This weekend, my husband and I settled in and continued watching Season 1 of The Muppet Show. I was particularly delighted by a blurb with comedienne Ruth Buzzi serenading Sweetums with “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”. (What did Frankie Valli think of this?) It’s a pretty hilarious short where Ruth is totally taken with Sweetums even though he is barbaric, messy, and continues to resist her charms by, ya know, pushing her off him. She just doesn’t get the hint, and literally latches herself onto him as they play their own rough and tumble game. Does Sweetums fall for this damsel? Check out the clip below to find out!
I came to a realization while watching this.
Sweetums is most certainly a descendent of Beast from Beauty and the Beast. Cousin, perhaps? Do you need some convincing? Look at the teeth for instance. The hairy and unruly mane. His lack of manners while eating. He has no idea how to treat a lady. And probably most fitting, underneath… they are just human.
Okay, fine. It’s a total stretch, but I couldn’t help watch The Muppet Show clip and think of when Belle and the Beast were having breakfast across from each other and this guy couldn’t use a spoon. (Did anyone else find that odd? Did this prince eat with his hands in the past? Ew.)
Anyway, back to Sweetums. I probably know him best from his live appearance during the Muppets 3D show at Hollywood Studios. (BEAN! OH BEAN!) So in a few clicks, I found out that Sweetums was recently performed by John Henson, Jim’s son. Cool fact, right? (Sweetums was originally performed by Richard Hunt, who died in 1992.) As a puppet, his right arm and mouth can’t move at the same time. And his eyebrows and eyes are remote controlled. Just some fun tid-bits. Although, I still haven’t been able to figure out just why Disney continues to allow the Beast to be a beast, when he should really be allowed to be a real man now. I guess that’s a mystery for another day.
Another fun fact? I knew I recognized Ruth Buzzi and a day later, discovered she played Screech’s mom on Saved by the Bell. What a small TV world it is.
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