Alligators and Crocodiles are different species belonging to the order crocodilia, of the class sauropsida. To the layman, the two species are easily confused. (The main visual differences are that alligators have a broader snout and crocodiles show both sets of teeth when their mouths are closed.) Crocodiles are native to the Americas, Africa, Australia, and Asia, whereas alligators are only native to the United States andChina. The U.S. is, in fact, the only location where crocodiles and alligators co-exist, although crocodiles arealmost extinct in this country.
Alligators and crocodiles have appeared in several Muppet productions over the years, with the same puppets used interchangeably for both species.
The Muppet ShowA crocodile first appeared on The Muppet Show in the "Never Smile at a Crocodile" number on episode 114. Mary Louise rode the crocodile through a swamp, and as she sang, the crocodile ate a series of frogs. In this first appearance, the crocodile puppet had angry eyes and a black mouth.
The crocodile appeared again in "Ugly Song," where he was performed by Frank Oz. Three smaller crocs debuted in episode 214, as back-up singers for Elton John in "Crocodile Rock." For this appearance, the main crocodile puppet was altered slightly, having been given eyebrows and a red mouth.
The puppet made sporadic appearances throughout the run of the show, addressed as either an alligator or a crocodile, as called for by the script. The puppets' first appearances as alligators were in episode 221, when Animal took up alligator wrestling as a hobby. The alligators, unsurprisingly, lost the match, and one of them could be seen escaping with a white flag of surrender clenched in its mouth.
In another memorable appearance in episode 419, the crocodile ate the Newsman as a punishment from the ancient Egyptian crocodile god, Rezal-evad-gib.
The crocodile appeared in a North Pole-themed number in episode 501 of The Muppet Show, "Jambalaya", biting Catgut, who's trying a spot of ice fishing.
The same puppet appeared as an alligator in The Muppets at Walt Disney World, scaring Miss Piggy as she made the soggy trek to Paradise Swamp.
One of the smaller crocodiles later made audience cameos in Muppets Tonight.
"Animals in the Bedroom".
On Sesame Street, a life-size alligator puppet was made for Season 24.
Among other appearances, the alligator sings a line in the song "Let's Lay an Egg". It also appears in Ernie's song "Animals in the Bedroom", identified as a crocodile.
In "MOM! There's an alligator in my room!" a boy named Gerald is put to bed by his parents. As soon as they close the door, his dog Sparky creates an alligator-shaped shadow on the wall and begins singing about being an alligator. When the boy calls for his parents, the dog repeatedly returns to rest under the bed until Gerald realizes it was Sparky all along.
A classic 1971 animated song, "The Alligator King", details the story of an old alligator king and the attempts of his sons to win his crown.
In an animated insert for the letter A, a man explains that alligator begins with A, unaware that an alligator is about to devour him. (First: Episode 0006)
Muppet alligators in storage, as seen in The Muppets Take to the High Seas: The Making of Muppet Treasure Island.
Another puppet appeared as Sly the Crocodile on episode 104 of The Animal Show and again in episode 308 as Frankie the Crocodile.
Arnie the Alligator, a friend from Kermit's home swamp, scares Bernie the Agent at the beginning of The Muppet Movie. Although played by a animatronic alligator in The Muppet Movie, Arnie was portrayed as a puppet in the direct-to-video prequel, Kermit's Swamp Years.
Caiman, a crocodile with a completely different design from any previous Muppet crocodiles, appeared in The Song of the Cloud Forest.
Pickles, an alligator, interacted with Gonzo in presentation on how to butter an alligator originally posted to Muppets.com in 2009.