Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Bad Bart

WMW Bad Bart

Written by Michael Baldasare. Special thanks to our great friend Chris Stulz for his fantastic Photoshop work!


Performed by…Bad Bart
Jim Henson

First appearance…
Sesame Street Season 5 (1973-1974)

Most recent appearance…
Sesame Street Season 15 (1983-1984)
Best known role…
Cowboy who seems angry and mean, but is really harmless

Memorable quotes…
“You’ve got four good men, and one bad one–me! I’m Bad Bart!”

Bad Bart is a villainous cowboy who appeared in a series of Old West-themed sketches on Sesame Street. He initially comes off as angry and mean, but by the end of the sketches he always turns out to be harmless. His attitude is very similar to the another cowboy character, Sinister Sam, and they are both made from the same large lavender live-hand Anything Muppet pattern.

Bad Bart appeared in numerous Old West sketches on the show. In the first of these sketches, a sheriff searched for five good men to form a posse and catch Bad Bart. The sheriff could only find four good men–and one bad one, Bad Bart (of course). This was the only time that Bad Bart was portrayed as bad throughout the entire sketch.

In another sketch, Bad Bart was searching for a character named Marshal Earp to give her a big surprise. Bad Bart informed the frightened townspeople that a surprise is something someone doesn’t expect, in order to prevent them from warning Marshal. Eventually, all the hype and fear turned out to be a birthday cake for Marshal Earp from Bad Bart.

The character was later revised and refurbrished when he made his last appearance in the Old West sketch from Season 15. In his final sketch, Clementine informed the townspeople of Bad Bart’s impending arrival where he would “give someone what they deserve.” Bad Bart entered the saloon looking for the bartender. Bart reminded the bartender that last week he had forgotten to pay the bartender for a drink, so he gave him what he deserved: his money.

Though Bad Bart was no longer seen on the show after this, he did make illustrated appearances in The Sesame Street Dictionary (1980) and in the Who’s Who on Sesame Street? coloring book (1977) where he was seen with a very rare illustrated character, Black Barney.

They don’t need Bad Bart! He’s bad! …Isn’t he? I can never keep it straight.

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

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