1 The Muppet Mindset: Muppetology 101: Muppet Automobile Mechanics

May 28, 2013

Muppetology 101: Muppet Automobile Mechanics

Ryan Dosier - Greetings, class! Welcome to the first summer school session of Muppetology 101. As it turns out, we're now only being offered as a summer course, since I've been politely asked to resign since I don't have a "degree." But I figure since no one uses the classrooms in the summer, no harm, no foul (but plenty of fowl). Anyway! Today's lecture spotlights the many Muppet vehicles seen in the Muppet movies and Muppet television programs. Let's get underway, shall we?

  • Fozzie's Studebaker - The Muppet Movie (1979)
    • The original Muppet vehicle is one of the favorite cars the Muppets have ever driven. The car was a 1951 Studebaker Commander. Fozzie inherited the Studebaker from his hibernating uncle, and used it to drive Kermit and the gang cross-country. It starts out a tan color and gets repainted in vibrant colors by the Electric Mayhem in order to "disguise" the car. Kermit and Fozzie enjoy their newly colored car... until Gonzo crashes into it with his plumbing truck. Fozzie finally parts with the Studebaker when he trades it in at Mad Man Mooney's.
  • Gonzo's plumbing truck - The Muppet Movie (1979)
    • The wackiest and weirdest vehicle on the list goes to Gonzo (of course). Gonzo and Camilla drive the truck happily--and haplessly--down the road. Gonzo's driving is so poor, that he crashes his truck into Fozzie's Studebaker. The collision ends up with Gonzo's truck on top of the Studebaker in a weird, dual-car combo. The truck (minus Gonzo's plunger) got traded in at Mad Man Mooney's with the Studebaker.
  • Fozzie's new car - The Muppet Movie (1979)
    • After trading in his Studebaker and Gonzo's plumbing truck, Fozzie becomes the proud owner and driver of a brand new car from Mad Man Mooney's. Thanks to Sweetums and an unfortunate fly, the car only ends up costing $11.95--less the $12 trade-in on the old vehicle. So in the end, Mad Man Mooney owed the Muppets a nickel. It's hard to say if they ever got it. This sleek, black new car (which I can't find any make or model info about...) runs until it breaks down in the middle of the desert.
  • Electric Mayhem bus - The Muppet Movie (1979)
    • My personal favorite Muppet vehicle of all-time, the Electric Mayhem bus is the colorful, rockin', awesome transportation for Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Dr. Teeth drives (with a piano right next to the driver's seat), and the rest of the band chills in back where there's ample room to jam. The bus provides crucial transportation for the gang after the Electric Mayhem saves them in the desert and drives them on to face Doc Hopper and become rich and famous in Hollywood. Righteous.
  • Beauregard's taxi - The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
    • The Muppet vehicular excitement continued in The Great Muppet Caper, boasting some great means of transportation as well. First off was Beauregard's bright yellow taxi. The dopey janitor-turned-cabbie proved just as unable behind the wheel as he was in any other situation. He takes Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo on a wild ride through London culminating in a crash through the lobby of the Happiness Hotel. Hey, at least they got steering wheel soufflĂ© out of it. 
  • Happiness Hotel bus - The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
    • Muppets and buses sure do mix well, don't they? This brightly lit, rocking roadster was big enough to hold most of the Muppets (even though a few were relegated to the fenders) as they escorted Miss Piggy and Kermit on their date. Pops drives the bus while Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem utilize the open roof area to rock hard with their song "Night Life." You won't be seeing a bus like this at the Four Seasons!!
  • Miss Piggy's motorcycle - The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
    • The only true non-car on the list is Miss Piggy's white stunt motorcycle that she acquires during the climax of the film. After hijacking a cement truck (driven by Peter Ustinov), Miss Piggy finds herself with a turn of good luck as a stunning motorcycle falls out of a truck. Piggy takes the bike and rides it to the Mallory Gallery, where she crashes it through a stained glass window, tackles Nicky Holiday, saves Kermit, and saves the fabulous Baseball Diamond. Not bad for a pig.
  • Electric Mayhem bus - Muppets From Space (1999)
    • The Electric Mayhem bus made its triumphant return in Muppets From Space... minus most of the Electric Mayhem. Yes, this time Fozzie got behind the wheel of the bus while Animal was the only member of the band to take a ride in it (at least on screen). Fozzie, Animal, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Pepe, Bunsen, and Beaker (briefly) take the bus to go rescue Gonzo and Rizzo from C.O.V.N.E.T. They succeed, and end up taking the bus to Cape Doom to witness a spaceship landing. Once again, the Mayhem bus plays a crucial role--if only the Electric Mayhem could've been there to see it.
  • Kermit's car - The Muppets (2011)
    • In the latest Muppet movie, Kermit is the proud owner of a Rolls-Royce Silver Spur. The car is driven by Kermit's chauffer, '80s Robot, and is used to collect the Muppets from around the world. The car possesses the ability to travel by map, which allows them to drive all the way to France. The car is used throughout the film to kidnap Jack Black and even by Tex Richman to shut down the Muppet Theater phone lines.
Well that about does it for this class. Check back next time when we'll discuss the myriad of vehicles used in various Sesame Street productions! Also, bonus points for anyone who can give me more information about Fozzie's new car in The Muppet Movie. Class dismissed!





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

6 comments:

  1. Is it just me, or does a lot of Dave Goelz characters can't drive, type casting, eh? Don't forget the pick up Fozzie drove in The Muppet Family Christmas! Can I get extra credit for that, sir?
    Hugs and Giggles~ Maria Gayle K.

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  2. What about Kermit's Schwinn?!

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  3. Ehh, I was kind of hoping for a more in-depth article about Muppet-scale vehicles and how they got them to work (ala the Riverbottom Gang's car, for example).

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  4. Do one on the Sesame cars next. Lots of iconic vehicles there as well.

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  5. All growing up I wanted the Happiness Hotel bus, and I find I still do. A bus load of Muppets is cool enough, but add in having a band on the roof? I'd love to drive down the street with a live band playing on top of my vehicle. ;-)

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  6. Found it... the vehicle they traded in for was a 1946 Ford Woodie station wagon.

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