PERFORMER Jerry Nelson
DEBUT 1980

A Sacrificial Idol was seen in a sketch from episode 419 of The Muppet Show, posed as the center of worship by a group of pigs. Chosen as their lamb, Janice has been tied to a grill set over roasting flames. Naturally, she breaks out into a rendition of the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends," a prayer which is answered when the remaining members of The Electric Mayhem show up to rescue her.

The idol itself appears to have a mixed origin. Its design resembles that of several deities from Hindu tradition, including Garuda, and Vishnu, likewise the embodiment of a conscience entity displayed here in literal terms. However, the actions performed in the ritual do not exactly mimic those of any figure found in that religion. The Muppet Show writers and designers, instead, parody the sterotypical representation of what audiences have come to "know" about human sacrifice -- in any tradition -- from Hollywood.

Despite this, the idol, fictitious or not, is displayed as a figure of worship... who happens to enjoy the Beatles' later work.

See also

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