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The Secret Life of a Background Character

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Hubert, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. galagr

    galagr Well-Known Member

    Are you gonna have Beautiful Day Monster in the stories? :)
  2. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    Beautiful Day will make an appearance in one way or another, but he won't be having a major role.
    galagr likes this.
  3. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Already loving this story!
  4. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    I'm really glad you are...the actual good chapters, where it turns from just history to the actual stories, will be on their way soon.
    galagr, Twisted Tails and Mo Frackle like this.
  5. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    Sorry for the long delays. I'll try to get them out more frequently...course, that's what I said last time.

    Chapter 3.1: Rowlf the Dog

    “The magician sketches sound fun.”

    Worst. Decision. I. Ever. Made. In. My. Life.

    Let me back up here, and put this all in context for you. Kermit had informed me that they needed help on the “MuppeTelevision” crew. Basically, the crew streamed videos from all over the world, then chose the ones they thought the audience would most want to see. Kinda like the Muppet Show, but not. We all got a letter from Kermit about this opportunity, and we were to report to “Muppet Central,” as the control room was called, to talk to Kermit about what we would be doing on the show. So one morning I went in to talk to the little green guy.

    “Hey Rowlf,” Kermit said.
    “Hey. I’m here to talk to you about my role in the MuppeTelevision crew. I was hoping that you might need a piano player or something?”
    “Possibly. But we also have these great sketches we need someone to be in, Merlin the Magician, M.D. It’s going to be a lot like Veterinarian’s Hospital, with puns and stuff, so I thought maybe you’d consider doing that. Course, it’s your choice.”
    “Would it be possible for me to do both?” I asked.
    “Maybe,” Kermit replied, “it would require a lot of extra workload.”
    “I can handle it,” I said. I wanted to do them both very badly. After all, it didn’t seem to me like either require that much effort. I think I did more on the Muppet Show.
    At that moment, the doors opened. In came a purple guy with red dreadlocks, holding a guitar, a guy with an orange beard, who beared a striking resemblance to Zeke from the jugband, holding a guitar, a guy with brown hair, mumbling something and holding a saxophone and long-haired girl with drumsticks.
    “Hey, are you Mr. The Frog?” the purple one said. “We’re the band Digit put together?”
    “Oh, good. Come over here guys, and you can set up your instruments.”
    It was then I realized that the whole time, Kermit knew that a piano player wouldn’t be necessary. He just didn’t want to straight up tell me that. That’s Kermit for you.
    “Y’know, the magician sketches sound fun,” I said. “I’ll just do them.”
    “Oh, good. Let me go get the scripts,” said Kermit.

    I was still excited. These sketches really did sound fun, even if I couldn’t play the piano. I wanted something like Veterinarian’s Hospital to do again. I had so much fun with that, just carefree puns. This whole MuppeTelevision concept sounded like a lot of fun. I couldn’t wait to get started. Little did I know what was on the horizon. Little did I know that that day changed my life. Little did I know that that sentence would put me out of solid work for over 20 years.

    “The magician sketches sound fun.”

    It still haunts me to this day.
    galagr likes this.
  6. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    Awwwww! The poor thing! Rowlf needs a hug!
  7. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    Chapter 3.2: Link Hogthrob

    On a beautiful spring morning, I went out to my mailbox for the next issue of Heartthrob Monthly. Instead I found a letter. I took it in, and found this:

    Dear Link Hogthrob,

    I would like to give you the opportunity to work on MuppeTelevision, a TV station that I am in charge of running. We are able to pick up signals from all over the world, and will be choosing the best ones to air on our station. We are hoping that you will consider taking this wonderful opportunity to learn more about the mechanics behind television, performing, all the while having a lot of fun.

    If you are interested, all you have to do is come to Muppet Central, the control room of MuppeTelevision, and I will talk to you about what role is best for you on the show. We are still looking for many performers, assistants, musicians, and a wide variety of others. Please also note that we have sent out some notices to the general public regarding jobs here, so there may be other new crew members hired to fill in roles of the show. However, I remain confident that we will be able to find some sort of job for each and every person that is interested. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow in the television industry, and I have the hope that many people will grasp that opportunity.

    Yours truly,

    Kermit the Frog

    At that point I knew that Kermit needed me, or the entire station would suffer terribly. So I ran down to Muppet Central as fast as I could. I busted down the door, ran in, and in a booming voice I said, “Anyone here?” No answer. “Anyone?” Suddenly I heard music coming from another part of the building. I walked down and opened up the door. I saw the Electric Mayhem there, playing a terrible sounding song. They stopped.

    “That is it,” Floyd said. “I’m outta here. These songs are terrible, these instruments are junk, I’m done with this gig.”
    “Yeah, like rully.”
    Floyd continued. “I mean, I could write better music than this trash.”
    “Right, except if he didn’t know he was a genius, he wouldn’t even listen to the trash he wrote,” Dr. Teeth joked to Zoot.
    Floyd and Janice walked out, practically knocking me over in the process
    “Hey Link, when’d you get here?” Dr. Teeth asked.
    “Mm...maybe a few minutes ago.”
    “You play an instrument?”
    “Well, I did play some trumpet for a while.”
    “Wanna join in on this song? We could use any help we can get, with them two gone.”
    “Sure.” I picked up a trumpet lying across the room. Dr. Teeth handed me a sheet with some strange, foreign symbols on them.
    “What’s this?” I asked, confused.
    “That’s the song we’re playing.”
    “Oh yeah, right.” I was beginning to wonder if they were listening to too much music. No wonder Floyd and Janice quit. They began playing the song. I had no idea what was going on. I just sort of blurted out a few notes. They stopped.
    “Link, what are you doing?” Dr. Teeth asked.
    “Um, playing the song?” I said. Dr. Teeth came over to me. Look, we started playing this part here. You don’t come in yet, because there’s no notes there for you. You come in down here.
    “Ah. Okay,” I said, still lost. Dr. Teeth walked back to his position behind the keyboard. They began playing again. It was harder than it looked. How was I to know when they finished the first part? So I just started playing when the time seemed right. They stopped again.
    “Link!” Dr. Teeth came down again. Look, in this particular song, there are four beats in every one of these sections. So you keep counting. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. Then when you count down to here, you start playing. Got that?”
    “Yeah.” He went back up. They started playing. I counted, “1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1-” They stopped.
    “You don’t count out loud!”
    “Oh. Sorry.” They began playing again. I counted, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. Then it was my time to play. I began. They stopped, leaving me to do a brilliant trumpet solo. Dr. Teeth came down again.
    “These are notes. These particular ones you play are one beat. So you’ll play for one beat, then stop, then play again for one beat.”
    “Wouldn’t it make more sense to get it all over with at once?”
    “It doesn’t work that way. Now you’ll count here the same way you do up there, except on each number you count, you play during that number. These notes are on different lines. The line notes are E, G, B, D, and F. The space notes are F, A, C, and E. You can remember then by saying, Every Good Boy Does Fine, and the world “face.””
    Zoot cut in. “Wha? I thought it was Esther Gives Boyd Dark Fish?”
    “Whatever,” Dr. Teeth said. “As long as you remember the notes.”
    “I think I got it this time,” I said. They began playing. I counted, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. I started playing each note, like they said. They stopped.
    “What’s the problem?” I asked. You’re playing the G note every single time. You’re supposed to play B first, then F, then-”
    “How do I do that?” I interrupted. As I was thrown out of the room, I landed right on top of Kermit.
    “Oh, Kermit! You’re just the frog I wanted to see!” I said.
    “Hey Link, what do you need.”
    “I got your letter, I was wondering what I could do.:
    “Hmm...some of the band members quit. Maybe you could fill in for one of them?” A loud “NO!” echoed from the band room.
    “Or not. Tell you what Link, just be here and I’ll give you some sort of job in the control room.”
    “Sounds great Kermit, thanks!”
    galagr likes this.
  8. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    Hubert! You write so beautifully! I can hear Link's voice very clearly and I know Steve Whitmire does the dumb voice of the pig now. Kermit and Link both played by Steve? Holy Mokey! Interesting!

    BTW: Great job! More please!
  9. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much! Glad you're enjoying the story. Hopefully I'll get some more up soon.

    Something interesting I also found: I'm having a lot of Jim characters interact with each other in this, something that rarely happens in Muppet productions. Kermit and Rowlf, Kermit and Link, Link and Dr. Teeth...
  10. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    Like I said, Kermit, Rowlf, Link, and Dr. Teeth were all puppeteered and voiced by Jim Henson.

    Steve Whitmitre can do Kermit the Frog and Link, because he felt like Jim was like his close friend to him. He can't do Rowlf or Dr. Teeth. So, Bill Baretta does Rowlf the Dog and Dr. Teeth. Bill didn't know that he and Jim can do the rough voices of those guys in character (laughs)!

    So, Steve and Bill are still around today!
  11. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    Chapter 3.3: Scooter

    I walked down the street, heading towards the address that Kermit sent me. I came to a building, nothing great, but a building. I was really excited about this MuppeTelevision concept. It really did sound like a good idea, and I was ready to get assisting Kermit again. I grabbed the door handle, and began to pull open the door.

    “Are you Scooter?”

    I turned around. A young, red haired girl was standing there, equipped with a clipboard.

    “Who are you?” I asked.
    “Vicki. I’m a huge fan of yours. I watched the Muppet Show all the time when I was little. Anyway, I came here for a job as a backstage assistant. I just graduated from film school and I’m sorta trying to break into show business.”

    It was then I saw me, standing directly in front of me. Me, a young kid, lost in the world of show business. Me, just trying to get in somehow and some way, even to the point I’m desperate for a job as a custodian in a theater. Me, without a job, trying to latch on to whatever I can find that will get me further. Me, hinging on the fact that my uncle owns a theater. Only this version of me didn’t have that to hinge on to. All this version had was a dream of working backstage in show business.

    Kermit always stressed that it is important that we sacrifice things that make us happy if it will in turn help others. And this case, it hit me straight in the heart. I pulled a piece of paper off my clipboard, pulled a pen out of my pocket, and scribbled down a note.

    “Here, give this to Kermit, it will help you out.” I handed her the note.
    “Wow, thanks Mr. Scooter! I really appreciate it.”
    “No problem,” I sighed, half smiling, half frowning. Vicki walked into the building. I walked down the street.

    Dear Kermit,

    Give this girl my backstage job. Please. I don’t really need one now anyway.


    I sighed again. For the first time in 15 years, I was lost in the world of show business.
    galagr likes this.
  12. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    Wow! I know now that David Rudman does Scooter Groose. I thought he is doing a good job even thought this go-fer kid is growing up. Now his middle is Hunt, because his first performer was Richard Hunt, who died from AIDS in 1992. The next movie, "The Muppet Christmas Carol" was dedicated and in memory of Jim Henson and Richard Hunt.
  13. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    Chapter 4.1: Rowlf the Dog

    The magician sketches were fun. They were great. The problem was, it took me out of the limelight. Instead of being resident pianist and performer, I became Merlin the magician. I was there and they knew it, yet I wasn’t acknowledged as part of the main crew, like I was on the Muppet Show.

    MuppeTelevision came and went, without much thought. I wondered what my future with the Muppets would hold now. It seemed like not much had changed. I went to Disney World with the Muppets. It was fun, and they still seemed to be just as good of friends to me as they were during the Muppet Show.

    In the early 90s, things slowed down a bit with the Muppets. There wasn’t much going on, until 1992, when I got a phone call.

    “Hey Rowlf, this is Kermit.”
    “Oh, hey Kermit. What’s up?”
    “You see, we’re planning to do an adaptation of The Christmas Carol soon.”
    My face lit up. “Oh, that’s great!” This might finally be my chance to get back into things.
    “Unfortunately, I don’t have a very big role for you in this, but I was wondering if you could come in and sort of just do some small stuff, possibly even play the piano, cause-” He hesitated for a moment. “Cause you’re sort of easier to get.” I had no idea what in the world he meant by that, but it seemed like a touchy subject, so I wasn’t about to ask.
    “Uh, yeah. Sure. I’ll be there,” I said, a bit disappointed that I wasn’t going to get a big role. I was at least happy. I figured, it sure beats not having any role at all. In fact, I couldn’t wait. The Muppets hadn’t been hanging out together as much lately. I was excited to work on another big project.
    So when the time came, I went to the set for filming of the Muppet Christmas Carol. I was surprised I wasn’t mailed a copy of the script. That was what Kermit always did, mailed everyone their scripts. Then I saw Kermit, dressed in a very nice vest. I went up to him.

    “Uh, hey Kermit, I didn’t get my script in the mail,” I said.
    “Oh yeah,” he said, hesitating a bit, “I didn’t really mail you one because you don’t have much to say. I figured I’d save the postage, you know?” he continued, forcing a laugh way too much for my comfort zone. “Here it is.” He handed me a script.

    I looked through the script, not seeing any lines for me. That’s when I realized that I must not have a single line. It was just that Kermit didn’t want to outright tell me that. I was once again saddened.

    The set was filled with tons and tons of Muppets, all getting into costume, rehearsing, and running around. Some I hadn’t seen for years. That was when I overheard a conversation taking place behind me.

    “Remember George, tonight at 6:30,” a voice was saying.
    “Yeah, I remember.”
    “What’s this again?” an older sounding voice chimed in. I turned around, Droop, George, and Pops were back there.
    “Nothing much,”
    “Nothing much? It’s like the biggest event of the year,” a voice interrupted.
    I walked over. “What are you guys talking about?” I asked.
    “Oh, nothing that important. But you’ll find out soon enough.”

    I was puzzled. It seemed like there was something secretive going on between the three. But I shrugged it off. They were good guys. It’s not like they’d be plotting to take over the Muppets or anything.

    But then that day, throughout the whole filming process, everyone seemed to talking to each other and whispering. It was as if the crew was planning a surprise party for me or something. You don’t know how many times I head “tonight” and “6:30” and “dinner,” however those related. But Droop was right. I would find out soon enough.
    galagr likes this.
  14. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    Awww! The poor thing! Poor Rowlf! I knew he didn't get any spoken parts at all. Kermit was performed by Steve Whitmire and he did not get a big role either. Dave Golex and Steve did become the top two performers to play their twos stars for the movie which were Gonxo (Charles Dickens) and Rizzo the rat himself.
  15. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    Just to let you know, Dave's last name is spelled Goelz.
  16. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    I think it's a typo.
  17. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    *shrugs* Just in case it wasn't. :concern:
  18. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    Uh-oh! Yep! I spelled his last name wrong! I didn't know it was "Goelz." Still Rowlf did get his own role back in The Muppets after like 20 to 22 years of having a small role or no role at all. I love that dog!
  19. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    I say I love that dog,
    Like a bird loves to fly,
    I say I love that dog,
    Like a bird loves to fly,
    I call him in the morning, say
    "Hey there, Sky!"

    Tell me where that's from and I'll give you a million dollars (not from anything Muppet related)
  20. Aaron

    Aaron Active Member

    Love this story!

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