Uncle Deadly is a blue, reptilian-looking creature, also known as "the Phantom of the Muppet Show". Deadly made occasional appearances on The Muppet Show, and faded from prominence when the show ended. In 2011, Deadly returned in a pivotal role in The Muppets, as Tex Richman's henchman.
Although he made his first appearance alongside Vincent Price on episode 119 of The Muppet Show, Uncle Deadly did not receive his proper introduction until episode 121. One by one, the Muppets tell Kermit that they have seen a phantom, but Kermit refuses to believe them until he sees Uncle Deadly with his own eyes. Once revealed, Uncle Deadly explains that he used to perform at the Muppet Theater, where he once played his most difficult role, Othello. On opening night he was killed... by the critics.
Uncle Deadly sang a handful of songs on the show, including "Sheik of Araby" and a bar of "You're Just in Love" with Ethel Merman. He was featured in the Muppet Melodrama sketches with Miss Piggy and Wayne in the third season, of which only two were made. Although he didn't have a major role in most of the Muppet movies, Uncle Deadly did appear in the final group scenes at the end of The Muppet Movie and The Muppets Take Manhattan. He also appeared on The Tonight Show in 1979 when Kermit the Frog hosted, where he was reunited with Vincent Price.
In the December 2000 issue of the Writers' Guild magazine Written By, which featured interviews with Muppet writers Jim Lewis, Kirk Thatcher and John Derevlany, it was mentioned that one of the projects Thatcher had in development was a silly Goosebumps-type TV show called "Uncle Deadly's House of Badness." The project never got off the ground, and it's unknown if a pilot was filmed or if a script was even completed.
After over twenty years of absence, Uncle Deadly returned in The Muppets, as the "sinister second-in-command" to Tex Richman. In an interview, Uncle Deadly explained that in his spare time, he had been haunting Stage 28 (one of the filming locations for the movie), switching every other day with The Phantom of the Opera. They both took the weekends off; "even a phantom must rest." (YouTube)
He and Bobo also cameo together during the wedding scene in Muppets Most Wanted.
- Early concept artwork depicts the character as a gargoyle-like creature.
- In The Muppets junior novelization, Uncle Deadly is described as a "dragon".
- The Muppet Show
- "The Muppet Show Theme" (Seasons 2 - 5)
- Episode 119 ("House of Horror sketch", "You've Got a Friend", Backstage, Goodnight)
- Episode 121 (Backstage, Goodnight)
- Episode 122 ("You're Just in Love," "Mutual Admiration Society," Goodnight)
- Episode 207 ("Consider Yourself," Goodnight)
- Episode 208 (Audience)
- Episode 212 ("Sheik of Araby")
- Episode 217 ("I Whistle a Happy Tune")
- Episode 304 (Muppet Melodrama, Goodnight)
- Episode 306 (Muppet Melodrama)
- Episode 308 (Opening)
- The Tonight Show
- The Muppet Movie (The Rainbow Connection finale)
- The Muppets Take Manhattan (Wedding Finale)
- The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years
- The Muppets at Walt Disney World (introduction with Michael Eisner)
- "The Muppet Show Theme" music video
- The Muppets (and press kit interviews)
- Muppets Most Wanted
- The Comic Muppet Book
- The Muppet Show Book
- Muppet Show Advent calendar
- Fozzie's Big Book of Sidesplitting Jokes
- Jim Henson's Muppet Show Bill
- Muppet Magazine - Fall 1983 (standing in for Scooter in a Halloween makeup feature)
- The Muppet Show Comic Book - issues #1 & 3
- The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson - issue #3
- Muppet Robin Hood - issue #2
- Muppet King Arthur - issue #1 (David Petersen cover) & issue #4 (crowd scenes)
- Muppet Snow White - issues #2-4 (as a hired assassin)
- The Muppets: Meet the Muppets
- The Muppets Character Encyclopedia
- Black Pete card game
- Uncle Deadly Action Figure
- Uncle Deadly as Emperor Palpatine action figure
- Vinylmation figure