Brian Muehl (pronounced "meal") is a puppeteer and writer who began his Muppet career in the later seasons of The Muppet Show. Trained as a mime, Muehl assisted the principal puppeteers and performed small roles. He soon transitioned to Sesame Street, where he took over the roles of Barkley (from Toby Towson) and Telly Monster (from Robert Payne), who, besides being his most prominent characters, were also his favorite. He also originated such characters as Dr. Nobel Price, and, in some of his earliest appearances, performed Elmo. Muehl also performed multiple roles on The Dark Crystal (and along with Steve Whitmire, was one of only two puppeteers to both perform and voice a character).
In 1984, Muehl left the Muppets for reasons he later articulated in a Random House bio:
|“||The downside of long hours in film and TV studios is all the downtime. Besides growing restless, I had a wife and two young daughters I was seeing too little of. So I traded life in front of the camera for life behind it. I became a children’s television writer.||”|
Changing his name to Meehl, to reflect the pronunciation, the puppeteer began churning out scripts for Eureeka's Castle, PBS series Eyewitness, The Magic School Bus, Between the Lions, Cyberchase, and Codename: Kids Next Door. He did return to the Muppets sporadically in the 1990s, notably as a regular on Dog City and a couple of episodes of Sesame Street during Season 25. He also wrote a Sesame English episode, "A Zoo for Jenny."
In 2006, he published his first young adult novel, Out of Patience, which examines such issues as baseball and toilets in small-town Kansas. In 2008, he published his second, Suck It Up, a vampire comedy which contains a brief mention of his former character Elmo.
Muppet/Creature Shop CreditsEdit
Sesame street 1980-1993
- The Muppets Go to the Movies
- Rocky Mountain Holiday
- The Muppets Take Manhattan Tatooey Rat Koozebanian Phoob Quongo the Gorilla Herry Monster Frog Fraggle (Wedding Finale only)
- The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years
- A Muppet Family Christmas