13 Comments

  1. His friend needs a”hand” to help her up. And yes, Muppets are a puppet/marionette cross with the head and body being as puppet but the arms being worked like a marionette.

  2. Jim Henson did say that once, but it’s not the real origin of the word “muppet”.

  3. It’s the word choice “hired” that makes this sound peculiar to me. I’d say “sent for” or “called for” or simply “needed” or “wanted” would have been more natural. Especially if her answer is echoing a question he asked upon arriving. “Are you the one who sent for a handy man?” But “hired” is more like what you’d use for a completed past event.

  4. @ Powers – That derivation is so generally accepted that I think its negation deserves confirmation. To quote Henson: “It was really just a term we made up. For a long time I would tell people it was a combination of marionettes and puppets but, basically, it was really just a word that we coined. We have done very few things connected with marionettes.

    This actually makes sense: marionettes are generally suspended from strings, whereas Henson’s Muppets used stiff wires from below to support the hands (and other appendages, when needed).

  5. One thing I learned from YT videos is that in the UK, “muppet” is used as slang for “stupid person”,.

  6. As far as I know, all muppets are puppets, but not all puppets are muppets. Now, I don’t know the taxonomy so I don’t know where they fit in as far as kingdom and class and phylum and genus and species and all that, but muppets are a sub-something of whatever puppets are.

  7. Well, it’s not quite a mop and it’s not quite a puppet… but man (heh heh heh). So to answer your question, I don’t know. [/H. Simpson]

  8. Another similar word to throw in the mix is “moppet”, an adorable small child.

    This thread reminded me of the scene from the old Muppet Show where Fozzy Bear has a marionette act go awry on him. It’s in the episode with Senor Wences (S’alright? S’alright!) as the guest star.

    Fozzy, in another episode, had ventriloquist dummy in an act that also didn’t go well. What other instances were there of puppet characters with puppet acts of their own?

  9. Muppets, in general are worked, as mentioned, as hand puppet for their head and body. Their arms are not worked by strings from above, but by sticks from below by a separate person from the one working body and head.

    Does anyone remember seeing Rowlf on the “Jimmy Dean Show” as a semi-regular pianist and singer before Sesame Street. (In trying to remember Jimmy Dean’s name by looking online – apparently a number of Muppets made appearances on TV shows before Sesame Street. )

  10. Meryl, those may be sticks or they may be strings. It’s not like there’s enough detail to tell for sure.

  11. But either way – the hands are worked from underneath with sticks which are attached to them.

    I have seen several TV shows showing them at work.

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