Today’s article was written by our wonderful contributor Abigail Maughan.
Fraggle Rock Episode 216: Junior Sells the Farm (1987)
Most Recent Appearance…
Mopatop’s Shop Episode 223: Rude Dude (2000)
Best Known Role…
Villainous, but not entirely undefeatable, toad creature
WHO IS WANDER MCMOOCH?
Wander McMooch is an evil, greedy frog-like creature who tormented many a character on Fraggle Rock. He is devious and creepy, but is easily beaten: he is terrified of Fraggles.
In his first appearance on the show, Episode 216, “Junior Sells the Farm,” McMooch pops into the Gorgs’ front yard and tricks Junior Gorg into selling him their castle (which isn’t difficult). Once Junior realizes his error, he enlists in the aid of Mokey and Red Fraggle. After they devise a plan that ultimately fails, McMooch lets it slip that he has Fraggle-phobia. Junior responds to this by shoving the Fraggles in McMooch’s face, and the villain runs away in terror.
McMooch’s only other appearance on the show came in Episode 307, “Home is Where the Trash Is.” His evil deeds involve capturing and enslaving the runaway Philo and Gunge and taking them to his strange, swamp-like lair, where he threatens them some more until the Fraggle Five show up to rescue McMooch’s prisoners. Here it appears that his previously seen full-on phobia of Fraggles has now simply diminished to mild irritation towards them. He reveals that he despises Fraggles because of their lovability, so Philo and Gunge proceed to disgust him by showering him with affection. Their plan works and they are released.
There is a continuity error on the show regarding Wander McMooch’s size. In his first appearance, he is waist-high to Junior Gorg and the Fraggles, Philo, and Gunge are teeny-tiny to him. When he appears again, he has shrunk quite a bit and is now the same size as the Fraggles.
Wander McMooch reappeared in The Muppet Christmas Carol as one of Nephew Fred’s party guests, and again as one of Blind Pew’s pirates in Muppet Treasure Island, both times with fellow Fraggle Rock denizen Brool the Minstrel. He made a brief appearance in episode 223 of Mopatop’s Shop.
WHY DOES FRAGGLE ROCK NEED WANDER MCMOOCH?
Aside from joining Sidebottom and the Mean Genie as some of the few legitimate villains on the show, Wander McMooch also provides our first and really only look at the world outside the Gorgs’ garden. He inspires many questions. Who is he and where did he come from? How many other species are there outside the Rock? He has a light on his scooter, so how did he acquire electricity? Exactly how big is this strange world of the Fraggles? All things that we will never know. Makes you think, doesn’t it?