By: Dashiell Driscoll
The Headless Nanny
Those striped green socks. That pink skirt and purple sweater. This grown woman dressed like Pippy Longstocking is easily the creepiest thing about “Muppet Babies.” She was an early pioneer in the art of never showing a TV character’s face, a practice now referred to in the biz as “pulling a Wilson.” Yes, this was a choice to reinforce the low to the ground perspective of the Muppet Babies, but babies can see the heads of adults! I can only assume they didn’t show us her face because she was horribly disfigured. It adds up that a lady with a terrifying face would devote her life to babysitting tiny mutant creatures, keeping them protected from an outside world that would never accept them. Also, nobody looks at your face when you’re wearing purple shoes and green striped socks.
It’s A “Muppets Take Manhattan” Spinoff
“The Muppets Take Manhattan” had a dream sequence where Miss Piggy imagines what it would be like if she and Kermit grew up together. This sequence was so successful that two months later the Muppet Babies were born. How did studios gauge the success of something like that before message boards and twitter gave people the freedom to shout their opinions into a public abyss? I’m guessing two or three people came up to Jim Henson, told him they liked that part of the movie and then he made some big dog moves that would forever impact your childhood. Because that’s how Jim Henson handled shit. Real player for real, ask somebody. RIP.
Skeeter’s Mysterious Disappearance
Skeeter, Scooter’s twin sister, is a character that only exists in the Muppet Babies. She was introduced to be a second female character (nobody wants to watch a Muppet Baby sausage fest) but then never shows up later on in the Muppet universe as an adult alongside Scooter. Did she die? Probably. Everybody dies. I can’t imagine Muppets are exempt. Maybe she was just a figment of Scooter’s imagination: his secret desire to be a woman manifesting itself as a twin that doesn’t actually exist. This theory is supported by the fact that Skeeter was voiced by men (Howie Mandel first and then the actor who played baby Kermit) and also by the fact that the whole show centered around babies with overactive imaginations creating fake realities to live in. This theory is also supported by a lot of pot and repeat viewings of “Fight Club.”
Baby Gonzo’s Chicken Love
It’s pretty weird that Gonzo is a character that wants to have sex with a chicken as an adult, but we’ve all made peace with it. Sexuality has a lot of shades of grey, and I don’t even know what Gonzo technically is (besides horny for poultry), so I’m not in any position to judge. Plus, pigs and frogs don’t get it on in the wild and nobody thinks that part of the Muppets is strange so whatever. It does, however, strain the surface tension of normalcy that baby Gonzo (in his red onesie jumper getup) has a thing for chickens. It’s played off as a na ‘ve but deep love, the kind you have for a best friend that you don’t yet know will be your first crush. It would be cute, but we know where this love goes and all we’re really seeing is a baby in the earliest stages of banging chickens. This is all made even weirder by the fact that Dave Coulier does the voice for said baby chicken. And it’s not actually a chicken, it’s a stuffed animal of a chicken. Why, you ask? Camilla the chicken wouldn’t live long enough to be Gonzo’s love interest if she was around when he was a baby! Congratulations, your brain just forgot someone’s name to make room for all of this pointless information.
Uncle Statler and Waldorf
Stattler and Waldorf are the only humans with faces you see in the Muppet Babies. That’s pretty strange. What’s even weirder is the fact that they’re nice to the Babies, hence the “Uncle” title at the beginning of their names that distinguishes them from their future selves. They bring the Muppet Babies gifts and, more significantly, don’t constantly berate the Muppets like they do in later years. Much like the disappearance of Skeeter, this raises big questions about what happened between the Muppet Babies and the grown up Muppets. It must’ve been extremely dark and heavy to turn them into such crotchety curmudgeons. Maybe “Muppet Babies” is subtly suggesting they got Alzheimer’s and forgot they’re like family, if not a direct blood relation, to these Muppets. Also, they’re both voiced by Dave Coulier. This list was originally much shorter and titled “2 Weird Things About Dave Coulier.”
Where Are The Parents?
“The whereabouts of their parents are never addressed,” is all the Muppet Babies Wikipedia article has to say about that. It’s one of the more disturbing sentences I’ve read on Wikipedia, and I’ve read some insert references to disturbing and obscure Wikipedia articles here. It really lets your imagination retreat to dark places. I considered a few possibilities just now and ultimately landed on the theory that the adorable Muppet Babies are actually demon spawn from a creature that died during Muppet labor of her Muppet litter. Whatever the case is, it’s so sad that nobody will ever talk about it. The Muppet Babies have to live in a world of imagination to get away from it. I just wish their imaginations relied less on live action video clips that were licensed before contracts factored in a DVD release.