What are the Muppets?
April 20, 2017 7:30 AM   Subscribe

By which I mean, in the Jim Henson Universe, are there any hints/explanations about how Muppets occur?

Kermit, for example, is a frog, as is his nephew. But is he an entirely separate species from what you might call "normal" frogs? Is he descended from our frogs? Is he some sort of mutation? And then there's Gonzo, who we see in his film is in fact an Alien, but they are also Muppets?!

Many thanks for your attention to this important question.
posted by threetwentytwo to Media & Arts (66 answers total) 104 users marked this as a favorite
 


Can't find the link, but in season 1 of the Muppet Show, the guest star (Jim Nabors?) asks Miss Piggy what sign she was born under. I wasn't born under a sign, I was born over a sign, she said. Becker's Butcher Shop. We moved as soon as we could.
posted by Melismata at 7:50 AM on April 20 [28 favorites]


And Elmo, and Cookie, and others are "monsters," whatever that means in the Henson universe. They are, to some apparent extent, different breeds, or species: Elmo says the "red monsters," like himself are ticklish.

I presume Abby is an actual fairy, so we've got monsters, magical beings, anthropomorphic frogs, etc. We may have all sorts of origins to deal with.

I'm cancelling my meetings for the rest of the day.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:53 AM on April 20 [96 favorites]


I can't speak to their origins, but they were clearly talking animal (or whatever) babies, as demonstrated by the old family movie in the muppet christmas special as well as the old cartoon "Muppet Babies". Since they were all together as babies despite their different species etc. that speaks to them all having a similar origin.

However, I feel like there is a lot of conflicting "origins" information in the films vs. the tv shows vs. the specials vs. the cartoons. In some cases they meet as adults, in others they were friends as children/infants.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 7:57 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


The closest that this comes to being explored in the canon, I think, is 2011's "The Muppets," which focuses on Walter, a muppet human, and his fully human brother Gary.

A big part of the movie is Walter's (very slow) dawning realization that he may in fact be a muppet. The movie has a lot of fun with how obvious Walter's muppetness is to us and how oblivious he and Gary are to it, so it's hard to draw strong conclusions about what the actual situation and perception is in the Muppetverse. It's never addressed whether Walter is adopted, but I think it might be safe to say that it's suggested as at least plausible that muppets and non-muppets can be related by blood (by thread?). Perhaps muppetness is a genetic mutation to which both humans and animals are susceptible?
posted by 256 at 8:02 AM on April 20 [21 favorites]


It hasn't opened yet, but I do know that there's a Kickstarter for a Jim Henson Exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image. Said exhibition may have some answers.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 8:06 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Man or Muppet?
posted by 256 at 8:08 AM on April 20 [8 favorites]


In the Muppet Movie screen tests there is some rumination on this topic (about 5:00 or so) but I don't think any conclusion is reached. Kermit seems to know the deal, though.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:10 AM on April 20 [7 favorites]


I don't think there's any in-universe explanation for Muppetism (such as Gary's), but if you're willing to put up with my personal head-canon, I always chalked up the difference between Muppet people and creatures and the "real" versions thereof to being one of physical and mental presence; basically any person or creature can manifest themselves as a Muppet through sheer force of personality. Comedians and character actors possess this ability in abundance, although seemingly "normal" people can unwittingly achieve a level of Muppetism as well.

If we imagine a scale going from "0% Muppet" to "100% Muppet", then we can place individual beings on a continuum. For instance, Kermit the Frog and most of regular Muppet Show cast are a 100%, whereas your high school vice-principal would be a 0%. More examples off the top of my head:

Jim Carrey: 79% (obviously)
Swedish Chef: 87% (human hands)
Wilford Brimley: 32% (that mustache!)
The McElroy Brothers: 56% (I mean, look at them.)
Mitt Romney: 13% (distant relation to Guy Smiley?)

Hope this helps!
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:10 AM on April 20 [83 favorites]


This is not strictly in the Muppeverse, but an interesting case to consider is Kenneth Parcell, NBC page. Under the gaze of an HD camera, he appears to have muppetlike characteristics, and he also appears to be able to (or is forced to?) view others as muppets.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:27 AM on April 20 [23 favorites]


To make things even more complicated, it is apparently possible to begin as a Muppet and somehow transform into a flesh-and-blood version of your species. See Arnie the Alligator in The Muppet Movie vs. Arnie the Alligator in Kermit's Swamp Years.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:36 AM on April 20 [7 favorites]


Also, I can't find an example right now but I swear that at least once a human host of the Muppet Show encountered a Muppet version of themselves, which has creepy implications.

I suspect a Muppet is meant to be an artificial creature animated by a human-like spirit, like a golem made of felt. Which makes them close to what Muppets are out-of-universe, felt bodies animated by human hands and voices. After all, real frogs, pigs, and bears can't talk or reason the way Muppets do; Muppets only consider themselves those species because of how their bodies have been assembled. And they apparently are considered to have the rights of humans, as they can own property and hold down jobs. The big questions are whether their animating spirits were ever in possession of a human body, and whether a Muppet can truly be killed since its body is made of normally inanimate material.
posted by ejs at 8:47 AM on April 20 [27 favorites]


I always viewed them as reincarnations of people I knew. For example, Grouch is my uncle Joe. If you knew Joe and watch Sesame Street, there is no doubt that they are in soul sync.
posted by AugustWest at 8:54 AM on April 20 [4 favorites]


I go with Strange Interlude's theory; I have long said that I am probably 50% Muppet, and I would state that Tom Baker of Doctor Who fame is about 90%.
posted by The otter lady at 9:01 AM on April 20 [11 favorites]


Adding more confusion/fuel to the fire:

In Muppet Family Christmas Doc ends up at Mrs. Bear's house with "my dog, Sprocket" (a dog muppet who doesn't speak english and is "owned" by a human). Sprocket and Rowlf (a dog muppet who DOES speak english and isn't owned) have a conversation, so they at least share a common language. "Bark bark! Yeah, woof woof!"
posted by specialagentwebb at 9:10 AM on April 20 [26 favorites]


I'd argue that a muppet origin story is unthinkable. I don’t just mean that I’d hate it (though I would, CAN YOU IMAGINE A RETCON LUCAS VERSION WITH MUPPICHLORIANS), but a universe in which there’s some sort of origin story for them isn’t the universe they inhabit. They exist as entertainers and seem to really know it--with the intentional exception of Walter in the Segel movie, every muppet is ready to look at the camera and make a wisecrack about the show’s writers, or to don a different outfit and appear just as earnestly in the new reality of a different sketch.

[Relatedly, maybe: Fraggle Rock doesn’t have that same self-awareness, and in that universe an origin story seems possible and is even hinted at, IIRC--Fraggles and Doozers share a common ancestor & diverged according to their all-work or all-play nature.]
posted by miles per flower at 9:20 AM on April 20 [24 favorites]


I think it is safe to say that there is a continuum of Muppality. On one end we have very human Muppets (Walter, Guy Smiley, Prairie Dawn). On the other end, we have what I will call very beast-like Muppets (Barkley, Camilla, Two-Headed Monster). The "beast" that they tend towards can be a specific animal, or just a generic monster. You could even argue that there are "human beast-like" Muppets (Beaker, for example). Many Muppets fall somewhere near the middle of the continuum (Rowlf, Fozzie, Big Bird) though there are Muppets that are very near to one end or the other without being fully human or fully beast (Miss Piggy is probably 96% human, while Animal is almost completely beast, but not quite). I think the relationship between Muppets at different parts of the continuum is an imortant one to be answered as we work toward a Unified Theory of Muppetism.

This is very important work we are doing here, everyone. Thank you, threetwentytwo.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:58 AM on April 20 [25 favorites]


I think we might have enough here to write up an unofficial White Wolf roleplaying sourcebook for Muppet: The Flailing.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:08 AM on April 20 [13 favorites]


The "Jim Henson Universe" such as it is does not have a consistent answer for this or any other question (such as when/how the Muppets met each other) for a very simple reason. Everything we think of as Muppet canon is actually just films and TV shows in which the real Muppets play fictionalized versions of themselves. The Muppets are real.

What Fozzie says in the screen test video linked above is the best answer, in the end: "I am what I am."

(He also says to Kermit, "I believe in you.")
posted by lampoil at 10:46 AM on April 20 [27 favorites]


Everything we think of as Muppet canon is actually just films and TV shows in which the real Muppets play fictionalized versions of themselves. The Muppets are real.
I'm not sure this is quite accurate. Most of the Muppet canon is fictional, but The Muppet Movie is a dramatized recreation of the story of how the Muppets came together in the first place and got the "standard rich and famous" contract that allowed them to make the fictional stories, and The Muppets is likewise non-fiction (in universe) that follows up on that story. Kermit's Swamp Years, a sort of Muppet Movie prequel, is also non-fiction in the Muppet Universe. There may be other examples I am not thinking of. But Muppet Babies, for example, is completely fictional, since we know from TMM that those characters didn't meet until they were adults. The Muppet Show I am less clear on. Is it all fiction, a la 30 Rock, or intended to show the actual lives of the Muppets as they put on a variety show?

There are some questions of Muppet ontology that resist easy answers. But even if TMM, TM, and KSY are the only purely non-fictional parts of the Muppet canon, we are still left with the vexing Arnie the Alligator question.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:09 AM on April 20 [22 favorites]


Everyone this all very important but what are we to make of the Snuffalupagus?
posted by Tevin at 11:24 AM on April 20 [7 favorites]


Snuffy is real.
posted by maryr at 11:25 AM on April 20 [26 favorites]


Are there any other Muppet movies/properties that have as much cross-universe interaction as Muppet Family Christmas? The Muppets frequently appear on Sesame Street, but Muppet Family Christmas fully integrates the Fraggles into that reality by both the appearance of Doc AND by Robin's accidental discovery of a Fraggle Hole in Mrs. Bear's basement. And there's a clip of (non-animated) Muppet Babies. AND Jim Henson appears at the end.

It is also, by far, the best Muppet movie. Careful of the icy patch.
posted by maryr at 11:30 AM on April 20 [7 favorites]


Just popping in to say that my beloved has pointed out that in a reasonably early episode of the Muppets, Rowlf sings "What a Wonderful World" to an ordinary puppy. Which he suggests means that at the very least, Rowlf identifies with ordinary dogs.
posted by threetwentytwo at 11:49 AM on April 20 [20 favorites]




This conversation reminds me of an in-depth conversation held at A List of Things Thrown Five Minutes Ago (from 2010) which sought to explain the Grand Unified Muppet Theory:

"Much as The Muppet Movie is a movie-within-a-movie about how the Muppets received The Standard Rich & Famous Contract and became stars (including towards its end the newly-famous Muppets filming an origins film), The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Great Muppet Caper and all the other Muppet films should be seen as the other films the now-famous Muppet actors are making within the universe of the first film. In other words, the first film is a story about the "real" Muppets becoming actors, and the rest are the films those actors have made -- with Fozzie Bear playing a character named "Fozzie Bear," etc. It explains, for example, how the "Kermit" and "Miss Piggy" characters can marry (in a musical within a movie, but for "real") at the end of Manhattan yet this marriage isn't acknowledged in subsequent films. These are the movies which Lew Lord of Worldwide Pictures signed them to make."

Under the Grand Unified Muppet Theory, The Muppet Show is à la 30 Rock; Kermit is playing Kermit the Frog, an entertainer.

This conversation was later updated after Bill Prady essentially confirmed the theory.

None of this, however, explains how Muppets become, uh, muppets.
posted by China Grover at 11:58 AM on April 20 [18 favorites]


I thought they were created by the nest egg in order to collect children’s life force.

No, you're thinking of incubators.
posted by maryr at 12:03 PM on April 20


This thread gives me some feels, as I have some felt in this game: My parents both worked for Children’s Television Workshop in the 70s & 80s, and a lot of their friends & drinking buddies were writers & crew from Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. (One dude was literally just called “Monster.”) AND there were a lot of explosive / recreational chemicals and expensive heavy machinery around the house in my largely unsupervised youth. AND my mom, while not a chef, was in fact Swedish and a faintly ridiculous cook with a Childesque tic of grandly explaining what she was chopping while she was chopping it. Would a child with such a pedigree and chance for comic mishap / acquisition of muppety superpowers end up on the muppety end of the continuum?

Short answer: Yup. There’s a lot of ways to tell, but the easiest to spot is that whenever I hear a disembodied voice through a loudspeaker I look up at the ceiling and then to all the corners of the room like they did at the end of every Veterinarian’s Hospital sketch, trying to figure out where the voice is coming from. I totally can’t help it.

Sadly, my experience doesn’t provide clues as to whether muppetry operates along the lines of Lamarckian inheritance or Mendelian genetics or maybe some sort of epigentic switch; as a controlled experiment it’s bork bork borked.
posted by miles per flower at 1:11 PM on April 20 [83 favorites]


Also, I can't find an example right now but I swear that at least once a human host of the Muppet Show encountered a Muppet version of themselves, which has creepy implications.

This definitely happened to Cee Lo Green.
(In fairness, Cee Lo was already about 75% muppet to start with)
posted by firechicago at 1:29 PM on April 20 [3 favorites]


I can't help with origins, but I know Rowlf stared in his own show in the mid 60's and had some country and western singer, sidekick named Jimmy Dean. I don't know why the show was named after the sidekick or if Rowlf owns a piece of the sausage business.
posted by ridgerunner at 4:13 PM on April 20 [3 favorites]


Not only can a Muppet and a Human be brothers, as Walter and Gary are, but a Muppet frog and a Muppet bear can be identical twins.


I don't know if this helps anything.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:33 PM on April 20 [12 favorites]


Gonzo is an alien, at least according to Muppets from Space, so whatever Muppet-making phenomenon there is exists across the known universe. In fact, given the evidence of, say, the Star Wars movies, we Earth humans are among the least Muppet-filled species known.
posted by Rush-That-Speaks at 6:52 PM on April 20 [2 favorites]


More examples off the top of my head:

Jim Carrey: 79% (obviously)
Swedish Chef: 87% (human hands)
Wilford Brimley: 32% (that mustache!)
The McElroy Brothers: 56% (I mean, look at them yt .)
Mitt Romney: 13% (distant relation to Guy Smiley?)


You forgot Peter Sagal. I invite all of Metafilter to join me in the opinion that NPR's Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me is hosted by a Muppet.

I've seen Peter Sagal in person (during an Ask Me Another taping, no less), and it's no less true.
posted by deludingmyself at 7:48 PM on April 20 [8 favorites]


a universe in which there’s some sort of origin story for them isn’t the universe they inhabit.

Everything we think of as Muppet canon is actually just films and TV shows in which the real Muppets play fictionalized versions of themselves. The Muppets are real.


Yep, both true. The Muppets are totally predicated on the idea that they are unremarkable part of reality. They just found a home at the Magic Store.
posted by Miko at 9:11 PM on April 20 [2 favorites]


I just assume Muppets are another race of people. Pretty much like they're treated in Avenue Q. "We're both MONSTERS, eh? Do we all LOOK THE SAME TO YOU?"
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:15 PM on April 20 [2 favorites]


Pretty sure Homer Simpson gave Lisa the definitive answer to this question in "A Fish Called Selma":
Lisa: Dad, what's a muppet?
Homer: Well, it's not quite a mop, and it's not quite a puppet, but
man... [laughs] So to answer your question I don't know.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYmhjnIUUbc
posted by mostlymuppet at 6:36 AM on April 21 [8 favorites]


I would like to submit Sean Paul for human Muppet status. "You can do it all by yo self!"
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:50 AM on April 21


Oh my god and by Sean Paul (who I had to search to find that song) I meant Li'l Jon, as I realized as soon as I walked away. Can't multitask and talk Muppets.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:06 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Wait! WAIT!

WHAT IS SWEETUMS THEN? (JS link tool isn't working and I need to shower for work, so, I present this for your evaluation.)

http://i.imgur.com/5ipMjDq.jpg
posted by Samizdata at 9:52 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Sweetums is far more muppet than the Swedish Chef, who has human hands.
posted by maryr at 10:15 AM on April 21




Factoid: In Sesame Street Episode 3307 we are presented with direct evidence that Muppet worms are viviparous, and that Muppet Honkers are oviparous.
posted by Kabanos at 11:02 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Another interesting thing to consider is that there are Muppet plants. There is Stinky the stinkweed, along with other talking Muppet trees and vegetables. And then interesting hybrids like Anderson Cucumber, who is more human than other plants, yet more plant-like than monster.
posted by Kabanos at 11:19 AM on April 21 [2 favorites]


Just popping in to say that my beloved has pointed out that in a reasonably early episode of the Muppets, Rowlf sings "What a Wonderful World" to an ordinary puppy. Which he suggests means that at the very least, Rowlf identifies with ordinary dogs.

This scene from the Muppet Caper, with Rolf "working in management, surrounded by friends", further blurs the line between Muppet and Dog.
posted by Kabanos at 12:57 PM on April 21 [4 favorites]




There was a Muppets comic a couple of years ago; upon being prodded for what he was, Gonzo admitted only that he was (spoiler) an artist.
posted by Pronoiac at 8:13 PM on April 21


The reason why the Sesame Muppets and the Manhattan Muppets are different;

It's generally acknowledged that Sesame St is a part of New York City or its surrounds. This is because Kermit was traumatised somewhat during the taking of Manhattan. He decided to create a refuge where he could escape the cruel reality of New York. So he invented Sesame St, a intra-dimensional plane that exists as his refuge. This is why so few of the Manhattan Muppets can get to Sesame St; Kermit will not allow it. Sesame St provides him the emotional support he cannot find in Manhattan. The people there love him, support him, encourage him. That's why so many of the Sesame Muppets are idealised versions of the Manhattan brethren.
posted by Neale at 9:02 PM on April 21 [9 favorites]


As a furry I live in a world where the existence of Muppets isn't even questioned. It just is. Just like there are giant cartoon animals walking amongst us. Working at jobs, driving cars, going bowling, just living lives like all of us. Muppets do the same thing as all of us, because they simply are.

What's next? An AskMe about why rocks occur?
posted by hippybear at 10:36 PM on April 21 [10 favorites]


My personal belief is that The Mind Makes the Muppet. I think of Muppetism as a kind of Enlightenment. The ones we know have attained oneness, but elected to remain among us as Bodhisattvas. Any creature can attain, but as Enlightened beings they are no longer constrained by many of the rules of the physical world, and they take the shapes we need them to have. Kermit MAY have actually been a frog once and now finds that parts of his former frog essence serve well in his efforts to impart the virtue of patience. Gonzo may have been an accountant. Or a housefly. Now he carries the shape we need to learn that there is beauty in weirdness and nobility in perserverance. (Or whatever other lesson he taught you.) I think Muppets aren't really "from" anywhere. Maybe the just manifest when we need them.
posted by EnsignLunchmeat at 8:43 AM on April 22 [14 favorites]


I swear that at least once a human host of the Muppet Show encountered a Muppet version of themselves, which has creepy implications.

Paul Williams is possibly the most famous for having this happen. He doesn't seem to be too creeped out by it, really. I know it happened with more than one guest star, too.

While searching around a bit I found a raft of articles from 2015 talking about how journalists treat the Muppets like they're real. THAT'S BECAUSE THEY ARE.

I've long subscribed to the Grand Unified Muppet Theory, actually. Even the comeback film The Muppets is part of that universe. That makes that movie so entirely meta, because it's a movie from a group that needs a comeback ABOUT a group that needs a comeback. Don't think about it too much, it'll make your head explode.

I do wish ABC had given the television reboot another short season. After it went on hiatus and regrouped, it was significantly better for its short run after that. If they'd had one more, say, 13 episodes, it could have caught on. *sigh*
posted by hippybear at 11:40 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


The Martians are obviously from Mars, yip yip yip yip. I think they're all from Space.
posted by drunkonthemoon at 12:15 PM on April 22 [3 favorites]


This kind of demand for an explanatory context that situates everything within the real world is quintessentially American.

If it'll help, let's say they're robots invented by a brilliant little girl to save her grandfather's theatre/studio from closure when the actors all moved to Canada. Then she and Grandpa went to Canada, too: but the robots keep going.
posted by Segundus at 11:32 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


Some years ago, a friend and I conducted a thought experiment in which we theorized an all-Muppet tribute album to the Dead Kennedys, and debated who would be best singing each song.

Kermit was the typical lead, naturally, and was perfectly suited to Stealing People's Mail and Too Drunk to Fuck. Sam the Eagle took lead on Kinky Sex Makes The World Go Round, I think we settled on Rowlf for some of the Plastic Surgery Disasters songs, but it was ABSOLUTELY VITAL that Gonzo had to voice The Prey.
posted by delfin at 3:04 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Thought experiments are good and all, but somebody actually made the album of Muppet Christ Superstar.

The voices aren't perfect but they're not too bad.
posted by moonmilk at 4:43 PM on April 23


OK, now that I'm listening to it again, the voices are pretty bad. But still - they tried!
posted by moonmilk at 5:01 PM on April 23


Would a child with such a pedigree and chance for comic mishap / acquisition of muppety superpowers end up on the muppety end of the continuum? Short answer: Yup.

Hmm. I actually frequently described this guy - whom I dated briefly in 2014 - as "part Muppet", largely because of a general tendancy towards zaniness and also in part because of that Einsteinish hair thing.

...We met while he was attending the University of Connecticut's MFA program in puppetry, and he now works for the Great Arizona Puppet Theater in Phoenix. So it is entirely possible I was right, and this was his attempt to assimilate back into his origins.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:40 AM on April 24 [3 favorites]


I'm late to this thread, but I will submit that Ben Edlund is also secretly a muppet (more information on this hypothesis can be found here), and that we should also look at the Angel Episode "Smile Time" for further information, even if it was not part of the Jim Henson brand.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:08 AM on April 24 [1 favorite]


Artist Graham Annable created a series of illustrations that suggests all these existential questions are also pondered by Muppets themselves.
posted by Kabanos at 11:07 AM on April 24 [3 favorites]


In considering the question of what it is to be a muppet, Lauren Ashwell (Associate Professor of Philosophy, Bates College) argues for the conception of Dispositional Muppetism:
Something x is a muppet because x is a puppet character created by appropriate muppet-creators and a central feature of that character involves the disposition to engage in Muppetry, where Muppetry is the property of acting absurdly, or getting oneself into absurd situations.
Or, more simply, "muppets are those Jim Henson creations that are disposed
towards absurdity."
There are, of course, differences in how each muppet manifests his or her disposition to engage in muppetry. Some muppets are self-consciously absurd, like Crazy Harry. Some simply manage to often get themselves into absurd situations. Others would most certainly deny that they are disposed toward absurdity – I cannot imagine Sam the Eagle admitting this. His absurdity, however, lies in taking himself and everything else so seriously. Yet even he would think that those who favored a response-dependent account of muppetationality over a dispositional account are a bunch of weirdoes.
[Ashwell’s contribution above appears as part of a larger collection of essays: Jim Henson and Philosophy: Imagination and the Magic of Mayhem]
posted by Kabanos at 12:14 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]


I thought they were created by the nest egg in order to collect children’s life force.

No, you're thinking of The Chamber of Life.

Related: when do we start talking about gelflings?
posted by ikahime at 12:27 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


Casting the Muppets in bands or books or musicals is incredibly fun. I worked out an extremely thorough Muppet Les Miserables with a former housemate that I still think would be amazing filmed.

(Kermit as Valjean, Sam the Eagle as Javert, Miss Piggy as Fantine, Link Hogthrob as Tholomyes, Rolf as the Bishop, Janice as Sister Simplice, Sweetums as Fauchelevent, Statler and Waldorf as the Thenardiers, Robin as Gavroche, The Electric Mayhem as Thenardier's gang, Gonzo as Enjolras, Rizzo as Grantaire, Scooter as Combeferre, Fozzie as Courfeyrac, Beaker as Joly, Bunsen as Bossuet, Clifford as Bahorel, Beauregard as Feuilly, Pepe as Prouvaire, the Swedish Chef as M. Gillenormand, and token humans playing Cosette, Marius, and Eponine. For the record.)
posted by nonasuch at 6:54 PM on April 24 [6 favorites]


token humans playing Cosette,

Cosette - Jill
Eponine - Janice
Marius - Crazy Harry, of course
posted by Miko at 8:00 PM on April 24


Yeah, you quickly run into the issue that there are very, very few female Muppets, but in a sense that works out OK with 90% of cultural production. #MuppetBechdelTest
posted by Miko at 8:33 PM on April 25 [6 favorites]


Related: when do we start talking about gelflings?

The Dark Crystal exists in its own universe separate from ours. All the creatures in that universe look and behave precisely the way they are depicted in the film, even the ones that look like puppets, or people wearing costumes, or people wearing costumes on stilts.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:06 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Also, I can't find an example right now but I swear that at least once a human host of the Muppet Show encountered a Muppet version of themselves, which has creepy implications.

Even more disturbing - at the end of the first few episodes, Kermit gave the human hosts Muppet likenesses of themselves as a token of appreciation.
(begins at 24:09). It opens up a whole realm of legal and ethical issues. Did Ms. Prowse own Muppet Juliet Prowse? Was Muppet Ms. Prowse free to leave human Ms. Prowse? Did she outlive human Ms. Prowse? Was she provided for in human Ms. Prowse's will?
posted by Dojie at 3:08 PM on April 27 [5 favorites]


Bruce!!!!
posted by anshuman at 7:01 PM on April 29


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