With their new movie, The Muppets, coming out in exactly seven days, I thought I’d dedicate our first Top 10 List to them and rank my own personal top 10 Muppets. I didn’t have strict criteria that they had to meet in order to make the list; I simply had to like them. Some of the fan favorites will not appear (sorry Ms. Piggy), but that doesn’t mean I don’t like them, it just means that there were only ten spots.
Let’s start the countdown!
10. The Swedish Chef– The Swedish Chef is one of the most famous characters to have spawned from Jim Henson and company’s mind, and one of the funniest. He usually doesn’t do much other than speak in mock Swedish and be extremely violent towards any animal that comes into his kitchen. The reason why I love him is that although his methods are extremely unorthodox, he is dedicated to his art and will do anything to succeed. As someone who likes to cook, I totally get him.
9. Sam the Eagle– Sam is sort of the Muppet incarnation of everything that the FCC stands for. He attends Muppet Theater every show to make sure that the content aired is wholesome for the entire family. And of course, his efforts never truly pay off. What I love about him is how exaggerated he is in his conservative stands, and the fact that he is an eagle, a US symbol, makes everything he says extra serious, therefore even funnier. But this description alone doesn’t do him justice, so watch this video and experience Sam for yourself.
8. The Great Gonzo– Despite his uniqueness, Gonzo is actually the most “normal” of the Muppets. Most of the time he is the butt of the joke, as evidenced by the opening of “The Muppet Show.” When he actually makes a joke it is more of a clever zinger than anything else. Actually, when we meet him in The Muppet Movie he is just a plumber (and magician) with no aspirations for stardom. All he wants is to make an honest living and please his beloved Camilla, the chicken. This last trait is what makes him so endearing and earned him a place on the list.
7. Beaker– There’s two reasons why I love Beaker. The first being his signature nervous demeanor. This quality allows him to be suitable for just about every kind of comedy. Just look at his recent YouTube videos, like the one where he tries to sing“Dust in the Wind.” Plus, the fact that he only communicates with “meeps” adds to the hilariousness of his personality. The other is that he is such a loyal friend. Bunsen Honeydew puts him through hell and yet he doesn’t complain. He just takes it all like a true friend.
6. Mahna Mahna & The Snowths– Mahna Mahna & The Snowths are pretty much one -trick -ponies. All they have really done is the one skit. But for me, that is enough for them to be put on this list. When you have a variety show I’d imagine you’d want to start your first episode with a bang, and Jim Henson chose to start out “The Muppet Show” with Mahna Mahna, and it worked out beautifully. In my opinion, it is one of the most brilliant moments of comedy to have ever graced television screens. It’s not the greatest type of comedy, but the work of the writers and the puppeteers made it work so well.
5. Pepe the King Prawn– Pepe is actually not one of Jim Henson’s original creations. He came about in the late 90s, and after appearing in some Muppet projects and becoming a spokesman (spokesprawn?) for Long John Silver’s, he became a fan favorite. The reason I love him is because he’s such an honest stereotype. That might not be a very politically correct thing to say, but The Muppets have not always been politically correct. He is not an offensive stereotype, but the kind that makes you look at people and embrace those attitudes, such as the romanticism or the huge ego.
4. Animal– I don’t think I can come up with 80 to 100 words to describe my feelings towards Animal. I could say that he is a great drummer and that I love that he pretty much lives for rock n’ roll and for the “Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem” band, but that doesn’t really encapsulate my feelings for him. It could also be that I love that he is wild just for the sake of being wild since Jim Henson didn’t try to give him a back story as to why he is the way he is. But really, my love for him comes down to three simple words: He’s freaking cool.
3. Kermit the Frog– Kermit is the leader of the Muppets, and he tries his darnedest to live up to that title. He not only emcees “The Muppet Show”, but also has to manage everything so that it all turns out as it’s supposed to be. Eventually it all works, but mayhem goes on behind the scenes at Muppet Theater every minute, and he deals with it like a champ. His earnestness, his wish of wanting to make everyone happy (as seen in one of the best scenes in The Muppet Movie), and his dry sense of humor makes me actually sort of look up to him. Jim Henson could not have created a better leader for the Muppets.
2. Statler & Waldorf– Statler and Waldorf are the curmudgeonly old men everyone loves. In “The Muppet Show” they sit in the balcony of Muppet Theater, watching the proceedings, and every once in a while they weigh in with their sharp and unforgiving sense of humor. They never say a nice thing, but every line that comes out of their mouths is pure comedic gold. But what makes them so funny is that we can totally identify with them. No one can deny that there is a little bit of S&W in them. With that said, they really wouldn’t be this high on the list if their favorite target wasn’t my pick for my favorite Muppet of all.
1. Fozzie Bear– Fozzie Bear is the character that gave me my favorite comedic moment of any movie ever, which occurs inThe Muppet Movie, but I’d rather not spoil it, but if you must watch it, just click here (it happens at about the two minute mark and it goes on until about the third minute). It’s not a groundbreaking joke or anything, but it shows why Fozzie is my favorite. His shtick is telling bad jokes and he knows it. Everyone tells him that his jokes are bad, and yet he keeps doing what he loves. And wouldn’t you know it, he actually makes me laugh. I know this is a weird thing to say this about a puppet made of cloth, but he has truly inspired me. Seeing clips of him have actually gotten me through some very dark spots in my life, and for that reason, he is my favorite Muppet.
So now it’s your turn. Tell us who your favorite Muppet is in the comments section.