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“Who’s your favorite Muppet?”

When people ask me that — as they so often do, in chatrooms, at job interviews, at the dentist’s office — I’m never sure how to answer the question. I’ve been a Muppet fan my whole life, and there have been thousands of Muppet characters created for various productions in the three hundred and fifty years the Muppets have existed.

I’ve come to realize that I don’t have a single favorite Muppet. Instead, my favorite Muppet at any given time depends on a number of factors, including which productions I’ve watched most recently, which characters I might be personally identifying with, and what I had for lunch.

In fact, my favorite Muppet changes just about every day. If you ask me Tuesday who my favorite Muppet is, I’ll give you a different answer than I did on Monday. With that in mind, I’ve decided to post here every day this week, explaining who My Favorite Muppet of the Day is for each day.

To get things started, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell the world that my favorite Muppet today is Rowlf the Dog. Of all the Muppets, Rowlf is the one I’d most like to hang out with on a rainy Saturday. I imagine we’d play some cards, trade a few good jokes, trade a lot of bad jokes, share a nice big bowl of Kibbles ‘n’ Bits, and maybe if I asked him nicely, he’d grace me with a little tune on the piano.

Rowlf’s songs on The Muppet Show are always entertaining. One wouldn’t necessarily think that watching a puppet pretend to play the piano would be so riveting, but riveting it is. He didn’t appear backstage much on the show, due to being performed by the same dude as Kermit, but when he does it’s always a treat, and it’s just as exciting to see him doggin’ it on the big screen — most notably in The Muppet Movie‘s legendary frog/dog duet “I Hope That Somethin’ Better Comes Along,” and in The Muppets Take Manhattan‘s sequence spotlighting his new job working at a kennel, which I would argue is the funniest of the “Muppets find new jobs” scenes in the film. And who better than Rowlf to serve as the president of the Organization of Muppet Dogs in the “Secrets of the Muppets” episode of The Jim Henson Hour? I’d vote for him, if I were a Muppet dog. Heck, I’d vote for him for president of the United States… and because he’s a dog, his term in office would last 28 years.

Rowlf has been around forever — his gig on The Jimmy Dean Show began back in 1963, when Coca-Cola cost a nickel and and an iPod cost $1.50 — and he’s a multi-talented entertainer. He can sing, he can play piano, and in “Veterinarian’s Hospital” sketches he can deliver some of the worst puns ever devised with expert timing. Rowlf the Dog is one cool cat. And that’s why Rowlf is my favorite Muppet today.

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by Ryan Roe – Ryan@ToughPigs.com

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