Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: The Frackles

WMW Frackles

Written by James A. Pilsworth.

THE FRACKLES

FracklesPerformed by…
Various

First appearance…
The Great Santa Claus Switch (1970)

Most recent appearance…
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

Best known role(s)…
Random, colorful, sometimes evil monsters who inhabit the Muppet universe.

WHO ARE THE FRACKLES?
GSCS-FracklesThe Frackles are a unique species of Muppet monsters who have appeared as early as 1970, when they served as Cosmo Scam’s furry henchmen in The Great Santa Claus Switch. Seven Frackles debuted here, including a character named Snarl, who would later become The Great Gonzo. Other Frackles included Boppity, Gloat, Scoff, Snickery (who will become a Snerf) and Snivelly (who will become Droop), plus a snake Frackle and a green Frackle who looks exactly like Scoff.

Florence14After The Great Santa Claus Switch, the Frackles made more appearances on several specials before appearing on The Muppet Show. In the first through fourth seasons, all of the original Frackles were rebuilt and reused, now becoming utility monsters. In the fifth season, six more Frackles made their debut. These include a pink Frackle, a purple Frackle, a purple gray Frackle, a jade green Frackle (who will become J.G.), an emerald green Frackle, and a green-furred Frackle.

27_monstersOn The Muppet Show, Frackles were used as background monsters, background singers, and performers with various guest stars. Some of their most famous musical numbers include “Once a Year Day,” “Comedy Tonight,” and “Ugly.” The Frackles were always handy to have on the show as part of the vast Muppet cast.

After The Muppet Show, the Frackles continued to appear in most Muppet specials, appearances, commercials, and films up until the 1990s. During that period, focus shifted almost exclusively to the main cast of Muppets and many background characters phased out.

Character.mofrackleThe newest Frackles arrived on the scene in 2001, when a green Frackle appeared with the Muppet group on Family Feud. That Frackle was known as Mo, but he wasn’t referred to by any name after that. The following year, a blue Frackle known as Scabby appeared in the Macy’s Windows parade.

Many Frackles appeared most recently in The Muppets (answering telethon phone calls) and Muppets Most Wanted (as prisoners in the Gulag). It seems extremely likely that the Frackles will appear again soon, since they are so comfortable in the background.

WHY DO THE MUPPETS NEED THE FRACKLES?
Well, The Frackles are there because there are not enough monsters in the Muppet gang. The Frackles fill out the background monster category. Sure, characters like Beautiful Day Monster and Luncheon Counter Monster are utility monsters, but The Frackles are more recognizable than the two monsters mentioned. Bring back the Frackles!

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

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