The Tradgedy of Digit, Muppet who Failed to Be

Chinchilla

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I think I finally figured out part of what my hangup is with Digit.

Digit who? Precicely.

I have always been fascinated by the illusion of life. So when Digit came into being, and then fell into not-being, I was puzzled and still am.

I only saw perhaps a total of three minutes of him on screen, but he made an impression on me (he would have had to since this was over ten years ago).

I wonder why he did. He's not very photogenic, or cuddly, compared to most other Muppets. Yet, I have the feeling he was meant to be a permanent addition to the main cast.

Who created him and why? Was he meant to be a personification of Jim Henson's fascination with technology?

What a strange science/art/magic it is, the creating a of a new character. And what a risk, too. What if the market dosen't take to this new person? What if the need we have for it turns out not to be so great after all? And lots of Muppets have turned out not to be the important characters their inventors thought they would be (Fleet Scribbler comes to mind). Why is Digit the one I mourn?

I have this hope he'll reappear one day. Lots of skits could use a "tech guy" (literally!).

Does anyone have any insights? I'm hoping this thread will get Digit out of my system.

Thanks,
C
 

DirthNader

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Well, I don't know if this helps, but Elmo was supposed to be just an extra monster. The original voice was played by a different muppeteer and was a bit deeper (actually I think it was a lot deeper). The cute primary-colored critter had star potential and was cast with a different voice. Can anyone say "Elmopalooza"?

I hope this helps and gives you at least some shot at optimism.

:smile:
 

Super Scooter

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Digit was also featured on an episode of The Cosby Show, which his appearance in is quite funny. This episode featured quite a few of the Jim Henson Hour characters.
 

Chilly Down

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No, you're not alone, C. (In fact, I wish Cory was here. He's the BIGGEST Digit fan!) I thought he was a visually fascinating character brought to life with great humor by Dave Geolz. I would have liked to see him in future Muppet productions.

As to why they stopped using him, three guesses. First, he looks cool to an older audience, but his bizarre looks might have scared kids and gotten angry letters from parents. Second, whenever the Muppets do a "science" thing, they go to Bunsen and Beaker. Since Bunsen is also played by Dave, that makes it to difficult to commit to always having those characters in the same scene. Digit is seen in the background of Muppet Labs in MuppetVision 3D, but he doesn't have any lines. Lastly, immediately after the demise of JHH and shortly after Jim's death, the Muppets started doing a lot of costume/period pieces (Christmas Carol, Treasure Island), and a high-tech character would have looked out of place in them. Of course, they could have played the humor of the anachronism (like when Yosemite Sam is in ancient Greece), and if the character had already been more established, they might have. But since most people really didn't know who he was, I guess they figured too much setup was necessary.

Anyway, I miss him too. Hope my thoughts (merely conjecture, mind you) helped some.
 

DirthNader

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I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've never actually seen Digit. I hope that doesn't mean that I'm not the fan I think I am.

Would anyone here be able to post a picture, to either enlighten or at the very least, remind me of who this character is?

Thank you *bows head in shame*
 

Cantus Rock

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Originally posted by Chilly Down

Digit is seen in the background of Muppet Labs in MuppetVision 3D, but he doesn't have any lines.
You mean to tell me, that after 100 freakin' viewings of MV3D, that I overlooked Digit EVERY SINGLE TIME?! Lord, I am so ashamed...:embarrassed:

Honestly, I like Digit, but even I was a bit weirded out by him. He was so ghastly in appearance that I was frightened by him. I think part of the problem with my feeling on him is that the first time I saw him was on the Cosby Show episode at 1 a.m. I mean, that pale face, jumping out at you with a saw at 1 in the morning? It definitely is not the first impression you want to give off, trust me. :wink:

-Matt
 

DirthNader

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Originally posted by Cantus Rock
I mean, that pale face, jumping out at you with a saw at 1 in the morning? It definitely is not the first impression you want to give off, trust me. :wink:

-Matt
I hope you're not talking from personal experience, man. That would scar a person for life:eek:
 

Cantus Rock

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Well, lets just say, I've known many girls in my life. Not all of them have been sane. Some of them are beyond repair, and some of them are like what I discribed.

Guess which ones I always end up dating.

(LOL, just kidding. My current girlfriend is the best. :big_grin:)

-Matt
 

Super Scooter

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Originally posted by DirthNader
I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've never actually seen Digit. I hope that doesn't mean that I'm not the fan I think I am.

Would anyone here be able to post a picture, to either enlighten or at the very least, remind me of who this character is?

Thank you *bows head in shame*
It doesn't make you any less of a fan. I never saw him till just a few years ago.

He is quite freaky! If you have a library nearby that has a copy of the book Jim Henson: The Works, you can get a glimpse of Digit. He's in the picture with Kermit and a few other guys from JHH.
 

Chinchilla

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thanks for the responses!

I feel much better now. :smile: Thanks for all your responses!

Especially ChillyDown's-- very informative and insightful. There seem to be almost too many science-type Muppets around, and there may not be enough roles to use them all.

Cantus, to be honest, his looks creep me out too. In motion with a voice I remember him as nice-but-odd, but his still photos are scary. I did a search in the forums for references to Digit and he cropped up on the "Muppets That Frighten Me" thread.

Dirth, an especially creepy image of Digit can be seen here on MC in the Help page. He pops up if you scroll over the far right of the menu bar, just before Waldo the CG butterfly-thing. I figure the only images that exist of him are not-very-good, and there's a limit to what you can do if you start out with a poor image. All the images I can find of him online seem to have been scanned from the same photo in "The Works," which I have a copy of. Except the photo here on MC in the collectibles section, of the JHH lunchbox, which still uses the same photo.

If they revive Digit, I hope they give him at least a slight makeover. But even if they don't I'll still be watching his every move.
 
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