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Delbert the La Choy Dragon

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Performer:
Jim Henson • (voice)
Frank Oz • (body)
Lachoydragon

The La Choy Dragon appears in a supermarket.

Delbert the La Choy Dragon appeared in television commercials for La Choy chow mein from 1965 to 1967. In some commercials he was teamed with Mert, a meek, bespectacled Muppet spokesman.

Though originally built as a live-hand character, in 1966 he was rebuilt as a full-bodied character to engage with live actors in domestic settings.[1] The puppet was capable of emitting fire from its mouth, creating a unique effect in the commercial he appeared in.

Frank Oz, who puppeteered the La Choy Dragon to Jim Henson's voice, notably hated performing inside the full-body suit.[2]

Although he's not named on screen, Delbert's name is documented elsewhere. [3][4]

The character was originally conceived as a large bird; Henson filed the drawings away, for later possible use.[5]

A rebuilt version of Delbert has been seen in recent exhibits such as Jim Henson: Puppeteer. The 2010 comic book The Muppet Show Comic Book: Family Reunion makes a reference to the La Choy Dragon in the last panel, showing a giant Delbert in a chef's hat attacking a building as Skeeter prepares to stop him.

Sources

  1. Jim Henson's Red Book entry, 10/25/1966
  2. Plume, Ken. FilmForce Interview. February 10, 2000.
  3. MuppetFest Q&A with Kirk Thatcher
  4. Henson.com Archive
  5. http://www.chroniclebooks.com/blog/2012/11/27/sharing-treasures-from-the-jim-henson-company-archives/

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