Mar 21, 2012
Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Beauregard
The Muppet Show Episode 310: Marissa Berenson (1978)
Most recent appearance...
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
Best known role...
Dim-witted janitor of the Muppet Theater
"What color are their hands now?"
WHO IS BEAUREGARD?
Beauregard is the custodian, janitor, and general handy man for the Muppet Theater. He is not very bright by any means and usually finds a way to mess up the job he's supposed to be doing. Beauregard, sometimes just called "Beau," has been employed at the Muppet Theater as the janitor since Season 3 of The Muppet Show, replacing George the Janitor, who worked at the theater in Season 1. Beauregard has been known to get on the nerves of Kermit, Scooter, and Miss Piggy (though he does seem to have a sweet relationship with the latter).
In his first appearance on The Muppet Show, Beauregard was part of the song "Do Re Mi" with some of the other Muppets. It wasn't until three episodes later that he was first seen working as a janitor/stagehand. In Episode 313: Helen Reddy, Beauregard greases the floors and later uses way too much sand, inadvertently causing the closing number to be desert-themed. Beauregard would continue to appear in numerous episodes of The Muppet Show throughout the course of its run, flubbing up his duties and adding another frustration for Kermit.
One of Beau's most notable moments on the show was in Episode 503: Joan Baez where he befriends a group of rats, including Rizzo, after he lets them eat from the refrigerator. The rats quickly dub Beau an honorary rat and even elect him rat president. When Kermit threatens to fire him unless the rats leave, Beauregard fights for his rat friends and prepares to take the hit. Shockingly, it's Miss Piggy who helps Beau come to his senses and see that the rats are using him to get what they want.
Beauregard's largest role of all came in The Great Muppet Caper in 1981 where he played a taxi driver in London. He drove Kermit, Fozzie Bear, and Gonzo around London town until finally crashing into the lobby of the Happiness Hotel--a practice that doesn't seem new to Pops or any of the other residents. Later, when the Muppets are planning their heist, Kermit says that they'll have to catch the thieves of the Fabulous Baseball Diamond red handed. Beauregard blinks and asks, "What color are their hands now?" This line became a fan-favorite and a defining moment for the dim-witted Beauregard.
The lovable dope faded into the background after The Great Muppet Caper. He did have speaking parts in A Muppet Family Christmas and The Muppets at Walt Disney World. In the latter, he took Miss Piggy on a whirlwind tour of the Disney Parks, making her suffer through all the thrill rides while he sat back and enjoyed them quietly. This pairing was very interesting and effective in the special, but unfortunately it has yet to be seen again.
Unfortunately, Beauregard faded into the background, and thus obscurity throughout the 1990s. He had a brief line at the end of the Sandra Bullock episode of Muppets Tonight, but other than that remained completely silent for almost 20 years, even though he appeared in Muppets From Space, It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, and Letters to Santa. Beauregard returned to a speaking role on Muppets.com in 2008, where he starred in three "Better Living with Bobo the Bear" videos alongside Bobo the Bear. The duo was hysterical together presenting topics such as working out, makeovers, and removing unsightly hares (not a spelling error). This pair-up essentially proved that Beauregard can work will with almost any Muppet.
In the past few years Beauregard has held a steady tertiary role in Muppet productions, most notably appearing and singing in 2009's "Bohemian Rhapsody" viral video. Beau also appeared in an episode of The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora, helping to a mess of the World's Biggest Sandwich. He also appeared with a large group of Muppets in "The Muppet Show Theme Song" music video with OK Go. Beauregard's biggest role recently was in The Muppets in 2011. In the feature film, while the Muppets are cleaning up the theater, Scooter opens up a broom closet only to find Beauregard there with a hammock set up. Beauregard is thrilled to see Scooter as he says, "Scooter! Good to see you! Where's everybody been?" It's good to know that after all these years Beau is still dedicated to his janitorial job and his dim-witted nature.
Beauregard has appeared in many books and comic books as well, including his own starring book "Bo Saves the Show." Not much Beauregard merchandise exists, but an action figure of Beau was made in 2004 as part of Series 7 of the Palisades Toys line of Muppet action figures. The figure appropriately came with a broom, a mop, and a mop bucket. A Sideshow Bust of Beauregard was also produced in 2002.
WHY DO THE MUPPETS NEED BEAUREGARD?
The Muppets need Beauregard because he cleans the place up (although apparently not very well, as the state of the theater in The Muppets shows clearly). Though that is important, Beau is also dependable, caring, and loyal. He is a friend to everyone he meets--even insignificant rats. All he wants to do is help, and what's not to love about that?
Moreover, Beauregard works hilariously well with nearly anyone. Kermit (Helen Reddy episode), Scooter (Gene Kelly episode), Piggy (The Muppets at Walt Disney World), Fozzie (Harry Belafonte episode), Beaker (Elke Sommer episode), Bobo the Bear (Muppets.com), Rizzo (Joan Baez episode), and so many others. Dave Goelz once said that Beauregard didn't become a star because he was too passive and didn't want anything so the writers didn't know what to do with him. I think that's what makes him special... because he doesn't want, he gives. Beauregard may seem dumb on the outside, but he is truly a caring, special character who has a lot to offer other than a sweeping broom.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org