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October 9, 2015

Adam Finley: The Five: The other Muppets

by Kevin Kelly, posted Sep 10th 2007 7:06PM
Today, Monday September 10, 2007, TV Squad is remembering blogger Adam Finley who passed away tragically late last week. All front page posts will be staff picks of Adam's writing through the years.

Adam Finley always amazed me with the depth of his Muppet knowledge, and his ability to ferret out anything related to the felt performers. I worked at The Jim Henson Company for more than six years, but Adam would constantly discover things I'd never even known about the company and write them up in his scathingly funny style. Besides writing funny posts like this one about the "other" Muppets, he would also lovingly remember those who had gone before, like Muppeteer Richard Hunt.

I can only imagine that Adam is sharing a laugh right now with Jim Henson himself.

Originally published June 6, 2006.

sam the eagleBack in February we discussed the lesser known Muppets on Sesame Street, those who aren't always recognized as much as their more popular pals, but are still important nonetheless. Today we're going to do the same thing for The Muppet Show. Of course, that only leaves us with about eighty billion Muppets to choose from. That's where you come in, readers, to let me know which ones I forgot. Remember, these aren't the popular characters, but the lesser players who still managed to make their mark, however small. Okay:

Lew Zealand:

A few years ago, a friend called me:

Friend: Hey, help me settle an argument. What's the name of that guy on the Muppets who threw the fish?

Me: Lew Zealand.

Friend: No, my friend here says that's not right.

Me: Tell your friend never to underestimate my Muppet knowledge.

And that's pretty much all Lew did, he just threw his boomerang fish around the theater. However, he did it better than anybody.

Sweetums: One of the gigantic monsters often found hanging around the theater, Sweetums was usually harmless, though he was known to occasionly swallow one of the smaller Muppets. He also played "Jack" in The Muppet Movie, which was both his name and his job (he lifted cars, get it)? Note: Amy pointed out that Sweetums actually did play himself in the movie. I remembered the scene wrong, my bad.

Doglion Monster: Another of the big monster Muppets whose role was basically to sing, dance, and then eat other Muppets and parts of the scenery when the sketch called for it. Doglion and other creatures like him may have seemed pointless, as they lacked the personality of the more popular Muppets, but they were essential in filling out the edges of the Muppet universe and giving it more depth.

Beauregard: Actually, Beauregard was used pretty frequently during The Muppet Show's run, but I don't think he clung to our collective conscience as much as his counterparts in the Muppet theater. Beauregard was a strong but dim-witted stagehand who was often duped into performing stupid and dangerous acts both on stage and off.

Sam the Eagle: It's easy to dismiss Sam as being the stuffy authority figure in a world of insane creatures, but I'm sure most of us can think of a situation where we were dumbfounded by the ineptitude of those around us and just wanted everyone to act civilized already. Of course, you always have to pick your battles, and Sam's quest to maintain order and decency on the show was a futile one at best.

Okay, there you go. Trust me, my original list was much longer than five, so I'm sure you guys will think of others.

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