The Great Muppet Countdown: 10 Furry Favorites
Number 10: Beaker
Beaker was introduced on the second season of "The Muppet Show" as the accident-prone laboratory assistant of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. With his skinny head, frazzled red hair, bulging eyes and high-pitched voice, Beaker became a favorite among audiences. Beaker often finds himself blown up, electrocuted or suffering some other science-related injury. Beaker is perhaps best known for communicating only in "meep" sounds.
Number 9: Robin the Frog
Adorable Robin the Frog is the young nephew of the ever-popular Kermit the Frog. Robin the Frog was first introduced to the Muppet world in a 1971 Jim Henson special called "The Frog Prince" in which he played Sir Robin the Brave. Robin the Frog has since had roles in many Muppet movies, even portraying Tiny Tim in 1992's "The Muppet Christmas Carol."
Number 8: Rizzo the Rat
Rizzo the Rat first appeared on "The Muppet Show" in an episode that starred actor Christopher Reeve. The scene-stealing varmint was among a group of rats that followed Reeve around backstage. With his New Jersey accent and street smart attitude, this wise-cracking rat received his name from a character in the movie "Midnight Cowboy." Rizzo the Rat went on to appear in many Muppet movies, often teaming up with Muppet favorite Gonzo.
Number 7: Statler and Waldorf
Statler and Waldorf are the two grumpy old men often seen heckling the Muppets from balcony seats. The pair had a role in almost every episode of "The Muppet Show," usually appearing at the beginning or end of the show. The two are named for popular New York City hotels, The Waldorf-Astoria and The Statler Hilton, and in one episode, Waldorf's wife, Astoria, is introduced.
Number 6: Rowlf the Dog
Laid back Muppet Rowlf the Dog is a scruffy brown canine with large, floppy ears and a love for classical music. Often seen playing the piano, Rowlf is one of the Muppet's supporting cast members. He was first introduced in 1962 in Purina Dog Chow commercials, and he later appeared on "The Jimmy Dean Show" as Jimmy's sidekick for three years before joining "The Muppet Show" in 1976 as a recurring cast member.
Number 5: Fozzie Bear
The jokester of the group, Fozzie Bear is a silly, fuzzy bear that is typically shown wearing a small brown hat and necktie with red and white polka dots. Fozzie is a stand-up comedian that often finds himself being ridiculed by Statler and Waldorf, and he is perhaps best known for his catchphrase "Wocka, Wocka, Wocka!"
Animal is undoubtedly the most memorable member of Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, a fictional band that often performed on "The Muppet Show." As the band's drummer, Animal is crazy and almost caveman-like. Animal first appeared on the pilot of "The Muppet Show" and has been in all the Muppet movies. Animal was the only band member to appear regularly in episodes of "Muppet Babies" and was voiced by Howie Mandel and Dave Coulier.
Number 3: The Great Gonzo
The Great Gonzo first appeared in 1970's "The Great Santa Claus Switch," a Muppet Christmas special. For some time, it was unknown what Gonzo was, but in 1999's "Muppets from Space," he is revealed to be a space alien from another planet. With his blue fur and long, hooked nose, Gonzo is the daredevil of the group, often performing wild stunts.
Number 2: Kermit the Frog
Perhaps the most readily recognized Muppet, Kermit the Frog was first introduced in 1955 and is often the main character in most of the franchise's shows and movies. Kermit is the only Muppet to appear as a main character on both "The Muppet Show" and "Sesame Street" and was performed by Jim Henson until his death in 1990.
Number 1: Miss Piggy
The most notable female Muppet, Miss Piggy was introduced to "The Muppet Show" as a minor character, but soon became a main character. Kermit is often the unwitting object of Miss Piggy's affection, and the overbearing bovine is sure she is destined for stardom. Miss Piggy has made many cameo appearances over the years, appearing on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "The X Factor," and even "Saturday Night Live."
The Muppets are a colorful group of lovable puppets with personalities all their own. While "The Muppet Show" only ran from 1976 through 1981, these larger-than-life characters have continued to crank out movie hits to the delight of new generations.