Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Miss Finch

WMW Miss FinchWritten by Michael Wermuth.

MISS FINCH

Miss FinchPerformed by…
Sally Kellerman (voice)
Cheryl Wagner (puppetry)

First appearance…
Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird (1985)

Most recent appearance…
The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years (1986)

Best known role…
Social worker for the Feathered Friends; antagonist in Follow That Bird

WHO IS MISS FINCH?
3cee0-miss-finchMiss Finch is a member of the Feathered Friends, a group of birds dedicated to making sure birds have nice bird families, and is incredibly concerned about Big Bird being six and living all alone with no other birds. Believing to know the perfect bird family, she heads to Sesame Street to convince Big Bird to live with them. So Big Bird moves to Ocean View, Illinois, but, long story short, he’s not happy with the family she picked, the Dodos, and decides to walk back to Sesame Street. Miss Finch appears on the news, unable to figure out why Big Bird would want to leave such a family, declares Kermit’s theory that Big Bird didn’t like living there “impossible,” and announces her plan to find Big Bird and bring him back to the Dodos.

5faea-finch-carAfter spotting one of Big Bird’s feathers, she first finds Big Bird when he’s playing with two farm kids, cutting his time with them short as Big Bird hides in a hay field. She later finds him in Toadstool, Indiana, chasing him into a parade, and being indirectly responsible for Big Bird getting caught by the Sleaze Brothers, who convince Big Bird to hide from her in their “hiding cage”. As soon as Big Bird finally returns to Sesame Street, Miss Finch also shows up.

MsfinchAt this point she acknowledges that the Dodo’s aren’t a perfect family but announces that she has found Big Bird another bird family. It takes the street residents, especially Maria, to convince Miss Finch that Big Bird doesn’t need a new family, that there are all kinds (including other birds) and they are all happy. Miss Finch decides that Sesame Street is the right place for Big Bird after all and congratulates herself on putting another stray bird into a good home.

Her main appearance was in Follow That Bird, but she can also be seen in The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, sitting with Big Bird and other birds. She is also among the few characters to ever refer to Big Bird as just “Big.”

WHY DOES SESAME STREET NEED MISS FINCH?
If not for Miss Finch (or really, the Feathered Friends), Big Bird would not have left Sesame Street in the first place, the movie would not have a misunderstood villain (she’s not really a villain, but can come off as one), a fear factor for Big Bird in the film, and if she wasn’t chasing Big Bird he might not have ended up being caught by the real villains.

26c05-miss-finch-and-maria

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

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