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Ernst Stavros Grouper

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Character.grouper
PERFORMER Bill Barretta
DEBUT 1997

International financier and media mogul Ernst Stavros Grouper is a green fish, usually seen with an eyepatch. He is the Chairman and CEO of The Grouper Group, which bought out Carni-Vore Industries, the company that owns KMUP, in Muppets Tonight episode 205. The Grouper Group also produces action films starring Jean Dodd van Clamme.

Grouper's eyepatch regularly shifts from one eye to another in between shots, echoing a gag from Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. His name is a parody of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a villain who appears in several of the James Bond films. Though the character's proper introduction occurs in episode 205, the puppet appears in the background in previous episodes, including "EIEIO-R" skits and most notably episode 204. In the latter, Grouper appeared in "The Spy in the Casino Sketch," where Pierce Brosnan referred to him as "Blowfish."

The puppet was originally seen as a member of The Dave Carp Five on The Jim Henson Hour.

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