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  2. Sesame Street Season 48
    Sesame Street's 48th season officially began Saturday November 18 on HBO. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

My own Weekly Muppet Wednesdays profiles

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by minor muppetz, May 4, 2016.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I'm really not sure what folder is the right one for this. A few months ago, The Muppet Mindset announced that it would discontinue its Weekly Muppet Wednesdays article series. Most of the really important characters have been covered, but there's still quite a few who I feel should be given WMW articles. So I'll just write my own WMW articles here for some of the "missing characters". Right now I can't decide if I'll just do them on Wednesday or not, and feel free to make your own here as well (and if by chance Weekly Muppet Wednesday returns, I am not sure whether I'll repeat these or not). Here's a few early characters.

    Harry the Hipster

    Performer:
    Jim Henson.

    Best-Known Role:
    Early hipster of the Muppet world.

    First Appearance:
    Sam and Friends, 1955.

    Most-Recent Appearance:
    The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, 1986.

    Who is Harry the Hipster?:
    Harry the Hipster was one of the main characters on Sam and Friends, and along with Kermit, is one of the characters featured in the highest-number of surviving episodes. One of his best-known bits is when he helps Kermit learn about the art of visual thinking, showing what an expert he is at it. He's such an expert that when he thinks the kind of thoughts that require thinking backwards to get rid of, he's capable of it. Another of Harry's best-known appearances is playing the role of Edward R. Murrow in "Poison to Poison". Harry was also featured with Kermit in the last episode.

    After Sam and Friends ended, Harry was absent until 1985, when he, Sam, and Yorrick all made a cameo in The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years. He's the only character from the show (besides Kermit) to get any dialogue in the special, asking Kermit why he looks so mucb better now than he did back then. Since that special, Harry has resided in various Henson exhibets.

    Why do the Muppets need Harry the Hipster?:
    Harry the Hipster is one of the earliest hip characters. He paved the way for other cool characters like Roosevelt Franklin, Mahna Mahna, Clifford, and all of The Electric Mayhem. He was an early example of Muppet coolness. That's why the Muppets need him. That's why Sam and Friends needed him.

    King Goshposh

    Performer:
    Jim Henson.

    Best-Known Role:
    King of the Muppets.

    Also Known As:
    King Louie, King Impossible the Third, King Rupert the Second.

    First Appearance:
    Tales of the Tinkerdee, 1962.

    Most-Recent Appearance:
    The Muppet Show episode 121: Twiggy, 1977.

    Memorable Quote:

    "Bring a present for the king."

    Who is King Goshposh?:
    King Goshposh was the default king used in various early Muppet productions. He first appeared in the unaired pilot Tales of the Tinkerdee, where he is the father of Princess Gwendolinda, in one of the few instances where he had a Muppet child. The special has the king and his Prime Minister discuss plans for Gwendolynda's birthday, mess-up on what they order, and invite everybody in the kindom except for the witch, Taminella Grinderfall. The pilot was not picked up, and King Goshposh ended up being the only character from the pilot to appear in the next pilot, The Land of Tinkerdee, where he picks up his watch.

    Throughout the 1960s, King Goshposh was often used whenever a king was needed, and would often be assisted by Featherstone. In The Perry Como Christmas Show, he made a rare non-King appearance, playing the role of a hotel manager instead.

    But to casual fans, his best-known roles are in the specials Hey Cinderella and The Frog Prince. In Hey Cinderella, he is the father of Prince Arthur Charming, and often looks for fun things to do (whether he's good at them or not). When there's no parades or birthdays ("it's been a lousy year for birthdays"), he decides that it's time for his son to be married just so he can have a masked ball to find a bride for his son, and decides to have guests bring him a present. He also has some unexplained conflict against Kermit (and maybe frogs in general). When Arthur asks his dad to invite common people, he thinks he just wants to invite Kermit, and it's not until Featherstone mentions that he'd get the most number of presents if he invites everyone in the kingdom that the king decides to do so ("everyone in the kingdom, but not that frog"). He spends most of the ball at the punch bowl (as Featherstone says, "if you want to find the punch bowl, look for the king"), complaining about birds coming out of his pie and questioning whether he sent Splurge an invitation. After the ball, King Goshposh decides that his son should marry the mysterious princess who ran out at midnight. By the end, he has apparently changed his mind about frogs, sending Kermit an invitation to the wedding of Prince Charming and Cinderella (and telling him to bring a present for the king).

    By the time of The Frog Prince, he was renamed King Rupert the Second, and the puppet was changed a little. He was now given white hair around the back of his head and no longer had a cigar in his mouth. In this special, he is the father of Princess Melora, and plans to retire as king and let his daughter take the thrown. He's also very gullible in this special, as he instantly believes that Taminella is his long-lost sister he never knew he had (her "proving" it when she asks him the name of his father and SHE says that was also her father's name) along with other lies, and is convinced to let her be the queen when Melora is put under Taminella's spell to only talk backwards (ignoring the jeers of the peasents when it's announced). He also had a tendency to get jokes wrong.

    King Goshposh made one last appearance on The Muppet Show, playing the titular king in Twiggy's rendition of the poem "The King's Breakfast".

    Why do the Muppets need King Goshposh?:
    The Muppets don't need King Goshposh that much. He was neccessary for specials and productions using a fairy tale setting, but as The Muppet Show and the average other Muppet production took place in the real world (and in America, for the most part), a king character might seem out of place in the Muppet universe.

    Featherstone

    Performer:
    Jerry Nelson.

    Best-known Role:
    Assistant to King Goshposh.

    First Appearance:
    Hey Cinderella, 1968.

    Most-Recent Appearance:
    The Muppet Show episode 423: Carol Channing.

    Who is Featherstone?:
    Featherstone is the right-hand man to King Goshposh. His first appearance was in Hey Cinderella, where he wrote the invitations to the ball, convinced the king to invite everybody in the kingdom to the ball (after making a somewhat unflattering remark about the kind of presents common people would bring), suggested that the King give guests a present (geraniums), answered questions from the guests (and didn't catch on when both Prince Charming and Cinderella complained about them giving everyone a geranium, despite his own frustration), and accompanied the prince in finding the mysterious princess from the ball.

    Featherstone has also made other appearances with the king, including a role as bellhop to Goshposh as a hotel manager in The Perry Como Christmas Show. In The Frog Prince, his role is somewhat smaller than in Hey Cinderella. Here, he mainly plays the trumpet (which the king covers his ears to) and tells the peasents how to react to what the king says. At one point, when Princess Melora tries to point to Taminella to inform the king that she's the one who put her under her enchantment, Taminella manages to make it look like she's pointing at Featherstone, but luckily, thanks to the king's gullibility, the king instantly believes Featherstone when he asks if he put the spell on his daughter.

    On The Muppet Show, the Featherstone puppet was dressed in drag and made into a queen, appearing alongside the King and Twiggy in "The King's Breakfast" and singing "What Do The Simple Folk Do?" with Zero Mostel. Featherstone would later make an appearance, in his own male form, to introduce Carol Channing and Miss Piggy.

    Why do the Muppets need Featherstone?:
    King Goshposh needs Featherstone, because what's a king without an assistant? Featherstone is a bit more level-headed than his boss, and is fairly reasonable.
     
  2. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Wow, I decided to do this last month to fill the void of The Muppet Mindset no longer having Weekly Muppet Wednesday, and yet I kept forgetting to do more. Well I'll fix that...

    Denise

    Best-Known Role:
    Kermit's (ex)girlfriend, employee at the network.

    Performer:
    Juliane Buescher

    First appearance:
    The Muppets presentation pilot, 2015

    Most-recent appearance:
    The Muppets episode 111: Swine Song.

    Who is Denise?:
    Denise was Kermit's girlfriend during his break-up with Miss Piggy. Like Miss Piggy, she is a pig. In addition to being Kermit's girlfriend, Denise works for the network that runs "Up Late with Miss Piggy",keeping her away from the main action.

    In the presentation pilot, she's more of a glorified extra, barely heard but brought up quite a bit. Here, she's also part of the gang, whereas on the series she's working at the network and often away from the main cast. Also, the Spamela Hamderson puppet was used for her here,while on the series a completely different puppet would be built.

    Her biggest appearance on the show was in "The Ex-Factor", where Kermit struggles to find her the perfect birthday present (after she had told him she didn't want one) and asks Miss Piggy for help. It is here that we learn more about her, such as the fact that she likes to put ketchup on everything (even tomatoes). Her other big appearance came in her last appearance, "Swine Song", where Kermit tells Miss Piggy that he promised Denise that he'd spend more time with her and less on the show. But Kermit forgets this promise (and to run with her in the 4K) when the show is in sudden need of retooling, and she especially gets mad when she sees Kermit sleeping with Miss Piggy (along with all the other Muppets in the office). Later, when Kermit and Miss Piggy do a number at the last minute, she can't take it anymore, tells Kermit that she can tell they still like each other, and decides to take a break from him. She doesn't appear again, and in both "Got Silk?" and "Little Green Lie" it's mentioned that they officially broke up.

    Why do the Muppets need Denise?:
    Denise was needed to provide some tension. Kermit and Piggy broke up, and Kermit's replacement girlfriend was also a pig. Still, with the two broken up and her hardly interacting with any of the other Muppets, it is unknown if or when she can appear again in the future (her role at the network should have provided some conflict for the show).

    Chip

    Best-known role:
    The IT guy; technician for Gorilla Television; an incredibly obscure Muppet who nobody remembers.

    Performers:
    Gord Robertson, 1989.
    Dave Goelz, 2015-present.

    First Appearance:
    The Jim Henson Hour episode 105: First Show, 1989.

    Most-Recent Appearance:
    The Muppets episode 116: "Because, Love".

    Who is Chip?:
    Chip is a nerdy Muppet with a big head and large eyes, with blinking pupils. Chip first appeared on The Jim Henson Hour as part of the crew for Gorilla Television, a group of characters who despised popular programming and sometimes switched the MuppeTelevision signals with their station to show what they wanted. Chip was in charge of switching the signals and using the camera. Compared to his cohorts Zondra and Ubu, his screen time was small, yet of these three, he would be given the most to do after the show ended.

    On Muppets Tonight, Chip was often seen in the background, and in Muppets from Space, he was also a frequently seen background character, at both the boarding house and the beach (and in audio commentary, he is referred to as Lester Zidwando).

    In 2015, after years of not being seen (and decade of no dialogue), he was given a running gag in the presentation pilot for The Muppets, where he suggests that the show have incredibly obscure characters who nobody remembers, only for him to be so incredibly obscure that HE doesn't even know who he is. He would then be given a recurring role on the series as the IT guy, often showing weird opinions or interests. In "Bear Left Then Bear Right", he's part of a similar running gag as in the pilot, where nobody knows who he is, but he's quick to say "I'm Chip, the IT guy". Additional memorable moments include revealing his dream to tap dance around the world (after denying that he had a dream), auditioning to be a wingman for Rizzo and Pepe, and commenting that they printed a computer on some weird paper. In one episode, he even revealed that he was born with a tail, which he wears on his necklace.

    Why do the Muppets need Chip?:
    Gorilla Television needed somebody to switch the television signals. And the Muppets need all the characters they can to have a large cast of characters. Plus, his brand of weirdness (as shown on The Muppets) is more than welcome.
     
    gavry3 likes this.
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Let's try a couple more!

    Fred the Wonder Horse

    Best-known role:
    Marshall Grover's horse.

    Performed by:
    Jerry Nelson.

    First Appearance:
    Sesame Street, circa season 6, 1974-1975.

    Most-Recent Appearance:
    Sesame Street season 40, 2009-2010.

    Who is Fred the Wonder Horse?:
    Fred the Wonder Horse is Marshall Grover's trusty horse, and usually the smarter of the two. In various segments, he had to teach Grover the difference between front and back (in two different segments, no less), inform Grover that he hurts his back when Grover jumps on him, taught Grover about mirages, and once won a bet that Grover couldn't count backwards from ten - which allowed Fred to ride Grover.

    Fred has occasionally appeared without Grover. In one segment, he called himself "Professor Fred" and gave the kids a lecture on parts of the body. He has also sung "Horse Sense" with Judy Collins and "Cripple Creek" with Buffy. He and Buster were back-up singers (dressed as cows) for Gladys the Cow's "Proud to Be a Cow", and Fred appeared, again with Buster, at the 1982 Emmys.

    Why does Sesame Street need Fred the Wonder Horse?:
    Obviously, Marshall Grover needs someone to help him when he's on his adventures out in the old west.

    Sonny Friendly

    Best-known Role:
    Americals friendliest game show host, alternative to Guy Smiley.

    Performed by:
    Richard Hunt (1986-1992)
    David Rudman (1992-1999)

    First Appearance:
    Sesame Street, circa season 16, 1986-1987.

    Most-Recent Appearance:
    Sesame Street, season 31, 1999.

    Who is Sonny Friendly?:
    Sonny Friendly is "America's friendliest game show host". While Guy Smiley hosts game shows in a studio, Sonny Friendly is often a traveling game show host, showing up on the street to put unwilling contestants (especially Maria) onto his shows and offering prizes that end up not being so good. For example, when he put a pregnant Maria on a traveling edition of "Name That Sound", the prize was a trip to the hospital - where she had just left. Another time, he made Prairie Dawn and the birdkateers participate on "What's Prairie's Problem", and she ended up winning when she told them her problem is the game show. However, the prize was a trip to Sesame Street - where she already was. Another time, Sonny had Telly make a sandwich into the triangle shape, and the prize was to eat the sandwich, which Telly didn't mind. Another time, Sonny Friendly hosted "The Number One Game", and showed Maria that the prize was actually a nice shoe. Unfortunately, Maria only got one as a prize, as opposed to a pair.

    Sonny Friendly was also heavily featured in the video The Alphabet Game, where he hosted "Alphabet Treasure Hunt". He's only made one appearance with Guy Smiley, appearing on "What's My Job?" as a game show host, whose job "is like (Guy's) only he doesn't do it as well". The appearance ended with the two arguing over who was the host and who was the guest. Following Jim Henson's death, Guy Smiley was retired for a long time, and Sonny Friendly took over Guy's hosting duties on "Here is Your Life", which became "The New Here is Your Life". In Sonny's last appearances, a different, smaller Anything Muppet was used.

    Why does Sesame Street need Sonny Friendly?:
    He is, or was, necessary for a number of reasons. Back when Guy Smiley was mainly seen in inserts, having an alternate game show host was a good way to have a game show host in street scenes. His creation also showed some foresight, as when Jim Henson died, they didn't need to recast Guy Smiley or create a new game show host, since they already had one. And apparently, Sonny Friendly was important enough to be recast right away following Richard Hunt's death.

    However, he's less necessary now. In the past decade, it's been more common for game shows to be hosted by parodies of real game show hosts, if not by Mr. Can You Guess, and, more recently, Guy Smiley has been recast and featured quite a bit in the last few years. Still, it would be nice to see Sonny Friendly again from time to time.
     
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  4. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    TR

    Best-Known Role:
    Banjo-playing rooster.

    Performed by:
    Jerry Nelson.

    First Appearance:
    The Muppet Musicians of Bremen, 1972.

    Most-Recent Appearance:
    The Muppet Show episode 524: Roger Moore, 1981.

    TR Stands For:
    Terrified rooster, tender rooster, traveling rooster.

    Who is TR?:
    TR is one of the few Muppet roosters. He first appeared in The Muppet Musicians of Bremen, where he's outlived his usefulness after many years of being able to wake up his owner, Lardpork. His old age has kept him up at night, causing him to oversleep and miss crowing when the sun comes up. Lardpork determines that although he's useless around the barn, he might still be tasty enough, and plans to chop and eat him. Leroy the Donkey then comes in and TR joins him as a traveling musician, taking up the banjo. Before leaving he insists on saying goodbye to the chickens, singing "Cock-a-Doodle Blues", only for Lardpork to show up with the ax right when TR finishes his song. TR makes a daring escape, and in the end, he and the other animals battle their former owners, and end up canceling their plans to be traveling musicians to look after their hideaway house, which they believe belongs to a family that the bad guys had scared off. As a running gag, TR keeps saying that TR stands for different things (see above).

    TR is one of three main characters from the special, along with Rover Joe and Catgut, who showed up from time to time on The Muppet Show, and of these three, he appeared the most (perhaps because he's one of the few from the special voiced by one of the main performers, he was occasionally given dialogue as well). His most notable appearances on the show include conducting a choir of chickens clucking to the tune of "Baby Face" and playing the hero in a western sketch where he battles another rooster.

    Why do the Muppets need TR?:
    TR is one of the few Muppet roosters, in a world full of Muppet chickens.
     
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  5. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Beard

    Performed by
    Jerry Nelson

    First Appearance:
    The Jim Henson Hour episode 103: Power, 1989

    Most-Recent Appearance:
    The Jim Henson Hour episode 110: Secrets of the Muppets, 1989 (broadcast 1992)

    Best-Known Role:
    Guitar player for Solid Foam.

    Who is Beard?:
    Beard is the guitar player for Solid Foam, the house band for MuppeTelevision. While he's one of the most prominent members of the band, after Digit (who's more prominent on the show for his work outside of the band) and Clifford, he wasn't able to develop much personality. True to his name, he was a very bearded character. In fact, an article in Muppet Magazine says that he was an expert in wisdom and hair. With his long beard and sunglasses, he looks very similar to Zeke, the banjo player for Lubbock Lou and His Jughuggers.

    Among his more notable contributions on the show include reacting with surprise when he sees another of him in "The Music Just Keeps Us Rolling Along", singing along with kd Land, and leading the band for "Me and You". Perhaps because he was Jerry Nelson's only recurring character on the show, he was slightly prominent outside of the band in The Secrets of the Muppets, where he is the character who appears as Jerry Nelson's character when the main Muppet performers appear with one character each.

    Why do the Muppets need Beard?:
    Well, Solid Foam needs a guitar player. Also, for some reason, Beard was Jerry Nelson's only recurring character on the show, so Jerry needed somebody.
     
  6. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Little Chrissy and the Alphabeats

    Also Known As:
    Chris and the Alphabeats, Chrissy and the Alphabeats.

    Best-Known Role:
    Rock and roll band.

    Performer:
    Christopher Cherf (voice of Chrissy).

    First Appearance:
    Sesame Street, season 4 (1972-1973).

    Most-Recent Appearance:
    Sesame Street, season 30 (1998-1999, Little Chrissy only).

    Songs:
    “Count It Higher”
    “Exit”
    “The Opposite Song” (Little Chrissy only)
    “You’re Alive”
    “Raise Your Hand” (Little Chrissy only)
    “Cluck Around the Clock”
    “Rock ‘n Roll Readers”
    “Eight Balls of Fur” (Little Chrissy only)
    “Starting Kindergarten”
    “I Go to School”
    “Gonna Rock You to Sleep”
    “Wet or Dry” (Little Chrissy only)


    Who are Little Chrissy and the Alphabeats?:

    Little Chrissy and the Alphabeats is one of Sesame Street’s most prominent rock and roll bands, along with Little Jerry and the Monotones. The group is led by Little Chrissy, who plays piano and sometimes keyboards, and has a habit of playing his instrument so hard that he breaks it. The Alphabeats are a pair of Anything Muppets dressed in red shirts (in contrast to Little Chrissy’s yellow shirt). In their first appearance, performing “Count It Higher”, the alphabeats looked a bit different, with messier (and different-colored) hair and wider eyes, and the group also included a small Hot Pink member dressed in a striped shirt. “Count It Higher” is perhaps their best-known song, but they have also had other hits, including “You’re Alive” and “Rock ‘n Roll Reader”. Little Chrissy has sometimes performed solo, with such songs as “The Opposite Song” and “Wet or Dry”, and in his final appearance, played the piano while Patti LeBelle sang “Gospel Alphabet”.

    The group has also appeared on occasion as back-up singers for Don Music, having shown up from out of nowhere when Don Music finished his version of “Yankee Doodle” and the songs “Drive Your Car” and “How to Get to Yellowstone Park”. It’s possible (but not confirmed) that Don Music is their writer.

    On occasion, the lavender member was replaced by Big Jeffy (which is odd, since Jeff Moss typically voiced both characters). Big Jeffy was featured as part of the band in the songs “Starting Kindergarten”, “I Go to School”, and “Gonna Rock You to Sleep”. Interestingly, in one episode, it seemed as if Little Chrissy was a member of Little Jerry and the Monotones (never mind the fact that that group had a different Chrissy, also voiced by Christopher Cerf, who didn’t appear as part of the band in that episode). In that episode, Little Chrissy and Big Jeffy recruited Elmo to fill in for Little Jerry when the lead singer got the chicken pox on the day of a gig, and it seemed like Little Chrissy was acting like the leader (despite not really being part of the group). Little Chrissy, Big Jeffy, and Elmo also appeared in a few additional street scenes as well.

    Christopher Cerf and Little Chrissy:
    Songwriter Christopher Cerf provided the voice of Little Chrissy, in addition to being his name sake and writing the majority of Little Chrissy’s songs.

    Why Does Sesame Street Need Little Chrissy and the Alphabeats?:

    Little Chrissy and the Alphabeats provide some much-needed rock and roll into the show, which has always been music heavy. Yeah, there have been other rock bands on the show, but Little Chrissy and the Alphabeats has been among the most prominent.
     
    Muppy likes this.
  7. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Fansite fan-fiction. What an age we live in
     
    Pig's Laundry likes this.
  8. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I haven't done one for awhile, but here's another one!

    Captain Vegetable

    Best-Known Role:
    Vegetable-loving superhero.

    Performer:
    Jim Henson ("Captain Vegetable" song)
    Richard Hunt (street scenes)

    First Appearance:
    Sesame Street, approximately season 14, 1982-1983.

    Most-Recent Appearance:
    Sesame Street, approximately season 14, 1982-1983.

    Who is Captain Vegetable?:
    Captain Vegetable is a superhero from his secret garden somewhere in New Jersey, where he helps other characters decide to eat vegetables. He is best-known for his song, "Captain Vegetable", where he saved a kid named Andy from eating his favorite food, candy, and Eddie from eating his favorite food, spaghetti, in favor of vegetables.

    While best known for the song, Captain Vegetable has also appeared in a number of street scenes, playing a game of "One of These Things" and deciding on a superhero, along other things. The street scenes have also shown that he does not exclusively like vegetables, as one scene had him choosing a glass of milk over vegetables, and another had him giving Gordon, Susan, and the kids some apples for a snack.

    Additionally, in season 32, John Leguizamo took over the role in a new version of the song.

    Why Does Sesame Street Need Captain Vegetable?:
    Well, how else are we gonna get kids to eat their vegetables?
     

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