Roger Ebert. Simon Cowell. Anton Ego. Some snide people transcend mere rudeness and reach the loftiest height of pretense: being a critic. If you’ve ever met someone who gives their opinion too much weight and never needs change for an insult, no doubt you’ve wondered what made them so confident that they were right- and so determined to throw themselves at art they seem to despise. Why do they continue digging into the faults of their obsession instead of just finding something new to enjoy?

Muppet fans have wondered this about their favorite decrepit dicks for years. Statler and Waldorf make it their business to get their butts in their balcony for every single Muppet show despite loudly harassing, heckling, and hating through the whole thing. What brings them back week after week?

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way: some have figured that the real reason Statler and Waldorf show up to the Muppet show is that they’re secret lovers who are finding time for their romance in a theater they don’t expect to run into any of their acquaintances at. Yeah, yeah, I know they’re both married to other people, but given their age and the time we can assume they became marriage material, probably they were forced to join loveless unions and found each other later.

Other keen-eyed viewers think Statler and Waldorf show up because the duo used to star in shows at the Muppets’ theater and come back to relive their glory days only to become bitter curmudgeons when they see the sorry state of the shows on stage today:

If I was as quick-witted as those two and had to put up with Fozzie Bear sullying the good name of my theater, I’d probably get pretty salty as well.

But it’s possible that Fozzie Bear draws the pair’s ire not because they despise him but because they love him too much. One insane theory, based on Statler and Waldorf having been old friends with Fozzie’s mother Emily Bear, is that Statler is actually Fozzie’s dad. How exactly they made the logistics of that work doesn’t bear thinking about-- I don’t want to be able to imagine that clearly. So the details are a bit fuzzy.

While I like the flights of fancy that fans have gone on, I’ll take a simple, concise theory over convoluted guesses any idea. That’s why my favorite theory is less than 10 words long:

Top Image: Walt Disney

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