I hope they do not do a cover of Beat It

I love the Muppets. Yes, it is true I am almost 26 years old. Nonetheless, I still love the Muppets. It is because of them I believe “motorcycle cop” to be considered a sweet nothing (it is in the Muppet Movie, look it up). Ask my ex girlfriend, I used to whisper it in her ear all the time.

So I thought it was high time to devote a post to these beloved creatures who have entertained me for many years, and will probably continue to do so as I continue to pretend to be an adult. While I have nothing against the more familiar and popular Muppets like Kermit, Animal, and Elmo… ok maybe I have something against Elmo… but come on, that little bastard is annoying, and the last time I watched Sesame Street (a couple of years ago, or was it weeks?) half of the show was compiled of a segment called Elmo’s World. Thirty goddamned minutes of that red furry asshat annoying me with bullshit. Give me less of him talking to a goldfish and more of Cookie Monster making a giant mess as he consumes cookies on a Kobayashi level.

No, I am not going to talk about them any further. I want to bring attention to some of the lesser known, underrated Muppets. These are a few of my favorites who do not get as much screen time as other Muppets, but as they say, there are no small parts, only small Muppets. So let us get things started on the most Muppetational CJS post yet.

Rowlf The Dog

This is where the song changes key. We call that modulation

Humble Beginnings:

Rowlf was one of the first Muppets. He showed up in old commercials hawking dog food (I know a stretch right?) and sausage. The latter landed him a role on the Jimmy Dean Show making Rowlf the first Muppet to land a regular spot on television.

Not A Star?

Rowlf has appeared in all the Muppet films, and had a regular segment on The Muppet Show. Hell, he was even animated in baby form. Despite all these accomplishments he was still a secondary, sometimes tertiary (the Rats in Muppets Take Manhattan got more screen time than he did) character confined to playing the piano, offering advice, and making the occasional joke. As soon as the song was over, or enough advice was given to progress the plot, or when all the puns one could stand were used, Rowlf would be gone, confined to hanging around in the background. Probably licking himself. I think Rowlf represents the token black character of the group.

Chance of Future Stardom:

Equal to George Lucas making a new move that will not disappoint Star Wars nerds. Jim Henson voiced Rowlf and since Henson’s death Rowlf’s dialogue has been resorted to monosyllabic responses.

Fun Fact:

Rowlf graduated from Ruff Barker’s Obedience & Music School with a major in “piano playing, punning and fetching.”

My Favorite Quote:

From The Muppet Movie

Rowlf: Ah typical. That’s why I live alone.

Kermit: You do, huh?

Rowlf: You bet. I finish work; I go home, read a book, have a couple of beers, take      myself for a walk and go to bed.

Sweetums

Today’s Lecture is on Quantum Physics

Humble Beginnings:

Sweetums first appeared as an ogre in The Frog Prince where he engaged in a battle, probably not of wits, with Sir Robin the Brave who is tuned into a tiny frog. Robin escapes only to return later with Kermit and put Sweetums to sleep with a lullaby. Two frogs singing a lullaby to a giant, hairy ogre sounds like an awful (or awesome) fetish video, depending on what you are into. I say awful. *wink*

Not A Star?

I know generally villains of fairy tales go on to become major successes. Sweetums showed up from time to time on The Muppet Show where he usually ate a smaller Muppet, which compared to Sweetums was something along the lines of all of the other Muppets; or singing a duet with a musician I have never heard of, also once with Cher. He also had a total of three lines in The Muppet Movie.

Chance of Future Stardom:

I would say pretty good. People love giant, scary looking monsters with a heart of gold, right? He did appear in an episode of Family Feud, which is a star maker, is that not right Louie Anderson, Richard Karn, and John O’Hurley?

Fun Fact:

Sweetums feet are two and half times the size of Shaq’s.

My Favorite Quote:

While working at Mad Man Mooney’s used car lot in The Muppet Movie

“Jack not name. Jack job.”

Sam The Eagle

Change

Humble Beginnings:

Sam has been with The Muppet Show since the first episode. He started out in the control room making sure things ran smoothly, but mostly he just played solitaire or checkers. As the show grew in popularity Sam was promoted, by himself, as the show’s censor and advocator of moral decency.

Not A Star?

Although he was a recurring character on The Muppet Show, he was usually in the round table discussion or trying to get certain things taken off the show. He was an arrogant, dorky, tattletale. Nobody likes a narc. In the films he was usually delegated to no more than three minutes of screen time, usually one line to demonstrate that he was in fact better than the other Muppets.

Chance of Future Stardom:

As a character generally showing his patriotism, his moment to rise would have been 7 or 8 years ago. But now America is looking for change and that doesn’t show a lot of hope for Sam as he is stuck in is ways. He does strike me as the environmentally friendly type so that kick could boost his popularity.

Fun Fact:

Sam has a son in college, studying taxidermy, and a daughter who is dating an owl.

My Favorite Quote:

In The Great Muppet Caper he opens a door to a room full of Muppets and says, “You are all wierdos.” Then leaves.

Cookie Monster’s Mom

Us want Cookie!

Humble Beginnings:

Cookie Monster’s Mom has no other name, much like Mrs. Dagger’s Mom. Her first appearance on Sesame Street showed us that Cookie Monster’s appetite and table manners came from the X chromosome, like baldness.

Not a Star?

Cookie Monster’s Mom made only a few appearances on The Street (I think that is what the kids are calling it these days. I have no evidence. I haven’t hung out with any kids in 16 years). To this day I believe there are only a few die-hard fans that even remember her.

Chance of Future Stardom:

If there is a god above then they’re had better be! Cookie Monster’s Mom was hilarious, probably still is. Watching her was like watching Cookie Monster in old lady costume. Comic gold, Jerry, GOLD! If you do not believe me you can see for your self in this professionally transferred youtube clip. I love the fact that this person’s only video recoding device is a video camera. No Tivo, no DVR, not even a VCR or Beta Max.

My Favorite Quote:

After devouring a cookie, “You got good job here, son.”

Ah! A flying monster!

This article is brought to you by the letters C, J, and S; and by the number 23.

There is a nod to Grover, other than the picture, in this post. Does anybody know what it is?

See ya where sunny days chase the clouds away…

lee.s.hart@crujonessociety.com

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