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Why did Hilda have to go?

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by jobi71, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. jobi71

    jobi71 Well-Known Member

    I know Eren Okzer left after season 1, but Jerry surely could have provided a vaguely Eastern European accent to keep her in the fold. I know Jerry Juhl wanted to tell stories both on stage and backstage. I think Hilda would have been a good view point into backstage. And for a show that was lacking in female characters I would have thought she was a shoo-in to stick around. Perhaps because she was Eren's character they decided to retire her? Any thoughts?
  2. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    I don't know for sure, but my theory has always been that they decided to scrap characters like George and Hilda and Mildred because they were too much like "real people" and wanted more exciting characters. Plus Piggy and Gonzo started to become more popular as season one went on and were going to take up a lot of space in the next season.
  3. jobi71

    jobi71 Well-Known Member

    I know they dropped a number of recurring characters from season 1 to 2. Wayne and Wanda really were just about the bit that they could not finnish a song. I always assumed George and Mildred left because 90% of Frank's time was with either Piggy or Fozzie or both. Plus throw in Animal and Sam (and heck why not Marvin Suggs too) and you can see his dance card was full. Jerry Juhl and Jim Henson wanted to balance the onstage antics with off stage plots. Hilda and Scooter (later Beau) were really the only backstage crew there was. I don't think they made a mistake in dropping her, but I am a bit surprised they didn't at least try to have Jerry take over and see how it went.
  4. jobi71

    jobi71 Well-Known Member

    And I noticed I sort of ignored Charlie's thoughts, sorry Charlie. Yes, George and Hilda were less crazy than some of the other Muppets. I think Mildred as a haughty bird/bird like creature would not fall under the same umbrella. But aside from George she had little interaction except for chorus numbers. And I agree that as Miss Piggy's, Gonzo's and Fozzie's stars were rising other characters were discarded. I just think Hilda could have made it into season 2 and who knows? Maybe she would have disappeared. Or maybe we would all have Hilda figurines on our shelves. ;-)
    charlietheowl likes this.
  5. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I really can't see Hilda ever becoming a huge muppet player, just not very memorable, she was too real, no wacky stunts, nothing that really stood out, taking her out of the show managed to be a good desicion, but I mean I didn't hate Hilda, she was nice, and a decent character, but not a good fit for the muppets, I could see her character on something like I Love Lucy trying to be young, and stuff, but with the muppets not a great fit with their personalities.
  6. jobi71

    jobi71 Well-Known Member

    I do think in the long run they did well by moving Hilda to the background. But STiILL she was one of the few chracters who did not desire the stage. I think there was more of a spot for her than they than gave her. Would she last all five seasons? Probably not. But a bit of a backstage view and a bit of a female protagonist - why not.
  7. LaRanaRene

    LaRanaRene Well-Known Member

    Yes! This is exactly what I've always wondered. I believe her character could have been developed like Gonzo and Piggy's did. I loved the episode where she tried to look younger. I could see her being something of a mentor for Miss Piggy and giving her advice or something.
  8. jobi71

    jobi71 Well-Known Member

    And I guess one other wild card in this conversation is what Jerry (assuming Hilda was reassigned to him which makes a bit of sense in the backstage casting) would have done to expand on the character Eren created. When Richard assumed Janice he added all kinds of nuance and made her into the character we know today. A potential downside to Jerry taking the role of Hilda - would we lose some of the memorable one time only roles that he could play? Backstage Jim was Kermit, Frank was Piggy or Fozzie, Richard was Scooter, Dave was Gonzo so when they needed the theater owner, or the unwanted guest star (zuzu or angus) or the unpredictable (granny gouger or mickey moose) or the haunted (Deadly) they had Jerry. So a little was lost but a lot was gained. Still I wonder how did Hilda make all those costumes week after week? ;-)
  9. JJandJanice

    JJandJanice Well-Known Member

    I can't see Piggy ever actually seeking out her advice, honestly.

    But frankly, I think they dropped the character for the same reasons Miss. Mousey and Fleet Skibbler was dropped and that is that overall they just weren't that interesting. Personally I would rather see more time being devoted into developing Mildred as a Muppet character. I feel she is deserving of a comeback.
  10. jobi71

    jobi71 Well-Known Member

    I agree that Piggy may not seek out Hilda's advice, but Hilda was or could have been a Mother Hen figure for the troupe. JJ also has an excellent point about Mildred. We know the puppet has been rebuilt. She always struck me as the Margaret Dumont of the Muppet world. Lots of potential for humor there.
    JJandJanice likes this.
  11. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    I could imagine there being an episode where JP Grose comes, and she falls in love, chasing him around or JP Grose not tearing down the theater if Kermit made her do more, something like that or a similar plot.

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