Michael Wermuth’s Scary Muppet Moments

Michael Wermuth – With Halloween coming up, I thought it would be good to talk about some of the Muppet moments that scared me as a child. As a kid, I couldn’t get myself to watch these moments without turning the volume all the way down or (if I had it on video) fast forward through it. Some of these things are truly scary, others are things that may sound silly to have been scared of, but I was a kid back then so that’s my excuse.

SweetumsfrogprinceSweetums in The Frog Prince
Sweetums is a bit scary in The Frog Prince, maybe it’s because he was supposed to be a bad guy in the special. But almost every scene with him had something that made me fast forward through most of his scenes as a kid. I was scared when Sweetums first came out of that cave at the beginning, when he woke up with the sudden realization that he was tricked, and was even scared at the end when Sweetums suddenly showed up in the crowd during the finale song.

2963-A6Herry’s yelling when he counted with John-John
In the segment where Herry and John-John count to 20, I was scared at the parts when they would start counting louder, with Herry pretty much shouting as he counted. Yeah, as a kid I usually didn’t like loud noises like that.

Bae21The Ernie statue
Of all the things mentioned in this article, this is the one I got over the fastest. I know others were initially scared of the segment where Ernie and Bert explore an Egyptian pyramid, and there are things I was creeped out by, but it was scary when the Ernie statue started moving, though less scary by the end of the segment. I think I got over my fear of this segment after watching it just two or three times.

KingofeightjesterThe Jester at the end of The King of 8
I was never fond of the designs of the puppets used in the “King of 8” segment, but the jester at the end had an appearance and voice I didn’t like. But at least the 8 sign fell on him. It wasn’t until about 2006 that I was able to watch the ending of the segment without fast forwarding.

MsfinchMiss Finch’s return to Sesame Street
At the end of Follow That Bird, when Miss Finch suddenly returns to Sesame Street as soon as Big Bird returns, I was as startled as Big Bird was, and didn’t like Big Bird’s reaction of fear upon seeing that she was back (which in retrospect isn’t as bad as his other reactions to seeing her earlier in the film, which I never had a problem with). For years whenever I rented this I would normally fast forward the whole scene until she left, so I guess I didn’t realize that she ended up letting Big Bird stay.

FizzgigFizzgig’s introduction
In The Dark Crystal, it was scary when Fizzgig first showd up, as he suddenly pops out from a hole or something growling loudly. I guess it was supposed to scare people a bit. It shouldn’t be so scary when rewatching it, especially when you know when it happens, but as a kid that didn’t stop me from fast forwarding at that point.

Well, there you have it, Muppet moments that I was scared of as a kid, some genuinely scary, others just silly things I was scared of. It sure is a good thing I’m no longer scared of any of these otherwise I wouldn’t be able to write (or possibly read) this list.

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

4 thoughts on “Michael Wermuth’s Scary Muppet Moments

  1. How about Munching Forest from Song of The Cloud Forest? That kept me up for a week, no joke. Really, the dark themes of the special mixed with the gorgeous, yet bug-eyed, puppets made for nightmare fodder.

    It still makes me nervous to watch!

  2. I never got scared by Muppet Monsters or things that freaked other kids out – the weirder something was, the more i loved it! On the flip side though, something like Bob singing with no Muppets around would send me hiding in the closet til it was over.

  3. I used to be scared whenever one of the monsters ate another Muppet. Considering how often that used to happen, it’s a wonder I’m still a Muppet fan today.

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