Feb 13, 2013
Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Pa Gorg
Jerry Nelson (voice and face)
Gordon Robertson (body)
Fraggle Rock Episode 102: "Wembley and the Gorgs" (1983)
Most recent appearance...
Fraggle Rock Episode 513: "Change of Address" (1987)
Best known role...
King of the Universe for 742 years; husband of Ma Gorg; father of Junior Gorg
WHO IS PA GORG?
Pa Gorg is the patriarch of the Gorg family who live in their crumbling castle outside of Fraggle Rock. His beloved wife of 513 years is Ma Gorg. Their son is Junior Gorg, whom Pa once called "a witless wonder dunder blunder dummy of a son." Pa proclaims himself, and fully believes himself to be, the King of the Universe. However, there has never been any real proof (aside from the crown atop his head) that Pa is the actual king of the entire universe, but he certainly does a good job of ruling over Junior.
First appearing in Episode 102: "Wembley and the Gorgs," Pa Gorg found a great use for Junior's captured Fraggle, Wembley. Pa found that the susceptible little Fraggle easily believed that he was actually King of the Universe, and used it to his advantage. This was Pa's first taste of what having adoring subjects was like, and he spent a lot of the remainder of the series angry at the Fraggles--most notably when he tried to blow up "Kissing Rock," where all of the Fraggles reside.
Perhaps Pa Gorg's biggest starring role came in Episode 316: "The Battle of Leaking Roof," in which he and Junior attempt to repair the castle roof during a storm. Pa, too scared of heights to climb up the ladder, makes Junior do it. Eventually Pa sings his fantastic solo number "I'm Not Scared of Anything At All." This episode also gives a rare glimpse of Pa without his colorful robe.
Pa Gorg's final major appearance on Fraggle Rock was in the third to last episode "The Gorg Who Would Be King." In the episode, Pa must come to terms with the fact that his 742 year reign as king would come to an end and Junior would soon replace him. Pa briefly contemplates gluing the last leaf of the Nirvana Tree so that Junior won't become king. When Junior ends up shrinking after eating the leaf, and learns about the interconnectedness of the world, he has to save Fraggle Rock from a violent Pa. In the end, Pa comes to terms with Junior becoming king... until Junior hurls the crown away and disbands the great Gorg lineage.
Pa played a very important role throughout the entire series of Fraggle Rock and he would be crucial to any return the series might have.
WHY DOES FRAGGLE ROCK NEED PA GORG?
Pa Gorg may be temperamental, argumentative, and he sure likes to shout, but he is also an honorable creature. He respects Gorg culture and takes great pride in ruling the universe as king. He also clearly loves Ma (and Junior, sometimes), as evidenced in their beautiful duet "I Give to Thee." With his blustering ways, Pa holds together his family unit better than anyone else could. He may be full of himself, but he still loves his kingdom. All in all, Pa is a wonderfully funny and fun character and a true gem from the great Jerry Nelson's oeuvre.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org