1. Welcome to the Muppet Central Forum!
    You are viewing our forum as a guest. Join our free community to post topics and start private conversations. Please contact us if you need help with registration or your account login.

  2. Sesame Street Season 45
    Sesame Street's 45th season officially begins Monday September 15. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

  3. "Muppets Most Wanted" Fan Reactions
    After you see "Muppets Most Wanted", read fan reactions and let us know your thoughts on the Muppets eighth theatrical film.

Why can't penguins talk anymore?

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by MWoO, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. MWoO

    MWoO Active Member

    It was said during the commentary of The Muppets that they wanted to give the penguins a line in lifes a happy song but were told penguins can't talk in the muppet universe. This has been accepted for some time now. However when watching older productions like the muppet show and the muppets go to the movies the penguins were always talking and singing in fully pronounced words. Even as late as muppets tonight the penguins could sing in the martin short episode. So what the heck? And it didn't start with The Muppets either. But why and when did this trend start?
  2. miss kermie

    miss kermie Well-Known Member

    I think this all the time.
    "How come frogs, dogs, pigs, and bears can talk, and yet, chickens and penguins can't?"
  3. Vincent Liu

    Vincent Liu Well-Known Member

    The penguins doesn't talk in The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppets from Space, and The Muppets' Wizard of Oz. I'm not sure about the others, though.
  4. miss kermie

    miss kermie Well-Known Member

  5. MWoO

    MWoO Active Member

    In MTM they sand the line "they're finally getting married now" right before piggy enters the wedding scene. They sing it clear and not in the penguin speak we now know. Also I believe Dave played a penguin looking for a job at Pete's right after the rats got hired. Again, clear as day he said "do you have any jobs available?" followed by "well excuse us for living!".

    It's very odd that at some point after Jim died all penguins got silenced. What's the reason?
  6. MWoO

    MWoO Active Member

    Also they sang stepping out with my baby in the Martin Short episode. So at some point they could still speak after Jim passed away but it seems more often than not after 1990 penguins couldn't speak and it has now become a rule if sorts.
  7. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    I think they are similar to chickens, sheep and Beaker. They probably know HOW to speak, but its no doubt hard for them (being more accurate to animal shape Puppets, they probably have more accurate to animal anatomy as well, voice boxes, etc.) Chickens, sheep and penguins have all spoken at some point, but more often just quack/cluck/baa. I guess the "rule" is that they can speak if its really funny.

    "Do you have any jobs available!?" was hilarious.

    Or maybe their voice was dubbed...
  8. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    They actually did sorta speak in MCC, I think they are the ones that are the first to start singing the Scrooge song. As said, they also talked in TMTM and MT...you know, if that's the case I bet that along the line after MT, the penguins never really had much in the way of roles, so since they hadn't been used much, they began to misremember and think that they couldn't talk.

    This probably deserves its own thread, but now I'm curious...how often has Camilla ever talked? I think she's said "Gonzo" on a few occasions, and on the Music, Mayhem, and More album they recorder her voice to put on in place of Madeline Kahn.
  9. Vincent Liu

    Vincent Liu Well-Known Member

    No, they did not sing in MCC. I watched the movie 14 times.
    Kermit: "It's the penguin's Christmas skating party!"
    Penguins: "quack, quack, quack..."
  10. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    I don't consider the chicken on "Wishing Song" to be Camilla since the album was recorded during season 2 of TMS before Gonzo met Camilla.

    Whether or not a penguin or a chicken can talk probably has to do with their background and education. Some are fortunate enough to be bilingual.

    The current way the penguins are used with their penquin speak is funny. It makes me laugh every time. But i don't know if funny always = better...cause remember a lot of the function of Muppet penguins (besides being thrown in the air) has traditionally been as production number chorus members (since they have natural tuxedos, they tend to lend an air of class) and obviously they can sing perfectly fine in that scenario so i can't 100% support losing that element. Maybe it comes down to the species of penguin...
  11. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    And don't let us get started on the differences between TMS and Sesame Street Chickens and Penguins.
  12. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    The album was not...the one I'm talking about was from 2001...the original song was recorded in Season 2, but then dubbed over later with Camilla...
  13. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Just recently I was thinking it was odd that the Stars and Stripes Forever viral video featured Bobo in a mix of hard-to-understand characters, then realized that the penguins can be understood. But then I saw this thread.

    Of course in The Muppets during the finally they clearly (in quack-y) voices sing a verse of "Life's a Happy Song").

    When was the song dubbed over with Camilla? Are you referring to it's inclusion on the 25th anniversary album, because I'm pretty sure that's how it was presented on The Muppet Show 2 album (I haven't heard the second album myself, but I don't think any of the songs were altered on that release)? In that recording Gonzo only refers to the chicken as "chicken". If it's because a chicken wasn't in the Muppet Show episode, well many of the songs were rerecorded for the albums, and with the exceptions of Peter Sellers and Bernadette Peters no guest stars were included on the albums (The Wishing Song, We Got Us, and Magic Garden were all rerecorded with different singers than the guest stars).
  14. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    Right, I am referring to the "Wishing Song," that Madeline Kahn was dubbed over. I am referring to the 25th anniversary album, but it does appear that it was the same way on the 1978 25th anniversary album. I always assumed that that was Camilla, as for the song to work properly in that specific circumstance you almost have to have a love interest type thing involved.
  15. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I thought the one with Madleine Kahn came first, and then the second album came out and they had to replace Kahn.

    I've heard Rowlf sing that song, and Rowlf's version didn't have anything in the middle to lead to him cheering up.
  16. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    I never actually heard the original recording, but Muppet Wiki says that the original was also like that.

    I know that he has done that, but for some reason if I remember there was maybe a side comment or two that Gonzo said that hinted around to that on that recording...
  17. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    NO!!!
  18. Duke Remington

    Duke Remington Active Member

    Well, excuse us. :zany:
  19. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Quack quack quack quack quack.
  20. Vincent Liu

    Vincent Liu Well-Known Member

    It won't be long before we quote the entire movie.


Share This Page

Find out more about Jim Henson the Biography