PERFORMER Jim Henson voice
  Frank Oz puppetry
DEBUT 1965
DESIGN Jim Henson designer
  Don Sahlin builder

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]

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.


See also


  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. Archive
  5. "Big Bird wings in with just one grouch: Oscar", The Age, 15 March 1984, page 40.
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