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Frackles

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Hr Four-Monsters

Two Frackles with the Screaming Thing and the Koozebanian Phoob.

The Frackles are a group of monsters who first appeared in the 1970 special The Great Santa Claus Switch as the henchmen of Cosmo Scam, the villain who tried to replace Santa Claus.

The group included Snivelly, Boppity and Gloat, among others. Several of the Frackles were later reused or reworked for other projects, including The Muppet Show. And some changed to monsters or other creatures - such as Gonzo (originally known as a cigar box Frackle) who moved away from the Frackle label to become a "whatever".

Five Frackles were mentioned by name in the lyrics of a song featured in The Great Santa Claus Switch. However they were never mentioned by those names again; their names were either changed or not mentioned at all thereafter. When the Frackles were referred to after that special, they were either named after their performer, color, shape or design. The Jim Henson Company does not have any official files, publications or material with the song's names included. Boppity and Gloat, for example, were officially known within the Henson organization as Blue Frackle and Green Frackle, respectively. The Frackles became nameless and personality-less monsters, similar to Whatnots, Anything Muppets, and Anything Monsters. They often changed appearance, performer, name and gender depending on the sketch. The Frackles had no distinct traits or personality, and functioned as utility monsters.

Six new Frackles debuted in the fifth season of The Muppet Show, similar in design to the established Frackles. In 2001, when the Muppets appeared on Family Feud, a new Frackle named Mo was introduced.

When Fraggle Rock was in development, the question arose of choosing a name for the characters' species. According to Michael K. Frith, Jerry Juhl kept returning to the moniker "Frackle," which when softened to "Fraggle," became the final choice.[1]

Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones suggests that the word may come from "Grackle," another name for blackbird. [2] The major Frackles are all birdlike.

The definition of what is a Frackle, rather than a generic monster, narrowed over time. It appears that as originally sketched for The Great Santa Claus Switch, all of Cosmo Scam's henchmen could be called Frackles, and in a 1971 Dick Cavett Show appearance, Jim Henson offhandedly refers to Lothar and Thog in this way. However, dialogue by Cosmo Scam in the special seems to suggest that only the smaller creatures are Frackles. By the time of The Muppet Show, only the birdlike creatures were referred to as Frackles, and any new Frackles created resemble Boppity and Gloat, thus defining what exactly a Frackle is.

Frackles

Boppity Season 1
Boppity 2
Bluefrackle
Boppity
Blue Frackle MOPATOPS
BlueFrackle1992
GSCS 8368 BlueFrackleSketch
Blue Frackle[3]

A blue Frackle was one of the standard Frackles on The Muppet Show. He was first used as Boppity in The Great Santa Claus Switch, where he had yellow eyes. He was given googly white eyes for The Muppet Show. His design changed for episode 119 (changes include a better eye focus, a lighter beak and an adjusted ear shape). In 1992, in Muppet Christmas Carol, he was rebuilt to look more like his original design. He was later rebuilt in the late 90's for Mopatop's Shop. In The Muppets Character Encyclopedia, he's listed as "Bolshy blue Frackle".

Filmography

Book Appearances

Gloat Season 1
Greenfrackle
Green frackle puppet
Green Frackle MOPATOPS
Green Frackle[4]

A green Frackle was one of the standard Frackles on The Muppet Show. He was first used as Gloat in The Great Santa Claus Switch, where he originally had yellow eyes and a blue inner mouth (lips). For The Muppet Show, he was given white eyes and a green inner mouth (lips). He was rebuilt for Mopatop's Shop. In The Muppets Character Encyclopedia, he's listed as "Grumpy green Frackle".

Filmography

Book Appearances

Snake Frackle
GSCS 8364 SnakeFrackleSketch
Snake Frackle[5]

A green Frackle was used in the background of The Great Santa Claus Switch, as well as The Muppet Show, The Ghost of Faffner Hall and other programs.

Filmography


Cigar Box Frackle Cigar Box Frackle[6]

A crook-nosed Frackle was used as Snarl in The Great Santa Claus Switch and would later become the basis for Gonzo.

Filmography

Droop Dripsnout Frackle[7]

A Frackle design used for Snivelly, Droop, and others.


Scoff Blue Frackle[8]

A blue bird-like Frackle was seen in the 1970 special The Great Santa Claus Switch as Scoff. In early seasons of The Muppet Show, it was often seen paired with a Green Frackle. The puppet was referred to as "Blue Frackle" in a sketch drawn by Jim Henson.

Filmography

Scoff2 Green Frackle[9]

A green bird-like Frackle was seen in early seasons of The Muppet Show. The Frackle was occasionally portrayed as a female monster, but unlike other Frackles, only the voice changed in this respect and not the physical appearance of the character.

Filmography

Character.mofrackleMo Frackle Mo Frackle

A green Frackle named Mo appeared with the Muppet team on Family Feud in 2001. He was built by James Wojtal, and originally named Skankin.

Scabby Scabby Frackle[10]

A teal frackle built by James Wojtal. The character was originally named Rankin, and was featured in Macy's Windows.


Pink FracklePink Frackle MOPATOPS A pink Frackle debuted in episode 507 of The Muppet Show. This character was refurbished for Mopatop's Shop.

Filmography


Purple FracklePurpleFrackle2 A light purple Frackle with yellow eyes debuted in episode 507 of The Muppet Show.

Filmography


Elderly Frackle

PurpleFrackle

A Frackle with light purple skin, grayish fur, no ears, and claws debuted in episode 507 of The Muppet Show.

Filmography

Dark Green Hunchback Frackle Jade Green Frackle

A dark green hunchbacked Frackle debuted in episode 507 of The Muppet Show. The monster is prominently featured in bonus material on the Blu-ray release of The Muppets, where he is named J. G.

Filmography

Greenlong-beakedFrackle A green long-beaked Frackle debuted in episode 507 of The Muppet Show. With a longer, darker green beak and olive-colored fur, this Frackle bore a slight resemblance to the Snake Frackle.

Filmography

Green Boppity
Green Frackle 2 MOPATOPS copy
A green-furred Frackle made his debut in episode 507 of The Muppet Show. With green fur ears and head but a fleshy face which changed between orange and pink, this Frackle bore a slight resemblance to the Blue Frackle. This Frackle was also refurbished for Mopatop's Shop.

Filmography

See also

Frackle sketch

Jim Henson's sketch of a few Frackles

Sources

  1. Jim Henson: The Works
  2. Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones, EPUB page 35.
  3. The Muppet Show Annual 1978
  4. The Muppet Show Annual 1978
  5. Jim Henson's Designs and Doodles
  6. Dave Goelz Interview
  7. Jim Henson's Designs and Doodles
  8. Jim Henson's design sketches
  9. The Muppet Show Annual 1977
  10. Muppet Central Forum

Start a Discussion Discussions about Frackles

  • Blue Frackle in MMW?

    3 messages
    • This image doesn't do it much justice, but you can see him in the back with Blind Pew during the wide show finale. He's a tad more noticeable...
    • Thanks Shane! Looks like they used the Mopatop rebuild of the character.

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