16 Days Until "The Muppets"!!

Lucas Ervin – It’s officially November! Before the month is over, we’ll have a new Muppet movie in theaters. And while we wait, we bring you everyone’s favorite furry, fuzzy, funny-man: fabulous, free-wheeling, fast, and frantic, Fozzie Bear! Fozzie was originally performed by Frank Oz, and now performed by Eric Jacobson. Fozzie has been around since the first episode of The Muppet Show and is Kermit’s best and closest friend. Known for his terrible jokes, undying eagerness to please, and over-sized heart, Fozzie brought us plenty of classic moments over the five year run of The Muppet Show. Whether being heckled by Statler and Waldorf, giving the wrong introductions for the guest star, or trying some ridiculous new act to make people laugh… Fozzie Bear became a staple in the Muppet world by being so loveable, so caring, and so darn funny. Who cares that he bombs every week? (The audience. That’s who cares.) So let’s hear it for a week of Fozzie Bear!

16.   Good Grief! The Comedian’s A Bear! – In one of the first bits to feature Fozzie and Kermit, the audience, performers, and writers began to grasp what Fozzie is all about. With this corny yet classic moment the bear and the frog of his heart, Fozzie and Kermit solidify their relationship almost immediately. Fozzie was much different in the season one, and the writers felt that the audience couldn’t sympathize with an always-failing comedian. In the second season, Jerry Juhl decided that it would be best to focus on the positive aspects of the bear, and Fozzie became the lovable furry fellow we know today.

15.   Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (An Actor’s Life For Me) – Rowlf the Dog is another good buddy to Fozzie. The two were paired up for many segments together on The Muppet Show. Their relationship, along with the relationship between Kermit and Fozzie, truly mirrored how well Frank Oz and Jim Henson played together for so many years, just making people (and themselves) laugh. One of Rowlf and Fozzie’s best schticks was performing the song “Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (An Actor’s Life For Me)” from Disney’s Pinocchio. Fozzie tells some terrible fish and hula-hoop jokes while Rowlf muses, “Leaving the stage is funnier than a lot of things the bear does.”

14.   Confide In Me – When the sexy and talented Raquel Welch visited The Muppet Show, Fozzie decided to be more aggressive, trying to shake his previous image, much to the amusement of Kermit and Floyd Pepper. Of course, this new, assertive Fozzie didn’t last very long and by the middle of the episode he’s back to his old self. While moping around backstage, wishing he had the nerve to meet Raquel, Fozzie comes face to face (or face to slightly lower body area) with Miss Welch. When Raquel told the bear that she did the show just so she could meet him, Fozzie melts in her arms as she sings a sexy rendition of Diana Ross’s “Confide in Me.”

13.   Wally Whoopee – One thing Fozzie was never good at was learning how to deal with people upstaging him–or, even worse, possibly replacing him. One of the funniest times when Fozzie had to deal with another comedian on stage was when Johnny Cash guest starred and Wally Whoopee buried the bear in his own jokes, ruining his comedic spot for the night. You can’t help but feel sorry for Fozzie, but you have to admit, it was pretty funny.

12.   Run Rabbit Run – Sometimes, Fozzie would try accomplishing whatever talent the guest star that week could do, which usually ended poorly. Case in point: the Doug Henning episode, when Fozzie decided to learn how to do hat tricks, showing off for Kermit’s nephew, Robin. First he pulls out a Rabbi, then a robot, then, finally, a rabbit pops out, then another, then another. Suddenly, Fozzie has over a dozen rabbits following him around and calling him “daddy.” The rabbits beg Fozzie to protect the group from a farmer trying to make rabbit pie out of them, and Fozzie sings “Run Rabbit Run” as he tries to protect his furry friends.

11.   English Country Garden – This sketch starts off with Rowlf playing the piano as usual, and then Fozzie comes to sit down beside him… and starts playing along perfectly. Rowlf is obviously astounded, and the two start playing together. Fozzie turns out to be a terrific piano player, and keeps up with Rowlf the whole way through, even after his hat falls off (turns out he can play hat-less). This is yet another fantastic collaboration of two wonderful and enigmatic performers, Jim Henson and Frank Oz. During the documentary The World of Jim Henson, writer Jerry Juhl points out that, “When the two of them got together and started working as a team, it was like a Laurel and Hardy situation. These were just two guys who were meant to work together.”

10.   Top Banana – The thing that made Fozzie more nervous than anything else was having a fellow comedian as the special guest star. Enter Milton Berle, a comedy legend. Fozzie spends most of the episode entire episode hiding from Uncle Miltie, thinking that he couldn’t possibly hold a candle to his idol. However, when Fozzie overhears Milton telling Kermit that he always wanted to do a number with the bear, he jumps out from his hiding spot and is more than willing to do an old-school musical salute to comics everywhere, complete with physical comedy and zany one-liners. Yes, folks… he’s sweet, shy, fuzzy, loveable, friendly, loyal, and, no matter what Statler and Waldorf say, he’s funny. He’s the one and only, Fozzie Bear!


The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, ryguy102390@gmail.com

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