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Why isn't Skeeter a Muppet?

Discussion in 'Muppet Babies' started by Disneys Muppets, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'm more interested in why Gonzo and Animal aren't close friends anymore.
    Mr.Penguin likes this.
  2. LamangoNumber2

    LamangoNumber2 Well-Known Member

    The Scooter Puppet was referbished as a female in one episode of Muppets Tonight. So there's your Skeeter.
    FunnyBear, GonzoLeaper and Mr.Penguin like this.
  3. Mr.Penguin

    Mr.Penguin Well-Known Member

    Dang--wow, I never heard of that! :eek: Which episode was that?
  4. LamangoNumber2

    LamangoNumber2 Well-Known Member

    I forget the episode, but it involved the Elvesis.
  5. Little Robin

    Little Robin Member

    This is a question that's been nagging at me for quite some time and finally I've googled it. The answer is actually pretty black and white. Skeeter is technically not a Muppet but a filler character.

    The Muppet Babies was a spin off series of Piggy's 'What if we grew up together' fantasy sequence in Muppets Take Manhattan so contrary to what the arc suggests it was NOT the beginning of the franchise. The first of the live action films, The Muppet Movie which is the story of how Kermit met and established The Muppets pre-dated it.

    The problem with the Muppet Babies concept was that Piggy was a terrible role model for potential young female viewers but is the only female character among the immediate portion of the Muppets. Other official Jim Henson characters were considered including Janice, even Fraggles and Sesame Street but not only would mixing franchises have caused confusion, it was decided that the second female character needed to counter Piggy. Not only to keep that bossy diva attitude in check but also to represent a defiance of gender stereotypes. Hence Skeeter was created as a twin sister of Scooter whose tomboyish style constantly challenged Piggy, it was suggested at times that she even challenged Piggy's affections for Kermit. At the same time Skeeter was established as a strong character who could stand well on her own hence the fan response to her absence from the live action films. There was a loose explanation offered by the Henson company that she'd become an explorer and disappeared in the Amazon.

    You can also see a quite dark and morbid Adult Swim theory on youtube:

    Janice was still given an appearance in one episode of the animated series but she wasn't received well. Her unique deep toned voice was not translatable to child form. I'd like to add that personally I felt that she also had more of a teenage appearance which is not the most believable as relatable to the Muppet babies.

    So she was reduced to only making silent appearances in the 'The Muppet Kids' book series which featured the muppets as preteens as well a several appearances by Skeeter. I actually recall having one of these books as a child, it featured Piggy being dared to spray paint 'witch' on the window of an old woman rumored to be a child eating witch. I'm pretty sure I read it a million times, it was one of my favorites. I remember even getting the pages water damage from the bathtub. XD

    Then in later years in the Muppet Comic book series volume titled 'Family Reunion' we actually get an appearance by an adult Skeeter who shows up at the Muppet Theater in search of a job but is later revealed to be a detective's assistant. Whether or not this is canon is debatable but just the same it can be considered a satisfying filler to that blank.

    There is a way to get a glimpse at what Skeeter would look like as a live action adult Muppet in this video from a screening event of The Muppet Movie featuring what I am pretty sure is a fan made Adult Skeeter puppet:



  6. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Yep... That Skeeter puppet was made by our very own fellow forum member, puppet builder and performer, and all-around great person Slackbot. You can find more pics of her Skeeter modeled after Amy Mebberson's Boom! Studios Muppet Comics illustration in her "Puppet in Progress" thread in the Puppet Building & Performing section.

    Hope this helps and have fun exploring the forums.
    charlietheowl likes this.
  7. Little Robin

    Little Robin Member

    That's amazing, kudos to her.
  8. Wafflesnacker

    Wafflesnacker Well-Known Member

    Not hard to understand why not, she just didn't go with the group.
  9. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Heh, that video does get around! Yes, that's me and the Skeeter I made. She won a prize in the costume contest at that event despite not wearing a costume at all.

    When Amy Mebberson posted a picture of that puppet on her tumblr I just about died of sheer artistic validation. That said, I plan to rebuild her, giving her a better-shaped head, the next time I find myself between commissions.
    Gads, I hate that rebuild. I find it upsetting to look at. It's like they were saying "Scooter's dead, so let's recycle the carcass." ARGH.
    Mr.Penguin and The Count like this.
  10. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    What moment in Muppets Tonight is that shot from? :eek:
  11. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    She was in episode 106 of MT. There was a King Artur-themed segment of "Great Moments in Elvis History," and Scooter was repurposed for Lady Guenevere.
    Mr.Penguin and The Count like this.
  12. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Lady Guenevere in the King Arthur Great Moments in Elvis History sketch... Guess that'd make your comment about redressing the Scooter carcass truer. Might as well follow Monty Python's lead and "bring out their dead". :smirk:
  13. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    If anyone knows 80's cartoons like I know 80's cartoons, there always had to be a sporty kid. Group of kids type shows always recycled the same character tropes, and this carried well into the series Arthur, a cartoon that premiered in 96. The difference is that in a good cartoon, these tropes don't tend to stick up as much (unlike Pink Panther and Son, where the one dimensional character traits stick out like a sore thumb)... and with The Muppets, you already had the funny character (Fozzie), the hipster/musical character (Rowlf) and the overall everyman (Kermit). Scooter's computer nerd-dom was completely fabricated, however. Not completely out of character, but Scooter was more awkward geeky than a full on stereotypical nerd.

    Skeeter was born out of double necessity. To add a female character to the cast (of course, performed by a male voice actor) and to add a sporty kid to the show. What Muppets are even remotely sporty? Louis Kazzagger? Janice wouldn't have fit in the role, she's too laid back. Wonder why they didn't just use Annie Sue, actually.

    As for Janice, something tells me she would have been a recurring character if the show continued into another season. But let's face it... there is no Muppet fan that doesn't think the final season isn't...well... in the nicest terms, off. It was nice to see Statler and Waldorf in animated form (oddly, as positive characters who loved the kids), but then there's Bean. As in "the character the writers didn't know what to do with" Bean. Instead of being the parody of the "cuteness" the Muppets were starting to be caricatured as, he was the chronically depressed buttmonkey that was just there. It's a shame that Janice never became a cast member or having the entire Electric Mayhem band pop on the series as kids of varying ages (lost opportunity, anyone?).
    Slackbot likes this.
  14. Little Robin

    Little Robin Member

    Excellent point! This hadn't crossed my mind but is absolutely true. There was something of a 90's trend of presenting both sides of the female spectrum. The Muppet Babies was certainly no exception.

    Let me also point out the presence of this concept in another 90's series, Disney channel's Recess.
    Both series featured not only a tomboy female but some form of an opposite female to keep the balance.
    In Arthur opposite Francine we had Muffy, the stuck up rich girly girl who if a high school character clearly would have been the stereotypical cheerleader.

    In Recess opposite Ashley Spinelli (who was most know by her last name), it was Gretchen the nerd who was established by her blue dress with a bow in the back as having the stereotypical female style. There was also a group of reoccurring side characters known as The Ashleys obviously due to all sharing the name whose contrast to Spinelli was pointed out in a specific episode where they tried to recruit her (If I am not mistaken this was the episode in which Spinelli's first name is revealed).

    As a child I was a fan of both series and stereotypes were NOT something even in my knowledge.

    Honestly I had no idea when I posted it, I'd Youtube-d "Muppet Babies Skeeter' looking for fun fan made theories like they have for a certain non-canon Lion King character and it was one of the first results. The only theory I ended up finding was the morbid Adult Swim video in my first post.

    You did an astounding job on the puppet, I'd not known at first watch of that video that it was fanmade. I'd gotten confused haha.
  15. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Thank you! The highest compliment I could ask for is people mistaking my puppets for authentic Henson-made Muppets.
  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Because the shows were done well. Pink Panther and Son, on the other hand, the tropes were obvious and played so mechanically. The thing just comes off as a bad knockoff of the Get-allong-Gang (which, in hindsight wasn't that good either), and the stock personalities outweigh the characters. Not to mention how incredibly tricky it is to get a female character right without making it a Mary Sue or an insulting stereotype one way or another.

    But yeah, Muppet Babies does have the stock personalities of 1980's cartoons, but it comes off so natural, it's hard to notice. If done right, they're just kids with those personalities. Done poorly, it's those personalities put into children.
  17. BeakerJanice

    BeakerJanice Well-Known Member

    She was in one episode,named ,,who's tale is it,anyway?" But she had opened eyes,ever wondered why!I would love to see Skeeter later,she is such a nice girl!
  18. BeakerJanice

    BeakerJanice Well-Known Member

    She was in one episode,named ,,who's tale is it,anyway?" But she had opened eyes,ever wondered why!I would love to see Skeeter later,she is such a nice girl!
  19. LamangoNumber2

    LamangoNumber2 Well-Known Member

    Well, I hate to revive a dead thread, but with all this talk about Scooter's family life from ABC's Muppets, it sort of fills in some gaps. Scooter's mom is obviously seeing other men, who need to wear robes. Scooter hasn't mentioned his dad at all. Skeeter could very well be living with dad while Scooter lives with mom.
  20. snichols1973

    snichols1973 Well-Known Member

    A Sam & Janice "shipping" experiment was one of the background stories in the "Pig Out" episode of TM2015.... :flirt::attitude:

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