Prof. Jarrod Fairclough – The world is alight with superhero fever this week after the long awaited Avengers: Infinity War was released. Cramming 4,000 superheroes in to a single film, the piece manages to be a fun, exciting romp, which has made me think of all the Muppet superheroes we’ve had over the years. So, sit up straight and grab a pencil, because class is in session!
Arguarbly the most famous Muppet superhero is Super Grover, who first appeared on Sesame Street in the early 1970’s. Though his alter ego Grover Kent is a low-key door knob salesman, Super Grover is fast paced, and ready to jump in to action at any given moment. Over the years he has assisted all manner of monsters, animals and small children with their disputes and problems, though is generally less helpful than he appears. Super Grover tends to get caught up in his own mind (and his own cape) while still inadvertedly helping out. Super Grover seems to derive his powers from his flowing red cape and the helmet he wears, which was supplied by his father. Unfortunately he has not mastered the power of landing, crashing in to the street and poles. Super Grover has appeared in almost 80 sketches and productions, and that’s just those that have been documented on Muppet Wiki.
Fun Fact: Super Grover’s original helmet was recycled from the costume of The Palace Guard in Tales of the Tinkderdee.
Though nowhere near as popular as Super Grover, hardcore Sesame Street fans still harbor a love for Captain Vegetable, the rabbit with a deep voice who wants us to eat celery and carrots by the bunch. Appearing in 1982 with his own song, Captain Vegetable assisted Eddie (who loved spaghetti) and Andy (who loved candy) and turned them with the beneficial qualities of veggies. Not much is known of his life away from superheroics, but he does reveal that he lives in a secluded garden in New Jersey. He reappeared in 1983 where he continued to recommend healthy snacks by way of rhyming games, and searched for fellow heroes using a carrot. In a season 33 reboot, he was recast with John Leguizamo.
Fun Fact: While Jim Henson performed the character for his debut, he was performed by Richard Hunt in all other appearances.
Funner Fact: Whoever wrote the Muppet Wiki entry for Andy deserves a medal.
Though only appearing once in Season 4 of The Muppet Show, Wonder Pig made her mark on the world. The superhero identity of Miss Piggy, Wonder Pig has the ability to change size and has super strength. In her only appearance, Wonder Pigs uses these powers to rid her family of a menacing giant chicken. Though she never appeared again, her photo hangs on the wall in the 2011 film The Muppets.
Fun Fact: In November 2015, Miss Piggy tweeted her willingness to continue the role in any film oppurtunities.
He’s a hero, he’s a guy! He’s Hero Guy! The comic creation of Baby Bear, Hero Guy appeared in sketches on Sesame Street from Season 32 to Season 38. Though a seperate entity, Hero Guy sounded and behaved remarkably like Baby Bear, thereby making the argument that he was born from another mind, largely like Vision in The Avengers. Hero Guy had many abilities, such as size changing, flight, and most impressively, shape shifting, including once in to a drum.
Fun Fact: Hero Guy first appeared in a Season 31 Street story, which showed his origin.
The Procrasinator appeared in an episode of Statler and Waldorf: From The Balcony auditioning to be in the X-Men. I have so much to say on this guy, but I’ll do that next week or something…
Fun Fact: (Note to self, look up fun fact before publishing)