C. Graphic||Steve Whitmire||A computer-generated Muppet, appearing in Muppet*Vision 3D and The Jim Henson Hour.|
|Wayne and Wanda||Wayne: Richard Hunt, David Rudman
Wanda: Eren Ozker, Kathryn Mullen, Alice Dinnean, Julianne Buescher
|A married pair of snobby singers with a mutual inability to get past the first verse of any song that they sing.|
|Yolanda Rat||Karen Prell, Camille Bonora, Alice Dinnean, Julianne Buescher||A female rat and friend of Rizzo's who first appeared in The Muppets Take Manhattan.|
|Yorick||Jim Henson (1954-1975, 1986)||A talking purple skull created in the early days of the Muppets. Considered to be the first Muppet Monster, he often served as a foil to Kermit.|
- List of Sesame Street Muppets
- List of Fraggle Rock characters
- List of Bear in the Big Blue House Characters
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- Ask Henson, Question #38