Lucas Ervin – We’re only 30 days away from The Muppets, and this week we’re showcasing The Muppet Show‘s resident go-fer, Scooter! Scooter is Kermit’s right hand man, and while he did have some memorable onstage moments and songs, he mainly served to help Kermit and to inform the guest star that it was “15 seconds to curtain!” As you know, Scooter got the job because his uncle owns the theater. Nepotism aside, Scooter is one of the greatest Muppets. Whether encouraging Fozzie to continue with his act, or trying to understand Gonzo, or paying off the audience to cheer for Miss Piggy, Scooter is always there to support his friends and make the show the best it can be. In The Muppets, Scooter returns to the big screen as a main character for the first time in over 20 years. No matter what, Scooter is one character we can always go-fer.
30. Scooter’s Official Introduction – While we do see Scooter in previous episodes, the sixth episode guest starring Jim Nabors was intended to introduce him. It’s also the first time we see him use his relationship to his uncle in order to get what he wants. One thing I’ve noticed is that Scooter is one of the few Muppets who actually seems to get older as the show goes on. In The Muppet Show Style Book, it states that Scooter is 14 years old in the first season. If you look at the character during the fifth season, it’s like he’s a senior in high school. And in The Muppets Take Manhattan, he’s a college graduate. Scooter has definitely come a long way since he began!
29. Guest Star Song – If there’s one thing Scooter is known for by all Muppet fans, it’s his “15 seconds to curtain” cold openings, which he did from season two to season four with the guest stars. So, naturally, when the Muppets decide to put on an awards show, who would have been more suitable to sing about all of the guest stars who had appeared so far than Scooter? The song is set to the classical tune “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General.” For those of you who paid close attention, Scooter mentions Senor Wences, who didn’t appear until the fifth season. Instead, they used a picture of the back of Charles Aznavour from the first season.
28. Mr. Bassman – Here’s Scooter with Floyd during the first season, where Jerry Nelson uses a different voice for Floyd, which happens only one other time with “Ain’t Misbehavin'” (also in the first season). Scooter definitely proves that he can keep up with the Electric Mayhem in this wild and fun number, and can even be seen as a sort of precursor to his role as the band’s road manager in The Muppet Movie. Not only did this song appear on The Muppet Show Album, but it was just recently covered by Sondre Lerche on The Green Album. Personally, I like the former better, because I love when Scooter yells out “Yeah!” at the end of the song.
27. On Her Doorstep Last Night – One of the constants throughout the show was the friendship between Scooter and Fozzie. They were good buddies who shared a lot of memorable moments both on and off the stage. So when an old gypsy woman puts a curse on the show and causes a meteorite to land on Kermit’s flipper, Scooter takes the stage with his furry friend to sing Jack Payne’s song, “On Her Doorstep Last Night,” only to be upstaged by two aliens who emerged from the meteorite. The aliens scared the singing duo off the stage, finishing the song themselves. Yup, the show was definitely cursed.
26. Jabberwocky – During the fifth season of the show, The Muppet Show had their youngest guest star ever on the show with Brooke Shields. During that episode, they dedicated the half hour to Lewis Carroll’s classic, Alice In Wonderland. While Kermit is trying to find the shrunken Brooke, Scooter takes the stage and performs “Jabberwocky” with Rowlf, which, as he puts it, is “the weirdest thing we’ve ever done on this show”–and that’s saying something! Brooke Shields actually spent time working with the people in the Muppet Workshop, and helped create some of the puppets used in this sketch.
25. Six String Orchestra – During the Mark Hamill/Star Wars episode, Scooter spent his time practicing a number on the guitar, which came to fruition in the second act of the show. As he sings, he is joined by Floyd, Janice, Zoot, and Animal as his room transforms into a stage, where he and the others are in glittering outfits being cheered on by wild fans. In the home video Children’s Songs and Stories with the Muppets, Scooter describes this song as being his personal favorite because he sings it. Plus, this definitely makes up for viewers having to listen to Angus McGonagle the Argyle Gargoyle gargling Gershwin.
24. Simon Smith and the Dancing Bear – Scooter and Fozzie’s great friendship, as seen here in Randy Newman’s “Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear,” was the on-screen representation of the friendship of Richard Hunt and Frank Oz. Both Richard and Frank had wicked senses of humor and played so well together. They had a lot of love and respect for each other, and they’re two big reasons why the Muppets work so wonderfully. Richard and Frank even sang this song during Jim Henson’s memorial service in 1990. The Muppets can teach us all to be better people while being silly and fun–all without being cynical or crude, and that’s what this song and the Muppets are all about.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org