It’s summer! Unless you’re in New Zealand, which case it’s winter. But we’re a US-based website, so: It’s summer! (If you live in New Zealand, please print this article and place it in a safe-deposit box. When summer arrives, go to the bank, open the box and read it.)

And here’s the thing: When it’s summer, it’s hot, because the sun is out, and the sun is hot. When the sun is out and it’s hot, the sun gives people sunburns, because the sun is a cruel, sadistic bully. I burn very easily, so from June through September, I generally stay inside with all the window shades drawn, going outside only when I need to buy more Rice Krispies.

Today while I was cowering in fear from the mean old sun, a thought occurred to me that had never occurred to me or anyone else before: Do the Muppets need sunscreen? I love the Muppets, so I’m very concerned with their dermatological health. I knew it was my responsibility to come up with the answers. That’s why I sat down and wrote these notes about Muppet Sunscreen Needs. Please read them.

Kermit the Frog: Kermit spends a lot of time in the swamp. I’m pretty sure it’s shady in the swamp, because there a lot of trees. But Kermit often leaves the swamp and heads outside to other places that aren’t the swamp. Kermit the Frog should probably wear sunscreen.

Miss Piggy: I once read in a Highlights magazine that pigs can get sunburned. Miss Piggy is a pig. Miss Piggy needs to wear sunscreen.

Big Bird: Big Bird is a bird, and he’s covered with feathers. I don’t think he needs sunscreen, but it couldn’t hurt. It might be traumatizing for the kids to see Big Bird with bright red feathers. And even more traumatizing for adults! Big Bird should wear sunscreen.

SAM the Robot from Sesame Street: SAM is a robot. Robots don’t have skin, so they can’t get sunburned. SAM does not need sunscreen. He would no doubt consider this as one more reason machines are superior to humans. That arrogant jerk!

Elmo: Elmo is already red. If he got a sunburn, nobody would notice. Elmo doesn’t need to wear sunscreen. That arrogant jerk!

Abby Cadabby: Abby is a fairy. She can do magical spells. She could probably do a spell to create a mystical shield around her, impenetrable to harmful UV rays. Abby doesn’t need to wear sunscreen, but if she doesn’t get the spell right she’s apt to turn herself into a beach ball.

Beaker: Unfortunate things always happen to Beaker, so I would strongly recommend that he wears sunscreen. But he should NOT wear any sunscreen created by Bunsen Honeydew, which would be apt to make Beaker’s skin fall off or something. Also, Beaker might want to apply sunscreen to his eyeballs, which are large and bulgy.

Jen and Kira from The Dark Crystal: Not technically Muppets, but rather Henson creatures, these Gelflings live in Thra. Or is that “on Thra?” Is Thra a planet, like Tatooine or Arrakis? Or is it more of an abstract world, like Middle Earth or Westeros? I’ve never been sure about that. Anyway, Thra has not one, not two, but THREE suns. And Jen and Kira are both fair-skinned. So they should wear, like, a 2,000 SPF. 

Meanwhile, the Skeksis already look like their faces are made of leather, so it’s way too late for them.

The Fraggles: The Fraggles spend most of their lives in dark caverns, with lighting provided only by some magical fairy things. Their skin must be quite sensitive to the sun. I can only assume that somewhere out there is a long-lost Uncle Traveling Matt postcard where he’s confused by his face turning the color of a radish, and buys some “radish skin prevention cream” from a drugstore. The Fraggles oughtta wear sunscreen.

Oh, but here’s a thought: The Fraggles do venture into the Gorgs’ garden occasionally, and the garden appears to be pretty sunny. Is their sun the same as ours? Or is it a completely different sun with similar physical properties? OR is it a different sun with different properties? Like how Krypton’s sun and Earth’s sun are different, which is what gives Superman his powers? Wait a minute… Could Uncle Traveling Matt fly if he wanted to, and he just doesn’t know about it?!

Gary Cahuenga from Muppets Tonight: Gary is a ventriloquist’s dummy, and he’s made of wood. In researching this article, I put a block of wood outside in the sun for four hours, and it didn’t get sunburned. Gary Cahuenga does not need sunscreen.

Corny the Corn from Sesame Street: Corny is an ear of corn occasionally seen on the show. I’m worried that if Corny stays out in the hot sun too long, his kernels will turn into popcorn and pop off of him, which would undoubtedly be a terrifying ordeal for him. Corny should wear sunscreen.

Bear from Bear in the Big Blue House: Sometimes Bear chats with Ray, who is literally the sun. On those occasions, when Bear is close enough to that burning, fiery ball of plasma to have a conversation with it, he should definitely wear sunscreen! I bet it gets pretty messy trying to put sunscreen on fur, though.

Dead Tom from Muppet Treasure Island: Dead Tom is dead. He doesn’t need sunscreen.

And that’s all the Muppets! And that’s whether or not they need sunscreen! And now, if you’ll EXCUSE ME, I’m going to send this list to Muppets Studios, Sesame Workshop, The Jim Henson Company, and Coppertone.

Click here to go to the beach on the Tough Pigs forum!

by Ryan Roe – Ryan@ToughPigs.com

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