The Muppets' staying power is an inspiration. What was borne from the silly idea of anthropomorphizing felt later forged a brand that has redefined the puppet industry, and greater entertainment industry, to this day. (The newest film, The Muppets, is scheduled for release Wednesday, Nov. 23.) And they ain't too hard on the eyes neither. Our fascination with the Muppets, at least for those die-hard fans whose unflinching commitment withstood the twin forces of Muppet Treasure Island and Muppets from Space, rests on a foundation of The Muppet Show itself.
This quirky variety show blended the junk food of pop culture with the vegetables of arts: classical music, dance, opera, theater, and commentary amongst them. The show's writing is ultra-accessible, fun, and emotionally earnest--making an easy and instant classic for most audiences.
So, here are those undiscovered phantoms of funny, the hidden jewels in the jokes, your merry Muppet marauders, the top 10 Muppets you should already know.
10. Mildred Huxtetter
This saucy aristocrat was primarily featured in the "At the Dance" ballroom sequences of the first season. Mildred is known for her haughty air, beaked nose, and fabulous one-liners, but was later repurposed as a reporter on the episode hosted by Rich Little.
Hilda was a loveable backstage marm, and Transylvanian transplant, who served as the show's seamstress. Her most noteworthy plot saw a series of failed attempts at looking younger.
8. Link Hogthrob
This dim-witted, pig-headed ham hock is best known for captaining the Swinetrek on the show's "Pigs in Space" sketches. Link, however, has been featured as an ancillary character in many Muppet movies and as a counterpart to both Piggy and Fozzie on various Muppet programs.
7. The Newsman
The Newsman turned innocuous soundbytes of reportage into an HR nightmare. Falling prey to bizarre, hazardous effects from the news he covered (who in journalism hasn't?) this Muppet reporter proved, once and for all, the extent to which a journalist will go in service to the trade.