May 8, 2013
Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Bobby Benson
The Muppet Show Episode 319: Elke Sommer (1978)
Most recent appearance...
The Muppets (2011)
Best known role...
Leader of the Baby Band
WHO IS BOBBY BENSON?
Bobby Benson is the leader/wrangler/manager of the Baby Band, a classic act from The Muppet Show. The Bobby Benson Whatnot puppet first appeared in Season 2 of The Muppet Show performing with the Electric Mayhem. The Babies first appeared in Loretta Lynn's closing number in Season 3. The group finally officially came together as Bobby Benson's Baby Band in Episode 319 guest starring Elke Sommer, where they performed "Pennsylvania 6-5000." In the same episode they performed "Tuxedo Junction" in the UK Spot.
Unfortunately for Bobby, this was the biggest gig the Baby Band would get. They did perform "Baby Driver" in Episode 511 guest starring Paul Simon, but that was their final performance on the show. In Episode 405 guest starring Victor Borge, Bobby Benson was arrested (finally) and left the Babies in the care of Miss Piggy. Luckily (for Kermit), Bobby returned at the end of the episode to reclaim his band.
Bobby Benson's Baby Band did not perform again, but they have made multiple cameo and background appearances since then in specials and films including The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, and The Muppet Christmas Carol, where he conducted the Babies on a street corner during "It Feels Like Christmas." Bobby Benson and the Babies appeared once again in The Muppets hanging out backstage during the telethon and singing during the "Life's a Happy Song" finale.
WHY DO THE MUPPETS NEED BOBBY BENSON?
This is the first time I've ever done this... and it'll probably be the only time, but I honestly have no idea why the Muppets need Bobby Benson. But hey, if it gets a laugh, why not bring Bobby and the Babies around!
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, email@example.com