This article is the latest in our continuing My Favorite Muppet of the Moment series!
My favorite Muppet of the Moment is Tutter the Mouse from Bear in the Big Blue House.
Why did I choose Tutter as my Favorite Muppet of the Moment?
I’m a little younger than most of the rest of the ToughPigs staff. When Bear in the Big Blue House premiered in 1997, I was an extremely high-strung Muppet-loving six-year-old, which made me the exact target audience for Disney’s bold new adventure in early grades television. I loved Bear in the Big Blue House so much. As my mother reminds me, I was unable to complete a first grade “No TV Week” challenge because I desperately had to watch an episode of Bear on Saturday.
Honestly, it upsets me that the whole show isn’t remembered more fondly. You Google it these days, and all you can find are low-quality JPEGs and bad YouTube videos (which is why I drew my own Tutter art, featured here in this article). It’s a shame, but that’s not really what we’re discussing here.
What we’re discussing is Tutter the Mouse, my favorite Muppet of the Moment. (Really, all the Bear in the Big Blue House characters are my favorite, but they won’t let me choose them all.) Tutter was one of several children who spent time at the Big Blue House. Specifically, he lived in a tiny mouse hole in Bear’s kitchen and regularly needed Bear’s assistance with every kind of problem. Like most mice, he was obsessed with cheese. Unlike most mice, he was periwinkle.
Tutter was performed by Peter Linz, the Muppeteer who also performed Pip on Bear and would later rise to prominence as the man behind Walter. This explains why Tutter sounds like what Walter would sound like during puberty.
What makes Tutter so great?
As I mentioned above, I was something of a high-strung kid who grew up to be an incredibly high-strung adult, so Tutter has always been a relatable figure for me. There are plenty of Muppets that suffer from anxiety, but Tutter combines the nervous energy of Telly Monster with the frustration and single-mindedness of Bert. Constantly overworked and overwhelmed, Tutter was always trying to accomplish some kind of task that was too big for him (like pushing a piece of cheese) and having massive panic attacks as a result. He also regularly lost patience with the more chaotic antics of his surroundings.
I relate to this in a big way.
Of course, it’s also important that Tutter is ridiculously cute. Bear in the Big Blue House always played with scale and a dollhouse level of detail, and Tutter was one of the best examples of this. He was always appearing in drawers, cups, and fruit baskets, which is basically the most adorable thing. Considering he often appeared next to Bear—one of the largest Muppets of all time—he just always seemed even cuter.
But most of all, the thing that I love about Tutter is his voice. This is what I remember most about him, because most of my recent interactions with Bear in the Big Blue House have involved listening to the soundtrack on repeat. Tutter’s screeching, raspy voice should be annoying, but it’s actually very charming. It’s also really unexpected in an amazingly clever way: you’d think this pale blue, tiny child would be soft-spoken and timid, but Tutter is loud, abrasive, and demanding. It shouldn’t work, and that’s exactly why it does.
Also, he always said “If you don’t mind, Beah! I mean, if you really don’t mind, Beah!” which my family and I still walk around the house saying. You should try it, too.
Anyway, because he’s cute, relatably anxious, and obnoxiously loud, Tutter the Mouse is my Favorite Muppet of the Moment. If you really don’t mind.
Memorable Tutter Moment
As I mentioned, Bear in the Big Blue House videos are somewhat hard to find, so I’m including two (you’ll see my point in a second). Firstly, the audio track “Take Time to Smell the Cheese,” Tutter’s classic ode to relaxation and Camembert. But I also want you to see him be very tiny, so I’ve included this less-classic clip wherein he yells about how he doesn’t understand how imagining works.
Click here to be tiny and blue and pink and adorable on the ToughPigs forum!
by Evan G.