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Waldorf's on the left, Statler's on the right.
PERFORMER Richard Hunt Statler, 1976-1991
  Jim Henson Waldorf, 1975-1990
DEBUT 1975
DESIGN Bonnie Erickson designer/builder

Statler and Waldorf are a pair of elderly Muppet characters known for their cantankerous opinions and shared penchant for heckling. They share the stage left balcony box in The Muppet Theatre, and the two delight in heckling every aspect of The Muppet Show.

Waldorf is the one with the rounder face, white hair, and a moustache; while Statler has a longer face, bushy grey eyebrows, and a cleft chin. They first appeared as a pair in the 1975 pilot The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, watching the show on television while sitting in their den and drinking brandy. Fans and pop culture have sometimes referred to them simply as the "two old guys in the balcony."[1]


Rarely seen without one another, most of what is learned about Statler and Waldorf's respective home lives comes from their dialogue with one another. They have both been married multiple times, and Statler mentions once having dated Lionel Barrymore. Most notably, Waldorf is married to Astoria during the time of The Muppet Show and Statler has at least one known grandson. References in The Muppets newspaper comics include Statler's recurring nightmare of waking up to his wife every morning in the September 17, 1983 strip and a surprise birthday party she plans to throw for him in the October 8, 1983 strip.

The Muppet Show[]

Despite constantly complaining about the show and how terrible some acts are, they always return for the following week and occupy their usual pair of seats in the balcony. Their reasons for doing so are a mystery even to them, according to one version of "The Muppet Show Theme," Waldorf asks "Why do we always come here?" to which Statler replies "I guess we'll never know."

The two usually have the last word, with a final comment at the end of each episode (except for episodes 123, 217, 314, and 515), and are especially unforgiving to Fozzie Bear and his comedy acts.

In episode 319, Statler's Grandson visits with the pair. And in Episode 413, Waldorf brings his wife, Astoria, to the show; her physical appearance resembles that of Statler in drag.

While often just audience members heckling from the balcony, the pair did appear on stage to perform in a few episodes of The Muppet Show; including performing "The Varsity Drag" in Episode 208, "Take Ten Terrific Girls" in Episode 409, and playing Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in Episode 506. Statler and Waldorf get their chance to do a better show than the Muppets and they play host for Episode 517, while Kermit and Fozzie watch from the balcony.

Movie appearances[]


The duo watching themselves on TV.

The pair are the first Muppets to speak in The Muppet Movie, arriving at the studio and announcing they are there to "heckle the Muppet movie." They appear again in The Great Muppet Caper (commenting on Kermit and Piggy's bike ride) and in The Muppets Take Manhattan (attending the performance of "Manhattan Melodies").

In The Muppet Christmas Carol, they play the ghosts of Scrooge's business partners, Jacob and Robert Marley. In Muppet Treasure Island, Statler and Waldorf are the Figurehead of the Hispaniola. In The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, they appear as the Kalidah Critics, strange beasts who shout insults at anyone attempting to cross a treacherous bridge. Younger versions of Statler and Waldorf make a cameo appearance in the prequel movie Kermit's Swamp Years.

The duo took on a featured role in The Muppets, sharing the fine print of the Muppet contract with villain Tex Richman. Of course, Statler and Waldorf don't realize that Tex plans to raze Muppet Studios and drill for oil, which would mean the end of their balcony - and their heckling.

In Muppets Most Wanted, they travel with the Muppets watching their touring show. And they say Miss Piggy's performance of the Macarena has made the show even worse, managing the impossible.

On the web[]

2009 S+W

Statler and Waldorf online

From 2005 to 2006, Statler and Waldorf starred in a bi-weekly online series, From the Balcony, on the website In the series of short videos, the crotchety pair dished on the latest movie releases.

They also appeared in a closing tag on many of the Muppets' web videos, sitting behind the keyboard at a computer and heckling the content with curmudgeonly comments. They appeared in similar tags on The Muppet Show Theme Song music video, Haunted Holidays videos and other web shorts.

The two also appeared in a series of videos showcasing their tech illiteracy on Disney Xtreme Digital. In 2017 the characters launched a Twitter account (@StatlerWaldorf) where they often heckle the Muppets tweets.

Other appearances[]


The pair in a 1990s promotional photo.


The duo in their nursing home in Muppets Tonight

It is revealed in A Muppet Family Christmas that the two critics are friends with Fozzie's mother, Ma Bear.

Animated versions of Statler and Waldorf appeared during the series' final two seasons of Muppet Babies (referred to by the babies as "Uncle Statler and Uncle Waldorf"). The duo appeared again in the 2018 reboot as the neighbors of Miss Nanny.

The duo are featured characters at Disney's Muppet*Vision 3D as audio-animatronics heckling the show from the balcony.

On the first season of Muppets Tonight, Statler and Waldorf are seen watching the show from the living room of what appears to be a retirement home. In the second season, they watch the show in various locations, from a portable television on the golf course to a giant screen in Time Square.

They appeared as regular audience members of "Up Late with Miss Piggy" on The Muppets ABC television series. The episode "Pig Out" features a B-plot focusing on the duo being separated. They also featured prominently in the third episode of Muppets Now.

The duo made a cameo appearance in the season finale of The Muppets Mayhem, making them the only established Muppet characters outside of the Electric Mayhem to appear in the series.

Behind the scenes[]


Jim Henson and Richard Hunt with Waldorf and Statler on the set of The Muppet Show.

The puppets, originally labeled simply as "Old Men," were designed and built by Bonnie Erickson. They first appeared in The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence.

Prior to the start of The Muppet Show, the Waldorf puppet was used as P. Fenton Cosgrove in the 1975 Muppet Meeting Films "The Muppet Introduction" and "Just a Few Announcements," and appeared as "Conrad Waldorf" in a 1976 UK appearance on Des O'Connor Entertains.

Traditionally, Statler sits on the right and Waldorf on the left; however through the years there have been a few instances where their positions have been reversed; the most noteworthy example is their debut in The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence.

Statler and Waldorf were named after two New York City hotels -- the Statler Hotel (which was renamed the Hotel Pennsylvania in 1992), and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Waldorf's wife, Astoria, completes the set.

According to one of the puppet builders and costumers for The Muppets, Statler's body shape is identical to that of Uncle Deadly.[2]

Casting History[]




Primary Performers

Other Performers




Primary Performers

Other Performers



  1. - Character Profiles
  2. eBay listing by tuckerman123; contains the following quotation: "You can reverse engineer the frock coat to get an accurate body shape for Uncle Deadly, and in doing so, you’ll have the pattern for Statler’s body. I’ve made Statler and Waldorf’s body and clothed all of them. Statler and Uncle Deadly are the same body. Same hump, same shape."

See also[]


External links[]