Favorite Characters - Rowlf the Dog
Here are a few fun facts about Rowlf from Wikipedia:
- Rowlf was introduced in 1962 for Purina Dog Chow commercials.
- Did you know that Rowlf was actually the first true Muppet “star” as a recurring character on The Jimmy Dean Show, first appearing in a show telecast on September 19, 1963.
- In 1976, Rowlf joined the recurring cast of The Muppet Show as the show’s pianist. Rowlf also played Dr. Bob, the wisecracking doctor in the recurring medical drama parody skit “Veterinarians’ Hospital,” alongside nurses Janice and Piggy.
- Jim Henson’s last public performance as Rowlf before his death was as guest on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1990. For several years afterward, the character was retired out of deference to Henson’s memory as he was both the first Muppet to achieve popularity and, according to some sources, the character closest to Jim Henson’s personality, with his son Brian saying in the introduction to episode 117 of The Muppet Show"Kermit was my father’s best known character, but a lot of people think he was more like Rowlf in real life except he couldn’t play the piano as well."
- Since 1996, Rowlf has been portrayed by puppeteer Bill Barretta.
- Rowlf and Kermit appeared together at the 2011 Disney D23 Expo to honor Jim Henson’s posthumous induction as a Disney Legend, singing a live duet of “Rainbow Connection”, as both were Henson’s first two Muppet characters
Dr. Bob and Veterinarian’s Hospital was one of my favorite sketches on The Muppet Show. Image from the Muppets Character Encyclopedia
Hope you enjoy these fun video clips of Rowlf!
Too bad we can’t all have dogs that can tell us jokes and play the piano for us!