Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Twiddlebugs

WMW Twiddlebugs

Today’s article is written by Michael Baldasare.


TwiddlebugPerformed by…
Jim Henson (Thomas Twiddlebug)
Frank Oz (Tessie Twiddlebug)
Richard Hunt (Timmy Twiddlebug)
Jerry Nelson (Tina Twiddlebug)

First appearance…
Sesame Street Season 2 (1970)

Most recent appearance…
Sesame Street Season 37 (2006)

Best known role…
Cute species of colorful insects who live in Ernie’s window box

The Twiddlebugs are a species of colorful insects of Sesame Street. They live in Ernie’s window box and so many of them can be found anywhere on the street. While the species was established during Season 2 (1970-1971), the main Twiddlebug family made their debut in Season 5 (1973-1974). The Twiddlebug family of four (consisting of Thomas, Tessie, Timmy, and Tina Twiddlebug) was seen most frequently on the show and made appearances in Sesame Street merchandise. Many other nondescript Twiddlebugs could be seen frequently in most Sesame Street merchandise including books.

On the show, the main Twiddlebug family found themselves facing difficult challenges, such as taking their car to the zoo or hanging a postage stamp on the wall. It would be easy for them to simply give up their situations but they kept working until the problem was solved. When the Twiddlebugs worked things out with collective brainstorming and cooperation, they always managed to overcome any tribulation. As the Twiddlebugs celebrate their triumph, we realize that their ultimate solution was probably the most illogical.

Other Twiddlebugs outside the main family have appeared in many Sesame Street books. Another Twiddlebug puppet seen on the show was the Superintendent Twiddlebug who once fixed the Twiddlebugs’ smoke detector. Though the main Twiddlebug family live in Ernie’s window box, there are other Twiddlebug homes and communities in other window boxes on Sesame Street. Twiddlebug Town is located in Elmo’s window box and it is led by Mayor Thaddeus Twiddlebug.

Sesame Street really needs the Twiddlebugs to make it colorful and to make the neighborhood sweet. I mean, there are so many of them to find almost anywhere or everywhere. And all I could say to the main Twiddlebug family who always tried to challenge difficulties, “Don’t give up, little Twiddlebugs. Do your best and make things right like the rest of us do.”

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

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