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

Kermit the Frog

 Jim Henson (1955–1990; deceased)

Steve Whitmire (1990–present)

File:Kermit 6597.png

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: Often seen as this for Henson, who was once quoted saying, "He can say things I hold back."
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Usually takes the antics of his co stars with mild frustration at worst, there are rare occasions he completely snaps however. Miss Piggy (whose temper Kermit is usually at constant brunt of) almost lost her job as a result.
  • Butt Monkey: He occasionally is this, often being eaten by monsters (and in one instance, a piano).
  • Chaste Puppets: Has a nephew, but no children. [1]
  • 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.
    • Reinstated in the 2011 film, however.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Originally appeared on Sam and Friends (before he was a frog) and Sesame Street as a regular, though he's far more well-known for his Muppet Show role.
  • The Everyman
  • Freudian Trio: The Superego to Gonzo's Id and Fozzie's Ego.
  • The Heart/Team Dad: No Kermit, no Muppets. It's been established again and again, the new movie especially.
  • The Hero: In most Muppet productions.
  • Interspecies Romance: See below.
  • Official Couple: Eventually with Miss Piggy.
  • Only Sane Man and Only Sane Employee: Well, kind of.

 Kermit: Me not crazy? I hired the others.

  • The Other Darrin: After Jim Henson's passing, Steve Whitmire took over the role. Reportedly, Henson himself was grooming Whitmire to take over, so that he could better handle his producing duties. Steve was a puppeteer all the way back since The Muppet Show when he would perform background characters.
    • Whitmire initially didn't want to have any lines for his puppetry, since he didn't think he was a good actor, but eventually broke out with Rizzo late in the show. When Whitmire was told he would voice Kermit for A Muppet Christmas Carol, he was apprehensive. He said he had a dream where he met up with Henson and Henson stated that he'd do fine. Whitmire then did the voice for Kermit, and the rest was history.
    • At one point, Whitmire was unavailable to make an appearance, so they used a mostly unknown puppeteer (Artie Esposito). The reaction wasn't very positive.
  • Southern-Fried Genius
  • Species Surname: In the 2011 Movie, it's stated that his last name is "The Frog". [2]
  • Straight Man
  • Supporting Leader: Even if he's not the focus of the story, he'll often be this. Muppets from Space being a good example.
  • Wild Take: With much amusing arm-waving.

Miss Piggy

 Frank Oz (1976-2002)

Eric Jacobson (2001-present)

File:MissPiggy 7678.png

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

Fozzie Bear

 Frank Oz (1976-1999)

Eric Jacobson (2002-present)

File:FozzieBear 828.jpg

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.

Gonzo the Great

 Dave Goelz (1974-present)

File:GonzoTheGreat 9675.jpg

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.

Scooter

 Richard Hunt

David Rudman

File:Scooter 6331.jpg

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

  • Adorkable
  • 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 likely to reverse this.
    • During the 1990s, Scooter was damn near unpersoned. Other characters without performers, like Rowlf and Dr. Teeth, 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. [4]
  • 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.
  • Nerd Glasses
  • Nice Guy
  • 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.

Rowlf

 Jim Henson, then Bill Barretta

File:Rowlf 2516.jpg

Originally a mascot for Purina Dog Chow, later rising to prominence as a TV sidekick to Jimmy Dean (yes, that Jimmy Dean). 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 Nineties, 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: His role of Dr. Bob on Veterinarian's Hospital was "a quack who's gone to the dogs".
  • Cool Old Guy
  • 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.

 "I used to be a big star then."

  • Hurricane of Puns: Especially the Veterinarian's Hospital sketches.
  • The Piano Player
  • Straight Man: On Muppet Babies.
  • 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 permanent due to him commonly being attributed as the closest to Jim's actual personality.

Sam The Eagle

 Frank Oz (1975-1999)

Eric Jacobson (2005-present)

File:SamTheEagle 7520.jpg

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

Dr. Bunsen Honeydew

 Dave Goelz

File:BunsenHoneydew 6268.jpg

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

Beaker

 Richard Hunt, then Steve Whitmire

File:Beaker 8680.jpg

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

The Swedish Chef

 Jim Henson (1976 - 1990)

Bill Barretta (1996 - present)

File:SwedishChef 1625.jpg

A parody of TV chefs. Like to gesticulate with his hands a lot.

  • Animals Hate Him: ...because he wants to cook them.
  • Badass Mustache
  • Butt Monkey: If he wasn't successful in making dishes, the ingredients would attack him or something.
  • 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 blunderbuss, an ax, and most recently, a chainsaw and a bazooka.
  • Carnivore Confusion: His sketches often deal with this trope. Half the time, he's trying to cook members of the cast.

  Robin: Uncle Kermit, help!

Statler and Waldorf

 Richard Hunt and Jim Henson

Steve Whitmire & Dave Goelz

File:StatlerWaldorf 3872.png

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

 Statler: This show is awful.

Waldorf: Terrible!

Statler: Disgusting!

Waldorf: See you next week?

Statler: Of course.

Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem

File:ElectricMayhem 9013.jpg

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.

File:DrTeeth 6844.jpg

Dr. Teeth (keyboard)

 Jim Henson, then Bill Barretta

File:SgtFloydPepper 8558.jpg

Sgt. Floyd Pepper (bass guitar)

 Jerry Nelson

Matt Vogel

File:Zoot 7747.jpg

Zoot (saxophone)

 Dave Goelz

File:AnimalMuppet 5128.jpg

Animal (drums)

 Frank Oz

Eric Jacobson

File:JaniceMuppets 7050.jpg

Janice (guitar)

 Richard Hunt

David Rudman

File:LipsMuppets 3847.jpg

Lips (trumpet)

 Steve Whitmire

Rizzo the Rat

 Steve Whitmire

File:RizzoTheRat 1228.jpg

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.
  • Big Eater: Despite his small size.
  • Butt Monkey
  • Deadpan Snarker: With a Brooklyn accent, no less.
  • Lovable Coward: Usually played up whenever he's with Gonzo, to better contrast Gonzo's Fearless Fool tendencies.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Nowhere near as bad as Beaker, but he's suffered a lot, sometimes alongside Gonzo, who isn't fazed in the slightest.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold
  • Those Two Guys: Most often with Gonzo, but sometimes with Pepe.

Crazy Harry

 Jerry Nelson

Matt Vogel

File:CrazyHarry 219.jpg

A wacko even by the Muppets' standards, Harry doesn't do much other than detonate random explosion, 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.
  • Trigger Happy

Beauregard

 Dave Goelz

File:BeauregardMuppets 6657.jpg

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

Steve Whitmire

File:LinkHogthrob 2812.jpg

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

Matt Vogel

File:LewZealand 5434.jpg

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.

  • Ascended Extra: Originally created as a one-shot character, he appeared multiple times on The Muppet Show and in the movies.
  • Catch Phrase: I throw the fish away! And they come BACK to me!
  • Flat Character: 99% of his appearances consist of variants on his boomerang fish act or talking about fish. He's still really funny.
  • I Call It Vera: But with boomerang fish.
  • Simpleton Voice

Annie Sue

 Louise Gold

File:AnnieSue 5353.jpg

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.
  • Fake American: Louise Gold's British accent would slip through occasionally.
  • The Ingenue: Oh, so very much.
  • 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.
  • The Character Retired With Her: Ironically this makes her less likely to reappear than the characters whose performers have died.

Robin the Frog

 Jerry Nelson

Matt Vogel

File:RobinTheFrog 1484.jpg

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

John Henson

Matt Vogel

File:SweetumsMuppets 69.jpg

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

Matt Vogel

File:CamillaMuppets 2947.jpg

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

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

Matt Vogel

File:UncleDeadlyMuppets 4053.png

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

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

Eric Jacobson

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

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 Muppet's most slapstick characters.

Wayne and Wanda

 Richard Hunt

Erin 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...

  • 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."
  • 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

File:MahnaSnouthMuppets 5944.png

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.

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 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 early seasons of the show, but finally appeared in person for the final season.

Notes

  1. This isn't to say he's never expressed a healthy sex drive, especially with certain guest stars and sometimes with Piggy.
  2. It was something of a running gag back in the old days as well.
  3. This is muddied up once we actually meet his mother Emily Bear. Though we've never seen Fozzie's father...
  4. Some even called Unfortunate Implications at stonewalling away a character whose performer died of AIDS.
  5. actually sing-talking
  6. His last major role was in The Muppets Visit Walt Disney World, a special that's been rarely seen since is initial broadcast due to Jim Henson's death ten days after its premiere. In the special, he's paired with Miss Piggy, tricking her into riding thrill rides instead of shopping and dining.
  7. Frank Oz imagined that they had an even worse private life, at home with Marvin.
  8. Bip Bipadotta wears sunglasses and sings in English; Mahna Mahna doesn't wear sunglasses and speaks only in scat.
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