Those are the sweetest of the Muppets. But with Muppets Most Wanted
hitting theaters, we decided to
explore the most sinister of all Muppets. These are the true criminals.
Marvin SuggsA deranged, vaguely Spanish conductor and recurring guest on The Muppet Show, Suggs practiced Muppet slavery through his All-Food Glee Club (which famously auditioned for but was denied a spot on The Muppet Show in season 2, despite a rousing rendition of “Yes, We Have No Bananas). He also lords over the Muppaphone, an “instrument” composed of sentient fluff balls that are struck with a mallet to make them scream in harmony. Asked the fates of balls that go “flat,” Suggs coldly replied, “You don’t want to know.”
Known associates: Steve Martin, Gilda Radner, singing fruit
A Sendakian beast that exists solely to be a prick, Doglion first appeared on stage with Madeline Kahn, laying waste to everything the actress deemed beautiful. He also holds the distinction of being the first Muppet seen on the big screen in The Muppet Movie but has been banished from movies since…perhaps providing an explanation for the features’ increasing sweetness.
Known associates: Sweetums, Cloris Leachman, Alice Cooper
Gorgon HeapRelated neither to Uriah nor Medusa, this hulking, neon-eyed purple monster with Obama ears exists solely to commit murder through mastication. He is a foremost eater of Muppets, and has counted among his meals renowned Muppet chef Pierre LaCousse and Sherlock Holmes’ sidekick Dr. Watson. Vincent Price even heralded him as one of the world’s greatest eaters, thereby endorsing the slaughter of plush life forms.
Known associates: Kermit the Frog (who was once a potential victim), Vincent Price
Riverbottom Nightmare Band
A dangerous gang that sought to dampen the spirit of Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, this possible terrorist cell—consisting of Stanley Weasel, Fred Lizard, Howard Snake, Pop-eyed Catfish and ringleader Chuck Stoat—pollutes the airwaves with its rock ’n’ roll. The group also bullies bluegrass-loving otters and displays a total disregard for the traffic laws of Frogtown Hollow.
Known associates: None. They operate autonomously.
Bobby BensonA known child-labor enthusiast, Benson used his stint as the Electric Mayhem trumpeter to launch a solo career as leader of a baby band, a sextet of horrifying infants forced to tour endlessly while enduring Benson’s constant cigarette smoke. Benson was finally arrested and brought to justice in a 1979 episode of The Muppet Show, but he has since escaped and made cameos in several movies.
Known associates: Dr. Teeth, Chris Hansen of To Catch a Predator
Also known by the alias “Gene,” Behemoth made a brief and memorable appearance in The Muppets, praising Jack Black for his oral hygiene. But the orange, pearl-toothed monster cannot escape a past that includes consorting with marauding monsters on multiple episodes of The Muppet Show. He also attempted to murder Muppet performer Shakey Sanchez by eating him while singing Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” Sanchez survived.
Known associates: Jack Black, Ernst Stavros Grouper
The Irish RodentsYes, the idea of rats embracing ethnic stereotypes and bathing in a vat of fondue isn’t all that criminal, until you consider that, in the Muppet universe, cheese is very much alive, and a preferred dance partner for Gonzo (sweet, sweet Yolanda had danced like the wind). When these dirty Irish rats capture Swiss cheese and toss it in the vat, they’re engaging in a bizarre torture ritual in which they bathe in the blood of their victims.
Known associates: Rizzo the Rat
Big Mean CarlSporting horns, ferocious yellow eyes and shaggy gray hair, Big Mean Carl is a latter-day Muppet who debuted on Muppets Tonight and exists to destroy all that is good, whether it’s by ingesting friendly Muppets or tearing the world around him apart. He also mercilessly clubbed to death several gourds posing as the Smashing Pumpkins, none of which were Billy Corgan. Which seems like a missed opportunity.
Known associates: Gonzo the Great
SEE IT: Muppets Most Wanted is rated PG. It opens Friday.