The Swinetrek approaches the meaning of life.

Plaque kermit director

Plaque by Hallmark

The meaning of life is a frequently-questioned subject, dealing with the significance and role of life on not only this planet, but the Universe.

The answer to the question was nearly reached by the crew of the Swinetrek in episode 501 of The Muppet Show. As the crew reaches the edge of the universe, they learn they will discover the meaning and purpose of life, but are too impatient to stick around to find out, missing out on the answer. The Newsman apparently received the answer, only to misplace the sheet of paper. The Announcer found out but refused to tell, taunting, "I know something you don't know!"

The subject was also tackled upon in two Panel Discussions on The Muppet Show: episode 109 (What is man's role in the universe?) and episode 110 (the meaning of life). Dinosaurs took on the question in the season four episode "The Greatest Story Ever Sold."

"Why Are We Here?" served as the topic for Kermit the Frog's speech at the 2014 TED conference in Mississippi.

In a 2016 appearance in the "Big Questions with Even Bigger Stars" segment on The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert asked guest Kermit the Frog if he ever wondered why we're here. Kermit responded: "I think it's because your people reached out to my agent." (YouTube)


Jim Henson:

  • "Life is meant to be fun, and joyous, and fulfilling. ... Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It's a good life, enjoy it."[1]
  • "I think it's not particularly necessary to lead a religious life. People progress just as well in music, or art, or math, or science, or gardening, or whatever. It all seems to work as well and the process is good."[2]
  • "I believe that life is basically a process of growth—that we go through many lives, choosing those situations and problems that we will learn through."[3]

Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher:

  • "Life's like a movie, write your own ending."[4]


  • "DRUMS!!!!! FOOD!!!!! BUNNIES!!!!!!"[5]

Big Bird:

  • "You only get here once, so try to do a good job while having a lot of fun and do nice things for other people. Remember, we're all brothers and sisters."[6]

Cookie Monster:

  • "Life not all guessing games...sometimes, we have to care about friends, especially friends who love cookies."[7]

Count von Count:

  • "May you always have the things that really count in life, like friends, so you can count them!"[8]

An Elephant:

  • "To chase a monster through the Monster Clubhouse is to live."[9]


  • "Um, the meaning of life for Elmo is respecting your elders by saying Mr. and Ms. and saying thank you and also giving lots of loves and kisses. That's the meaning of life for Elmo."[10]

Harvey Korman:

  • "Life is a great deal like a tennis game."[11]

Kermit the Hermit:

  • "A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z." (script version)[12]

Male Pig:

  • "Life is a garbage dump, if you want the truth."[11]

Gary and Walter:

  • "Life's a happy song when there's someone by your side to sing along."[13]

Pepe the King Prawn:

  • "I like life...it's a good cereal, yes, especially the cinnamon, okay."[14]


  • "Hey, I tell you what is. Big city, hmm? Live, work, huh? But not city only. Only peoples. Peoples is peoples. No is buildings. Is tomatoes, huh? Is peoples, is dancing, is music, is potatoes. So, peoples is peoples. Okay?"[15]

See also


  1. A letter for his family to be read after his death.
  2. Jim Henson: The Biography, Kindle location 8264
  3. It's Not Easy Being Green, Kindle location 742
  4. "The Magic Store"
  5. Instagram Q&A, October 19, 2018
  6. "A Conversation with Caroll & Debra Spinney," Northampton Academy of Music, February 12, 2016. (YouTube) (12:50)
  7. Sesame Street Mystery Box sketch
  8. A New Baby in My House
  9. Monster Clubhouse
  10. Ask Elmo
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Muppet Show episode 110
  12. Memoirs of a Muppets Writer, page 102
  13. "Life's a Happy Song"
  14. Muppets Tonight episode 205
  15. The Muppets Take Manhattan
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