Ryan Dosier – Yesterday the Muppet fan community was saddened with the news that Gerard “Gerry” Parkes, best known to us as Doc from Fraggle Rock, had passed away at age 90.
As Doc, Gerry Parkes showed his ability to not only connect with Muppets, but usually upstage them as well. Doc’s relationship with his dog, Sprocket, was one of true friendship. They squabbled and quarreled sometimes yes, but at the end of the day they both loved each other and supported each other–even if Doc didn’t believe Sprocket’s zany “Fraggle” theories. All of this came though swiftly and easily through Gerry’s performance. He excelled in comedy, both physical and spoken, heartfelt emotion (see the episode “Change of Address”), and flights of frustration and elation. Doc entered the hearts of the children and adults who watched Fraggle Rock very early on, and he’ll never leave it. Doc was dog’s best friend and ours as well.
Of course, Fraggle Rock was not Gerry’s only turn as Doc. He also played the character in A Muppet Family Christmas, 1987’s beloved television special. Here, Doc got to interact with Kermit the Frog, Ernie and Bert, The Swedish Chef, and many of the other Muppet characters to immensely memorable results. Again, Doc was the only human among a cavalcade of Muppets, and again Gerry performed beautifully. Doc has some of the most memorable moments of A Muppet Family Christmas and Gerry Parkes will continue to be enjoyed by families everywhere, every year.
Outside of the Muppets, Gerry Parkes appeared famously in both The Boondocks Saints and its sequel (playing another character named Doc), as well as roles in Short Circuit 2, The Littlest Hobo, and It Takes Two. But to Muppet fans, and many, many people everywhere, he will always be Doc. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Gerry Parkes and we are so thankful to have had him as our Doc. He will live on forever in our hearts. After all, you cannot leave the magic. Thank you Gerry, and thank you Doc.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org