Muppet Shorts: Beaker

Several years ago The Muppets set up a YouTube channel to put up little short videos. These are usually along the same line as the brief skits they did on The Muppet Show in years back.  While I do prefer the actual clips from The Muppet Show, some of the YouTube clips are hilarious. So I thought I’d present a few of each, focusing on certain characters at a time.  Today I’m going to start us out with Beaker.

Beaker – or as my son calls him, Meeper – is perhaps the unluckiest of Muppets and exists solely to demonstrate Bunsen Honeydew’s ridiculously dangerous inventions.  For whatever reason, Beaker more or less has faith in these inventions and shares Bunsen’s enthusiasm for them and how they will better society and the world in general – until he has to test them.  And they unfailingly turn on him. 😄  Here are a few of Beaker’s best classic turns:

Fireproof Paper:

I love this one. Fireproof paper! Actually a great idea! The second one… not so much. LOL!

Edible Paperclips:

Notable for Beaker flat-out refusing at first.

Germ Enlarger:

Goes about as well as you’d expect such an idea to go…

After years and years, Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker are still churning out the “That’s a really bad idea” inventions. New Muppet Labs skits showcased their newest developments:

Carve-O-Matic:

Note the gag with the clock, which is a callback to the earlier clips 🙂

Ghost Hunt:

This one is not actually the best or the cleverest, but it’s a fun romp.

And then there was the time when Beaker decided to use the Internet to showcase his artistic side and attempted a one-man video cover of Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy”:

This, I avoided for several years, because I thought it was just obvious. It turns out it’s classic. In spite of the setup that each camera angle (six in all) is filmed separately, the classic Muppets metaphysics are involved so everything is happening at the same time and can influence each other. 😄

And I’ll close out with a great moment from The Muppets in 2011: Beaker, Rowlf, Link, and Sam the Eagle perform a Barbership Quartet rendition of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” with an unwilling Jack Black as their customer:

 

Beaker was initially performed by Richard Hunt, until 1991 (last performance was in MuppetVision 3D), and since then has been performed by Steve Whitmire, who does a terrific job with him IMO.  Whitmire has a great insight into Beaker, which I always appreciate the performers having; he sees him as being an introverted lab guy, smart but socially inept, so when he’s not working he’s probably on the computer. Which is the reason for the non-Muppet Lab YouTube videos, they’re his attempt at “branching out” and they go just as well as his day job. LOL!

The other thing I like about Beaker is his appearance; I can’t remember where I read it, but basically Beaker’s bug-eyed, frowny-faced look and shock of stand-up hair come from his being the lab rat in so many experiments. He’s been electrocuted enough times that his hair is permanently upright, and his eyes and mouth are because he’s perpetually living in fear of the next disaster. 😀

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3 thoughts on “Muppet Shorts: Beaker

    • The older I get, the funnier Bunsen and Beaker remain. 😀 I always found them funny as a kid, but when I was younger I didn’t really have the same penchant I now have for throwing Muppets around and putting them in the midst of disaster. It’s never NOT funny. 😀

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