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The Muppet Show
by yo go re

For the most part, Jim Henson's world is a happy, cheerful place - Sesame Street, the Muppets... even the subterranean beasties of Fraggle Rock got along with one another. But recognizing that not all viewers would be so into the sunshine and rainbows, Henson always gifted us with at least one grumpy curmudgeon. No matter how happy Big Bird may get, Oscar the Grouch is always there to bring him back down. And while Fozzie is telling another series of horrible jokes, Statler and Waldorf look down upon him with contempt.

Waldorf.  Like the salad, BITCH! The old pair, who sat through (almost) every show at the Muppet Theatre, never seemed to be having a good time. Well, no, that's not accurate: they were having a great time; it just had nothing to do with what was going on onstage. They entertained themselves, picking on the stars and the guests with equal abandon. Seemingly inseparable, the two have finally been split apart by the gang at Palisades.

The Waldorf=Astoria

Location:301 Park Avenue
Capacity:1,245 rooms, 197 suites
Height:42 stories
Opened:October 31, 1931 (current location)
Check-in:3 pm
Bonus!:Originally stood at the site of today's Empire State Building. Its name uses an equal sign because it was originally two separate, competing hotels. Has a private platform at Grand Central Station.
Waldorf is the short, squat member of the pair. 5" tall, he only comes up to Statler's shoulder. He's wearing a brown suit that barely buttons over his vast waistland. You can help him work off that pot belly of his through the miracle of articulation! More than a pre-posed statue, Waldorf moves at the neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, waist, hips and knees, which means he's able to either sit or stand as you see fit.

Contrary to urban legend, Jim Henson did not base either Statler's or Waldorf's face on one of his professors at the University of Maryland. Free moustache rides for the ladies! Waldorf has a spherical head befitting his physique and his moustache, often the only way people can tell he and his partner apart, is captured well. Palisades always gives us great likenesses on their Muppet figures, so it should come as no surprise that even the bags under his eyes are crafted with care. It's tricky to make hard plastic look like soft foam, but Palisades manages.

Palisades has made sure their Muppets are worth the sometimes-high pricetags by including impressive, We hate our lives! highly detailed accessories with each character. Waldorf comes with a high-backed chair that stands 4" tall. The upholstery on the cushion, arms and back looks very realistic, and would fit perfectly into the Muppet Theatre. Unfortunately, since we never saw Waldorf's legs on the show, he doesn't fit in his chair very well - his feet are even further from the ground than Statler's, and he too tends to fall out of the seat. I wish the chairs were just a bit smaller, so that Statler and Waldorf fit better.

Additionally, Waldorf includes some Muppet Vegetables - specifically, a tomato and a carrot - to throw at Fozzie. Excellent! Since they're Muppet veggies, that means they each have eyes and a mouth, the better to play Tom Servo and Crow to Waldorf's Mike Nelson. The veggies are perfect for stocking your Muppet Kitchen. Waldorf also has a playbill for the evening's entertainment - including Fozzie Bear performing "Gags" Beasley's famous "Banana Sketch" and a Muppet News Flash.

Thumbs down. Waldorf also includes a lovely cane and a series of scorecards. On a scale of 1-to-10, we get -1, 0, 1, 1.5 and 2. See? It's that "grumpy" thing coming back in again.

Waldorf shares his opinion of OAFEnet Jim Henson was a bright guy - he knew that not everyone was a shining lamppost of ebullient joy, so he created Muppets that shared that more reserved outlook. That a character like Waldorf (and his friend Statler) were even considered for action figure form shows Palisades' dedication to its fans. That they were made, and made so well, shows why it is one of the top companies in the industry today.

Who's your favorite grump? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.


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