Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014

An Ode to Uncle Deadly, the Phantom of The Muppet Show

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May 19, 2010

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Its eerily easy sometimes how much of your childhood you can forget as time marches on. There’s so much new information and entertainment that emerges everyday that sometimes the sheer task of keeping up with it all becomes impossible and so I was thrilled when I read this post the other day by Monster Chiller Theatre that featured a shortlist of some infamous Muppet monsters from days gone by. Among the list was a particular favorite: Uncle Deadly.

If the name doesn’t ring a bell it might be due to the fact that Deadly was only featured in a handful of The Muppet Show episodes, the most noteworthy of which is his debut where he performed “You’ve Got a Friend” alongside the immortal Vincent Price. Deadly would later receive a proper introduction in Season One Episode 21, where he received the moniker of “Phantom of The Muppet Theater.” He appeared in very few episodes after that, though he can be seen for a few brief seconds in two of the feature Muppet films.

Uncle Deadly also received not one, but three different action figures crafted in his likeness (though to be fair its the same mold with different painting applications, including a glow-in-the-dark version). Sadly, not much else is known about the fate of Deadly as he has seemed to fade away into what obscurity Muppets go to when they’re forgotten. It has been said that, in 2000, Kirk Thatcher tried to develop a TV show featuring the character called Uncle Deadly’s House of Badness much in the vein of R.L.Stine’s Goosebumps series. The project, however, never happened and Thatcher has since informed me that he “re-tooled it a bit and [is] developing it on [his] own as a multi-media horror/comedy show without any Muppet characters in it.”

As long as it has the same spirit, I’d love to see Thatcher’s new project and in the meantime I suppose I’ll have to settle for my new Uncle Deadly action figure which should be arriving next week. Woot!

Sketch shown above by Michael Frith

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About Author

Rondal

Rondal is the Editor-in-Chief of Strange Kids Club and a creative instigator who tackles each day with Red Bull-induced enthusiasm and a mind for adventure. Rondal has written for other sites including Rue Morgue, Fuel Your Illustration and Bloodsprayer. His obsession with horror movies, 80s animation and action figures is considered unhealthy by medical professionals.

  • Kinderscares

    I loved the muppet monster list too! It really is too easy to forget…it's so awesome when a post reminds you of something you used to love.

  • Strange Kid

    Isn't it though? That's the beauty of blogging, its like a venereal disease of the memory gland… in a good way. :)

  • ladracul

    Whenever I see that sketch, I think of this website…

    http://www.midi-nette.com/mana/ (In Japanese)

    It looks almost like the same hall…

    Anyway, the US version of this sketch said he turned into Guy Lombardo, but the DVDs were taken from the UK master tapes, so Jack Parnell (Who composed the music) is mentioned.

  • Strange Kid

    Aren't all spooky halls about the same, haha. Wow, that is one freaky site though… I like it!

    That's interested about the differences in the US and UK version, I totally missed that. Thanks :)

  • ladracul

    Also, I just read that Uncle Deadly MAY be included in "The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made" according to Tough Pigs-

    http://www.toughpigs.com/muppet-movie-table-reading/

  • Strange Kid

    Oh, now that is too cool!

    This is the first I've heard of the film. Sounds like its still in early development but who cares, we could see Uncle Deadly again (possibly, maybe)!

  • Paxton

    Yes, what a great Muppet. I had totally forgotten about him.