Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Vendaface


Written by Mitchell Stein and Ahmad Usufzy.


Performed by…
Jerry Nelson

First Appearance…
The Muppet Show Episode 121: Twiggy (1976)

Most Recent Appearance…
The Muppet Show Episode 318: Leslie Uggams (1978)

Best known role…
Makeover vending machine

Vendaface is a face vending machine on The Muppet Show who rarely (if ever) satisfies its customers with what they want (on the contrary, most of his customers get a good beating). Vendaface first appeared in Episode 121 of The Muppet Show guest starring Twiggy. Vendaface was a machine created to give advice and help to the Muppets with a handy face lift or even for psychology purposes. Much like for many of the other voice-over positions on The Muppet Show, Jerry Nelson provided the voice to the machine.

In it’s first on-screen appearance, Fozzie seeks psychiatric evaluation from Vendaface, who alerts him he is much too generous and has a bad temper. The sketch ends with Vendaface choking poor Fozzie, Vendaface made several other appearances after that sketch where it plays a “face lift machine” rather than the psychiatric machine it played in it’s first appearance. Other appearances include the Kaye Ballard episode, and the Mummenschanz episode, where Statler decides to try out the machine, but Vendaface only helps by punching Statler in the face!

Vendaface also makes a small cameo in a season three episode (Leslie Uggams) but this time as “Vendawish” but missing various different parts. Vendaface was dropped completely after that episode, probably because all it did was injure most of the Muppets.

Season two of the Muppet Show proved that the Muppets in fact do not need Vendaface. According to David Lazer, the puppet was only supposed to appear once, but the machine was so expensive to build that they decided to use him in a few other episodes too.

That being said, even though it hasn’t appeared since the 70s, Vendaface was a worthy addition to the machine type Muppets, plus he really gave us a good laugh. If the Muppets ever need cheap plastic surgery, they should give Vendaface a call.

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

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