10 Worst Muppets Ever
When it comes to a list of the ten worst Muppets, people automatically shout out, “ELMO!” But while the red-haired menace may indeed have his detractors, there are many more—ELMO! Okay, okay, let me just finish my sentence before you—ELMO! Will you stop yelling Elmo, so that I can make an—ELMO! Fine. Whatever. Let’s just say Elmo’s on the list so you can read about the other worst Muppets already…
A king prawn originally paired with an elephant (just like in nature), Pepe has a thick Spanish accent (just like in the ocean) and despite zero demand from the viewing public has repeatedly appeared in countless Muppets projects of dwindling quality (just like in “The Muppets Go to Prison”). Abrasive and unappealing, Pepe’s best role would be with Cajun spices at TGIF, Applebee’s or any number of chain restaurants that traffic in substandard seafood.
9. Mr. Poodlepants
While some Muppets tried to capture our imagination by portraying the quiet dignity of the everyman (Kermit) or the crippling narcissism of every performer (Miss Piggy), Mr. Poodlepants seemed to play every man your parents feared might actually be lurking on children’s playgrounds. A curiously jolly fellow with a fashion sense that said, “Come see the inside of my windowless van,” Mr. Poodlepants’ infrequent appearances were the result of wise thinking on the show’s staff and the oddball muppet’s habit of coming to rehearsal naked and giggling, telling everybody what the voices had made him do again.
The lead guitar player for Dr. Teeth’s Electric Mayhem started out as a hippy, spacey ode to 60’s singer Janis Joplin. But over the years Janice transformed into a valley girl with botched plastic surgery, making her look like a cast member from “The Real Housewives of San Fernando.” (Note to self: Pitch that show). This is a shame because not only did the original Janice have the best line in “The Great Muppet Caper” (“Look, Mother. It's my life. OK. So if I want to live on a beach and walk around naked...”) but along with Miss Piggy and Bunsen Honeydew’s little-seen sister Bernice Melons, she was one of the few leading female Muppet characters.
History is full of famous, unmarried male characters having nephews. Donald Duck had Huey, Dewey and Louie. Popeye had Pipeye, Peepeye, Pupeye, and I think Pinkeye. A senile Aquaman had those three goldfish he mistakenly thought were his sister’s kids. And Kermit had Robin, a small frog who always complained about being small. That was his whole act. “I’m small so no one sees me." “I’m small so no one pays attention to me.” “I’m small so no one knows I fell down this drainpipe.” Eventually Robin was replaced with Kermit’s surly teenage nephew Nick, who just drank cheap beer, routinely stole his uncle’s car and knocked up Camilla the Chicken.
The host of the short-lived “Muppets Tonight,” Clifford’s most outstanding attribute was that he could be easily folded so as to fit in an overhead compartment or under the airline seat in front of you. A pink catfish with Rasta hair, Clifford’s cool look and smooth voice could not disguise the fact that he had the star-making charisma of an accountant slipping into a coma. This eventually led Clifford to leave acting all together and go into the family catfish business of swimming in freshwater environments and bottom feeding.
Many of the Muppets made this list because of their awful personality or horrible actions. But Beauregard could desperately use a socially repellant quirk or outstanding police warrant to at least appear interesting. The VERY mild-mannered, bland backstage janitor at the Muppet Theater, Beauregard’s greatest claim to fame is that several sites mistakenly refer to him as “Steve” or “Background Actor #6,” proving that if you can’t be interesting maybe you should just donate your eyes and felt nose to make an adorable Shih Tzu for Bert and Ernie.
4. Wayne and Wanda
Kermit always managed to book unsettling acts for his variety show, whether it be Crazy Harry’s “explosive art,” Lew Zealand’s “boomerang fish” or Fozzie Bear’s hard-R version of the “Aristocrats joke.” Then there was Wayne and Wanda. The favorite of uptight Muppet Sam the Eagle, this singing duo was known for its wholesome, high-brow, boring performances that almost always ended in outright disaster and perhaps one less limb. Then the couple would be rushed off stage and into intensive care, only to be followed by a striptease in which a snake outgrew its own skin or something equally disturbing.
3. Waldo C. Graphic
A computer-generated puppet that can best be summed up as equal parts bug, seal and Photoshop error, Waldo proved the mistake of taking the fabric out of the Muppet (as well as proved what “Toy Story” would have looked like if it had a $12 budget). Lacking the charm of his far cuddlier cohorts, Waldo tried to make up for this by being so repellant in appearance that he worked his way into every child’s nightmares. There he still resides to this day, doing whatever a thing with fins, a top hat and a red butterfly on its ass does.
2. Marvin Suggs
What can be said about Marvin Suggs that hasn’t been mentioned in a court of law or Humane Society petition? Marvin was famous for playing the “Muppaphone,” an instrument consisting of small, furry creatures that he repeatedly brained with a mallet to make musical “ow” noises. Marvin would often complain that these furry companions would go flat—not in musical tone but in shape due to constant hammering—a confession that should have led to his imprisonment if not at least his disqualification from Grammy consideration. Instead, this melodious madman regularly performed on “The Muppet Show,” leading many to believe he had some very bad dirt on producer Kermit the Frog.
1. Telly Monster
Originally named “Television Monster,” this character had antennae on his head and eyes that would spin around whenever he watched TV. Fearing few people would want to see a Muppet have an epileptic seizure between songs about the number 8, however, the producers changed him to “Telly,” a nervous wreck of a worrywart who now teaches kids that given the right conditions even leaves can kill them.
Let's hear your favorite worst Muppet in the comments below!