Muppets Tonight Episode 102: Garth Brooks (1996)
Most recent appearance…
Muppets Tonight Episode 212: Johnny Fiama Leaves Home (1997)
Best known role…
Performer whose head spurts out bubbles
WHO IS BILL THE BUBBLE GUY?
Bill the Bubble Guy is one of the many new original characters who debuted in Muppets Tonight‘s first season. Bill’s schtick is simple: he can blow bubbles out of his head. There’s no rhyme or reason as to why exactly Bill has this talent, but there you go. Bill first appeared as a needy performer in the second episode of Muppets Tonight, trying to convince Clifford to let him be on the show. Clifford refused, but when guest star Garth Brooks refused to perform one of his own songs, the Head of the Network threatened to cancel the show and give Bill the timeslot. Unfortunately for Bill, Garth Brooks finally sang one of his own songs and Bill was left without his own sitcom. (The Big Bubble Theory?)
As Muppets Tonight continued, Bill’s simple (and seemingly only) talent was used as a running gag numerous times. One notable example was in Episode 201, guest starring the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, where Big Mean Carl introduced his new act: Carl the Big Mean Bubble Guy. Bill protests, and ends up getting eaten by Carl, who then belches out bubbles. (Ta-da!!)
In Episode 107, guest starring Sandra Bullock, Bill and his entire bubble family appeared in the sketch “While You Were Slapping,” spoofing the film While You Were Sleeping. In the sketch, Bill is in a coma while his fiancee, Sandra Bullock, and his family slap each other around (I don’t get it either). Bill later appeared in the sketch “Muppet Heights” with Heather Locklear in Episode 203, under the name William B. Guy.
Bill was one of the many Miss Piggy impersonators in Episode 109 guest starring Whoopi Goldberg. He would’ve gotten the part… if it weren’t for the bubbles that come out of his head. In Episode 205, when Ernst Stavros Grouper buys the studio, he changed the names and identities of many of the Muppets. Bill remained Bill the Bubble Guy, only because he lied to Grouper and said his name was Bob and raisins came out of his head. Grouper changed it to Bill the Bubble Guy immediately–lucky for Bill.
Bill the Bubble Guy’s most consistent role on Muppets Tonight was as one of the housemates on the recurring sketch “The Real World Muppets.” Joined in the house by Clifford, Rizzo, Bobo, and Darci, Bill was one of the more calm housemates, never causing much drama. He definitely caused a lot of bubbles, however.
WHY DO THE MUPPETS NEED BILL THE BUBBLE GUY?
Because bubbles come out of his head! Bill the Bubble Guy joins the long-lived pantheon of Muppets with one silly defining trait, such as Crazy Harry and Lew Zealand. Although Bill was nowhere near as successful as those characters, he’s still a goofy, enjoyable presence throughout the run of Muppets Tonight. Though it’s unlikely we’ll see Bill on screen again, we’ll always think of him anytime bubbles come out of someone’s head.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org