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Why isn't Skeeter a Muppet?

Slackbot

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She was in episode 106 of MT. There was a King Artur-themed segment of "Great Moments in Elvis History," and Scooter was repurposed for Lady Guenevere.
 

The Count

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Lady Guenevere in the King Arthur Great Moments in Elvis History sketch... Guess that'd make your comment about redressing the Scooter carcass truer. Might as well follow Monty Python's lead and "bring out their dead". :smirk:
 

Drtooth

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The problem with the Muppet Babies concept was that Piggy was a terrible role model for potential young female viewers but is the only female character among the immediate portion of the Muppets. Other official Jim Henson characters were considered including Janice, even Fraggles and Sesame Street but not only would mixing franchises have caused confusion, it was decided that the second female character needed to counter Piggy. Not only to keep that bossy diva attitude in check but also to represent a defiance of gender stereotypes. Hence Skeeter was created as a twin sister of Scooter whose tomboyish style constantly challenged Piggy, it was suggested at times that she even challenged Piggy's affections for Kermit. At the same time Skeeter was established as a strong character who could stand well on her own hence the fan response to her absence from the live action films. There was a loose explanation offered by the Henson company that she'd become an explorer and disappeared in the Amazon.

Janice was still given an appearance in one episode of the animated series but she wasn't received well. Her unique deep toned voice was not translatable to child form. I'd like to add that personally I felt that she also had more of a teenage appearance which is not the most believable as relatable to the Muppet babies.

If anyone knows 80's cartoons like I know 80's cartoons, there always had to be a sporty kid. Group of kids type shows always recycled the same character tropes, and this carried well into the series Arthur, a cartoon that premiered in 96. The difference is that in a good cartoon, these tropes don't tend to stick up as much (unlike Pink Panther and Son, where the one dimensional character traits stick out like a sore thumb)... and with The Muppets, you already had the funny character (Fozzie), the hipster/musical character (Rowlf) and the overall everyman (Kermit). Scooter's computer nerd-dom was completely fabricated, however. Not completely out of character, but Scooter was more awkward geeky than a full on stereotypical nerd.

Skeeter was born out of double necessity. To add a female character to the cast (of course, performed by a male voice actor) and to add a sporty kid to the show. What Muppets are even remotely sporty? Louis Kazzagger? Janice wouldn't have fit in the role, she's too laid back. Wonder why they didn't just use Annie Sue, actually.

As for Janice, something tells me she would have been a recurring character if the show continued into another season. But let's face it... there is no Muppet fan that doesn't think the final season isn't...well... in the nicest terms, off. It was nice to see Statler and Waldorf in animated form (oddly, as positive characters who loved the kids), but then there's Bean. As in "the character the writers didn't know what to do with" Bean. Instead of being the parody of the "cuteness" the Muppets were starting to be caricatured as, he was the chronically depressed buttmonkey that was just there. It's a shame that Janice never became a cast member or having the entire Electric Mayhem band pop on the series as kids of varying ages (lost opportunity, anyone?).
 

Little Robin

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If anyone knows 80's cartoons like I know 80's cartoons, there always had to be a sporty kid. Group of kids type shows always recycled the same character tropes, and this carried well into the series Arthur, a cartoon that premiered in 96.
Excellent point! This hadn't crossed my mind but is absolutely true. There was something of a 90's trend of presenting both sides of the female spectrum. The Muppet Babies was certainly no exception.

Let me also point out the presence of this concept in another 90's series, Disney channel's Recess.
Both series featured not only a tomboy female but some form of an opposite female to keep the balance.
In Arthur opposite Francine we had Muffy, the stuck up rich girly girl who if a high school character clearly would have been the stereotypical cheerleader.

In Recess opposite Ashley Spinelli (who was most know by her last name), it was Gretchen the nerd who was established by her blue dress with a bow in the back as having the stereotypical female style. There was also a group of reoccurring side characters known as The Ashleys obviously due to all sharing the name whose contrast to Spinelli was pointed out in a specific episode where they tried to recruit her (If I am not mistaken this was the episode in which Spinelli's first name is revealed).

As a child I was a fan of both series and stereotypes were NOT something even in my knowledge.

Slackbot said:
Heh, that video does get around! Yes, that's me and the Skeeter I made. She won a prize in the costume contest at that event despite not wearing a costume at all.

When Amy Mebberson posted a picture of that puppet on her tumblr I just about died of sheer artistic validation. That said, I plan to rebuild her, giving her a better-shaped head, the next time I find myself between commissions.
Honestly I had no idea when I posted it, I'd Youtube-d "Muppet Babies Skeeter' looking for fun fan made theories like they have for a certain non-canon Lion King character and it was one of the first results. The only theory I ended up finding was the morbid Adult Swim video in my first post.

You did an astounding job on the puppet, I'd not known at first watch of that video that it was fanmade. I'd gotten confused haha.
 

Slackbot

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Thank you! The highest compliment I could ask for is people mistaking my puppets for authentic Henson-made Muppets.
 

Drtooth

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As a child I was a fan of both series and stereotypes were NOT something even in my knowledge.
Because the shows were done well. Pink Panther and Son, on the other hand, the tropes were obvious and played so mechanically. The thing just comes off as a bad knockoff of the Get-allong-Gang (which, in hindsight wasn't that good either), and the stock personalities outweigh the characters. Not to mention how incredibly tricky it is to get a female character right without making it a Mary Sue or an insulting stereotype one way or another.

But yeah, Muppet Babies does have the stock personalities of 1980's cartoons, but it comes off so natural, it's hard to notice. If done right, they're just kids with those personalities. Done poorly, it's those personalities put into children.
 

LamangoNumber2

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Well, I hate to revive a dead thread, but with all this talk about Scooter's family life from ABC's Muppets, it sort of fills in some gaps. Scooter's mom is obviously seeing other men, who need to wear robes. Scooter hasn't mentioned his dad at all. Skeeter could very well be living with dad while Scooter lives with mom.
 

snichols1973

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She was in one episode,named ,,who's tale is it,anyway?" But she had opened eyes,ever wondered why!I would love to see Skeeter later,she is such a nice girl!
A Sam & Janice "shipping" experiment was one of the background stories in the "Pig Out" episode of TM2015.... :flirt::attitude:
 
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