1 The Muppet Mindset: Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Ma Gorg

Mar 13, 2013

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Ma Gorg


Performed by...
Cheryl Wagner (voice, face) (1984-1987)
Trish Leeper (body)
Myra Fried (voice, face) (1983)

First appearance...
Fraggle Rock Episode 102: "Beginnings"

Most recent appearance...
Fraggle Rock Episode 513: "Change of Address"

Best known role...
Queen of the Universe; wife of Pa Gorg; mother of Junior Gorg

Ma Gorg is the wife of Pa Gorg, making her the self-proclaimed Queen of the Universe. She is also a loving mother of Junior Gorg and is quite adept at cooking--her good time goombah is a real favorite. She is the daughter of Queen Esmerelda, implying that both she and Pa have equally royal lineages. Ma is the best at convincing Pa and Junior to agree to just about anything. However, Ma is terrified of Fraggles, usually delegating Pa or Junior to deal with them if the little beasts come around.

For most of Season 1 of Fraggle Rock, Ma had a much different head. She wore her hair down and her face was rather striking. Her mouth was much wider and not as sweet. Her eyes were also much wider and had no eyelids for blinking. Perhaps most striking was her long, upturned nose. Even her clothes were nowhere near as ornate or queenly as they would become. When Ma was thankfully redesigned, she became the much more "beautiful" creature we know today. In the Season 1, Ma was also voiced by Myra Fried, before being replaced by Cheryl Wagner in Season 2.

In stories and plots on the show, Ma was mostly just featured as part of the Gorg family throughout Season 1 and Season 2. She would appear with Pa and Junior consistently, but didn't have an episode where she was prominently featured until Episode 308: "Believe it Or Not." In this episode, Red and Wembley Fraggle meet a creature named Skinfrith, who transforms into whatever you believe he is. Skinfrith gets trapped in the basement of the Gorg's basement, and Ma has to overcome her great fear and change her beliefs to realize that Skinfrith isn't really dangerous.

Another episode that prominently featured Ma was Season 4's "Mirror, Mirror." In the episode, Red finds a magic, talking mirror named Mavis. Mavis leads Red and Cotterpin Doozer to the Gorg's Castle, where Ma is distraught because Pa and Junior have left her alone on her birthday. Mavis tries to convince Red and Cotterpin to celebrate the birthday with Ma, and misunderstandings ensue.

The relationship and love between Ma Gorg and Pa Gorg has been a cornerstone for many episodes of the show as well. Whether it is Ma nagging Pa to fix the roof in "The Battle of Leaky Roof," dealing with the fact that their son has become a Fraggle in "Boober Gorg," or celebrating their 513th anniversary in "Ring Around the Rock," Ma and Pa are a great relationship of lasting love in the Universe.

Ma Gorg's role as supportive wife and mother played a big part in the final Gorg episode of the show, "The Gorg Who Would Be King." She is instrumental in convincing Pa that he should let Junior become King. When Junior finally does get the crown, Ma is lovingly supportive of her son. Ma's final appearance came in the final episode of Fraggle Rock, dancing and singing the theme song with Pa and Junior at the end of the episode.

Ma Gorg is one of the few mothering figures on Fraggle Rock. It's probably not inaccurate to say that Pa Gorg and Junior Gorg would not survive more than a day without Ma tending for them. The fact that she loves her husband and son unconditionally--even if her son turns into a Fraggle--is a wonderful character trait. Ma is emotional and sometimes silly, but she is a wonderful mother and a much-needed character.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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