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PERFORMER Jerry Nelson 1980-2002
  Matt Vogel 2011-present
DEBUT 1980

Pops, the stage doorman.


Pops autograph via Jerry Nelson.


Pops with his fellow Muppet Show seniors in The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years.


Pops in The Muppet Christmas Carol.


Pops manning the Muppet Theatre ticket booth in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie.


Pops on the set of OK Go's "Muppet Show Theme" music video.


Pops doorknocker-style "Door Ding" app icon on Muppets Now.

Pops is the stage doorman for The Muppet Theatre. He's supposed to greet the guests when they first arrive -- though the nearsighted and forgetful Pops invariably needs to ask, "Who're you?" in his slight country accent.

Pops was first introduced during the fifth season of The Muppet Show, where he was featured in the Cold Open of each episode. This was a departure from the previous three seasons, which had featured Scooter talking to the guest stars in their dressing room. (No cold open was used before the opening titles during Season 1.)

Outside of his expository function in establishing the guest star, Pops appeared three times onstage. First, in the episode 508, he took on the role of Geppetto to perform "Puppet Man" with Pinocchio. He then performed "Once in Love with Amy" with Fozzie in the UK Spot in episode 512, where he reveals he used to be a stage performer back in 1948. His last onstage appearance was in a sketch where Professor Salamander hypnotized him in episode 520. In The Muppets comic strip, he also took on the responsibilities of running the wardrobe and props departments.

His most substantial role was as the owner of the Happiness Hotel in The Great Muppet Caper. He also appeared briefly at the end of the musical number "Scrooge" in The Muppet Christmas Carol. Although barely glimpsed in Muppet Treasure Island, he had a larger role in the video game version, where he runs a clothing store and, as part of a minigame/sidequest, will pay Hawkins if he protects his shop from pirates.

After that, Pops wasn't seen for several years. On Muppets Tonight, Bobo the Bear filled the function of greeter, in addition to serving as security guard.

However, when The Muppet Theatre re-opened in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, Pops was back on hand selling tickets. In "Kermit's Story," the first in Roger Langridge's four-issue run of The Muppet Show Comic Book, Pops was seen delivering the mail to the Muppets, including the letter to Kermit that sets off the main plot. He often makes appearances in the comic book. At the end of part 2 of The Muppet Show Comic Book: Muppet Mash, when Calistoga Cleo chooses Pops over Statler or Waldorf, Waldorf says "Well, we knew she preferred older guys", implying that Pops is older than Statler and Waldorf.

Pops spoke for the first time since performer Jerry Nelson's retirement in an online behind-the-scenes video for the music video of OK Go's cover of "The Muppet Show Theme." Matt Vogel assumed the role at that point, and he spoke for him again in a 2013 Muppisode (with Gordon Ramsay) and in Muppets Most Wanted. Pops appeared in a 2020 Muppet holiday video (for Oscar night), revealing he is the "World's Best Grandpa," and he attempts to wrest the trophy from the grasp of Miss Piggy.

Palisades Toys produced a Pops Action Figure in their ninth and final series of Jim Henson's Muppets Action Figures.


Book appearances[]