Jun 5, 2013
Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: The Talking Houses
THE TALKING HOUSES
John Lovelady (House #1)
Jerry Nelson (House #2)
Frank Oz (House #3)
Eren Ozker (House #4)
The Muppet Show Episode 104: Ruth Buzzi (1976)
Most recent appearance...
The Muppet Show Episode 119: Vincent Price (1976)
The Muppet Show Comic Book: "On the Road" Issue #2 (2010)
Best known role...
Buildings who tell bad jokes
House 2: "My wife's not feeling well."
House 1: "Sorry to hear it. What's wrong?"
House 2: "She's got the shingles."
WHO ARE THE TALKING HOUSES?
The Talking Houses are four characters seen only in a recurring sketch in the first season of The Muppet Show. Each sketch consisted of a single joke between two houses, usually about one of their relatives but always about a building of some sort. Though they were never seen outside of their sketches, they were probably full-size or in scale with the show's other Muppets.
The first Talking Houses sketch appeared in Episode 104 guest starring Ruth Buzzi. Most of these sketches featured jokes told between House #1 and House #2 on the left side of the screen. The only vocal roles for House #3 and House #4 was in the final Talking Houses sketch seen in Episode 119 guest starring Vincent Price.
The Talking Houses disappeared after the first season of The Muppet Show. However, they recently made illustrated appearances in The Muppet Show Comic Book #4: "Miss Piggy's Story" and "On the Road" Issue #2, where the Talking Houses were replaced by talking caravans. At the end of the "Pigs in Space" comic book, Rizzo the Rat suggests "Talking Houses: The Next Generation," as a movie. (A clear parody of Star Trek.)
WHY DO THE MUPPETS NEED THE TALKING HOUSES?
The Talking Houses are interesting characters. They never appeared outside of their sketch, and never appeared again after the first season of The Muppet Show. This pretty much shows that they didn't work and weren't favorites of the writers or performers. Really, the Muppets don't need them... but I'd hate to shutter their careers.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, email@example.com