1 The Muppet Mindset: Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Wembley Fraggle

Sep 9, 2009

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Wembley Fraggle



WEMBLEY FRAGGLE

Performed by...
Steve Whitmire

First Appearance...
Fraggle Rock: Episode 101 - Beginnings (1983)

Most Recent Appearance (in new material)...
The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson (1990)

Best Known Role...
Wembler, member of the Fraggle Five, Gobo's best friend and roommate, siren for the Fraggle Rock Volunteer Fire Department, winner of the "Best Shirt with Banana Trees on it" trophy.

WHO IS WEMBLEY FRAGGLE?
Wembley is the innocent, ignorant, coy, childish member of the Fraggle Five--the five main Fraggle characters on Fraggle Rock. He's the light green one with dark green fur. Wembley's name also lends itself to a verb in the Fraggle language, "wemble," "wembling," "to wemble," meaning to be unable to make up one's mind. Nothing describes Wembley better than this. He's best known for having little to know ability to decide for himself. A true follower, not leader. In fact, in the episode "The Thirty Minute Work Week" this wembling problem gets so out of hand that Wembley can't even decide which job he'd like to fulfil for thirty minutes every week.

His wembling ways make him the perfect best friend/sidekick to Gobo. Gobo is the headstrong leader, so anyone who is willing to follow him no matter what (like Wembley) is more than welcome. Even though Wembley does serve as Gobo's illustrious sidekick, he also shows unflappable friendship to Gobo. In the episode "The Grapes of Generousity," when Gobo eats the grapes of generousity without sharing with his friends, he loses control of his personal gravity. Wembley steps in and provides a weight to Gobo to keep him grounded (pun intended). The pair has also shared a good number of songs together including, "A Friend is a Friend," "Friends 'Til the End," "Wemblin' Fool," and "Goodbye, Goodbye."

Wembley also spent a lot of time on the show with Boober. This is obviously partially due to Wembley's performer, Steve Whitmire, and his great chemistry with Boober's performer Dave Goelz. Wembley and Boober embarked on many journeys together--Boober always preaching doom and pestillence, Wembley always being too naive to disagree. Wembley and Boober helped to save Marjory the Trash Heap when she was being relocated by the Gorgs. Wembley also attempts to get revenge on Boober after he scared him to test his baloobius.

Both Red and Mokey also share close friendships with Wembley. Mokey, Wembley, and Boober were the only three Fraggles to travel back in time in the episode "Mokey Then and Now." In "Believe it or Not" Red and Wembley discover a magical, shape-shifting creature named Skenfrith whom they befriend and eventually rescue from the Gorgs' basement.

WEMBLEY FRAGGLE AND STEVE WHITMIRE
Wembley was Steve Whitmire's main character on Fraggle Rock, and aside from Sprocket, Wembley was his only main character. Wembley is also distinct because he was Steve's first main character. In The Muppet Show days, Steve would only perform background characters. On Fraggle Rock, he finally got to perform his own, well-developed character.

WEMBLEY FRAGGLE SONGS
Wembley has performed a great deal of songs on Fraggle Rock. Here's a list of this writer's favorites:

"Wemblin' Fool" - w/ Gobo
"Here to There"
"We Are the Children of Tomorrow" - w/ Cotterpin Doozer
"Heart in a Hanky (Free and High)"
"Duet For One"
"(Sleep By the) Light of the Moon"
"Just a Little Wimp"
"Help Me for a Change"
"Very Scary (If This Don't Get You)"
"Fly to the Sky"
"Scare Them Boo!" - w/ Philo and Gunge

EPISODES THAT PRIMARILY FEATURE WEMBLEY FRAGGLE
  • Season 1
    • "Wembley and the Gorgs"
    • "The Thirty-Minute Work Week"
    • "The Terrible Tunnel"
    • "We Love You, Wembley"
  •  Season 2
    • "Wembley's Egg"
    • "The Trash Heap Doesn't Live Here Anymore"
    • "The Secret of Convincing John"
    • "Wembley and the Great Race"
  • Season 3
    • "Believe it or Not"
    • "Wembley and the Mean Genie"
    • "Scared Silly"
  • Season 4
    • "Wembley's Wonderful Whoopie Water"
    • "A Tune for Two"
    • "Wembley's Flight"
    • "Space Frog Follies"
    • "Gone But Not Forgotten"
WEMBLEY FRAGGLE QUOTES
Gobo: "Wembley, give it to me straight. Am I invisible?"
Wembley: "Uh...well I don't think so... but then that's only my opinion."

"I call it the wheel, but it doesn't work, It keeps rolling away!"

"Singing that sad song made us way too happy!"

Wembley: "What should I do?"
Gobo: "What do you want to do?"
Wembley: "I don't know. Can you give me a hint?"

"Excuse me sir, but I seem to have forgotten how to stand up."

WHY DOES FRAGGLE ROCK NEED WEMBLEY FRAGGLE?
Wembley is a core member of the Fraggle team--of course they need him! When Gobo is proposing a dangerous quest or when Boober is predicting doom and gloom, Wembley is the sensible, "let's talk this over" voice of the Fraggle Five. He's goofy, innocent, and an all-around good guy. Everyone loves him ("Wembley, Wembley Number 9," anyone?) and that's why they need him around. He's the best friend who would do anything for his friends--and his friends would do anything right back.

In the upcoming Fraggle Rock Movie written and directed by Corey Edwards, Wembley is sure to play a huge role. Tough Pigs' early review of the script revealed Wembley to have a laugh-out-loud funny moment involving a cell phone (which he keeps as a pet).

Wembley is integral to the success of any Fraggle project. He's funny, kind, and naive--the every other man to Gobo's every man, if you will. The perfect companion, and a terrific character all around.

2 comments:

  1. Ooh. I like this.

    I think.

    Do I?

    I think I like it. But maybe I don't.

    Can you give me a hint?

    *laughter is heard*

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think I like it. Wait! I do? Can someone help me? *laughter is heard really loud*

    ReplyDelete