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DEBUT 1988

An Unemployed Bear is profiled by Khriusha the Pig in the 1988 TV special Free to Be... a Family, as part of a documentary film exchange between the Muppets of the United States of America and the Russian "Puppets of Soviet Television."

Khriusha interviews the bear, who lives in a cardboard shack, with a "Feed the Bear" cardboard sign attached to the wall behind it. The bear has been unemployed most of his life, but a year ago, he did land a job with a prestigious Wall Street investment banking firm. He worked on the floor of the exchange as a doormat, but was told he could work his way up.

The bear's path to success is halted suddenly when his bosses (played by Marlo Thomas and Whoopi Goldberg) suffer a financial setback (the result of carrying scads of cash under their hats and coats in public, as the money is dropped and picked up by the populace). The bear is unceremoniously thrown out and lands on the very street corner where he now lives. He is still seeking the American dream, however.

In fleeting shots of the standing bear, a full-bodied puppet is used, performed by Shari Weiser.

See also