Characters: The Muppet Show

For Muppets that showed up after The Muppet Show ended, go here.

Kermit the Frog

Jim Henson (1955–1990; deceased)
Steve Whitmire (1990–present)

Banjo-playing amphibian from the Deep South and eternal Straight Man. Upon being discovered in a swamp by a talent agent, he headed to Hollywood, collecting the other Muppets along the way like so many hangers-on. Regularly depicted as the long-suffering boyfriend of Miss Piggy and the equally long-suffering pal to Fozzie.

  • Author Avatar: He is often seen as one for Henson, who at one point said, "[Kermit] can say things I hold back." Indeed, while Jim never lost his temper, there's a limit to how far Kermit can be pushed before he erupts.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: While he usually takes the antics of his co-stars with mild frustration at worst, there are rare occasions where he completely snaps. Miss Piggy, whose temper Kermit is usually at the constant brunt of, almost lost her job as a result.
  • Butt Monkey: He occasionally is this, often being eaten by monsters. In some cases, he gets kidnapped and almost nobody notices.
  • Catchphrase: "Hi-oh, Kermit Dee Frog here..."
  • Character Tics: Flailing his arms around wildly like he's directing air traffic.
  • Control Freak: In The Muppet Show and beyond. Kermit does not like ad-libbing and handles very poorly under pressure. This is because ad-libbing in the Muppets actually is rather detrimental, with bizarre and unpredictable consequences.
  • Chaste Toons: Has a nephew, but no children. note 
  • Deadpan Snarker: This was Kermit's original shtick to go along with his Only Sane Man persona. Later on, his snarkiness was downplayed to highlight his sweetness, but he still gets in on this once in awhile. This trope was reinstated in the 2011 film.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Originally appeared on Sam and Friends (before he was a frog) and Sesame Street as a regular, though he's far better known for his Muppet Show role.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Not that you could tell due to the shows being in black and white, but on Sam and Friends he was colored blue. He also had a more simplified design, was depicted as being of indeterminate species (not being definitively established as a frog until his appearance in the 1969 special Hey, Cinderella!), and tended to be much more anger-prone than he would become.
  • The Everyman: One of the most normal Muppets. Well, 'normal' by Muppet standards.
  • Vocal Evolution: During the first 20 years of his career (1955-1975), his voice sounded deeper, softer, quieter and somewhat stuffy and dull. Beginning in 1976, his voice became louder, more rubbery and less stuffy.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The other Muppets occasionally get carried away and commit all sorts of well-meaning anarchy. It's practically Kermit's job to say 'What the hell?!'
  • Wild Take: With much amusing arm-waving.

Miss Piggy

Frank Oz (1976-2002)
Eric Jacobson (2001-present)

The unholy spawn of Barbra Streisand and a rack of pork. Hailing from the Midwest, she was living off of Beauty Contests before meeting Kermit. Has a chronic need for stardom and will steal the spotlight from anyone, with violence if necessary.

  • Big Beautiful Woman: She is usually treated as such, even though she's not a human woman,.
  • Brawn Hilda: She can bend metal bars with alarming ease.
  • Breakout Character: She was a fairly minor bit character early on in the first season, but swiftly became one of the most important stars of the show. In real life, Miss Piggy was one of the most popular fictional celebrities in the entire world during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: As seen in this 1984 Dick Clark special.
  • Catch Phrase: Hi-ya! and Moi.
  • Crossdressing Voices: In the original English version and Japanese. Other foreign dubs used female voice actresses until recently, when Disney forced them to use male ones.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Delivers this to Constantine in Muppets Most Wanted.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially when appearing as a guest on talk shows and the like; she'll snark about anything and everything. In the shows and movies, this trait is not as apparent, but she still displays it from time to time.
  • Determinator : Do NOT steal her purse whatever you do, she'll chase you all the way through Central Park if she has to.....on Roller Skates. And WHEN, not if, she catches you, she'll kick your ass.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: While she did have a huge crush on Christopher Reeve throughout the entire episode, one special mention goes to the backstage segment. Her somewhat legitimate question about how Reeve got the role for Superman degrades to "Wahaha!!!" when Reeve takes off his Vet's hospital costume, inadvertently showing off his muscles.
  • A Dog Named Dog: A piggy named Miss Piggy in this case.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: She pummels her male co-stars, usually Kermit, on a regular basis. Female guest stars weren't exactly safe either — it's just they couldn't be sent flying as easily as the male Muppets. In any case, it's all Played for Laughs.
  • Fan Disservice: Piggy acts as the main chorus girl throughout the series and, like most performers in Kermit's troupe, has an inflated impression of her own talents (wearing clothes that are 30 pounds too small for her).
  • Feminism: The only icon of 70s-era feminism to be a pig voiced by a man.
  • Flanderization: When Frank Oz was still performing the character, her karate-chopping schtick was used sparingly (and usually took quite a bit of working up to, although casual sexism could get you there quicker) and her negative traits and attitude problems did not completely dominate her personality. In many of her appearances in the 2000's, however, her karate-chopping schtick has been overused and her negative traits and attitude problems have been over-emphasized.
    • Her original Jerk with a Heart of Gold personality was reinstated in the 2011 movie, though.
    • However, some of her appearances still Flanderize her. A perfect example would be her Out-of-Character Moment in the Muppets' Good Luck Charlie guest appearance, because she would never ever hurt or threaten children, especially human children.
  • Gratuitous French: But not very well.
    • Funnily enough, she doesn't seem to know many words other than "moi" and "vous." From the episode hosted by Christopher Reeve:
    Piggy: Chrissy? May I have a word avec vous?
    Christopher Reeve: Oui, bien sur. Entree. note 
    Piggy: What?
    • At one point, Gonzo confides to Elke Sommer that "the only French she knows is what she learned from the back of perfume bottles."
  • I Know Karate: The other Muppets fear her anger because of this. Although Chef's blocking technique is excellent.
    • The only people to survive a direct hit from Piggy are Charlie McCarthy (Solid oak!) and Christopher Reeve (He really is the Man of Steel!). And even Reeve doubled over in pain once Piggy stormed off.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Sometimes sports these. She's also somehow able to go from bob to Rapunzel Hair and back in between scenes.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Some (non-Muppet) humans, most notably Nicky Holiday, find her extremely hot.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Kermit the Frog, obviously. Also attempted by Nicky Holiday and Jean Pierre Napoleon.
  • It's All About Me: Piggy is rather narcissistic on occasion, but deep down is rather nice.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Vain and violent tempered prima donna. Don't ever imply that she doesn't love her Kermy or care about the other Muppets, however.
  • Large Ham: Both literally and figuratively. (Please don't tell her that we described her using either of those words!)
  • Mister Muffykins: Her dog Foo-Foo.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Originally named "Piggy Lee", after the larger-than-life singer Peggy Lee. She was hastily renamed Miss Piggy when the show became popular, so as not to insult her namesake.
    • Following an ugly breakup with Kermit in the 2000s, Piggy somehow becomes the managing editor of Vogue's Paris branch. This is a fitting nod to Anna Wintour (a.k.a. "Nuclear Wintour" for her management style).
  • Official Couple: With Kermit. At least until they broke up in 2015.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Played with, depending on the episode. She sometimes is a big name, but her ego can be even bigger.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Her initial relationship towards Kermit.
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Has a rather fantastic opinion as to what life with Kermit would be like.
  • Tsundere: She normally acts elegantly feminine (though her ego is always detectable), but if you piss her off...
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Especially ridiculous (if somewhat justified) in the 2011 movie, when she has a new outfit and hairstyle in every scene in which she appears. In-universe, she's been earning a good living since the Muppet Show years as an editor for a fashion magazine.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: Hasn't really made it enough to be washed-up, but has the personality.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: That goes without saying, although its also hard to like her when she's not angry.

Fozzie Bear

Frank Oz (1976-2000)
Eric Jacobson (2002-present)

Hopelessly corny, porkpie hat-wearing showman and a magnet for tomatoes. Originally a failed comedian working out of the El Sleazo Cafe, he is the first to join Kermit's troupe. His personality is a send-up of the stereotypical Borscht Belt comic. Wocka wocka.

  • Beary Funny: And how appropriate that the trope name should be a pun! Wocka wocka!
  • The Big Guy: Being a bear firmly wedges him into this trope.
  • Butt Monkey: To Statler and Waldorf.
  • Catch Phrase: Wocka Wocka! And just for the record, it's spelled "Wocka Wocka", not "Wokka Wokka" or "Wakka Wakka".
  • Characterization Marches On: In the first season, he was intended to be the primary foil of Kermit and everyone else backstage. As a result, in the earliest episodes he tends to come off as abrasive, pushy, and obnoxious. They soon found a different, more neurotic, sweet, and vulnerable vibe for him, allowing the previous personality to be quietly discarded.
  • Couch Gag: First season.
  • Cower Power: Whenever in a threatening situation, he tends to hide behind the much-smaller Kermit. Which leads to ...
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He actually does have his share of awesome when matters have fallen into his own hands.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Frank Oz has said it took him a while to get comfortable with the character, and sites the sketch where Fozzie keeps giving Kermit the wrong cues for his "neck-a-tie" joke as the moment when he finally figured out how to make him work.
  • So Unfunny It's Funny: He was (in theory) the show's stand-up comedian. Most of the humor of these skits came from how terrible he was at his job.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In some of the early post-Henson productions such as Muppets from Space. He later returned to his regular level of intelligence.
  • Verbal Tic: Frank Oz gave Fozzie a series of weird noises (the closest you could come to writing them out would be something along the lines of "Daaaaaaaagh" and "Agghaahaahaa") that he uses to convey certain emotions.

Gonzo the Great

Dave Goelz

In the words of John Cleese: 'The ugly, disgusting little one who catches cannonballs.' The only non-recognizable animal in Kermit's band (later revealed to be an alien), and the stuntman of the Muppets. He doubles as a Vaudevillian singer.

  • Amusing Injuries: Perhaps most notably, getting one arm stretched to about twelve feet in length in an ill-advised cannonball-catching act, and then turning for assistance to special guest star John Cleese, who kept misunderstanding Gonzo's requests and stretched his other limbs to match.
  • Ascended Extra: Both in becoming a character in the show (the puppet was first created as a background extra among many other weird monsters in the Christmas special The Great Santa Claus Switch) and becoming Those Two Guys/Narrator with Rizzo in the movies.
  • Badass: Given the often death-defying nature of his art.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Kermit and Fozzie, and later with Rizzo.
  • Interspecies Romance: While his species isn't known, he has a fetish for chickens, on another occasion a cow and on yet another, Big Bird, and even flirted with Ms. Piggy in earlier episodes of the Muppet Show.
    • The movie Muppets from Space revealed that he's an alien. Unfortunately, this is also why that movie is essentially Canon Discontinuity. A later comic cemented this by having Scooter spend an entire issue trying to figure out what Gonzo was, only for him to say "An artist".
  • The Lancer: He's the most manic and unpredictable of the main group, making him the biggest contrast to Only Sane Man Kermit.
  • Literal-Minded: Again, in the first season
  • Mad Artist: He's supposed to be a partial Expy of Salvador Dali.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: If it sounds like something no sane person would subject themself to, Gonzo is up for it.
  • Noodle Implements: He gets booed off the stage before we can see what he was going to do with a flaming torch, a tyre swing and a cow. The act was originally going to use a typewriter instead of a cow, but he couldn't get one in time.
  • Official Couple: With Camilla the Chicken.
  • Sad Clown: If Gonzo isn't making you laugh, he's making you wipe away tears.
  • Stage Magician: Usually not magic, but is a showman called Gonzo "the Great".
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Implied in his stage acts in the show, directly invoked in Muppet Treasure Island.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible:invoked On The Muppet Show, his shtick was performing bizarre performance art acts, like demolishing an antique car to the tune of "The Anvil Chorus"... or wrestling a brick.
    • In case you're wondering, it was no contest. The brick took him down early in the first round.
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice has gradually gotten deeper and less scratchy over the years. Just watch the first episode of The Muppet Show and then one of the post-Henson Muppet films.

Scooter

Richard Hunt (1976-1991; deceased)
David Rudman (2008-present)

The Muppets' stage manager. Originally portrayed as a childish Jerkass, he grew to be a dependable assistant of Kermit and co.

  • Author Avatar: Richard Hunt reportedly based his performance on how he acted when he was younger.
  • Catch Phrase/Once an Episode: "Fifteen seconds to curtain!"
  • Demoted to Extra: Following Richard Hunt's death, Scooter was used far less often - not appearing in most productions and having minimal screentime in others. The 2011 movie appears to reverse this.
    • During the 1990s, Scooter was damn near unpersoned. Other characters without performers (like Rowlf, Dr. Teeth and Janice) at least made token unspeaking cameos, but Scooter was nowhere to be seen for just shy of a full decade. When the official Muppets website was launched, minor characters like Julius Strangepork got their own bios, but Scooter was only added after mass e-mails from angered fans.
  • Half-Identical Twins: With Skeeter in Muppet Babies
  • The Intern: During the first season.
  • Nepotism: His uncle owns the theater and got him his job. Before developing a solid friendship with him, Scooter was quick to remind Kermit of this whenever he wanted something.
  • Only Sane Man: All the chaos around him is what makes him funny.
  • Sidekick: To Kermit, sort of.
  • The Smart Guy: Well, he is a nerd. He even did a lecture at 2012's TED conference. No, no - not in a movie: in Real Life.
    • The 2011 movie reveals that he got a job at Google after the Muppets went their separate ways.

Rowlf

Jim Henson (1962-1990; deceased)
Bill Barretta (1996-present)

Originally a mascot for Purina Dog Chow, later rising to prominence as a TV sidekick to Jimmy Dean. (No, not that Jimmy Dean. The country singer and pork magnate.) A cameo on Sesame Street blossomed into a full-time gig for the character.

The in-universe Rowlf is a bluesy musician whom Kermit discovers in a piano bar. Since The '90s, it's been a popular gag to pair Rowlf up with famous musicians, leading him to branch out into rock.

  • Author Avatar: A number commented that aside from his piano skills, Rowlf was very much like Jim - arguably even more than Kermit.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: The "Veterinarian's Hospital" sketches put him in the role of Dr. Bob, "a quack who's gone to the dogs".
  • Demoted to Extra: In the 1960s, Rowlf was pretty much the main star and leader of the Muppets, with Kermit being more of a second-tier character. In the 1970s, when Kermit officially became a frog and his personality was fully-realized, Rowlf turned those leadership duties over to the frog and became more of a secondary character, yet he remained a prominent character in Muppet productions.
    • After Jim Henson's death, his appearances became limited to mostly brief non-speaking background cameos. When Bill Barretta started performing the character, he gradually returned to regular speaking roles and core character status.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Rowlf first appeared in Purina Dog Chow commercials in 1962. A year later, he began making regular appearances on The Jimmy Dean Show and proved to be quite popular. He also co-hosted the pitch reel for Sesame Street with Kermit, and had a cameo appearance in one of the "Song of _____" films from that show's first season.
    • During the "At the Dance" segment in the Sex and Violence pilot, he mentions his time on the Dean show and notes wistfully that "I used to be a big star then."
  • Hurricane of Puns: Especially the "Veterinarian's Hospital" sketches.
  • Straight Man: In many of the 1960s Muppet productions and on Muppet Babies.
  • Tareme Eyes: Makes sense, since they go with his kind, quiet, soft, calm, easygoing personality. Also very cute with Baby Rowlf.
  • The Voiceless: After Jim Henson's death, Rowlf quickly became this until a new performer (Bill Baretta) was found. Many people mistakenly thought that his silence was going to be eternal, as a tribute to Jim.

Sam the Eagle

Frank Oz (1975-2000)
Eric Jacobson (2005-present)

True to his name, Sam is an uber-patriotic wet blanket who acts as the Muppets' censor. He strives to crack down on "lowbrow humor" and bring dignity to the proceedings, without much success.

  • Fantastic Racism: Hinted, in one episode, he mentions that is displeased with his daughter for dating an owl.
  • Flanderization: On The Muppet Show, he started out as a general, pro-American detractor of the show's non-cultural content and a Stop Having Fun Guy with strong, exaggeratedly right-wing strawman views on various issues. In recent media, such as the Muppet Viral Videos, he's been depicted as generally obsessed with Americana itself and not much else. (For instance, he starts singingnote  "American Woman" by The Guess Who just because it has "American" in the title, something that the old Sam would never have done.)
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: For example, in the Rudolf Nureyev episode he was thrilled that the show would be featuring someone with culture, but referred to Mr. Nureyev (a ballet dancer) as "my favorite opera singer" and didn't recognize him in street clothes.
  • “Stop Having Fun” Guy: He thinks everyone in the rest of the cast are... weirdos. And he's appalled, appalled I tell you, that guest stars of talent are demeaning themselves by appearing on The Muppet Show. And have you saluted the flag today? Just as he suspected! Shocking. Shocking.
  • Strawman Political: Of the Nixon-era and the sentiments of conservative Moral Guardians.

Dr. Bunsen Honeydew

Dave Goelz

Addled-brained scientist with a head like a melon. Invariably, his experiments result in nearly immolating his assistant Beaker.

  • Jerk Ass: Towards poor Beaker, though not intentionally. He's just really inconsiderate.
  • Meaningful Name: From three sources: Bunsen burners, honeydew melons, and Honeywell International, a huge aerospace/engineering firm that advertised heavily in the 1970s.

Beaker

Richard Hunt (1977-1991; deceased)
Steve Whitmire (1992-present)

Lab assistant to Bunsen Honeydew, whose face sports a perpetual look of shock. Only Honeydew can understand his "meep meeps."

  • Butt Monkey: Recently died. Still doesn't get any respect.
  • Catch Phrase: His only phrase is "Meep". But you'd be surprised how much you can communicate with that.
  • Characterization Marches On: In his first appearance he was a nervous wreck. This was gone by his third.
  • The Chew Toy: People feel sorry for him, but at the same time, getting hurt is the point of his character.
  • The Complainer Is Always Right: In the original skits, Beaker's always convinced that demonstrating the invention of the week will go horribly wrong.
  • The Dog Bites Back
    • After accidentally cloning himself in one episode, Beaker spends most of the episode finally getting back at Bunsen.
    • While being electrocuted by the Muppet Labs Nose-Warmer, he grabs Dr. Honeydew and adds him to the circuit.
  • The Igor: With great reluctance. Partly because he's always the one expected to subject himself to the Obvious Beta that's being demonstrated.
  • Those Two Guys: With Bunsen.
  • The Unintelligible: TO quote Miss Piggy:
    Miss Piggy: Beaker. How many times have I told you never to talk to me like that? (beat) Because I can't understand it.

The Swedish Chef

Jim Henson (1976-1990; deceased)
Bill Barretta (1996-present)
Frank Oz (only hands)

A parody of TV chefs. Like to gesticulate with his hands a lot, uses some very strange cooking equipment, and keeps up a steady stream of Swedish-sounding gibberish as he cooks.

  • Animals Hate Him: ...because he wants to cook them.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The language he speaks is explicitly referred to at least once as "mock Swedish"; it was once claimed that his actual native language is "mock Japanese". He occasionally uses English words and a bit of coherent Danish, but is otherwise just making a lot of nonsensical noises.
  • Badass: Being the ONLY person to have ever successfully blocked one of Miss Piggy's punches makes him this by default and he used a cooking pot lid no less.
  • Badass Mustache
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: There's nothing up there but eyebrows. See Eyeless Face below.
  • Butt Monkey: If he wasn't successful in making dishes, the ingredients would attack him or something.
  • Carnivore Confusion: His sketches often deal with this trope. Half the time, he's trying to cook members of the cast.
    Robin: Uncle Kermit! Somebody! Anybody! help!
  • Catch Phrase: Bork! Bork Bork!
  • Chef of Iron: It's not so much that he uses cooking utensils as weapons (although he does)- he actually "cooks" with weapons including a "cakensmoosher" (a baseball bat), a "boom boom" (a blunderbuss), an ax, and more recently, a chainsaw and a bazooka.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He keeps battle ax, a chainsaw, and a bazooka in his kitchen on the infinitely small chance someone suggests he use them to cook.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep
    • Though on the episode featuring Danny Kaye, the chef's Uncle (played by Kaye) revealed his actual full name, which was a string of mock Swedish syllables; he then admitted that he just calls his nephew "Tom".
  • Eyeless Face: He has no visible eyes, only bushy eyebrows where eyes should be.
  • Fauxreigner: Is sometimes acknowledged to not really speak Swedish.
  • Funny Foreigner
  • Irony: In the Swedish dubbing, he is in fact the only character who doesn't speak Swedish.
  • Lethal Chef: The very few times he does actually manage to complete a dish, it usually ends up something the non-suicidal would not want to put in their mouths.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: The only Muppet to be designed to use the puppeteer's exposed hands. Note that in such cases it had to be operated by two puppeteers simultaneously (Henson: head and voice, Oz: hands). It takes a lot of dexterity to be that clumsy.
  • Norse by Norsewest
  • Once an Episode: Doing a little song and dance, then throwing some cooking utensils over his shoulder. Frank Oz had a Self-Imposed Challenge to try to knock over every single item on the back wall. He only ever managed it once.
  • Team Chef
  • The Unintelligible

Statler and Waldorf

Richard Hunt and Jim Henson (1976-1990)
Jerry Nelson and Dave Goelz (1992-2003)
Steve Whitmire and Dave Goelz (2002-present)

Two-man peanut gallery and patron saints of Caustic Critics everywhere. They've never sat through a show that they didn't hate.

  • Audience Participation: Anytime the two appeared onstage on the Muppet Show. They aren't actually part of the Muppet Show's staff; they're just audience members. In a different sense, any time they heckled the stage also qualifies.
  • Catch Phrase: Doh-ho-ho-ho-Hoh!
  • Caustic Critics
  • Characterization Marches On: In the Muppet Show: Sex and Violence pilot, the two talked a lot more slowly and sounded more like a couple of weak, tired, dying old men. When the Muppet Show proper began, they started talking and reacting a lot quicker and became more lively and energetic.
  • Corpsing: One of the most famous aversions, considering they always laugh at their own quips.
  • Deadpan Snarkers
  • Dirty Coward: Statler, as proven when the Titanic sank
    • He still has the dress he used to get onto the lifeboat.
  • The Drag-Along: One episode suggests they stick around because Kermit locks the doors on them.
  • Flanderization: In The Muppet Show, they were audience members who constantly complained about the show. However, while they complained a lot during the show, they didn't complain about everything. Indeed, when it came to classic vaudeville numbers, they were positively enthusiastic and would even sing along, and rarely had anything negative to say about the guest stars. They show up in various roles later, where they complain about everything and seem to have never had a positive experience in their lives. It reaches its zenith in The Muppets at Walt Disney World, where they actually complain about not having anything to complain about.
  • Good Old Ways: They love the more old-fashioned Vaudeville and Burlesque acts, even performing a few themselves. Their whole heckling style is an old Vaudeville bit as well.
  • Greek Chorus
  • GrumpyOldMen: Their entire shtick is complaining about pretty much everything.
  • Guilty Pleasures
    Statler: This show is awful.
    Waldorf: Terrible!
    Statler: Disgusting!
    Waldorf: See you next week?
    Statler: Of course.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners.
  • Jerks With Hearts of Gold
  • Screw Politeness, We're Seniors!
  • Self-Deprecation
  • Sour Supporters: They showed up every week.
  • The Stinger
  • Theme Naming: Named after hotels, of course. Waldorf's wife (who looks like Statler in drag) is named Astoria.
  • Those Two Guys
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Constantly heckle each other too. "You old fool" is practically a pet name between them.

Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem

A rock band consisting of Dr. Teeth on vocals and keyboards, Animal on drums (which he sometimes eats), Sgt. Floyd Pepper on bass guitar, Janice on guitar, and Zoot on saxophone. Lips later joined the band on trumpet.

Dr. Teeth (keyboard)

Jim Henson (1975-1990; deceased)
Bill Barretta (2005-present)

  • Badass Beard: Mustacheless variation
  • Delusions of Eloquence
  • Gold Tooth
  • Guttural Growler: I'm gonna 'splode an atom bomb... drill a hole to your sooooouuuuulllll...
  • Never Bareheaded: Until the action figure came out in 2002, he was never seen without a hat, often wearing his usual hat when dressed or or playing the role of The Chesire Cat, and wearing a night cap when wearing pajamas (while the rest of the band didn't wear hats). The action figure had a removable hat, revealing that the character has a bald spot. The actual puppet wasn't seen hatless until a late-2000s group photo, and the first actual production to show him without his hat is The Muppets. In the latter two cases, he's shown at angles where the bald spot can't be seen.
  • Pimp Duds

Sgt. Floyd Pepper (bass guitar)

Jerry Nelson (1975-2003; deceased)
Matt Vogel (2008-present)

Zoot (saxophone)

Dave Goelz

Animal (drums)

Frank Oz (1975-2000)
Eric Jacobson (2002-present)

  • All Drummers Are Animals: A comment about him by Buddy Rich is the Trope Namer.
  • Breakout Character: From season two of The Muppet Show onwards, he's a prominent part of the main Muppet cast, gets more merchandise than Kermit, and is the member of the Electric Mayhem seen most often without his bandmates (he's probably the second-biggest example of this next to Miss Piggy). He was even the mascot of the U.S. snowboarding team for the 1998 Winter Olympics!
  • Big Eater
  • Cartoon Creature: Is he a human? An animal? A whatever? The most plausible explanation is that he's a monster like the ones on Sesame Street.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He behaves like a complete psycho and tends to destroy things around him (hence his being kept in chains), but seems to be fairly close friends with his bandmates and the other Muppets. He even gets a major Big Damn Heroes moment in The Muppet Movie.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: In the recent-ish Muppet rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, he only gets as far as "Mama..." Then he starts looking for her and shouting "Mama!" overjoyed at the prospect of seeing his dearest mother. When he doesn't find her, he begins searching for his father.
    • Later, they made a short celebratory video when the Bohemian Rhapsody parody won a Webby Award. The episode is just Animal calling his mama and excitedly telling her they won a Webby... the punchline being that he only caught her voice mail. The implications are that the second he as much as heard his mother's voice, he completely geeked out with excitement. That is ADORABLE.
  • Extreme Omnivore
  • Fiery Redhead
  • Hulk Speak / The Unintelligible
  • The Unfettered: Not in the literal sense, of course. He's the one cast member who regularly has to be chained down.

Janice (guitar)

Eren Ozker (1976-1977)
Richard Hunt (1977-1991; deceased)
David Rudman (2008-present)

  • Crossdressing Voices: Averted in the Sex and Violence pilot and the first season of The Muppet Show, when she's played by actual women (Fran Brill for the pilot and Eren Ozker for the show proper). From the second season on, she was passed over to Richard Hunt, who created her Valley Girl persona, and ever since then she's been a prime example of the trope.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Her original concept drawing actually had no eyes, but the actual puppet became this.
  • Gender Flip: Also, her original concept drawing indicated that she was male and heavily inspired by Mick Jagger.
  • Granola Girl
  • Official Couple: With Floyd. Though she was paired with Zoot in the first season.
  • Valley Girl: "Like, you know, fer sure!"

Lips (trumpet)

Steve Whitmire

Rizzo the Rat

Steve Whitmire

Self-interested, sarcastic and snide, Rizzo basically hangs around with the Muppets, making a pest of himself and shoehorning himself into every act he can just for the attention. Even when Muppets Tonight gave him a job, he didn't change much. He likes eating, wooing female rodents, and having laughs at his castmates' expense, although a softer side of him does come out, especially when with his best pal Gonzo.

  • Ascended Extra: Rizzo started out as an anonymous member of a group of rats, but thanks to Steve Whitmire's performance soon emerged as the central rat character, started getting solo appearances and in the final season of the Muppet Show began popping up everywhere, usually as a background character and often in skits he had no place in. He was a pivotal supporting character in The Muppets Take Manhattan. Then, in The Muppet Christmas Carol he made the jump to main star when writer Jerry Juhl discovered just how well the Gonzo/Rizzo team worked, and since then has either been among the main characters or at least had a notable appearance in every major Muppet production. He also got what was pretty much Scooter's role on Muppets Tonight.
    • Demoted to Extra: In The Muppets, Rizzo doesn't have a single line, only appearing in crowd scenes. He's come full circle.
      • Despite his, Rizzo is still a core character in Muppet productions and will even have a bigger speaking role in Muppets Most Wanted.
      • That scene? Complaining about how he's been Demoted to Extra.
  • Big Eater: Despite his small size.
  • Butt Monkey
  • Deadpan Snarker: With a Brooklyn accent, no less.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Nowhere near as bad as Beaker, but he does suffer a lot, sometimes alongside Gonzo, who isn't fazed in the slightest.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold
  • Lovable Coward: Usually played up whenever he's with Gonzo, to better contrast Gonzo's Fearless Fool tendencies.
  • Those Two Guys: Most often with Gonzo, but sometimes with Pepe.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: During his Muppet Show days, Rizzo would sport a different outfit for just about every scene he was in. Starting with Muppets Tonight, this was Inverted when Rizzo got his red-and-beige jacket and white tee-shirt, which became his trademark outfit.
  • You Dirty Rat: Largely subverted as Rizzo is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but he still has a few of the trademark characteristics, mostly his cowardice, gluttony and poor personal hygiene.

Crazy Harry

John Lovelady (1974-1977)
Jerry Nelson (1977-2003; deceased)
Matt Vogel (2008-present)

A wacko even by the Muppets' standards, Harry doesn't do much other than detonate random explosions, laughing all the while. Needless to say, he's something of a fan favourite. His personality was based on Muppet builder Don Sahlin, who had a similar fondness for wacky pranks that, yes, involved explosions.

  • Crazy-Prepared: Harry's is constantly seen detonating explosives... Explosives that logically would need to be set up ahead of time.
  • Even Psychotic Has Standards: During the song "Comedy Tonight", some monsters are seen chasing and terrorizing a little girl. Harry looks at the scene for a few seconds before blowing the monster up.
  • Laughing Mad: In spades.
  • Mad Bomber
  • Speak of the Devil: Words like boom or dynamite would often prompt him to appear pull his plunger.
    • Did someone say "Dynamite?" *KABOOM*
  • Trigger Happy

Beauregard

Dave Goelz

A dopey, hard-toiling fellow, Beauregard is the loyal janitor of the Muppet Theater. He's generally agreeable and obliging, although his bumbling has spelled disaster for more than a few sketches.

Link Hogthrob

Jim Henson (1977-1990; deceased)
Steve Whitmire (2000-present)

Imagine William Shatner with double the ego, half the brains, and a pig's snout. Link, star of the Pigs In Space sketches, considers himself a gifted actor, a brave action star, and irresistable to the lady pigs. Needless to say, he falls short in all of those categories.

Lew Zealand

Jerry Nelson (1978-2003; deceased)
Matt Vogel (2008-present)

A goofy clown who throws fish all over the place. Only on the Muppets would this act be considered boring. His act hasn't changed at all over the decades, but he's still trying relentlessly for the chance to show the world his comedic genius.






Annie Sue

Louise Gold

A child prodigy, Annie Sue was introduced as Miss Piggy's understudy, known as the most hazardous position in the industry. Despite Piggy's scarcely-veiled animosity towards her, Annie Sue remained cheery and never failed to please the crowd. This, of course, only enraged Piggy even more.

  • Ascended Extra: Had turned up as a generic female pig used in various production numbers, but didn't get featured as a named character until season 3.
  • The Cutie: She's cute as a button, much to Piggy's chagrin.
  • The Ingenue: Oh, so very much.
  • Meaningful Name: Mary Sue, as confirmed by Word of God.
  • Recurring Character: Whenever the writers felt like tweaking Piggy.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: As Miss Piggy's younger, prettier and very talented understudy, this is how Miss Piggy saw her. It didn't help that Kermit found her to be quite charming and the theater audience adored her.

Robin the Frog

Jerry Nelson (1971-2003; deceased)
Matt Vogel (2008-present)

Kermit's adorable little nephew, Robin's role on the Muppet Show fit his status as the youngest of the cast members. Sometimes he would cutely win the crowd over, and other times he would ask embarrassing questions, make impolite comments, and pout when he didn't get his way. Robin also seems to be the Muppet character designed to appeal best to small children.

Sweetums

Richard Hunt (1976-1991; deceased)
John Henson (1991-2005; deceased)
Matt Vogel (2009-present)

Sweetums first appeared as one of the main villains in Jim Henson's The Frog Prince special, but deep down inside, he's actually quite sweet despite his intimidating looks. He's a large, full-bodied ogre who's often paired with Robin.

Camilla

Jerry Nelson (1978-2003; deceased)
Matt Vogel (2008-present)

A chicken, and a non-anthropomorphic one at that. Despite this handicap, Camilla hasn't let that stop her from being a singer and an actress in many acts on the show. It's also won her the love of the Great Gonzo, although her boyfriend's roving eye for all manner of fowl has often put a strain on their relationship.




Pops

Jerry Nelson (1980-2002; deceased)
Matt Vogel (2011-present)

The Muppet Theater's crotchety, semi-senile old doorman. In the show's final season, guest stars had to get through him to get on the show - hilarity often ensues.






Uncle Deadly

Jerry Nelson (1976-1979; deceased)
Matt Vogel (2011-present)

The "Phantom of the Muppet Theater", Uncle Deadly is some sort of refined, British dragon-ghost-thing known for performing Shakespeare. He was murdered by the critics and spent his time afterwards scaring the theater's crew just for fun. He became more well-known after The Muppets, where he served as The Dragon to the Corrupt Corporate Executive Big Bad.

Dr. Julius Strangepork

Jerry Nelson (1977-2003; deceased)

Pigs in Space's German-accented science officer, forever the bearer of bad news, and the only crewman on the Swinetrek who takes his job seriously. Outside of this role, Julius' performances are few and far between.

Marvin Suggs

Frank Oz (1976-1981)
Eric Jacobson (2011-present)

One of the show's stranger recurring characters, Marvin Suggs is a crazy little blue man with a silly accent who enjoys making music by beating on an instrument made up of sentient furballs (the Muppaphones). Despite his unusually cruel act, he rarely got any sort of comeuppance.

The Newsman

Jim Henson (1976-1989; deceased)
Steve Whitmire (2008-present)

A bespectacled, stone-serious journalist, the Newsman never hesitates to break the latest news story... and the subject of the latest story never fails to break him. One of the Muppets' most slapstick characters.

Wayne and Wanda

Richard Hunt
Eren Ozker

A pair of snobby singers who would frequently take the stage to sing tired old ballads - only to abruptly have some strange fate befall them, always foretold by the song's lyrics. None of the Muppets seemed to like them much, except Sam the Eagle, who was forever trumpeting them as the only respectable act on the show. If only they could finish a number...

  • The Chewtoy: Invariably their duets ended with one or both of them injured.
  • Flat Character: What happened to them was funnier than the characters themselves actually were.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: A nice aversion. Richard Hunt and Erin Ozker were both talented singers, and they gave Wayne and Wanda voices like those of modestly talented performers overconfidently pushing their vocals harder than they could handle.
  • The Moral Substitute: "They're also church people", according to Sam.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Based on old Hollywood musical sweethearts Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald.
  • Platonic Life Partners: Given their limited personalities, it was hard to pin down their relationship in their old days; they seemed pretty chaste for a pair known for singing love songs to each other.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack
  • Put on a Bus: While Wanda's disappearance after the first season was unremarked at the time, she and Wayne reunited reappeared a couple years later as part of a This Is Your Life show for Kermit's birthday. They revealed that Kermit had fired them, and they were now scraping by on minimum-wage jobs. Kermit, appalled that he could have done such a thing, re-hired them. When they sang out of joy, Kermit re-fired them. Amusingly, this successfully kept the pair out of the Muppets for the next three decades.
    • The Bus Came Back: The pair finally rejoined the Muppets in the 2011 movie. While their return was a mild surprise in and of itself, nobody expected them to get one of the biggest laughs in the film!
  • Running Gag: The first season of the show had more running gags than character pieces. When the writing staff changed, Wanda was dumped, as running gags were all she had. Wayne, however, sporadically appeared in skits during the second and third seasons, oddly paired now with Uncle Deadly!
  • Small Name, Big Ego: One of the few times they were given any non-musical dialogue, they made rude remarks about Kermit until they realized that he was listening the whole time.
  • Speak of the Devil

Mahna Mahna

Jim Henson (1969-1976)
Bill Barretta (2001-present)

A scruffy, hyperactive little guy who joins in musical numbers unannounced and uninvited. He pops all over the place, either yammering in incoherent scat or playing an obnoxiously loud instrument. There's no stopping him, and it's foolish to try.

  • Divergent Character Evolution: A Muppet on Sesame Street sang "Mahna Mahna" on its first season, and was retained for future musical numbers. This character is not Mahna Mahna, but a different Muppet named Bip Bipadotta; although one could be forgiven for confusing them, as the two characters look very similar, and are both played by Jim Henson using the same voice. note  This distinction is Serious Business amongst the fandom.
  • Non Sequitur: His act basically makes no sense whatsoever, but it's extremely catchy to most people. In Muppets Tonight, the song was presented as a mental disorder wherein the Snouths would appear from nowhere and sing whenever someone would say the name of the song. In The Muppets, it's played during the end credits. Some people say it to break the ice in a conversation when they don't know what else to say, in the same vain as "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"!
  • Flanderization: While many of his early appearances were in performances of the song, many of his early appearances also had him doing other things. In a sketch on The Ed Sullivan Show, he played the drums and provided wisecracks (and spoke coherent English) in the "String Quartet" sketch. In the "Sax and Violence" number he played the triangle bell and stole the show. But in recent years, his appearances are almost always performances or parodies of "Mahna Mahna". Even his Sesame Street counterpart, Bip Bipadotta, shouted "Mahna Mahna!" when he made a cameo in a 2009 episode.
  • Offscreen Teleportation
  • Pokémon Speak
  • Screwy Squirrel
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: For the Snowths especially, but potentially anybody.
  • Trickster Archetype
  • Troll
  • The Unfettered: Let's put it this way; he once made Zoot angry.
  • The Unintelligible

Hugga Wugga

Frank Oz

One of the best-remembered "one-sketch" characters (possibly second to Mahna Mahna), Hugga Wugga is some sort of purple alien who wanders around an alien swamp chanting his name. He gets angry at creatures who try to sing anything else and tries to "assimilate" them, but is ultimately given his just desserts by a happy yellow creature that sings "You Are My Sunshine".

Angus McGonagle

Jerry Nelson

The original planned "guest star" for the Star Wars episode, Angus McGonagle is an ugly purple gargoyle Scotsman whose main (and possibly only) talent is gargling George Gershwin compositions "gorgeously". For some reason, his act is widely hated among the Muppets and their intergalactic guests.

J. P. Grosse

Jerry Nelson

Scooter's uncle, the owner of the Muppet Theater, and the man who Kermit has to keep happy at all costs. He was an unseen presence in the first season of the show, but made appearances in person for the second season, only to disappear again.

Thog

Jerry Nelson

A furry blue nine-foot-tall monster who loves to sing and dance.