Weekly HUMAN Wednesdays: The Storyteller

The Weekly Human Wednesdays series is written by Kyle Mahoney.


Performed by…
John Hurt

First appearance…
The Storyteller Episode 101: “Hans My Hedgehog” (1987)

Best known role…
Old man who spends his time in his castle telling stories with his Dog; former prisoner/storyteller to a king.

Friends and family…
The Dog, and a possible nameless wife (it’s not clear if she was real or just part of a story)

The Storyteller is the person who is saved the best seat by the fire. Not that there’s anyone else to hear his stories besides the viewer and The Dog (performed by Brian Henson). It’s not always clear how he knows the stories, in some cases he heard the story from a friend, in other cases he was actually there when the story happened.

In “A Story Short” it is shown that The Storyteller was once a beggar, and he tricked the royal cook into cooking “Stone Soup” and upon realizing he was tricked, the cook brought the Storyteller to the King to be boiled in oil. The Storyteller pleads to the King, and the king agrees that if he tells a story every day for a year, he will be set free. During his time in the kingdom, he gets married. But on his last day he can’t think of a story. That is until he gambles with a beggar and loses everything and goes on an adventure as a hare and a flea with the beggar. Eventually he wakes up and realizes it was a dream. He then tells the king that he has no story to tell due to his dream adventure. But the King states that it was the best story ever told. The Storyteller also appeared in “Hans My Hedgehog” as a royal tarot card reader and general entertainer for the king and his family.

It is unknown how the Storyteller and the Dog met, I like to think that the dog showed up at his castle asking for table scraps and the Storyteller was so impressed at his speaking ability that he let him stay forever. But in honesty not much is known about their history. The Storyteller takes care of the Dog, and the Dog is always interested in his stories, and even will jump in when the Storyteller “isn’t telling it right.”

A short lived series known as “The Storyteller: Greek Myths” also followed the same format; only with a different Storyteller played by Michael Gambon (best known as Albus Dumbledore). He seems to be more adventurous in that he and the dog go exploring in the places where the stories took place. But he lacks the same sense of humor.

If you can’t figure this out by yourself… well, you should probably just watch The StoryTeller then.

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

One thought on “Weekly HUMAN Wednesdays: The Storyteller

  1. The Storyteller had such an influence on me as a child, feeding my obsession with folklore and sharing stories.

    As an adult I've finally admitted that just writing and collecting stories is not enough and after one particularly motivating viewing of The Storyteller I signed up public speaking classes, then to the Melbourne Fringe Festival with my own storytelling show (with music and puppetry…sound familiar?). Now I'm getting opportunities to tell stories at all sorts of events popping up all over the place.

    So I guess I have a lot to thank The Storyteller for.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s