The Muppet Show

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Television series
German title The Muppet Show
Original title The Muppet Show
Country of production United Kingdom , United States
original language English
Year (s) 1976-1981
Associated Television
Henson Associates
Incorporated Television Company
The Jim Henson Company
length 25 minutes
Episodes 120 in 5 seasons ( list )
idea Jim Henson
First broadcast September 5, 1976 (UK) on Independent Television
first broadcast
December 3, 1977 on ZDF

The Muppet Show ( english The Muppet Show ) is produced from 1976 to 1981, successful British - American dolls - and comedy - series with the Muppets from Jim Henson and Frank Oz . The program was broadcast in more than 100 countries. In Germany, the series ran from 1977 to 1981 on ZDF . Since January 2014, the episodes can be seen again on the German Disney Channel.

In 2015, the US broadcaster ABC produced a new season of 16 episodes of the show, the plot of which also played in a TV studio and worked with clips in the mockumentary style . The episodes were broadcast from September 2015. In May 2016, however, ABC decided not to continue the series. In Germany, these episodes were shown in double episodes on Saturdays from December 3, 2016 onwards by Pro7 .


The Muppet Show is a variety show with various entertainment performances by puppets, each with a prominent (human) guest star per episode. The name Muppets is an artificial word and has no special meaning. Jim Henson stated for a long time that it was made up of marionette and puppets , but later relativized this statement.

The show is presented by Kermit the frog in front of a very colorful puppet audience. Kermit makes every effort to keep the chaos on, in front of and behind the stage within the framework.

A total of 120 episodes of the classic Muppet Show were produced between 1976 and 1981. In addition, eight full-length feature films and various television specials have been made so far . From 1996 to 1997 20 episodes of the less successful follow-up series Muppets Tonight! broadcast, which was based on a concept similar to the original Muppet Show . The show was moved from a theater to a television studio. Kermit shifted his engagement in this parody to the late-night shows that were successful in the US behind the scenes; The moderator was Clifford, who looked like a horse and had dreadlocks. From 1984 to 1991 the animated series Muppet Babies ran in 107 episodes, and in 2006 the program Muppets TV with 10 episodes was produced for the French commercial broadcaster TF1 .


Henson developed the first dolls while still a student. His first series, Sam and Friends, played in five-minute episodes on a local station's nightly program. The success of the show meant that Henson developed more dolls and these appeared in often over-the-top anarchic commercials.

The first Muppet to appear later in the Muppet Show was Rolf the Dog (originally Rowlf ). He made an appearance in a dog food commercial back in 1963. Rolf was well received by the audience and received regular appearances on the Jimmy Dean Show . In addition to the commercials, Henson made various fairy tale films with dolls over the years. Other dolls became famous in 1969 with the children's series Sesame Street . For Henson, Sesame Street's success was a double-edged sword, as many television producers saw the dolls' potential solely in children's entertainment.

While Henson failed to find a producer for an adult puppet show in the United States, the United Kingdom did not. Lew Grade hired Henson to produce a puppet show for adults for ITV . In 1975 Henson signed a contract there for the production of 24 episodes of the Muppet Show. Since all episodes were to be produced in London , Henson moved there with all of the dolls and his material. With the Muppet Show, Henson proved that you can also appeal to adults with puppet shows. The first episode filmed was The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence , but it wasn't broadcast until a few years later.


Inventor of the Muppets Jim Henson 1989
Puppeteer Frank Oz 2012

Jim Henson developed the basic design of the dolls for other formats during his student days. The special design of the dolls in the Muppet Show was largely shaped by the doll maker Don Sahlin , who had worked with Henson since 1961. Sahlin made most of the show's early puppets from sketches by Henson. Sahlin mainly worked with the method of leaving out a lot of Henson's drawings and concentrating on the essentials. Later other designers and doll makers such as Bonnie Erickson and Michael Frith joined them, who later designed and built dolls.

The most important requirement of the dolls was that they had to be light and mobile. Even if there were all kinds of dolls, most of them consisted of a basic form of foam , which was covered or glued and colored with faux fur , fur, feathers or other materials. Some of the dolls are equipped with electrics that allow individual parts such as the eyes to be moved by remote control.

Most puppets, such as Kermit and Miss Piggy, are played by a player with their hand and a stick. His right hand is stuck in the doll's head, moving it and the mouth, while with his left hand he operates sticks attached to the doll's hands. So-called dolls with living hands such as Rowlf or Fozzie Bär are played by two players. The main player moves the doll's head and mouth with his right hand, while his left hand is in the doll's left hand. The right hand of the puppet is played by the right hand of a second puppeteer. Larger puppets, which only play supporting roles, were either people in costume or large puppets that were only played with sticks on the puppeteer's belts. The puppeteers themselves are dressed and made up in black and appear against a black background.

The players usually held the puppets directly above their heads. A camera and all the necessary props were installed at a height of about 2.50 meters in order to be directly at eye level with the puppets. The puppeteers themselves looked neither at the puppets nor at their fellow players, but rather at screens that were distributed all over the studio and captured the action - as it was seen by the camera. The production of an episode usually took three days. Individual complex scenes could take a day to record.

The German dialogue director Eberhard Storeck was responsible for the synchronization .

The most famous muppets

Kermit the frog

Kermit's star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood

Kermit the Frog is the producer and master of the Muppet Show. His difficult job is keeping everyone happy and coordinating the show. At the beginning of every show you can see the words "MUPPET SHOW". Then a flap in the letter "O" opens and Kermit appears to announce the star guest. While he is still speaking, the lettering goes up, the title music begins and Kermit has to make sure that he doesn't fall out of the "O" onto the stage.

Kermit has to take care of Miss Piggy, who is after him, but whose love he does not reciprocate intensely. He has to cheer up Fozzie when another joke goes wrong, look after the star guests and then announce the next appearance. His trademark in the German translation is the call (which does not appear in the original) "Applause, applause, applause!", With which he ends every announcement. Another well-known quote is: "A frog with no humor is just a little green bunch!"

Kermit is the only character who appears regularly on both Sesame Street and the Muppet Show. It was developed as the first doll by Jim Henson for the five-minute television series Sam and Friends on October 14, 1955 , and named by him after a school friend ("Theodore Kermit Scott").

Kermit was played by Jim Henson and later spoken by him in the original American version of Sesame Street . After his death, Kermit was played by Steve Whitmire for 27 years and also spoken in the original English version. In July 2017, Whitmire was replaced against his will by Matt Vogel, who now plays Kermit. In the German version of Sesame Street, Kermit was dubbed by Andreas von der Meden until his death in 2017, while in the Muppet Show by Horst Gentzen . After his death in 1985 von der Meden also took over all of the dubbing parts for Kermit in the Muppet films, up to the 2011 film The Muppets .

The original Kermit doll was made from, among other things, a green transition coat that belonged to Jim Henson's mother. An almost invisible seam runs across Kermit's nose. Kermit has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame .

In August 2015, the separation of the long-term relationship of Kermit and Miss Piggy became public. "After careful deliberations, deliberate considerations and considerable bickering, we made the difficult decision to end our romantic relationship." Professionally, they will continue to work together, but privately they will go their separate ways, reported the two Muppets. This separation after more than forty years triggered a broad and international response in the media and on social platforms.

The name Kermit is of Scottish origin (Mac Dhiarmaid) and means "son of Dermot", Diarmad or Dermot means "free man". Kermit the frog is the symbol and mascot of the Jim Henson Company . After him also was a computer program named . Marina and the Diamonds sang the song "Hermit the frog" in 2010 as a reference to Kermit.

Miss Piggy

Miss Piggy is a glamorous and capricious pig diva, actress and singer with Rubens figure . She would like to be in a relationship with Kermit, often regards him as her property and often takes her frustration out on him with powerful blows. In addition to her vocal performances, she can also be seen in the recurring skits “In der Tierklinik” and “Pigs in Space”. Miss Piggy was originally just a minor character. However, already in the first season, such a great potential was recognized in her that her character was expanded to one of the most important roles. This can also be seen very well on the doll itself: While it was rather inconspicuous at the beginning of the series, it already became much more glamorous in the second season with more distinctive facial features and a much more luxurious wardrobe.

In August 2015, the dissolution of the longstanding relationship with Kermit the Frog became known, see previous section on Kermit the Frog.

Frank Oz played and spoke the puppet until 2001, when Erik Jacobson has been the puppeteer behind the puppet. In the German version, the actress Marianne Wischmann gave this doll figure her voice. That only changed with the movie The Muppets Christmas Story in 1993 , when more emphasis was placed on the similarity to the original voice. Since then, Miss Piggy has been spoken by Berno von Cramm and since 2011 by Christian Gaul .

Fozzie Bear

An orange-brown, shaggy bear in a pork pie hat and a pink polka dot scarf who tries his hand at being a comedian . But nobody finds his jokes funny and so he is usually haunted by inferiority complexes after his performances. There are regular mocking interjections from the audience, especially from Waldorf and Statler . Kermit always encourages him and builds him up again.

The construction with which Fozzie is able to wiggle his ears was designed by the doll manufacturer Faz Fazakas . It is therefore often assumed that the name Fozzie refers to him. However, the actual origin of the name is uncertain.

Initially, Fozzie was played and spoken by the puppeteer Frank Oz, in recent years he has been portrayed by Eric Jacobson and also played by Todd Coyle . His German voice is Bruno W. Pantel , after his death Walter von Hauff took over , then Tom Deininger permanently .


Puppeteer Dave Goelz
Image of Gonzo on an airplane

Gonzo the Great (originally Gonzo The Great ) is a stuntman . However, something always goes wrong with his daring stunts. Gonzo was developed and played by Dave Goelz , Werner Abrolat contributed his German voice on the Muppet Show . Gudo Hoegel takes over his part in the films .

The "boiler suit" with the long nose tries to attract attention at all costs. Gonzo also plays the trumpet on the opening music. In the first three seasons, the words "MUPPET SHOW" at the end of the intro enter the picture a second time from above. In the first season Gonzo wants to use the letter "O" as a drum, which actually goes wrong every time. From the second season Gonzo sits in the letter "O", and while the choir sings the last word "Shoooooow" in the opening music, Gonzo blows the trumpet, although (almost) every time he does not manage to get a normal tone out of it . Sometimes it explodes, sometimes a balloon is inflated in the funnel, sometimes it rains confetti, etc. Only once during the entire episode - with guest star John Cleese - Gonzo manages to elicit a clear tone from the trumpet.

In the movie Muppets From Space ( Muppets from Space , 1999) Gonzo is clarified origin. Not knowing which species he belongs to and not finding any "conspecifics" was a strain on Gonzo again and again in the course of the various films and Muppet Show episodes. After Gonzo is denied access to Noah's Ark in a dream because he cannot say “what” he actually is and states that he is “a one-off”, he receives a message in the morning via his breakfast cereal. In the end, it turns out that Gonzo is an alien who had to be left on Earth years ago. When the time comes that his relatives want to take him back into space, he realizes that he does not want to leave his beloved friends and voluntarily stays on earth.

In the 1980s, the word "gonzo" was synonymous with a long nose or a mishap. In the US it is used to describe an eccentric .


Rowlf the Dog

Rowlf is a dog who plays the piano and sings along with it. When he says something, it's mostly snappy comments. Rowlf's conversations with a speaking Beethoven bust on his concert grand were also known. Rowlf was played by Jim Henson , the German voiceover was Michael Rüth . Since Rowlf was voiced by Henson, it was decided, out of respect for Henson, that after his death in 1990 Rowlf would remain silent in future productions. This was only maintained until 1996, when Rowlf has been spoken by other puppeteers.

Rowlf is the oldest character on the Muppet Show, which was invented for dog food commercials back in the early 1960s. The doll was originally made of synthetic plush fur, foam and plastic.


A fidgety guy with a yellow-orange head, glasses and a shiny green jacket. Kermit hired him somewhat reluctantly as the “girl for everything” because his uncle owns the theater. Scooter Kermit reminds you of this whenever there is a difference of opinion between the two. Kermit then usually twists his mouth and gives way. It's Scooter, with which - even before the theme tune and Kermit's announcement - every episode of the second, third and fourth season begins. Scooter goes into the dressing room of the respective guest star to announce that there are so-and-so many seconds until the appearance. The guest star usually makes a little joke (often at Scooters expense), something breaks, something starts to burn, chickens flutter through the cloakroom, etc. The puppeteer Scooters was Richard Hunt, in the German version Christina Hoeltel spoke the part However, most of the vocals were performed by Eberhard Storeck . Scooter is the only character on the Muppet Show who kept her original German voice almost throughout. Only in the film The Greatest Muppet Spectacle of All Time did Christina Hoeltel not dub it. Scooter's first appearance in the first season was the second episode with guest star Jim Nabors, which was broadcast in Germany as the sixth, so that he could also be seen in previously broadcast episodes.


Pepé (in the original: Pepe the King Prawn) whose full name is Pepino Rodrigo Serrano Gonzales is a Spanish shrimp. He thinks he's irresistible. Pepé only has one tooth and has the habit of saying "... okay?" to end. He first appeared in Muppets Tonight.

Rizzo the rat

Steve Whitmire, 2014

Rizzo is a rat from Brooklyn , New York City who mostly dresses in teenage clothes (such as a college jacket). It was played (or led) by Steve Whitmire . Since “The Muppets Christmas Story” he has often been seen with Gonzo.


Tier (in the original Animal ) is the insane, shaggy-haired drummer who is chained to the drums. This doll is extremely fidgety, expresses itself mainly through guttural grunts and communicates mostly through its drums. Henson was inspired for this character by Keith Moon , the drummer of The Who . The drummer Ronnie Verrell , who died in 2002, was the musician who gave the animal its skills, including in the legendary drum battle with Buddy Rich . Tier was played by Frank Oz. Tier was dubbed by Harald Baerow and later by Hartmut Neugebauer .

Prof. Dr. Honeydew bunsen burner

Prof. Dr. Honeydew Bunsen burner (originally Dr. Bunsen Honeydew ) is the leading scientist in the Muppet laboratory . Its name refers to the gas burner of the Bunsen burner type that can be found in chemistry laboratories and to its inventor Robert Wilhelm Bunsen . Prof. Dr. Honeydew Bunsen burner invents strange equipment that most will actually work - often only briefly and then often to the detriment of his assistant Beaker (English for. Beaker , which they must try). A typical saying of the professor is: "And who else than our dear assistant Beaker would volunteer to try this ... for us." Bunsenbrenner has no eyes, these are only indicated by glasses. Dr. Bunsenbrenner was played by Dave Goelz, his German voice comes from Kurt Zips . Since his death, Mogens von Gadow lends his voice to the character.


Beaker is the hapless assistant of Prof. Dr. Honeydew bunsen burner, who has been by his side since the second season. Prof. Dr. Honigtau Bunsenbrenner explains to the audience what Beaker is going to test, and his typical reaction is rolled eyes, seeking help and his hysterical "Wed, Wed, Wed". This is, with one exception in the film Muppet Movie ("Mi, Mi, Mu, Mu, Mi, Mi"), the only thing he has ever uttered. He's shy and ultimately fails to find Dr. To stand up to Bunsen burner, which is why he is often injured during the experiments. Beaker has orange hair. The character was dubbed by Eberhard Storeck .

Sam, the American eagle

The moral apostle with a penchant for censorship is a swipe at conservative patriotism in the USA. The US heraldic animal is a bald eagle , the state that oversees everything is often called " Uncle Sam ". Sam usually gives sprawling speeches about morality and morality, only to be either rudely interrupted or at the end to contradict himself. In the first season it is always Sam who announces the singing duo Wayne & Wanda "with a swell of pride" , which he considers to be the only culturally valuable contribution to the otherwise questionable program of the show. Wolf Ackva contributed his dignified, self-important voice , the original player and spokesman was Frank Oz. Sam's appearance is also based on a play on words: The bald eagle is called “Bald Eagle” in English - which describes Sam's hairstyle adequately.

The Danish cook

The Danish chef's cooking show (in the original Swedish Chef ) is an integral part of the Muppet Show. It was created as a parody of the increasingly popular television chefs in the 1970s; Various chefs are named as possible models, including Friedman Paul Erhardt . He always wears a white chef's hat and a brown mustache. His eyebrows are so thick and scruffy that you can't see his eyes. In addition, the cook is one of the few puppets whose hands are played directly. He therefore needed two players, Jim Henson for the actual doll and Frank Oz for the hands. The puppeteer slipped into the robe and put his hands through the sleeves of the cooking apron. Only in this way was it possible to throw ingredients around in the kitchen, gesticulating wildly and tinkering, which became one of his trademarks. Another trademark is his incomprehensible, confused gibberish language "Børk" with the exaggerated Scandinavian accent and scattered "Scandinavian" English words (example: "Hüm des güln de hob de gorang de schokolad müüs" from the sequence in the Mousse au Chocolat is made). In contrast to the original, the cook spoke in the German version with largely coherent German (or very German-like) sentences. The most famous sentence in the German edition of the Muppet Show is the song " Smørrebrød , Smørrebrød røm, pøm, pøm, pøm", with which he usually greets the audience. It came from the dubbing author Eberhard Storeck , who also lent the chef his voice. Engelbert von Nordhausen and Hartmut Neugebauer take on this part in more recent films . The chef was portrayed and spoken in the original by Jim Henson. The chef comes up with unusual ideas and interprets familiar dishes in a strange way. For example, his recipe for mousse au chocolat consisted of spreading melted chocolate on an elk (“moose” means “elk” in English). Storeck tried to save the wordplay in the German version by combining the French “mousse” with the German “ Mus ” and the English “moose” with reference to an old English recipe.

Dr. Gold tooth

Dr. Goldzahn (originally Dr. Teeth ) is the band leader of Electric Mayhem . He plays the electronic organ and keeps the show going with vocal numbers. He mostly wears crazy outfits with lots of glitter and a big pink hat. This figure was inspired by the American pianist and singer Mac Rebennack, better known as Dr. John . Dr Teeth was played and spoken in the original by Jim Henson. He was spoken in German by Heini Göbel . Manfred Lichtenfeld took over his singing voice .

Floyd Pepper

Floyd is the house band's hippie bassist. He wears a ponytail, long red mustache, a green soldier's hat, and a red fantasy uniform jacket modeled on the jackets worn by the Beatles on the album cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band . Allegedly, this doll is the image of Jim Henson himself. His pink skin color goes back to an inside joke; he is a " Pink Floyd ". Floyd is one of the few muppets who have some influence on animals (see above). In some episodes it is mentioned that this is his pet, and the animal is also kept on a leash by Floyd. Floyd was originally played and spoken by Jerry Nelson , while Paul Lasner spoke in the German dubbing .


Janice is the blonde solo guitarist in the muppet band Electric Mayhem and is in a relationship with Floyd Pepper. She also appears regularly in the veterinary clinic segments as a nurse. Janice can be described as a "flower child".


Gato Barbieri, inspiration for the Zoot doll

Zoot plays tenor saxophone . He suspects that audiences don't understand enough about music to appreciate his talent. The model for the name is the jazz saxophonist Zoot Sims , the musician Gato Barbieri served as a model for the design of the doll . Zoot was also spoken in German by Harald Baerow. It was played and spoken in the original by Dave Goelz.

Waldorf and Statler

Waldorf and Statler dolls sitting in a convertible

The two older gentlemen watch what is going on from their box and comment on everyone and everything with sarcastic remarks, as they do not like a performance. Although they act like the Muppet Show is the very last thing, they are regulars and have not missed a show (with the exception of the one that guest- starred Danny Kaye ). Thanks to their sayings - especially their closing words after the credits - they became the secret stars of the show, although they rarely left their box for brief moments on the stage. The two gentlemen were named after the New York hotels Statler and Waldorf-Astoria - Waldorf's wife, which is occasionally mentioned, is consequently called Astoria and was subsequently in the box with Dizzy Gillespie instead of Statler. Statler (the gray-haired one) and Waldorf (the white-haired one with a mustache) also have first names. However, they are never used on the show. In a Christmas special they call themselves "Herbert" (Statler) and "Charles" (Waldorf).

Waldorf, originally played and spoken by Jim Henson, was dubbed by Walter Reichelt . Manfred Lichtenfeld contributed Statler's voice . Richard Hunt originally designed the figure.

The characters have also been used in commercials and served as a model for the comedians Diether Krebs and Carry Goossens in their joint comedy series Der Dicke und der Belgier , in which they mimed two drunken homeless people who made sarcastic comments about their own at the end of the episode Show.


Camilla is one of Gonzo's chickens and his all-time favorite. Gonzo is in love with her and spends a lot of time with her at her pavilion "Camilla's Place".

Bobo the bear

Bobo is a large brown bear who was featured as a security guard on Muppets Tonight. Outside of Muppets Tonight, he's not a security guard. In Muppets from space he embodies one of the bad guys (Rentro), who in the end turns out to be kind-hearted. In the film The Muppets , Bobo (together with Uncle Tödlich) is an assistant to Tex Richman, an opponent of the Muppets. There you can also see that Bobo is not one of the bad guys.


Clifford is a purple muppet with brightly colored (red, pink, purple) dreadlocks who mostly wears sunglasses. He is always calm and relaxed. In the series Muppets Tonight, Clifford is the host because he was the only one who didn't run away when Kermit was looking for someone for this job, which was because he was talking to his girlfriend on the phone and didn't notice anything. He had his last appearance in 2006 in the French series Muppets TV. Since then, Clifford has not appeared in the Muppets.

Link curly tail

Link is a blond pig with a pronounced chin. From the 2nd season he appears as the captain of the spaceship Schweinetrek in the recurring sketch series "Pigs in Space". He can also be seen later in the sketch series “Polizeibär”. Link is also on other appearances as a singer. His relationship with Miss Piggy is ambivalent. Sometimes it seems that Link has a weakness for the pig lady, the two compete in other situations in order to be the center of attention. Link was dubbed by Harald Baerow .

The news anchor

The nameless news anchor (in the original The Muppet Newsman ) with a yellow face, who only wore glasses from the middle of the first season, always hectically read the Muppet news. The German voice comes from Franz Rudnick . The news he read out often took shape during the news broadcast. For example, a prison escape who had just been warned about suddenly appeared in the studio, and the Danish cook, who, according to the news today, is preparing frog leg or chicken soup, chased one of Gonzo's chickens or Robin through the picture.


Beauregard is the caretaker of the Muppet Theater, always a bit absent-minded and difficult to understand, but kind-hearted and helpful. Scattered as he is, he sometimes intervenes carelessly in the action or triggers chaotic chain reactions by abandoning utensils. But even this does not disturb him. Beauregard first appears in season 3. In the first season, the grouchy George was the caretaker in the Muppet Theater. The puppeteer was Dave Goelz and the German speaker was Donald Arthur .

Dr. Julius bacon rind

The "mysterious Dr. Speckschwarte ”(in the original Dr. Julius Strangepork ) is another pig that appears as a science officer in the sketches of the series“ Pigs in Space ”. It is a reference to Dr. Strangelove from a film by Stanley Kubrick . Dr. Speckschwarte was dubbed by Mogens von Gadow.

Robin the frog

Robin is Kermit's nephew and practically his collarless miniature version. He only appears occasionally at the Muppet Show. His best friend is Sweetums. Like the Danish chef, he was spoken by Eberhard Storeck . Originally, Jerry Nelson sang, spoke and played him.


Sweetums is a big, dangerous-looking monster who is very nice and sometimes a bit clumsy. He has appeared in the opening credits since the second season and is also in numerous episodes. The puppeteer was Richard Hunt, the German speaker Herbert Weicker .

Lew Zealand

Lew appears sporadically from season 3 and tries to convince Kermit to let him and his terrific boomerang fish number on the show. As a rule, however, Kermit cannot be beaten, because the fish number has a crucial catch: the discarded fish do not come back at all. However, Lew regularly insists on the fact that the fish in the samples do come back. It was played and spoken by Jerry Nelson. The German voice actor was Michael Habeck .


Pops is the doorman at the stage entrance of the Muppet Theater. He mainly appears in Season 5 and greets the stars when they arrive at the Muppet Theater. This basically happens, regardless of how well known the guest star is, with an astonished "Who are you?" The puppeteer was Jerry Nelson, and Peter Capell spoke in the German version .

Crazy Harry

A wild man with tangled hair, a crazy look and loud, wild, crazy laugh. He's the show's pyrotechnic expert with a penchant for bombs and the big bang. Mostly you see him with a blasting machine in hand. If someone carelessly puts the word "bomb" in their mouth during the performance, Harry may appear immediately on the scene at this keyword and trigger an explosion. He also plays the triangle in the Muppet Orchestra . In seasons one and two, the character was still called Crazy Donald. The German speaker is Eberhard Storeck .

Uncle Deadly

Uncle Deadly (often just deadly ) is a blue, dragon-like monster in torn, old-fashioned clothing. He officially appears as the Phantom of the Muppet Show for the first time in the episode with guest star Twiggy of the first season. Here he is spoken by Eberhard Storeck ; in later episodes he is voiced by Donald Arthur . In the original, Jerry Nelson spoke and played. Among other things, he appears from the third season in a recurring sketch with Miss Piggy and Wayne as the villain. He speaks with a Russian accent. In the movie The Muppets , Uncle Deadly (along with Bobo the Bear) is an assistant to Tex Richman, the Muppets' opponent. In the end, however, he turns against Richman.


Lips (German: "Lips") only appears from the fifth season and plays the trumpet at Electric Mayhem.

Marvin Suggs

The slightly crazy musician always surprises with new ideas about how "music" can be elicited from objects, but above all living beings. Mostly this happens with Suggs that he maltreats his "instruments" by hitting them on the head, and then forming sound structures from the various expressions of pain of his victims. Suggs usually appears with his six living muppaphones - a kind of marimba - but does not shy away from interludes with a “vegetable and fruit choir”. Suggs was played by Frank Oz.

More muppets

Mahna Mahna and the Snowths

Mahna Mahna is a small male with purple skin, an orange-red mane, pink nose and green fur below the head, except for the arms and legs. Mahna Mahna likes to sing his name. The Snowths, two pink horned creatures, sing "Do doo, do do doo." and want to outdo Mahna Mahna with their singing. The mix of the singing of the three resulted in the hit Mah Nà Mah Nà .

Mildred Huxtetter

The purple, bird-like muppet is Dr. of philosophy and the fine arts. Like George, she appears mostly in the first season, often with George the caretaker. Later it also only occurs sporadically. One of the bigger appearances is on the show with Rich Little as a reporter in season 2. Mildred can now only be found as a background character.

George the caretaker

George is the grouchy caretaker for the Muppet Show in season one. According to himself, George has been there for a long time. He has a penchant for mops and can often be seen with Mildred in the Muppet Ballroom. After the first season, the figure can only be seen sporadically. The caretaker position will be taken over by Beauregard from season 3. He is now no longer part of the Muppets. His last appearance was as a background character in Muppets Tonight.


Hilda is the cloakroom attendant behind the scenes at the Muppet Show and can only be seen there in the first season. According to her own statement, Hilda is only 33 years old, but looks much older. She is said to come from Transylvania . Hilda had her very last appearance in 1984 as a background character in the film "The Muppets conquer Manhattan". Tilli Breidenbach lent Hilda her voice.

Wayne and Wanda

Wayne and Wanda are a singing duo who made regular appearances on the first season of the Muppet Show. The epitome of conservative, 1950s-style entertainment, her old-fashioned performances are highly recommended by Sam the Eagle . When they perform, everything ends up getting out of hand and one or both of them get injured. After the first season, Wayne and Wanda no longer appear. You learn in the fourth season that they were fired. Wayne is still involved in various skits. In the film The Muppets , the two are back when the Muppets get together to go on tour again. Wayne was voiced by Harald Baerow . Wanda got her vote from Monika Grewing .

Annie Sue

A young, blond-haired pig. Annie Sue can already be seen in the background in the second season. However, she only gets a permanent role from the third season. Like her great role model Miss Piggy, the somewhat naive pig lady wants to make a career as a singer on the Muppet Show. Annie Sue is officially introduced by Kermit in the Leo Sayer episode. Miss Piggy, however, sees her as an unloved competitor. It is characteristic that Miss Piggy cannot or does not want to remember Annie Sue's name and always titled her with Annabell. The voice actress was Uschi Wolff .

Baskerville the Hound

Baskerville Hound is a small dog. He first appeared in 1962 as Rowlf's comrade in the Purina Dog Chow commercials. This makes him one of the first muppets. Baskerville also appears later mostly at Rowlf's side. He has fluffy brown fur. After Muppets Tonight, Baskerville had no further appearances.

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound is a blonde female dog with a long snout. She first appeared in Season 2 of the Muppet Show and has been a regular background character ever since.


Nigel first appeared in one of the Muppet Show's two pilots, "The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence". There he is the host of the show. In the series he can be seen mainly as the conductor of the Muppet Orchestra in the intro, but also has a few other appearances on the show.


Thog is the biggest muppet, but his shy and friendly-looking face doesn't make him look dangerous, which he isn't. He is very reserved, nice and polite. Thog has blue fur. From the second season he can be seen in the opening credits of the show and has occasional appearances on the show.

Beautiful day monster

The Beautiful Day Monster (in German: Wundervoller-Tag-Monster ) is a blue monster that had appearances on the Muppet Show as well as on Sesame Street. Now it belongs to the Muppets and not to Sesame Street. Beautiful Day Monster is very often seen in the background, mostly as part of a group of many monsters.


Droop is a green shaggy monster with a long trunk-like nose. He is usually depicted as sad and depressed. In some exceptions he's silly.

Luncheon Counter Monster

The purple Luncheon Counter Monster is a monster that gets hungry for pretty much anything. It has a large mouth with two teeth and horns on its head. The German name of the monster is not known.


Behemoth is an orange mono-browed monster that made its first appearance in the first season of the Muppet Show and has been around since then. It has a very large mouth.

Big Mean Carl

Big Mean Carl (which means "big mean Karl" in German) is a monster with green fur who played a more important role in Muppets Tonight , but still appears as a background character. He eats whatever he is hungry for, which can be just about anything. It doesn't matter whether his food is alive or not. For example, Carl has already devoured rabbits. His eyes are yellow, his nose is pink and very large compared to the rest of his body, as is his mouth, which has a single tooth at the bottom. Carl also has horns on his head.


Foo-Foo is Miss Piggy's dog. Its fur is white. In contrast to other dogs among the Muppets, he can only communicate by barking and growling and cannot speak. Foo-Foo appears for the first time in the fourth season.

Left handedness

Since the figures are usually guided by the puppeteer's right hand, the player's left hand usually operates the figure's left hand, making most muppets left-handed. This can be seen particularly well with the musicians. An exception is Annie Sue, who was played by a left-hander and was therefore right-handed.

The handedness is also important in the case of puppets that are played by the puppeteer with their heads facing the audience, lying down or in pairs, and where the sides of the puppeteer and the puppet are reversed.

Series within the Muppet Show

There were always recurring mini-series within the show.

Pigs in space

Pigs in Space is a parody of the science fiction series Spaceship Enterprise (in the original Star Trek - the pig spaceship is called USS Swinetrek ). The crew consists of three pigs - Captain Link Ringeltail, Miss Piggy and the science officer Dr. Julius bacon rind. Link parodies Captain Kirk and, above all, his actor William Shatner , whose exterior he is modeled on. As in the television series, the plot is primarily carried by three protagonists. The music of the intro is based on the music of Raumschiff Enterprise. Gonzo appeared in several episodes as Darth Vader cut (Darth Mader), including the one in which Luke Skywalker , C-3PO , R2-D2 and Chewbacca were guests.

In the veterinary clinic

Here we saw Rowlf in the role of “Dr. Bob ”, assisted by Sister Piggy and Sister Janice. The trio used the defenseless patients on the operating table as an object for numerous puns . It satirized series such as General Hospital and Trapper John, MD , comparable to its German counterpart, Die Schwarzwaldklinik .

Muppets lightning news

The newscast for the Muppet Show. The catastrophes reported by the newscaster were mostly closer than he could have liked: if they did not happen in the background, he himself suffered. It also happened that while reading out the lottery numbers he won the lottery himself and quit his job live on air. But it could just as well happen that he reported about an explosion in the Muppet labs that had occurred in the previous sketch and the object that exploded and thrown into the air fell into the studio.

The Muppet Laboratory

"Welcome to the Muppet Laboratory, where the future is being made today." Honeydew Bunsenbrenner presents his latest inventions together with his assistant Beaker. These include the most obscure things like a machine that turns pure gold into cottage cheese , or a luggage reducer that also compresses the assistant Beaker into a small format when he accidentally gets into the machine.

The Muppet Ballroom

In a festive ballroom, dancing doll pairs exchange short one-liners. Often it is a selection of jokes on a specific topic, such as the famous fly in the soup. During the first season, a number of recurring puppets mostly danced together. In the following seasons the pairs were usually composed more arbitrarily. Here the conversations were partly based on only one specific topic per sketch.

The houses

Four talking houses are cracking jokes or telling puns that have to do with houses or parts of houses. This sketch was only seen in the first season.

The patrol bear

A rare sketch in which officer Fozzie Bär shows up at the police station and detains a (supposed) criminal. In a dialogue with Officer Link, Fozzie is overwhelmed or locked up by the prisoner. Fozzie sometimes appears as a patrol bear in other skits. The sketch can only be seen in later seasons.

The Muppets song

The melody of the Muppet Show Theme Song is almost identical to the song Musik, Musik, Musik ( I don't need millions ) by Peter Kreuder from the film Hallo Janine ( UFA , 1939), sung by Marika Rökk . Ingrid Kreuder, Peter Kreuder's widow , therefore assumes that the melody has been stolen.

Guest stars of the Muppet Show

Muppet movies

Muppet TV specials, TV films and VHS / DVD productions (selection)

more publishments

On September 28, 2005, the United States Postal Service released a set of stamps featuring Jim Henson and the Muppets for Kermit's 50th birthday.

Several best-of- DVDs and complete sets of the first three seasons were released in English , although some singing numbers of the human guests are missing for legal reasons.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the first season in December 2010 and the next two in early 2011 on the German market, which was previously not possible for legal reasons. Seasons four and five are still missing. In addition to the German original dubbing from 1977, there are also numerous extras and the episode with Mary Roos , which was only broadcast in Germany (the original episode with Twiggy is available in English with German subtitles). In contrast to the US episodes, the German-language release of season one restored the episodes to their original length; the image content in the opening and closing credits is in German. However, the English end credits were not taken over with Kaye Ballard, where Rowlf plays the piano alone because of a strike by the band. On March 1, 2014, the German Disney Channel broadcast the episode in which both singers Roos and Twiggy could be seen in different scenes.

On November 19, 2009, 14 new Muppet clips from the Muppets Studios appeared on the YouTube video platform . By the end of November 2009, the clips had a total of over 15 million hits. These include muppet interpretations of the Queen's hit Bohemian Rhapsody and Beethoven's Ode to Joy .


Unlike Sesame Street, for example, the Muppet Show always addressed an audience that consisted of both children and adults. On the one hand, the makers rely on the often slapstick-like violence between dolls, as is characteristic of numerous children's programs. The makers mainly used secondary characters and monster dolls. In the interaction between the guest stars and the main characters and the arcs between the main characters, on the other hand, there are elements that tended to appeal to an adult audience.


Scientific reception

Since the death of Jim Henson in particular, science has dealt with the muppets again and again. This focused primarily on the films, other spin-offs and Sesame Street, less on the Muppet show itself. The disciplines that dealt particularly intensively with the muppets were, on the one hand, media studies , which dealt with the topic particularly in their investigation of media for children, and, on the other, gender studies . While media studies have often dealt with the relationship between profit and upbringing and the impact of the muppets on child development, gender studies have focused almost exclusively on the role of Miss Piggy .

National Museum of American History

The original dolls are in the National Museum of American History . The Muppets and Mechanisms exhibition has been there since 2006, and Jim Henson's dolls are also on display. On August 25, 2010, the Henson family gave some dolls from the Sam and Friends series to the museum, including Kermit the Frog. Another group joined Jim Henson's 77th birthday on September 24, 2013, including Ernie and Bert, the Fraggles, Fozzie and Miss Piggy.


  • Christopher Finch : Of Muppets and Man. The Making of the Muppet Show. Alfred A. Knopf, 1986.
  • Christopher Finch, Charles S. Finch, Jim Henson: Jim Henson: The Works: The Art, the Magic, the Imagination. Random House, 1993, ISBN 0-679-41203-4 .
  • Jennifer C. Garlen, Anissa M. Graham (Eds.): Kermit Culture - Critical Perspectives on Jim Henson's Muppets. McFarland, 2009, ISBN 0-7864-4259-X .
  • Jim Henson , Jack Burns, Jerry Juhl , Marc London and others a .: The big Muppet show. (OT: The Muppet Show Book. ) Kristall, Berlin / Hamburg 1980, ISBN 3-607-00007-7 .
  • Author collective: The Muppet Show. Henson Associates / Pierino, Zug 1976.
  • Tomas Riad: Börk börk börk. Ehula hule de chokolad muus. In: Spraktidningen. April 2008.
  • Craig Shemin: Muppets. The great lexicon. Dorling Kindersley, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-8310-2575-6 . (Photo book with over 150 characters from A to Z)
  • Victoria Grace Weisel, Leslee Asch u. a .: Muppets, Monsters & Magic. The world of Jim Henson. (OT: The Art of the Muppets. ) Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main / New York 1987, ISBN 3-88799-021-8 .

Web links

Commons : The Muppets  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Matthias Hannemann: New "Muppets" series: The frog has a pig. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , December 3, 2016, accessed on December 10, 2016 .
  2. Jim Henson (general discussion) ( Memento of November 14, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  3. a b Victoria Grace Weisel, Leslee Asch u. a .: Muppets, Monsters & Magic. The world of Jim Henson. (OT: The Art of the Muppets). Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main / New York 1987, ISBN 3-88799-021-8 , p. 22.
  4. a b Victoria Grace Weisel, Leslee Asch u. a .: Muppets, Monsters & Magic. The world of Jim Henson. (OT: The Art of the Muppets). Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main / New York 1987, ISBN 3-88799-021-8 , p. 26.
  5. Victoria Grace Weisel, Leslee Asch u. a .: Muppets, Monsters & Magic. The world of Jim Henson. (OT: The Art of the Muppets). German Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main / New York 1987, ISBN 3-88799-021-8 , p. 4.
  6. a b Victoria Grace Weisel, Leslee Asch u. a .: Muppets, Monsters & Magic. The world of Jim Henson. (OT: The Art of the Muppets). German Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main / New York 1987, ISBN 3-88799-021-8 , p. 6.
  7. a b c Victoria Grace Weisel, Leslee Asch u. a .: Muppets, Monsters & Magic. The world of Jim Henson. (OT: The Art of the Muppets ). Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main / New York 1987, ISBN 3-88799-021-8 , p. 13.
  8. Victoria Grace Weisel, Leslee Asch u. a .: Muppets, Monsters & Magic. The world of Jim Henson. (OT: The Art of the Muppets). German Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main / New York 1987, ISBN 3-88799-021-8 , p. 3.
  9. Kermit unpacks: "I was fired."
  10. Muppets - Kermit spokesman Steve Whitmire will be replaced after 27 years., July 11, 2017, accessed on July 12, 2017 .
  11. a b Kermit the Frog: “Here is the official statement from @RealMissPiggy and myself regarding our relationship”. August 4, 2015, Twitter , accessed December 10, 2016.
  12. ^ A b Spiegel Online: Separation from Miss Piggy: Kermit has a new one.
  13. a b Helene Navne: Kermit i panikalderen - kaldt svin på nettet.
  14. a b c d e f g h i Victoria Grace Weisel, Leslee Asch u. a .: Muppets, Monsters & Magic. The world of Jim Henson. (OT: The Art of the Muppets). German Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main / New York 1987, ISBN 3-88799-021-8 , p. 12.
  15. Alice: 20 Jim Henson Puppets Make Their Big Museum Debut. My Modern Metropolis September 27, 2013.
  17. ^ Chef Tell, Who Turned Kitchen Skill Into TV Fame, Dies at 63. In: The New York Times. Obituary dated November 5, 2007. Accessed September 15, 2010.
  18. Anika Gupta: The Woman Behind Miss Piggy ( Memento from September 27, 2009). Smithsonian Magazine October 2008.
  19. The Muppet Show (1976-1981)
  20. Marika Röck "I don't need millions" sampled in The Muppets "The Muppet Show Theme" on
  21. Michael Lachmann: I don't need millions.
  22. United States Postal Service: 2005 Postage Stamps.
  23. The Muppet Show - on DVD! on YouTube , Walt Disney Home, July 8, 2010.
  24. The Muppets YouTube Channel
  25. ^ Rayna Denison: The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence: Investigating the Complexity of the Television Body. In: Intensities Journal, 4. (2007), Section 5.
  26. ^ Rayna Denison: The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence: Investigating the Complexity of the Television Body. In: Intensities Journal. 4. (2007), Section 8.