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Chip

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Chip eyes blink
Chip's eyes have a unique blinking mechanism
PERFORMER Gord Robertson 1989
  Dave Goelz 2015
DEBUT 1989
DESIGN John Stephenson,
Michael Frith designers
  Tim Miller builder

Chip is a nerdy technician who appeared in 1989's The Jim Henson Hour and 2015's The Muppets.

Chip originally worked for Gorilla Television, the pirate broadcasting operation seen in the MuppeTelevision segments of The Jim Henson Hour and was performed by Gord Robertson. The Gorilla crew despised popular television entertainment, including that of the Muppets, so they tried to seize control of the show and broadcast their own material instead. Chip's Gorilla Television cohorts were Zondra and Ubu.

Chip has an egg-shaped head, a protruding set of upper teeth and large eyes with shutter-style blinking pupils. He wears red-framed spectacles and a plaid jacket. In his early appearances he often wore an "ALF for President" button on the lapel, referencing NBC's other prime-time puppet show of the time.

In addition to The Jim Henson Hour, Chip made silent background appearances in Muppets Tonight, Muppets from Space, It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, and The Muppets' Wizard of Oz.

After a ten year absence from the Muppets (in which he earned a degree in Synergistic Informational Technology & Modern Dance),[1] Chip appeared in a network pitch for ABC (now played by Dave Goelz). He appears alongside fellow "obscure Muppets" asking if they will be included (and struggling to remember what Muppet production he's from).

The pilot sold The Muppets as a series where Chip works in IT for Up Late with Miss Piggy. In the series, Chip struggles with social boundaries, having read a number of e-mail exchanges between Gonzo and his online match Debbie, for example ("Bear Left Then Bear Write"). In "Single All the Way", he describes his experience with synesthesia to Sam, explaining that he discovered he could sometimes see numbers as colors since he was yellow and a half years old.

The original sketch for Chip (pictured below) came from Michael Frith. He is a caricature of Muppet writer (and Frith colleague) Bill Prady, a nod to Prady's earlier career as a computer programmer.[2]

In the audio commentary on the DVD release of Muppets from Space, Gonzo and Rizzo refer to him as "Lester Zidwango".

See also

Sources

  1. Chip's profile on ABC.com
  2. E-mail correspondence with Bill Prady via Scott Hanson

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