Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Polly Lobster

WMW Polly Lobster
Written by Ryan Dosier.
POLLY LOBSTER

Performed by…Polly
Kevin Clash

First appearance…
Muppet Treasure Island (1996)

Most recent appearance…
Muppets Tonight Episode 206: Paula Abdul (1996) 

Best known role…
Long John Silver’s pet lobster, associate of Clueless Morgan and Mad Monty, barrista for Mr. Callahan

Also known as…
Bad Polly

WHO IS POLLY LOBSTER?
Polly Lobster (or Bad Polly) is a temperamental crustacean with a hook for a claw and a tendency to attract nincompoops. He was part of the large cast of pirates in Muppet Treasure Island, where he made his debut as Long John Silver’s pet lobster (“Raised him from a fingerling, I did!”). As Silver’s sidekick, Polly acted as a sort of second in command of of the pirate crew of the Hispaniola, leading the antics of Clueless Morgan and Mad Monty as they sought out the treasure map.

Polly was also a bit player in Muppets Tonight. His role was so small, in fact, that he and Clueless Morgan were merely relegated to the UK Spots on the series; specifically the “Mr. Callahan” sketches in which Polly and Clueless worked as diner operators whose seemingly only customer was a supposed cross-dressing monster named Mr. Callahan who was never seen past his manicured, furry, green arms. The sketches involved Polly and Clueless sharing a laugh over a bad joke and ending in a faulty rendition of an ancient show-tune.

Polly also appeared in the direct-to-video release, “Muppet Treasure Island Sing-Along” and has not been seen since in any form other than an action figure as a pack-in accessory with Palisades Toys’ Series 7 figure of Kermit as Captain Smollett and a brief illustrated role in 2010’s Muppet Snow White.

WHY DO THE MUPPETS NEED POLLY LOBSTER?
Well, obviously the Muppets don’t seem to think they do need him. The poor crustacean hasn’t been seen in 15 years! I, however, think that the trio of Polly, Clueless Morgan, and Mad Monty is one that works really well in the roles of evil henchmen. Since most Muppets don’t fit the villain role very well, having these three play off of future human villains as dopey sidekicks is a fun idea.

Even having them goof around, not really being evil, but being dopey and sort of mean seems to work. This can be seen in Jesse Blaze Snider’s writing of the three characters in issues 3 and 4 of Muppet Snow White where they act as bouncers with Polly serving as the leader. It’s funny and not out of place at all. So… that seems to be Polly’s purpose and I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if we ever get to see him again.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier

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