Transcript: Hubba-Wha?! Episode #27

Published: January 25, 2024
Categories: Transcripts

Click here for original audio.

Transcript provided by Katilyn Miller.

Hubba-Wha?! Episode 310 – But What If I Don’t Like Wilkins Coffee

[Clip from Sam and Friends plays]

[“That Old Black Magic” plays]

HARRY THE HIPSTER: The platter they’re playing on this TV show seems to have gotten stuck.

[Music continues]

HARRY: It’s got a swingin’ beat, but it’s repetitious, man.

[Music continues]

HARRY: Maybe if I just hit the television like this…

[record scratch]

[Clip ends]

[Hubba-Wha?! theme music made to sound like old timey radio plays]

[Music ends]

BECCA PETUNIA: Welcome to (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?! (in normal voice) a Muppet quiz show brought to you by It’s your favorite quiz show that’s not like the others. Here, Muppet fans, Muppet professionals, and everyone in between competes for fabulous prizes and to see who’s this week’s Toughest Pig. I’m your host Becca Petunia of

And tonight, I got a quick question for you.

[Clip from Wilkins Coffee commercial plays]

WILKINS: Care for a cup of Wilkins Coffee?

[Clip ends]

BECCA: That’s right, we’re going all the way back to where it began, the pre-Sesame Street years of Jim Henson’s career. Sam and Friends, commercials, appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. It’s more than even Yorick could eat.

Jim Henson really hit the ground running when it comes to creativity, making some amazing characters and sketches right after beginning his puppetry career. There’s so much to talk about here, so it was a real challenge narrowing things down. That’s why this time I turned not only to Muppet Wiki for my research, but also the fantastic new book, Sam and Friends: The Story of Jim Henson’s First Television Show by Craig Shemin, president of the Jim Henson Legacy and guy who once gave me an enamel pin with Animal on it. This book is fabulous and fascinating, and everyone should get it.

But hey, if you already have it, let’s agree not to use it today. That’s right. We’re playing fair today and not checking Craig’s book or Muppet Wiki or any other resource during this game. Cheating is bad for business business.

Before we peer into the past, let’s meet our guests. That’s why we’re going to play our first game. (in echo sounding voice) To Tell a Face. (in normal voice) Contestants you will buzz in to answer some questions about yourself. Whoever buzzes in first, will get introduced first.

Ready? Go.

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: All right, so that is our first guest, Stoph. Stoph, what is your name?

STOPH: My name is Stoph.

BECCA: Whoa, that works out so nicely.

[Stoph laughs]

BECCA: And Stoph, what pronouns should we use for you?

STOPH: I use she and they. She would be just lovely for tonight.

BECCA: All right. She will be the one I use, Stoph. So, Stoph, you are actually, this is really exciting because you are one of, if not the first person I’ve ever had on my podcast who has played one of the Muppet characters in a Muppet production. Because you, of course, were, I’m gonna say this for you. You were Lips’s legs on Muppet Mayhem.

STOPH: That’s true. Yes, the greatest of all roles: Lips’s legs. [laughs]

BECCA: Lips’s legs! I’m so excited to have you on the show. So I’m going to ask you a couple of questions here starting with what’s your history with the Muppets and the works of Jim Henson?

STOPH: I’m pretty much a lifelong fan of Jim Henson and the Muppets. But Fraggle Rock and The Dark Crystal loomed very large. It was a big part of what attracted me to puppetry. And I’ve been a professional puppeteer for a number of years now. And in the last few years I have been working with the Jim Henson Company and with the Muppets over at Disney. So, yeah. I think that answers the question.

BECCA: Yeah, yeah. So you’ve been doing some work. Again, like you said, you’re a professional puppeteer and, you know, look if folks want to hear even more about what Stoph does as a professional puppeteer, they can check out my Pride Month Profile on Stoph from a few months back, which I’ll link in the show notes.

STOPH: (whispers) Ooh, yeah.

BECCA: Because truly could anyone say it better than me? [laughs]


BECCA: But Stoph, why don’t you tell us a little bit about some of what you do as a professional puppeteer.

STOPH: (in normal voice) Oh sure. Well, I’ll jump straight to…I think the reason we started talking about me coming on for this particular episode which is that I perform in Puppet Up which is Brian Henson’s improv show.

But it’s not just an improv show. It’s this really wild evening of theater. Where, amongst many other improv games with puppets, we do recreations of Jim Henson’s early sketches that he created with Jane Henson and Jerry Juhl, and Frank Oz. So I’m still anxious about getting stumped because there’s so much stuff from those early years, but I have performed in some of the sketches. So I’m hoping that there’s some kind of niche knowledge that I possess from some specific moment I’ve done in these sketches that will somehow help me tonight.

BECCA: And you also have your own puppet sketch show. The Creatures of Yes in the style of a lot of this old stuff. Correct?

STOPH: That is true. Yeah. Our show, The Creatures of Yes, which you can find on Youtube, is it takes a lot more inspiration from Jim Henson’s early material, than from his later material. So people seeing it for the first time often compare it to Sam and Friends or those other early projects. So yeah, I just love vintage puppetry and retro puppetry generally. Yeah.

BECCA: All right. And what’s something cool you’ve done with puppets recently?

STOPH: That’s a good question. Well, in the last Creatures of Yes special…

BECCA: Which I still haven’t watched yet, so please don’t spoil it.

STOPH: Oh, okay, I’ll think of something else cool to say.

BECCA: No, no, no, no. Give me a spoiler-free answer.

STOPH: Okay. Well that will still be a different answer than what I…Okay. We used a marionette for the first time on this new Creatures of Yes special. That’s not too much of a spoiler.

BECCA: Well, now we don’t even need to watch it. No. I’m kidding. [laughs] All right, that’s great, Stoph. So Stoph you’ve already earned yourself 20 points.

STOPH: Oh, take that Richard.

BECCA: You got all those questions right.

[Stoph laughs]

BECCA: So that’s 20 points. And now we’re going to jump to our other contestant. Who as Stoph just spoiled. Again, Stoph just shouting out so many spoilers today.

STOPH: Oh my gosh.

BECCA: As Stoph just spoiled, our next contestant is…

RICHARD MICHAEL GOMEZ: Should I say my name? My name is Richard Michael Gomez. Hi, how are you?

BECCA: Hi, Richard. Richard, what pronouns should we use for you?

RICHARD: I use he/him. Thank you so much

BECCA: All right. And Richard, you know, you’re a pretty well-known figure in the Muppet fan community. You’ve certainly appeared on some ToughPigs podcasts before, including this podcast two seasons ago. But in the meantime, because it has been a while, can you just let us know real quick, what’s your history with the Muppets?

RICHARD: Well you know I’ve loved the Muppets ever since I was little. It was sort of thing, you know, you watch with your folks and then you get into it as you grow older and it never really left me. Jim Henson’s work has always been a really important part of my identity.

BECCA: So you also work in puppetry, correct?

RICHARD: That’s true. That’s true. I build puppets professionally I like to think. And I like to puppeteer, you know, for funzies. So I can be spotted here and there and just about everywhere.

BECCA: What’s something cool you’ve done lately with puppets?

RICHARD: Well, let’s see. A lot of NDA work. So not a lot I can talk about. But I did–

BECCA: Oh, come on. Oh, come on. What’s a little secret between me and Stoph and you know the hundreds of people who listen to this podcast?

RICHARD: There is a lot of stuff I can’t talk about. Oh, oh this is something huge. I created a… this is literally huge. I’m a fan of the Rocky Horror Picture Show movie, and I recently created a five-foot bunraku puppet. That might be contradictory because bunraku literally means Japanese puppet. But a five-foot puppet of Doctor Frank-N-Furter that I performed a couple of days ago.

BECCA: I saw this on my daily one look at Twitter before I get disgusted and leave and it was… Disgusted by Twitter not by you, Richard.  And it is an amazing puppet. It’s so cool. It really captures the spirit of the character and it is huge. It is huge.

RICHARD: Thank you. It was a ridiculous labor of love and it has child size gogo boots, which I adore. But I was able to find and use on a puppet.

BECCA: I really picked the right two people to be on this episode. This is great. I love this stuff.

BECCA: Richard you’ve also earned yourself 20 points. And everybody should check that out. I mean we usually plug social media at the end, but everybody should check that out on Richard’s social media which he’ll plug at the end. So stay tuned. You got to keep listening to know.

Either way you’ve both earned 20 points.

STOPH: Neck and neck.

BECCA: It is. It’s tied. And that gets us into our first real game. (in echo sounding voice) Can You Guess? 

(in normal voice) You know, while Jim Henson famously got his start with Sam and Friends, some of his most memorable early works were his many advertisements. In this round, I’m going to describe a character who appeared in an early Henson advertisement. You will buzz in and name the character. Each of these questions is worth two points. Wait, until I finish reading the question to buzz in and now (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?!

[Clip from Sam and Friends plays]

[music plays]

VOICEOVER: Is brought to you by…

[music continues]

KERMIT: Esskay.

[music ends]

[Clip ends]

BECCA: Question one. While he would later get his star turn on The Jimmy Dean Show, this character was designed in 1962 for Purina Dog Chow commercials.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: I think it was Stoph. Stoph?

STOPH: That would be Rowlf the Dog.

BECCA: That is Rowlf the Dog. We all say Rowlf the Dog differently. A major point of contention. Lee and I had a long conversation about this the other day. So Rowlf (pronounced Ralph) the Dog, Rowlf (pronounced Row-lf) the Dog, however you want to say it.

Next question is a bonus question related to this, but you can still buzz in. Unlike earlier Muppets, Rowlf was the first Muppet built by whom?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: Don Sahlin, I want to say.

BECCA: It is Don Sahlin. Rowlf is the first Don Sahlin puppet, because those early Sam and Friends ones were built by Jim and Jane.

BECCA: Alright, question two. This character who would later appear on both The Muppet Show and early seasons of Sesame Street was also designed for Purina Dog Chow commercials.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard.

RICHARD: I want to say Baskerville the Hound.

BECCA: It is Baskerville the Hound. Little known fact that he is on some early episodes of Sesame Street.

STOPH: It was so frustrating for me to be able to picture Baskerville and not know his name.

BECCA: It’s not like they say his name a lot. He’s not [laughs] Yeah, that dog with the long nose and glasses.

RICHARD: And his love for asparagus.

BECCA: Sure. I don’t remember that. Is that in one of the dog food commercials?

RICHARD: That’s his whole thing. That he loves asparagus, not dog food.

 BECCA: Oh, right. I have seen this at the Museum of the Moving Image. Sure.

[Richard laughs] 

BECCA: Good to know. Question three. This duo famously advertised a specific brand of coffee, but also appeared in commercials for Faygo, Dugan’s Bread and even other coffee brands.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: Wilkins and Wontkins.

BECCA: It is Wilkins and Wontkins. I always find it funny when they advertise different coffee brands. And it’s like Wilkins, you just made a whole big deal about how you’ll shoot anyone who doesn’t drink Wilkins. And now you’re telling me you’ll shoot anyone who doesn’t drink Red Diamond? Like, I don’t know who to trust.

RICHARD: I’m shocked they could get away with it legally.

STOPH: Yeah. So literally mercenary. He’ll just shoot whoever’s…

BECCA: Yeah, whoever’s paying him. He’ll shoot whoever’s against who’s paying him.

STOPH: Yeah.

BECCA: And it’s worth noting. I genuinely it’s so funny because so many of those brands don’t exist anymore. So there was something so strange, I was watching some clips when I was preparing for this episode, something so strange about hearing Wilkins talk about Faygo which does still exist. I don’t know. It just feels weird. It feels like you’re watching something from the future, but also the 1950s.

[Stoph laughs]

BECCA: All right, fourth question. This Chinese food mascot was such an uncomfortable costume that he made Frank Oz swear off ever performing full body puppets again.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard.

RICHARD: The La Choy dragon. Just like a curious question. Did Frank perform Splurge?

BECCA: Did Frank perform Splurge? A great question because this is always what everybody says is this was the costume that he hated so much.

STOPH: Yeah, I didn’t know that. So the dragon made Frank Oz swear off costume characters. 

BECCA: Yeah, I mean so listen. It does seem like Frank played Splurge. Although Splurge actually predates the La Choy dragon, I believe.

RICHARD: Oh, my mistake then. And also less flammable.

BECCA: Well, that’s the thing is the La Choy dragon puppet. This is actually recounted a little in Caroll Spinney’s memoirs, because this is part of why Caroll Spinney got the role as Big Bird is Frank Oz refused to play Big Bird because the La Choy dragon costume was made of a rubber latex. And had a flamethrower in it. And that was so deeply uncomfortable for Frank Oz that he famously, and this quote is on Muppet Wiki, he refused to ever do a full body costume again.

STOPH: Oh wow. That’s incredible.

BECCA: So yeah, because it looks like the commercials lasted until 1967 and Hey Cinderella! is 1965. So I guess I don’t know which one actually was first. But it was certainly concurrent. Anyway, bonus question related to that. What is the La Choy dragon’s name?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard.

RICHARD: It is Delbert.

BECCA: It is absolutely Delbert. Delbert the La Choy Dragon is his name.

[Richard and Stoph laugh]

BECCA: Question five. Though she was built as the villain of an unaired television pilot, Jim quickly reused this puppet to help sell Pak-Nit RX and on season one of Sesame Street.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard.

RICHARD: I wanted to let you have that one because I mean she’s an all-time favorite but Taminella Grinderfall.

BECCA: It is. It is my girl Taminella Grinderfall.

RICHARD: Love Tammy in this house.

BECCA: In this house, we stan Taminella Grinderfall, the witchiest witch of them all.

STOPH: So what commercial did they make her for?

BECCA: Well, so, they made her for the Tales of the Tinkerdee pilot, which was never aired. Although you can find it at like the Paley Center and stuff, and then immediately after that—

STOPH: Oh, you can totally watch it on Youtube, too. Yeah, I’ve seen the Tinkerdee special. 

BECCA: Yes. So immediately after that didn’t air, Jim recycled her as the evil witch in the Pak-Nit Rx commercials who was shrinking people’s clothes and Shrinkel and Stretchel had to use Pak-Nit Rx to stop their clothes from shrinking.

STOPH: Oh okay, wow.

BECCA: And speaking of ‘O,’ she is in a season 1 Sesame Street sketch about the letter O, which a lot of people do not realize because we only learned that, I believe, last year? That sketch was only uncovered last year.

RICHARD: I didn’t know about the letter O until 2022.

BECCA: Yeah. Yeah. It was very difficult too Richard because you couldn’t spell your own last name.

RICHARD: True. It was G-mez for a while.

BECCA: Yeah, Richard G-mez. Then you saw that sketch with Taminella when Scott posted it on Muppet Wiki, and you were like, “O!”

RICHARD: [laughs] I see what you did there. Very nice.

[Stoph laughs]

BECCA: Thanks. I’m here all week. If you just keep relistening to this podcast episode, I’m here all week. Question six. While he’s usually associated with early Sesame Street, this well-known Muppet was actually designed in 1968 as a mascot for Keener toys, the makers of the Easy-Bake-Oven.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: I’m fully, fully guessing, but I know that the Grover puppet predated Sesame Street. So I’m guessing Grover.

BECCA: It is not Grover.

STOPH: Drats.

BECCA: Grover was on stuff before Sesame Street. The Ed Sullivan Show. There is a performance where he is the middle head of the Rock and Roll Monster, which we will talk a little bit about the Rock and Roll Monster later. But he was not the mascot of Keener toys. 

Richard, do you know who was the mascot of Keener toys?

RICHARD: You know, and this is because I love him very much and he’s a Muppet that I’ve drawn endless amounts of times and even maybe less than legally built. But that was for my own enjoyment. This is Little Bird.

BECCA: This is Little Bird.


BECCA: Keener’s mascot at the time was the Keener gooney bird, who was a yellow bird with bug eyes and Jim Henson built that, but did it in his own style. It looks nothing like the Keener gooney bird.

STOPH: Oh my gosh.

BECCA: It looks like Little Bird.

RICHARD: I am. I am endlessly fascinated by how the Muppets operate because they just keep on getting like they’re just continually able to get away with building puppets for other brands and using them than whatever they want. Like that would never fly today. Can you imagine if the Charmin Bear had a TV series?

BECCA: I think about this all the time like that Wilkins and Wontkins didn’t remain the Wilkins Coffee mascots for decades. Like that Rowlf isn’t still on Purina Dog Chow boxes. And you know, Jim Henson was very savvy about these contracts I guess because he kept all these characters. He kept Little Bird. He kept Rowlf. He kept, you know, everybody.

Question seven. This spray-can-shaped Muppet could be operated both as a puppet or a marionette and had a similar design to the knights Henson would later build for the “King of Eight sketch on Sesame Street.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard.

RICHARD: I love his little iron feet. That is Sir Linit.

BECCA: It is Sir Linit. Question eight. While he’s better known for his original role antagonizing Kermit in a variety show sketch, he was also used in ads for C & P telephone company, Southern Bell Telephone and as Frankenstein’s monster in an internal film for Pak-Nit RX.

RICHARD: Can you repeat the question?

BECCA: Sure. Let me simplify it a little for you. This Muppet was used in a bunch of different ads, as a monster in a bunch of different ads. But the thing that most folks will remember him for is a role in a variety show sketch where he antagonized Kermit. It’s one of the famous Kermit variety show sketches. He’s the antagonist.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

RICHARD: I want to say this is Gleep.

BECCA: This is not Gleep. Good guess about Gleep. Richard, I literally, literally, literally own a t-shirt you made of this character.


BECCA: And Kermit from this variety show sketch.

RICHARD: Okay. Stoph, I’m certain that you have been within a five feet radius of this character.

BECCA: Yeah, Stoph, you have been within a five feet radius of this character because this character still appears in Puppet Up to this day.

STOPH: Oh my gosh is it…I’m not raising my hand because you’ve been feeding us information but is it Big V?

BECCA: It is Big V. It is. I’m looking for Big V.

STOPH: Oh, okay.

BECCA: He was Frankenstein in an internal film for Pak-Nit.


RICHARD: Yeah, you told me the t-shirt thing and my first thought was still Beautiful Day Monster.

BECCA: No, no, no, no. This is Big V. And hey, fun fact that we… Stoph, you’ve never played Big V right?

STOPH: No. I do play sometimes the worm in that sketch.

BECCA: Okay.

STOPH: Which, you know, does involve handling Big V’s nose at the end. But no, I’ve never been Big V.

BECCA: Sure, sure. I love that rebuilt Big V that they use in the in the Puppet Up show. It is a really beautiful puppet.

STOPH: Oh, yeah. And the the mechs on all of those puppets are made by Jim Kroupa and they just work so well.

BECCA: Yeah. Yeah. Richard are you getting your Big V right now? No, okay. Richard, do you still have your Big V?

RICHARD: No. Okay…You can cut this out.

BECCA: I won’t.

RICHARD: In my last apartment, the apartment I was living in when we went on the New York trip on Jim’s birthday, the last tenant was a heavy smoker and as a result, all of the puppets that I built during that era smelled very badly. So I built a Big V replica puppet and he has since been lost in a dumpster fire and I won’t miss him.

BECCA: I loved that puppet.

RICHARD: Yeah. Well… [laughs] There will be more Big V replica puppets I’m sure.

BECCA: And bonus question here that I learned from Craig Shemin’s book. What is Big V’s name short for. Richard?

RICHARD: Big Vomit Monster.

BECCA: It is The Big Vomit Monster.

STOPH: You know, I’ve spent so much time wondering that and if I would just take the time to finish Craig’s book, I would’ve known that. [laughs]

BECCA: [laughs] Yeah, that’s true. Again, you’ve been closer to Big V than any of us.

RICHARD: That’s true.

STOPH: Yeah. And I can’t tell you how much time I’ve just been there on set being like, “Wonder what V stands for?”

BECCA: You’ve got his nose. Question nine. Originally built to advertise a similarly named brand of bread, this puppet was frequently used in early demonstrations of the ways detachable facial features could change a puppet’s full personality.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard.

RICHARD: This is the Southern Colonel. It took me a minute.

BECCA: This is the Southern Colonel. If you’ve watched, I think, The Muppets on Puppets. Is that the name of the special? It’s an old, old special. It’s an amazing segment where Jim and…Is it Jim and Jerry or Jim and Frank? I can’t remember. But apply different facial features to the Southern Colonel as he’s talking. And Jim keeps changing his voice and personality like on the fly as they’re going. It’s incredible. That is on Youtube.

STOPH: Yeah. And I think it’s Frank Oz with Jim. I’m not sure. I am getting no points from my crystal clear photographic memories of these characters. I do not know any of their names.

BECCA: That’s fine. That’s fine. Listen, this round’s almost over and then we’re gonna move into something else. It’s fine. But bonus question about the Southern Colonel. Which recurring Sesame Street character was built from the base of the Southern Colonel?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard.

RICHARD: I should not know this much.

BECCA: Richard. It’s fine. It’s fine. There’s other rounds. We’re all having a good time. Richard. 

RICHARD: Granny Fanny Nesselroad.

BECCA: It is, of course, Granny Fanny Nesselroad.

STOPH: What?

BECCA: Everyone’s favorite Muppet, Granny Fanny Nesselroad. The answer woman.

STOPH: Oh my gosh. Okay, now that the question is asked, can I google her?

BECCA: yes.

STOPH: I need to know who we’re talking about.

BECCA: Yes. Oh no, there’s no way you know this, Stoph. I am saying that with so much love and respect for you. There is no way you know Granny Fanny Nesselroad.

STOPH: Yeah, I’m looking at this Muppet now and I have never seen this Muppet. Oh my gosh.

BECCA: Was basically only on the first like three seasons of Sesame Street. Yep. Only in the first three seasons. Played by Caroll Spinney.

STOPH: Yeah.

BECCA: And you can see, if you look at how she looked in season one, she is definitely just the Southern Colonel with a wig.

STOPH: Oh my gosh. Wow, I love that for her. [laughs]

BECCA: I know. the Southern colonel. congrats on his transition. I really, I understand.

RICHARD: That’s my favorite. I’m sad that we don’t get to talk about Zelda Rose today.

BECCA: We won’t, unfortunately. Richard, Richard and folks at home, next week, I promise there will be a Zelda Rose question.


BECCA: Question 10. In 1970, Time Magazine reported that this character was going to be dropped from Sesame Street for being “too commercial.” Although, he had appeared years earlier advertising Claussen’s Bakery and of course, regularly advertised Esskay Meats in his debut program.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard.

RICHARD: I was taking my time. But I want to say you’re talking about Kermit the Frog.

BECCA: I am talking about Kermit the Frog.


BECCA: Who in 1970, did not appear in any new sketches on Sesame Street, and was it seemed, and clearly a journalist reported on it, fully replaced by…Richard, you know.

RICHARD: Herbert Bird… bird…it’s not Birdfoot. It’s so close. Herbert Birdman? Herbert Birdsfoot?

BECCA: It is Herbert Birdsfoot. Yes, he was replaced by Herbert Birdsfoot.

RICHARD: It didn’t sound right as I was saying it.

BECCA: And clearly, that was a great choice because we all forgot about Kermit the Frog and remember Herbert Birdsfoot.

STOPH: I am looking up a Herbert Birdsfoot and this is another Muppet I’ve never seen in my life.

[All laugh]

BECCA: Okay, Stoph. You’re gonna do great. You’re gonna do great in the next couple rounds. I promise. But we’re going to wrap up this round with a discussion of Wheels, Flutes and Crowns. For an unaired commercial for this snack food, Jim Henson designed three monsters. Each of them went on to do other things. One became a very minor character, one became a fan favorite character and one became an all-time legend.

Let’s go through Wheels, Flutes, and Crowns and discuss what these monsters became. So, the wheel-stealer became the legendary…

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

RICHARD: Oh god.

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: I do feel that Grover was in this sketch. Is this Grover?

BECCA: Grover wasn’t. You’re so close, Stoph. You’re so close, but it wasn’t Grover.


BECCA: Richard, do you know who the wheel-stealer became?

RICHARD: I know who two of these are. But I could not for the life of you tell you which one is which.

BECCA: Well, I will tell you that like I said, this is when I said the legendary wheel-stealer, this is the one who became the most famous of the characters.



BECCA: You know what, Stoph, try again.

STOPH: It’s not Cookie Monster, is it?

BECCA: It is the Cookie Monster. Correct.

STOPH: Oooh. So was he the wheel-stealer before he was like eating the machine?

BECCA: Mmhmm. That was going to be my next clue for you. But yes, first he was the wheel-stealer. This commercial literally never aired, but we have photos from it. So we know.

STOPH: Oh my gosh. I mean it’s on Youtube too. I’ve seen the commercial.

BECCA: Is it? Okay. Is it? I didn’t realize it was on Youtube but no, apparently, it never aired.

RICHARD: I love that version of Cookie a lot because I’m pretty sure he’s just like a head and like little wobbling like feet. At least in the drawing. I can’t remember what he looks like in the actual commercial. But he’s real cute. Got little teeth.

BECCA: Now, the one who’s a fan favorite, but not like a major, major character is, of course, the crown-grabber. Who would become…

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard.

RICHARD: Okay. This one, he’s so close to my heart. I need to draw him more often. I drew him like five times in 2022. This is Beautiful Day Monster, right?

BECCA: This is the Beautiful Day Monster. Correct.

RICHARD: My beloved.


BECCA: Long before he was ruining beautiful days. And the real challenge here, name a production other than season one of Sesame Street, that featured the basically non-existent flute-snatcher.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard? Sounds like you’ve got it.

RICHARD: I know for a fact it’s going to be something nonsensical like Miss Piggy’s Hollywood Adventure. But I want to say The Great Santa Claus Switch because that makes sense.

BECCA: He is in The Great Santa Claus Switch.

RICHARD: There we go.

BECCA: Your other choices. For some reason, he does not appear at all between The Great Santa Claus Switch and Kermit and Miss Piggy’s wedding in The Muppets Take Manhattan.

RICHARD: Of course he was in that. Of course they brought him out and he was like falling apart. And they’re like, “Yeah. Some poor schmuck gets to hold this.

BECCA: Gets to be the flute-snatcher. He’s also in The Muppets Celebration of 30 Years, which I think was the year following that. And is on a Hallmark card.

STOPH: Oh my gosh. I just want to know which Muppet said no to attending the wedding to make space for the flute-snatcher.

BECCA: I believe he’s right behind the babies and the old people who sing the like “days go passing into years, years go passing into days” part. So he’s witnessing a beautiful moment. And he snatching flutes.

[All laugh]

BECCA: All right, well, I do want to say Stoph, I know you’re struggling a little with names, but we only have one more game about names.

STOPH: Oh, okay.

BECCA: We do have one more game about names and we specifically have a game about Sam and Friends. Right. Sam and Friends is a remarkable piece of television history. It’s such an amazing sort of, like, developing what TV puppetry looks like on the fly and that truly is incredible. And it’s absolutely something that’s worth checking out. But as long as we’re talking about time, it’s time…

[Clip from Sesame Street plays]

ANNOUNCER: Beat the time!

[Sound effects]

[Clip ends]

BECCA: That’s right. We are going to play our favorite back and forth trivia game (in echo sounding voice) Beat the Time. (in normal voice) In this round, we go back and forth. Starting with Stoph, you will name a Muppet character from Sam and Friends. Then we will go to Richard. We’ll go back and forth until neither of you can name a character or you name all 15 Muppets on Sam and Friends.

If you miss one your opponent will have a chance to steal. So we’re going to go back and forth until we name them all. Alright. Stoph, are you ready to start us off?

STOPH: I am.

BECCA: One of the Muppets on Sam and Friends. Go.


BECCA: Okay, I’ll give it to you. Richard.

RICHARD: Mushmellon.

BECCA: Mushmellon. Correct. Stoph.

STOPH: Harry the Hipster.

BECCA: Harry the Hipster. Absolutely. Richard.

RICHARD: Henrietta.

STOPH: Kermit.

BECCA: Kermit. Absolutely. Richard.

RICHARD: Professor Madcliffe.

BECCA: Professor Madcliffe. Absolutely. Stoph.

STOPH: Yorick.

BECCA: Yorick. Correct. Richard.


BECCA: Omar. Absolutely. Stoph.

STOPH: Chicken Liver.

BECCA: Chicken Liver. Correct. Richard.

RICHARD: Did we say Harry the Hipster yet?

BECCA: We did say Harry the Hipster. Yeah.

RICHARD: Oh shoot.

BECCA: All right. Stoph, you get a chance to steal. You can name two.

STOPH: Oh okay. Just as I ran out. There’s a snake who has a name.

BECCA: There is a snake and he hasn’t been named yet.

STOPH: I know and if I knew what that name was, I would say it now. I guess Richard gets to steal right back.

BECCA: All right, Richard, it’s back to you. What’s that Snake?

RICHARD: My beloved little creature.

BECCA: It’s your favorite. It’s your favorite, Richard.

RICHARD: Icky Gunk. One of the best Muppet names of all time.

BECCA: The snake’s name is, of course, Icky Gunk. Richard, can you name another Sam and Friends character?

RICHARD: I can. Speaking of adjective noun, there was Moldy Hay.

BECCA: There absolutely is Moldy Hay. Sort of looks like Ernie but not quite.

[Stoph laughs] Stoph. can you name any more? We’re almost done honestly.

STOPH: Yeah, I’m outski. The panic over Icky Gunk made me forget all about Moldy Hay. And now my mind is a blank.

BECCA: Richard, do you have any other ones?

RICHARD: Oh gosh, do I need to name another character. 

BECCA: You can. And I will say there is one, two, three, four, who have not been named.

RICHARD: I’m like, mentally sorting because I’m so Skip and Scoop are not Sam and Friends characters. Oh! Oh, shoot. I don’t know if I know their names. They were…They have big… they have noses.

BECCA: They do have noses.

RICHARD: They’re in the Kermit does politics sketch. I can’t remember what their names are right now.

STOPH: Yeah, I never knew their names.

RICHARD: They’re like Sam and Flam or something like that. Skip and Blip.

BECCA: One of these I think I wrote down wrong. So hang on.

RICHARD: Oh wait, does Pierre the French Rat count as a Sam and Friends character?

BECCA: So, here’s the thing, I have Pierre the French Rat written down and I’m not sure why. 

STOPH: Yeah, was Pierre on Sam and Friends?

BECCA: I don’t know if he was.

STOPH: I don’t. Yeah, I don’t, I don’t think so, but I don’t know.

BECCA: I think, according to Muppet Wiki, he was. Hold on. So Pierre the French Rat did appear on Sam and Friends according to Muppet Wiki. So I did get that right. I guess I can give Richard a point for saying Pierre the French Rat. But I think I’m going to call it here because you can’t remember the other characters. The two guys with noses are, of course, Hank and Frank.

RICHARD: Oh, there you go.

BECCA: And the last character is Bernice who was a little girl puppet along the lines as Betty Lou and the little girl in the Beautiful Day sketch later on.

RICHARD: I love that she’s like a little blue lump with a wig which is how I feel most days. 

BECCA: Yeah, join the club. All right. So, with that, we are going to put our name games behind. So Stoph can breathe a sigh of relief.

STOPH: You say that as if I’m going to be good at the next game.

BECCA: Stoph, Everyone’s a winner. Some people are bigger winners than others. Anyway, man, all of those friends and yet you never see Kermit inviting Icky Gunk to Christmas.

STOPH: Yeah. Yeah.

BECCA: Anyway, in the early days of the Muppets, there weren’t really any overarching plots to the characters. Instead, the characters performed brief, often wordless sketches. These could be seen on Sam and Friends, obviously, but also in advertisements and on a variety of variety shows.

I love basically all of these sketches and they basically all hold up today. So we’re going to celebrate some of them in our complete-the-sketch game, which of course I call (in echo sounding voice) What’s Prairie’s Problem?

[Clip from Sesame Street plays]

PRAIRIE DAWN: This is the whole game? This is a pretty silly game.

[Clip ends]

BECCA: (in normal voice) In this game, I’ll set up a problem in a Muppet sketch. And you’ll tell me exactly how the sketch resolves. That’s it. You don’t need to be exact but you should be close. Each of the questions in this round is worth two points. Buzz in when you’re ready to complete the sketch. But please wait until I finish reading so our friends in Muppet Land can play along. Here we go.

[Clip from The Ed Sullivan Show plays]


SULLIVAN: Now introducing Jim Henson’s Muppets. Before they start, I want you to show…I want to show you, rather this little box which they gave me as a present. 

[Clip ends]

BECCA: Question one. Wilkins has a camera he uses to shoot pictures of people who don’t drink Wilkins coffee. Wontkins says he’s ready. And then Wilkins…

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: I assume the camera is a gun and he kills Wontkins.

BECCA: Correct, correct. He shoots him with an explosion. Question two. In Java, two u-shaped Muppets dance together, but the tiny one can’t seem to follow the other’s lead. Eventually their dispute is settled when the tiny one…

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: Shoots him with his foot.

BECCA: Shoots him. [laughs] He shoots him.

RICHARD: Becca, if the answer to all of these questions is explosion in some manner, I will walk out.

BECCA: I’ll tell you that the answer to all of them is not explosion. Because sometimes things get eaten.

[Stoph and Richard laugh]

BECCA: But the answer to a lot of these is explosion and then I’d say the other half, the answer is gets eaten.

STOPH: Yeah, I am good at this game. 

BECCA: Yeah, yeah. Hey, so bonus question here. How was this canon effect achieved on performances like The Ed Sullivan Show?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph. You are so excited to tell us this.

STOPH: I was because I know it from Puppet Up. It’s a fire extinguisher.

BECCA: It absolutely is a fire extinguisher. Stoph, have you performed in Java on Puppet Up?

STOPH: I have not yet. I hope to because it is so fun. But I’ve seen it a number of times and in Business Business, we also use fire extinguishers.

BECCA: So let’s not talk too much about Business Business, because I have more questions that are going to be answered with he shoots him. So let’s hold off. [laughs]

STOPH: I see. Spoilers.

BECCA: No. Java is probably, those puppets I think are my favorite of all of like these old school Henson designs.

STOPH: So good.

BECCA: I know Richard, when you drew the host artwork for me for (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?!, (in normal voice) I specifically requested that you give me Java-themed socks. 

RICHARD: Right. Little macaronis. So cute.

BECCA: So you can’t see the socks in the artwork.


BECCA: For this episode because I cropped them out. But I am wearing Java socks in that artwork.

RICHARD: Little bit of trivia for you.

BECCA: Trivia that you literally no one else can know the answer to. [laughs]

[Stoph laughs]

BECCA: Speaking of sketches that Stoph should know the answer to, question three. Kermit keeps eating tiny worms that crawl across a wall. The third worm he pulls turns out to be…

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: [laughs] Can I describe what Richard is doing?

BECCA: Yes, please describe what Richard is doing.

STOPH: Okay, Richard, who fully also knows the answer to this and could have gotten these points, chose instead to use the big monster puppet he’s holding to start eating his phone that he’s attending this Zoom call on. So Kudos to Richard for choosing comedy over competition.

The worm is the nose of Big V on the third worm who eats Kermit.

BECCA: Correct. And you’re the first two worms.

STOPH: Yes. [laughs]

BECCA: [laughs] So, this sketch has been performed in many places over the years. Again, on Puppet Up starring Stoph as the worm. But also on The Muppet Show with Lizard and the Gorgon Heap. But most surprisingly, this sketch appears in the background of a scene on which animated TV show?

Richard, do you and your giant monster know the answer to this?

STOPH: You got this, Richard.

RICHARD: If I know this, it’s humiliating but I want to say Big V appears in the background of the Fraggle Rock animated TV series.

BECCA: Richard that is absolutely correct. Glow-worm takes place in the background of the Fraggle Rock animated TV series.

RICHARD: It is horrible.

STOPH: Can you tell us more about this, please?

BECCA: No. Because I have never watched the Fraggle Rock animated TV series.

STOPH: Oh my gosh.

RICHARD: How do you know this?

BECCA: I read every article on Muppet Wiki, Richard. This is my curse. I have read every article on Muppet Wiki.

STOPH: I just want to know, like so is Glow-worm…It sounds like you don’t know, Becca but like it’s driving me crazy. Was it like on a television that like was on or?

BECCA: No. So, I know from reading everything on Muppet Wiki. And yes, I am exaggerating. I know I haven’t read everything on Muppet Wiki, but I’ve probably read a good 95 percent of them. Yes, there is a good like five thousand Sesame Street episodes. I’ve probably read all of the episode guides. But anyway, the point is, I know from reading Muppet Wiki that there is a Fraggle who is catching bugs, who is collecting bugs, and then one of the bugs he catches winds up being Big V’s nose.

STOPH: Oh my gosh.

RICHARD: And a Fraggle and another Fraggle also use Big V’s nose to play…uh the game with the rope. What’s wrong with me? Is it literally just called jump rope?

BECCA: It is literally just jump rope, Richard.

RICHARD: I’m good at words.

[Stoph laughs]

BECCA: Well, moving away from the animated Fraggle Rock. A show none of us have watched and none of us seem to want to watch.

STOPH: I want to watch it.

BECCA: Okay. Well, it’s available somewhere. Question four. Question four. Our pals Wilkins and Wontkins are cowboys sitting at a bonfire. Wontkins doesn’t care about Red Diamond coffee. He’s happy with Brand X, so Wilkins gives him…

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: It’s another shot in the dark just based on what I know about them. Does he throw Wontkins on the fire?

BECCA: That’s a good guess. But no. Richard…Oh I see Richard has now brought Wontkins into frame.

RICHARD: He doesn’t have a functional eye because at some point this fell off. But I actually don’t know how this one ends.

BECCA: Okay, well, it is wordplay. So Wontkins is happy with Brand X, so, Wilkins is going to give him…


BECCA: Stoph, you want to try again?

STOPH: Yeah, yeah. Well, you triggered the memory. I have seen this. He brands him.

RICHARD: Oh god.

BECCA: He brands him with the letter X. Correct.

STOPH: Yeah. And somehow that is so much more visceral than when he gets like fully smashed or exploded. I don’t know. Yeah. What is so real about branding? Oh, god, that’s just vicious.

RICHARD: I feel like that’s definitely real smoke, too. I don’t know if it’s a real brand or not. But definitely real smoke 

BECCA: There’s certainly real smoke. They loved using real smoke at this point. Question five. In this sketch, which Stoph has also performed, Kermeena sings “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Your Face” to a cute face on a cloth. However, the cloth is eventually…

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: The cloth is eaten by the small head monster underneath originally played by Yorick. And then Kermeena bravely tries to keep singing the song but is eventually dragged off of the stage by the presumably hungry monster.

BECCA: I still love that you got to play Kermeena. That is my favorite little piece of Stoph trivia. 

STOPH: Oh, it was so special for me too. I was like, “Oh my gosh.”

RICHARD: Oh, Stoph, can I ask you, his little legs move independently of the puppet too, right? 

STOPH: Yeah. Yeah. Both of the legs have rods on the back to move both of them.

BECCA: In the original or just in the new one or do we not know?

RICHARD: I mean either/or, but I was wondering who was performing with Stoph’s legs. [laughs]

STOPH: Oh yeah. I’m pretty sure the puppeteer, and I don’t know if this is a perfect recreation of how they originally did it. But I’m pretty sure, I think the Yorick puppeteer might end up doing both of them. Because he clamps down on Kermeena’s hand to start dragging her off. And then… Oh, we just lost Richard.

BECCA: Richard was just so fascinated by your Kermeena discussion.

STOPH: Yeah. Now I’m trying to remember. If I looked at the video it would trigger it for me. But yeah, I think the Yorick puppeteer either does one or both of the legs because they have the free hands to do it.

BECCA: Sure because Yorick has no hands.

STOPH: Right, right. Exactly. Yeah. Gosh, I hope Richard comes back.

BECCA: You know what’s an interesting thing that I just learned? Apparently The Jim Henson Company’s Facebook claims that the new one is Yorick, but he doesn’t really look like Yorick. 

STOPH: Yeah, gosh, I didn’t realize that either. I think we always call him Yorick or the skull, but I didn’t personally, you know, I was never told either way. I didn’t personally think of him as Yorick because he is quite a redesign.

BECCA: Yeah, I’m looking right now at an image on The Jim Henson Company’s Facebook and it has then and now. And it’s a picture of the old Yorick and of the new Yorick.

STOPH: Well, that’s cool. And I guess that makes sense because they still have the rights to Yorick.

BECCA: I would have given him a bigger nose when I was redesigning him.

STOPH: They didn’t. Well new Yorick is soft foam. Whereas I believe the old Yorick would have been made out of–

BECCA: Shh, shhh, shhh. I’m gonna ask you puppet building questions in the last round. Shh. Shh.

STOPH: Oh, okay, I know nothing.

BECCA: You don’t know anything.

RICHARD: You’ll have to excuse me. My phone just died but I’m back. And it’s charging.

BECCA: Okay good. So we were just…Oh, you got your Frank-N-Furter.

[Richard laughs and mumbles inaudibly]

STOPH: Well, Richard just since you asked and seemed eager to know, I’m pretty sure that the Yorick puppeteer is the one who ends up animating the legs in the sketch.

RICHARD: Oh cool. Sorry for asking so many questions, but extremely cool person.

STOPH: Yeah.

BECCA: Hey, speaking of asking so many questions, questions six. A little girl is walking around describing beautiful things. However, the Beautiful Day Monster doesn’t like this and keeps trying to ruin her day. The girl tells him that he’s awful. But she adds that he’s…

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard.

RICHARD: Beautiful in an awful sort of way, I think is the description.

BECCA: Mmhmm. And what does that make him do?

RICHARD: It makes him shrivel up smaller and smaller until he’s a problem that she can take care of at that size.

BECCA: Indeed. Stoph, they don’t do that one, right? With the Puppet Up? They haven’t brought that one back?

STOPH: No, no they haven’t. But I did just see The Muppet Show where it’s with, what’s her name, the human guest, Madeline Kahn? Maybe? Is it Madeline Kahn.

BECCA: I think it might be. Listen, fans at home, yell out. This is a free trivia question for you. Alright, great.

STOPH: [laughs] Well, but yeah, I want to look up this earlier version with the blue guy. Because I wasn’t aware of it.

BECCA: Yeah, it’s on The Ed Sullivan Show. I wasn’t aware that you hadn’t seen it. Yeah. That’s one that they redid for The Muppet Show.

STOPH: Amazing.

BECCA: In the early days of The Muppet Show. I mean unsurprisingly and I know you’ve been watching through the early Muppet Show at this point, Stoph. They redid a lot of these Ed Sullivan Show sketches that you can see them.

STOPH: Oh sure.

BECCA: Again Glow-worm and Java and all of these things. That one they changed a lot though, by making it a human and a full-body Muppet which really changes sort of the scope of it.

Anyway, back to these questions. Question seven. Harry the Hipster demonstrates visual thinking for Kermit, showing how he can use his mind to draw pictures in front of him. However, he gets carried away and eventually…

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: They just kind of get subsumed by the visuals, the visualizations. They fill the screen. And they’re just like, “Oh no!”

BECCA: Exactly. Question eight. Because it’s been too long since we’ve had a question with this kind of answer. Question eight. Two tube-like Muppets are discussing business. Two others discuss peace and happiness. Eventually they start arguing and the joyful Muppets…

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph, by a second.

STOPH: Well they shoot the Business monsters. In their defense they don’t shoot first. The Business monsters attempt to shoot them and miss.

BECCA: I appreciate you, Stoph, for defending the honor of the Business Business and Peace and Happiness monsters in this discussion here.

RICHARD: Stoph that’s really niche. How did you know that?

BECCA: Thank you, Richard. thank you, Richard for setting this up. It’s usually what I’ve been doing.

STOPH: I may have played Business Monster Number One once or twice.

RICHARD: Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful I’ve gotta send you some Business Business stickers. I made some of them and sent them to Dan. I think Dan Garza has a couple of them now.

STOPH: Oh okay, amazing. Yeah, please.

BECCA: Yeah, Richard does some great like classic Muppet art which is, again, why I wanted to include him in this. And hey, bonus question here. Once the Peace and Love monsters shoot the Business monsters with a canon, what do they do?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: They celebrate their victory by reiterating some of their peaceful ideals but it quickly transitions into them talking about dividends and profits and business business. Which is why the original title of the piece is Sell Out.

BECCA: I did not know that that was the original title of the piece, Stoph.

STOPH: Yeah. Yeah. And in Puppet Up, we perform it with the original audio that they use. So we lip sync to Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl’s voices.

BECCA: That’s really cool. 

STOPH: Yeah. 

BECCA: Question nine. In an Esskay Meats commercial, Moldy Hay informs Kermit that he used to take care of a bunch of cows. Kermit corrects Moldy telling him that he means herd of cows. And of course Moldy has…

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard.

RICHARD: Of course he’s heard of cows.

BECCA: Of course he’s heard of cows. And you know what? He doesn’t care if the cows heard, he hasn’t said anything to be ashamed of. Question 10. Ed Sullivan introduced the Muppets’ new instant rock and roll group which was a three-headed musician that grew from a small fuzzy blob. At the end of the song they…

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: They shrink back down to a small fuzzy blob and a bird comes out and makes a like “eh” gesture and then eats the fuzzy blob.

BECCA: Correct. Because again, some of these questions need to end with getting eaten. Not all of them can be about getting shot. Stoph, I know, I keep asking you these other questions, but it’s so interesting and I’m so glad to have you here. That one hasn’t been added back to Puppet Up yet either. Has it?

STOPH: It has not. In fact, I only just learned about it because I did do some really quick and panicked homework earlier today. So, I actually saw that sketch for the first time today and enjoyed it, of course.

BECCA: Yeah. I was actually talking about this on the ToughPigs Discord earlier. I must have seen that sketch at some point, because I owned the Muppets Magic Ed Sullivan, I believe on VHS. But I had no recollection of it. So this week was what I think may be my first time watching it and that sketch rules.

RICHARD: Yeah. I think they brought it back for, like, a cruise ship, which is very funny to me.

STOPH: Oh. Maybe. And if that’s true, it could someday be in Puppet Up. A lot of the newer vintage pieces that we’ve started working in were from that that cruise ship show.

BECCA: Question 11. In a sketch that first appeared on The Tonight Show, a monster gets very upset when two other monsters say, “merp,” instead of this funny phrase. What does the monster say?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard.

RICHARD: Oh god. Oh no. Wait.

BECCA: I have to get harder as the round goes.

RICHARD: No. Because I know the skit but it has a different original name. So I actually, Stoph, do you know this one actually?

STOPH: What is frustrating for me this time is that I was trying to find this sketch to rewatch it thinking that it would come up. And because I couldn’t remember the bizarre thing that the monster says, I couldn’t find the sketch. [laughs]

BECCA: [laughs] Yes, that is what the sketch is called, unfortunately.

STOPH: It’s like screep scrap or something.

RICHARD: I got it now.

BECCA: Richard, you got it?

RICHARD: It’s not Hugga-Wugga. It’s Scrap Flap. I think.

BECCA: it is…I’ll give it to you because it is Sclrap Flyap.

STOPH: How could we not remember that?

RICHARD: Of course I didn’t pronounce the accents. 

BECCA: And yes, as Richard said, it was performed on The Muppet Show as Hugga-Wugga and the monsters that say “merp” were replaced by the Thingy Thing who sings “You Are My Sunshine.” Great sketch.

And last question in this round. Question 12. Wilkins has a machine that dispenses Wilkins coffee. Wontkins doesn’t want coffee. So the machine does this instead.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: Does it explode?

BECCA: It doesn’t. And it also doesn’t shoot him. I wanted a trick question for this last one.

STOPH: Oh my gosh.

BECCA: Richard, do you know what the machine does?

RICHARD: Oh god. It eats him?

BECCA: No, it punches him with a boxing glove.

 RICHARD: Oh, well, you know.

STOPH: Oh, brilliant. Brilliant, I love it when machines have boxing gloves on scissor arms.

BECCA: Mmhmm, mmhmm. The other thing that we love. Anyway, that’s a lot of explosions and a lot of coffee.

[Stoph laughs]

BECCA: But it’s time for our final regular trivia game before we move into our bonus rounds. (in echo sounding voice) Secrets of the Muppets.

(in normal voice) In this game, we’re going to take a look behind the scenes. I’ll ask a question about the making of Sam and Friends and other classic sketches. After all, I have two puppeteers and puppet builders here. So I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about this stuff. You’ll buzz in to answer. Each of these questions is worth three points. Thank you to Craig’s book for most of this information. That book rules.

All right. Here we go. Question one. You know I have to ask this. Where did Jim get the cloth he used to make Kermit the Frog?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: I feel compelled to include a visual element. The only reason I raised my hand faster than Richard is because he was making a “really, this question face.”

[Becca and Stoph laugh]

STOPH: It was from his mother’s coat.

BECCA: It was from his mother’s coat. Which Craig’s book needs to note was a turquoise coat. Not a green coat. So Kermit was not green at the time. Although you could not see it on the televisions anyway. Listen guys, I have to ask this question. I have an audience at home who maybe doesn’t know that.

RICHARD: I mean, I don’t want to be a suck up here. I do think it’s funny that they have a whole line about him being green in one of the Esskay ads though, despite him being turquoise. 

BECCA: Turquoise-green. I don’t know.

RICHARD: It’s all whatever. He looks gray to most people.

BECCA: That’s true because, again, TVs were black and white at the time. Question two. Unlike most later Muppets, Sam’s head was made out of this inflexible material.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: You both raised your hand so slowly but I am going to go with Richard on this one. Richard, what is it made out of.

RICHARD: So I think the correct answer was paper mache but someone told me it was plastic wood that would know the answer that question. I feel like either could be correct.

BECCA: It’s plastic wood is the correct answer. I will give you points for that. It is plastic wood. I am not quite sure what plastic wood is.

RICHARD: How do you get plastic wood?

STOPH: It’s a product that’s no longer on the market.

BECCA: That explains why I don’t know what it is.

STOPH: Yeah. When they say plastic and it may have plastic elements in it like literally, but I think they are using plastic in the adjective sense. You know, like plastic just means moldable. So I imagine it’s, I’m speculating here, but I think it’s wood dust or wood extract of some kind that’s combined with kind of gluey or plastic-y stuff so that you can mold it and then it dries over time. I think.

BECCA: Well listen, if anybody knows a lot about plastic wood, hit me up on the ToughPigs Discord. Bonus question here, what was Jim’s rationale for switching to the more flexible cloth and foam that formed most later Muppets?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: Well, he was, you know, creating puppets that were mostly performed in close-up and he treasured how much more flexibility he could get out of those softer materials and nuance of expression.

BECCA: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. That’s exactly what I was looking for. It was easier to do subtle expressions in close-ups.

STOPH: But I will add, if you look up Yorick doing “Where Does Hunger Come From?”

BECCA: I’ve seen it.

STOPH: I think that’s what it’s called. The nuance of expression is fantastic.

BECCA: Well, here’s the thing, he was extremely talented.

STOPH: Yeah.

BECCA: Even at an early age. But yeah, no. You can do a lot with those inflexible puppet heads as well, if you’re skilled. But certainly there is a level of of subtlety and flexibility. I mean how many things can Jim just get out of Kermit’s head which is nothing, you know. So like I get it.

STOPH: Yeah.

RICHARD: Can I just say.

BECCA: Oh, sorry.

RICHARD: “Where Hunger Comes From” drives me insane because it’s like 50s ASMR.

STOPH: Yeah.

RICHARD: So much. I just had to interject that. Sorry, Becca.

BECCA: I hadn’t seen that sketch until we saw it on the big screen, Richard. And I will say, my spouse was very deeply concerned by that sketch.

[Becca and Stoph laugh]

BECCA: Question three. The first sketch Jim and Jane performed in New York was the aforementioned “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face.” While the performance went well, they said audiences were confused because they didn’t understand what key part of the sketch?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: Since Sam and Friends was a local DC show, they didn’t understand right off the bat that Yorick is a voraciously hungry character and is always trying to devour things.

BECCA: Correct. And I find it so fascinating that again, we talk about how like the Sam and Friends there was no real overarching plot or narrative, but like already they had developed strong enough characters that they could notice a difference when people had background knowledge and people didn’t have background knowledge.

STOPH: Yeah.

BECCA: Question four. We frequently say that Yorick was the first Muppet to have an endless appetite and a tube in his throat for consuming food. However, Yorick was also the first Muppet to be this kind of puppet, followed closely by Omar.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard.

RICHARD: Oh my god. I feel like, does this count? He was a live hand puppet.

BECCA: He is.


BECCA: He is technically the first live hand puppet because in sketches like “Where Does Hunger Come From?” he has this, like, disembodied hand that feeds him food.

STOPH: I feel compelled to add that Jim Henson credits Sergey Obraztsov for the style of having live hand puppets.

BECCA: Stoph, this is, this is why we keep you around.

[Stoph laughs]

BECCA: I love the puppetry history here.

RICHARD: I would watch a puppetry history with Stoph Youtube channel, by the way. Just saying.

STOPH: Ooh. Well, I would need you Richard for…I would need both of you for all the stuff I don’t know.

[all laughs]

BECCA: Hey, hey listen. You know, you know? If you ever have any free time in your moving from state to state to do puppetry at different states, we could do some cool stuff.

Anyway, but moving on. Question five. Jim Henson said that Sam, a human, was the only character with a definite species on Sam and Friends. The other characters aka the Friends were all abstract because according to Jim, they were…

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard, by a second.

RICHARD: They were Sam’s like thoughts. They were what was inside of his head, which is insane.

BECCA: Correct. All of the other characters were Sam’s thoughts. I would have also accepted that they were all designed to be kind of flexible and multi-purpose. So avoiding, again, even in the case of Kermit, even avoiding having a definite gender. Which, again, is something that as a trans person I’ve always appreciated.

STOPH: Yes. Yes.

BECCA: Question six. Typically, Jane Nebel, later Jane Henson, performed whatever character wasn’t the lead in each Sam and Friends sketch. However, according to Jane, which character was Jim always the most reluctant to let her perform?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: Was it Sam?

BECCA: It was not Sam.


BECCA: Richard?

RICHARD: I want to say I guess Kermit but it doesn’t seem… I don’t know. I really don’t know. I have no idea.

BECCA: Well make a guess. You don’t lose points for being wrong.

RICHARD: Kermit.

BECCA: It was Kermit. Correct.


BECCA: And Stoph, you’re in a way kind of correct because according to this book, one of the only sketches where she did perform Kermit was “That Old Black Magic.”

STOPH: That is exactly what threw me. I was thinking about how… I was thinking about that passage where, yeah. What is it?

BECCA: So Jim had wanted a very precise thing from Sam’s weird shoulder dancing that he does in that sketch. So that was one of the only times he apparently, like, let Jane play Kermit.

[Stoph laughs]

BECCA: Because he knew exactly how he wanted Sam to dance.

Question seven. In an oft mentioned poll, Yorick was ranked the most popular Sam and Friends character among viewers. Who was the second most popular?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard, you know this.

RICHARD: I’m gonna say it was Mushmellon.

BECCA: It was Mushmellon, which is hilarious, because no footage of mushmellon remains to this day.

RICHARD: No, there is some at the Paley Center. Go and check it out.

BECCA: Oh, I didn’t know that there was some Mushmellon footage at the Paley Center.

RICHARD: You might have to cut that out because I’m not sure whether or not I was supposed to say that. But I have seen Mushmellon bounce.

BECCA: Wait, it’s secret Paley Center stuff. Do you want me to edit this out?

RICHARD: I don’t actually know. Because my roommate, Gav, took me to see it and he had to get a tape out. Like, it’s not like in the communal.

BECCA: That’s something you can do at the Paley Center.

RICHARD: If it’s at the library and you can do it at the Paley Center, I think it’s okay.

BECCA: Correct. That is how the Paley Center works. You can get tapes there.

RICHARD: Yeah. But you can see Mushmellon bounce. So go see him go.

BECCA: I’m gonna drive to the Paley Center just to watch Mushmellon bounce.

RICHARD: Lovely.

STOPH: I just learned what the Paley Center is and I’m also going to go there to watch Mushmellon bounce.

BECCA: Oh, it’s amazing. That’s how we have so much of this footage because of places like the Paley Center.


BECCA: Question eight. Of all the major Sam and Friends characters, who was constructed first? I guess this is excluding Pierre the French Rat who none of us could even remember if he was a Sam and Friends character.

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Richard.

RICHARD: I was gonna say Pierre but if Pierre doesn’t count, I feel like it was Kermit but I’m probably wrong.

BECCA: It is not Kermit actually.


BECCA: Stoph?


BECCA: It is not Sam either. It was apparently Yorick. In Craig’s book, he has a specific birth date listed for all of these characters and Yorick is slightly older than everybody else.

Question nine. According to Craig Shemin’s book, who was the first Jim Henson-voiced Muppet character instead of just lip syncing to a pre-recorded audio?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: I know Sam rarely spoke at all. I’m wondering if it’s Kermit. Was it Kermit?

BECCA: It is not Kermit either, according to this passage from Craig’s book. Richard?

RICHARD: I’m just throwing out random guesses. Professor Madcliffe?

BECCA: It is Professor Madcliffe. Great answer.

RICHARD: I did not expect to be right.

BECCA: Question 10. Although the name of this puppet seems to be lost to time, Jim spoke about a sketch he performed to the song “There’s a New Sound.” What natural material made up this puppet’s head?

[Clock ticking sound]

[Buzz in ding]

BECCA: Stoph.

STOPH: A squirrel skull?

BECCA: It is a squirrel’s skull. Thank you. Stoph, I thought of you when I wrote that question because you and I were talking the last time we chatted about the puppet that you made out of lambskin.

STOPH: Yeah.

BECCA: And how you feel like using natural materials for puppets makes them so much more alive. And I was sitting there thinking, “What does Stoph think about this squirrel’s skull puppet?”

STOPH: Well, I feel compelled to tell you two things. One is that Craig Shemin came and spoke at UConn [University of Connecticut] while I was a grad student there. And I was helping moderate a forum. And we had a chance to ask questions. And the question on the top of my list was, “What else can you tell us about this squirrel skull puppet?”

[Richard laughs]

STOPH: And, you know, I’m gonna paraphrase whatever Craig said, but he was pretty much, like, “All I know is what I put in the book. Is that there was a squirrel skull puppet. I can tell you nothing about this.” So the mystery does eat away at me. Yeah.

I won’t tell you the other thing I was going to say, which is that I’ve been researching animal skulls to make a puppet out of.


BECCA: You gotta. You gotta. You gotta, Stoph.

STOPH: Well, I got really obsessed with the Mari Lwyd this holiday season. The horse skull from Wales.

BECCA: Yes, yes.

STOPH: And horse skulls are really expensive. But you can get like a fox skull or a dog skull for not too much. And I was like, oh I could make like a miniature Mari Lwyd and go wassailing with it. I did just say I wasn’t going to tell you this and then I told you all of it. [laughs]

BECCA: I mean if you want me to edit it out, I can. But this is wonderful. So I don’t want to edit it out.

RICHARD: You know I’m having a time with my life right now. [laughs]

STOPH: Okay leave it in. Leave it in.

BECCA: Stoph, there are good ways to get ethically sourced animal skulls apparently. Or animal bones. Because I go to a lot of weird crafts fairs and have learned things about this and like buying weird jewelry.

STOPH: Wow, well, thank you for that intel. Yeah, I do, of course, want to ethically source my skulls, rather than unethically.

BECCA: Yeah, I don’t know what the difference is between ethically sourcing your skull and unethically sourcing your skull but you know.

STOPH: Well I can think of some pretty major ones. Like did you murder it yourself? Did you do it cruelly? Like, did you make its parents watch while you did it?

BECCA: All true. I would not want to make the squirrel’s parents watch while I did it. [laughs] And on that note, we’re going to move into our two bonus rounds.

First up is our classic stump-the-host game, (in echo sounding voice) The Anything in the World Prize Game.

(in normal voice) As you know, in this round, you two will be able to ask me anything in the world. Literally. Well, about this topic. If you stump me, you will earn 15 points. But first, let me total the scores.

Okay. So, our current scores: Richard, you have 77 points and Stoph, you have 65 points. So it’s a close game. We are going to start with Stoph. Stoph, do you have a question to stump me? 

STOPH: Well, I hope so. Here is my question to you, Becca.

BECCA: A squirrel’s skull.

STOPH: [laughs] Not getting off that easy. Okay. Great. Great, great. Okay. In a 1975 edition of the puppetry journal, Jim Henson lists in an article that he wrote, Jim Henson listed three major puppeteers who had greatly influenced the style of the Muppets. Which three puppeteers did he credit with influencing him?

BECCA: Stoph, I’m not even going to embarrass myself because now I feel terrible for not knowing this and not knowing enough older non-Henson puppeteers. It’s a real shame and it’s something, you know, we’ve talked about this before, Stoph. And it’s the kind of thing that, like, I need to learn more about and is something that I really want to do. So I’m not going to embarrass myself. I’m just gonna ask you to give me the answer.

STOPH: Okay, well first I hope I can lighten the load of this shame. You’re talking to a UConn nerd. I studied puppetry history for two years straight. So yeah, don’t feel shame. I did choose this question because it was such an important part of Jim Henson’s mission to, you know, celebrate and popularize other styles of puppetry.

And I’ll send you this article. It was this cool article where he was like begging people to stop copying the Muppets but he was providing a healthy contrast of like I was influenced by these people but I made my own style. So it’s a really cool little article. 

BECCA: Yeah. We’ve had a long conversation, you know, you and I about Jim Henson and sort of his place in puppetry history, and all of those things. And like how he thought of himself as a puppeteer and all of these different things. And how that relates to season one of The Muppet Show. It was a great conversation. I wish we’d done it on podcast.

But anyway, Stoph, why don’t you…

STOPH: Yes, yes, I’ll cut the tension. I’ll share the answer. The three puppeteers he named were Bill Baird, Burr Tillstrom, and Shari Lewis. He even, you know, said what specifically the influence was. This is a direct quote from Jim in the article.

“From Bill Baird I was influenced to use large mouths and Disney-like eyes. Shari Lewis used soft fabric that gave her characters an incredible range of expressions. And she was also a practitioner of the very accurate lip sync that we use. Burr worked with wonderful personalities and their interplay to create very human characters.”

BECCA: Well, I do feel a little better because I know those puppeteers.

STOPH: There you go.

BECCA: [laughs] But either way, you have earned 15 points, bringing you to a total of 80 points.


BECCA: Richard, do you have a question for me?

RICHARD: So I scrambled. I don’t know if you could tell but I panicked a little bit earlier because the squirrel head question was, in fact, my original question.

[Stoph gasps then laughs]

RICHARD: Oh, that’s totally too easy anyhow because it’s on the Muppet Wiki.

BECCA: I didn’t know it was on Muppet Wiki. I only learned it from this book.

RICHARD: It’s on Muppet Wiki too.

BECCA: I guess I haven’t read every article on Muppet Wiki. I’m a fraud. Boy, I’m getting shown up on my puppetry knowledge and my Muppet Wiki knowledge. What a day for ol’ Becca Petunia.

RICHARD: Well let’s not say that yet because it’s only getting trickier and trickier. So I’ve scrambled and come up with a replacement question in that time. And this question doesn’t involve puppets. Because, so we all know Jim Henson loved lip syncing to various records of the 1950s with puppets with little comedy skits. But he also wrote a few compositions of his own. Notably two that he released on vinyl. Can you name these two compositions that Jim Henson released on vinyl that don’t feature puppets?

BECCA: I can’t.

RICHARD: Well, you know, it’s okay because I know both of them, but I can only remember the name, I think, of one of them. One of them is “Tick-Tock Sick” and it’s about time. Because Jim Henson loved time. And the other one is about being a farm boy, I think. But they both exist. And you can find them on Youtube.

BECCA: I do know “Tick-Tock Sick.” I just have not thought of it. Can we get the name of the other one?

RICHARD: I’m not looking anything up right now.

BECCA: What would I even Google?

RICHARD: Jim Henson “Tick-Tock Sick” and the other one will probably come up. I want to say. I feel bad because this is the second time I’ve thought of a question that I don’t necessarily know the answer to, but I know it exists.

BECCA: I am not. I’m just seeing “Tick-Tock Sick” Hold on. Oh, “The Countryside” was the B side.

RICHARD: It’s a song about being a farm boy. So if anything defined Jim Henson, it was being a country boy and having existential crises about the short lives we lead.

[Stoph laughs]

BECCA: These both showed up in Sam and Friends in 1960.

RICHARD: Oh. Is that true? Oh god. That means that they were done with puppet maybe.

BECCA: Yeah. Apparently, according to Karen Falk we weren’t sure. When Karen Falk said this, she was like, I don’t know if it was used on Sam and Friends. But then as of Craig’s book, we know it was used on Sam and Friends.

RICHARD: Oh, I think it’s so interesting because I mean, they’re Friends little songs. I mean like, what if Jim wrote more songs. Like there’s a whole Jim Henson song writer era that we’ve never explored.

STOPH: Yeah.

RICHARD: Anyhow, that was my little host stumper.

BECCA: Well, listen, even if these were on Sam and Friends, I am still giving you 15 points. Bringing you to a score of 92 points. Now I’m worried that my final question is going to be too easy for you guys. I should have asked my question about all my Big V questions, I should have saved. Little did I know that was what was going to stump you.

But we are going to move into our final round, (in echo sounding voice) Say the Word. (in normal voice) In this game you can wager any amount of points. The winner gets those points and the loser loses them. It’s kind of like Final Jeopardy. Except you will get to hear the question before you wager.

So, here we go. This is going to be a two-part question. So, as I mentioned earlier, most of the episodes of Sam and Friends have been lost to the sands of time. Only a small handful are considered to have been found, according to Craig Shemin. We talked about some of these today. 

However, we haven’t talked about all of them. One in particular that we did not mention does not contain any Muppets at all. What is the name of the found Sam and Friends episode that does not contain Muppets? And, as a bonus question, how many Sam and Friends episodes are quote, unquote “found” episodes?

STOPH: Okay. And can I ask a clarifying question?

BECCA: Well sure.

STOPH: Found episodes doesn’t mean all of the existing episodes. It means episodes that were found after being lost. Is that correct?

BECCA: Oh no, I mean like the ones that Craig could show you at MOMI [Museum of the Moving Image] if he did another showing of Sam and Friends sketches at MOMI.

STOPH: Okay, so by found we mean extent.

BECCA: Extent is a great word to use. The word, actually, that he uses for the chapter about this, is the “surviving shows.”

STOPH: Okay.

BECCA: So how many surviving episodes are there of Sam and Friends? And what is the title of the one that does not feature any Muppets?

STOPH: Oh, hmm.

BECCA: I will say, if both of you get these wrong, whoever gets closest to the number of episodes will be considered to win their points.

Stoph. you are going to send me those two answers and how many points you are betting. You have 80 points to bet. How many surviving episodes of Sam and Friends are there? And what is the name of the episode that does not feature any Muppets?

Okay. Stoph has sent in her answers. And her bet. Just waiting on Richard.

RICHARD: Oh, I did it in Twitter.

BECCA: Oh, I just don’t have Twitter window open, but I can do that.

RICHARD: Totally fair.

BECCA: Okay. So, you have each put different answers to all of these.

RICHARD: Oh good.

BECCA: You’ve also both bet different amounts. Let’s first start with… Yeah, let’s both start with the name of the episode without any Muppets. Stoph, why don’t you share what you put as the name of the Sam and Friends episode without any Muppets?

STOPH: Well, I just kind of gave up because I’ve got no clue.

BECCA: It’s late. It’s late. I understand.

STOPH: My guess for the name of the episode that doesn’t have Muppets in it was “Behold! It’s just a rock for five minutes.”

BECCA: And you’re pretty close. No, I’m kidding. You’re not close at all.

STOPH: Oh. [laughs]

BECCA: Richard, what did you guess?

RICHARD: I just think “Behold! It’s just a rock for five minutes” would make a great Creatures of Yes episode. 

[Stoph laughs]

RICHARD: This isn’t even like a name.

BECCA: It’ll be the easiest episode you’ve ever recorded, Stoph.

RICHARD: Exactly.

STOPH: It’s true.

RICHARD: That’s direct manipulation puppetry.

[Stoph laughs]

RICHARD: It’s not direct manipulation if you’re not touching the rock. Sorry, I need to get on track. I’m guessing Limbo. Is Limbo a not-Muppet and did he appear in a Sam and Friends episode?

BECCA: Well, honestly, I’m not sure. I do consider Limbo to be a Muppet, but either way, if Limbo did appear on Sam and Friends, not in any of the episodes that survived.

RICHARD: That’s okay.

BECCA: But also, I would consider Limbo to be a Muppet but neither of you were right. And Richard, I’m a little surprised you got this wrong because you were lucky enough to see this when Craig showed it at the Museum of the Moving Image.

RICHARD: Oh! I know what it is now. [laughs]

BECCA: At the Museum of the Moving Image. And this was a special screening that it is not on Youtube and Craig showed it to us for the first time at the Museum of the Moving Image. Richard, what is its name? 

RICHARD: It’s Little Miss Cone. 

BECCA: It sure is Miss Cone.

RICHARD: Oh, wow.

BECCA: It is a fully animated Sam and Friends because, as we know, Jim also like to experiment with animation. It’s this real trippy like brightly colored geometric animation.

STOPH: Oh my gosh. Yeah, you know, I was just having such a headlight moment because all I could think was, “Well they wouldn’t have done something with just actors.” But instead of thinking of the obvious thing which is his other interest, animation.

BECCA: Correct.

STOPH: It must have just been a rock.

RICHARD: [laughs]I like the idea that Jim would have filmed a rock for five minutes.

BECCA: Well, however, you each guessed a different number of episodes that are surviving episodes of Sam and Friends. Richard, how many did you guess?

RICHARD: I guessed 35, which is probably too high.

BECCA: Stoph, how many did you guess?

STOPH: I guessed 15.

BECCA: By my count, the correct answer is 15 episodes.



RICHARD: Very well done.

BECCA: So Richard, unfortunately, you lose the 30 points you bet. Bringing your score down to 62. And Stoph, you gain the five points you bet. Bringing your score up to 85. So, in the end, we come for to sing. And in the end, our winner, and today’s Toughest Pig Is Stoph Scheer.

STOPH: What an unexpected twist.

RICHARD: I love the game. I love the game.

[Stoph laughs]

BECCA: So Stoph, you win your choice of some incredibly expired Wilkins coffee. Or a picture of Wilkins and Wontkins that I will draw, but have not drawn yet. Because, hoo boy, am I running behind on the production of this episode. A fact that you both know very well.

STOPH: Ooh. As much as I want to support you as an artist, I really want that Wilkins coffee.

BECCA: I don’t have it.

[Richard laughs]

STOPH: Ooh. I guess I’ll take the drawing then.

[All laugh]

BECCA: All right. Well, that brings us to the end of another one. So guests, where can people find you, if you wish to be found? Let’s start with Richard. Richard, where can people find you?

RICHARD: You can find me @RichardMichaelGomez on Instagram and nowhere else. Don’t look for my Twitter.

BECCA: You still post to your Twitter.

RICHARD: I know but it’s become embarrassing. I’m like, let’s keep it to my Instagram. You don’t have to find my Twitter.

BECCA: Okay. And Stoph, where can people find you?

STOPH: I am findable on Instagram. But I would much prefer people subscribe to the Creatures of Yes on Youtube.

RICHARD: I love the Creatures of Yes.

STOPH: Wow. Thank you Richard.

BECCA: Aren’t you doing stuff with GLOP [Glorious Ladies of Puppetry] now? As well?

STOPH: I am. And yeah, that is also definitely worth checking out. There’s going to be some very exciting new episodes dropping. I’ve seen some rough cuts and it’s like really incredible contemporary puppet sketches from the Glorious Ladies of Puppetry.

BECCA: Thank you.

STOPH: So I would highly recommend that as well.

BECCA: Yeah. Good stuff to check out. And that is at? What is that Instagram?

STOPH: I think on Instagram, they’re @glopstagram. I think that’s their handle.

BECCA: Okay.

STOPH: Yeah.

BECCA: And you can find me, Becca Petunia, on most non-X social media platforms @tallgirlpetunia, all one word. And of course, you can find ToughPigs at, or @Toughpigs on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr. I am updating the Tumblr again, believe it or not. We’re back, baby.

And if you like our work consider donating to the ToughPigs Patreon, where you can get even more exclusive free stuff. We also have ToughPigs t-shirts, which include a (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?! (in normal voice) shirt and a Monster at the End of This Book shirt that I designed. And some pride shirts I designed. And a Lips Tutter Street Trumpet Company shirt that I designed. And a bunch of stuff that I didn’t design as well.

STOPH: Oh my gosh.

BECCA: But also a lot of stuff I designed. It’s my show. I’m gonna plug my stuff. You can check those out at the ToughPigs Teepublic page.

I’d like to thank some people for helping us out. Our guests. Thank you so much. This was a blast. I love talking puppetry with you guys. This ruled. Thank you so much to Staci Rosen for writing the theme music for this show.

Thank you to…Oh! Richard Gomez for doing the host artwork for this show. The aforementioned host artwork. I’ll have to post a version where you can see my socks that have Java on them. Thanks to Katilyn Miller for writing our transcripts. Thanks to Joe Hennes, the ToughPigs Muppet fan podcast executive producer. And thank you to the Big Vomit Monster. 

And lastly, thanks to all of you at home for being with us on (in echo sounding voice) Hubba-Wha?! (in normal voice) the Muppet quiz show. And as always, despite all of this, I have never eaten Esskay Meats, La Choy, Wilkins Coffee, or Purina Dog Chow.

Good night, everybody.

[Hubba-Wha?! outro music made to sound like old timey radio plays]

[Music ends]

[Clip from La Choy commercial plays]


DRAGON: Never serve La Choy chow mein without the noodles.

[Explosion and cans falling]


DRAGON: And now I must leave.

WOMAN: Oh, that’s nice.


DRAGON: I’m off to tell the hungry world about La Choy chow mein.



DRAGON: Quick-cooked in dragon fire.

[Clip ends]

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