Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Lyle the Dog

WMW Lyle

Today’s Weekly Muppet Wednesday post is written by our friend Maxwell Jessop who brings us probably the most obscure character ever to be spotlighted in one of these posts. This character is so obscure, in fact, that I had to look him up on Muppet Wiki to figure out exactly which character we were talking about. So… this one’s for you, uber-obsessed fans! And for everyone else, including me, join me in a resound chorus of “Who?!” as we present…


Performed by…Lyle
Various (1979-1996)

First appearance…
The Muppet Show Episode 414: Liza Minnelli (1979)

Most recent appearance…
Muppet Treasure Island (1996)

Best known role…
Background dog

Lyle is a Muppet dog who has appeared in the background of various Muppet productions such as The Muppet Show, The Jim Henson Hour, and Dog City. In these appearances his roles have included an All-Dog Network Announcer, Colonel Claghound, and an exercise coach, but Lyle has mostly stayed in the background.

Lyle also appeared in two Muppet movies, The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island (in which he appeared as one of the pirates), and the special The Muppets at Walt Disney World.

Lyle Conway designed Lyle the Dog and built the puppet as well. Conway also served as the character’s namesake.

Lyle may be a background character but he does have a few moments in he spotlight. His debut was in the UK Spot of the Liza Minnelli episode of The Muppet Show where he sang “Pass the Peace Pipe” with three other dogs who, along with himself, died after being hit by a bow and arrow.

Lyle also appeared in the episode “Much Ado About Mad Dog” of the Dog City series as Colonel Claghound who was a hearty business man with a Texan accent who, in the episode, worked on a business deal with Terri Springer.

Lyle is a mostly background type character, which is a good thing. The Muppets need a big ensemble. Without an ensemble, the Muppets would be a group of only nine or ten characters. Along with that, they need dogs. The Muppets just wouldn’t be the Muppets without a cast of animals.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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