Welcome once again to My Favorite Muppet of the Day, as we wrap up a week-long examination of whoever my favorite Muppet happens to be on any particular day.Who’s going to make the cut today? There sure are a lot of Muppets to choose from, and today’s the last day of the week, so I’d better pick a good one. That’s why I’m going to go with Taminella Grinderfall from Tales of the Tinkerdee!
Wait, no. Is Taminella a good choice? She’s pretty obscure. Okay, okay. I choose Angel Marie from Muppet Treasure Island and The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz! No, wait, that’s an even worse choice. I mean, in Oz he had a tickling fetish, for crying out loud. So instead, my favorite is Pip. No; Pop! No, Roosevelt Franklin! Rugby Tiger! Mopatop! Waffle the Cow Monkey!
Dang, this is stressful. I need a favorite Muppet who’s laid back, a favorite Muppet who’s cool as a fuzzy cucumber. I think there’s one obvious choice, so that’s the direction I’ll go. My favorite Muppet today is Floyd.
Much has been written about how the Muppets are quietly subversive, and I can think of no better representative of this than Sergeant Floyd Pepper, bass player for the Electric Mayhem and all-around groovy cat. He doesn’t give off the obvious burnt-out hippie vibe of Zoot, but you can still tell Floyd has been around and seen a lot of crazy things in his life as a musician (heck, he’s seen Gonzo. That’s a pretty crazy thing right there.) Floyd goes along with all the madness that comes with being a Muppet, but you can always tell he knows he’s cooler than everyone around him.
How cool is Floyd? In the Kaye Ballard episode of The Muppet Show, he leads the band in a walkout because the show’s theme song is just too square. How cool is Floyd? He managed to hook up with Janice, who is one of approximately two female characters on the show. How cool is Floyd? Since The Muppet Show, he hasn’t had much to do because all the Muppet writers know they’re just not cool enough to write for him.
Floyd is performed by Jerry Nelson, which means he’s the best singer of the Electric Mayhem, although that’s not so difficult an honor to achieve when your bandmates include Animal and Zoot. On The Muppet Show, Floyd sang classics like “Ain’t Misbehavin'” and contemporary hits like “New York State of Mind,” and was equally at ease with both. It’s almost impossible to do a Beatles cover that’s as good as the original, but Floyd pulled it off with his soulful rendition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
Floyd’s voice is cool. His way of speaking is cool (“We are, am, is and be, they whom are known as the Electric Mayhem!”). His hat is cool. His “hah-hah-hah” laugh is cool. In the early episodes of The Muppet Show, even his walk his cool; it’s sort of a rhythmic hipster mosey.
To summarize: Floyd is cool. He just is. And he does it all effortlessly. He never tries too hard to be cool, which makes him even cooler and which, to me, is the very essence of the Muppets at their best. And that’s why Floyd is my favorite Muppet today.
Man, this week has been fun, but there are still so many more Muppets, and so many more days. I might just have to do this again sometime. So, who’s your favorite Muppet today?
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