Fozzie Bear is a Muppet, originally created by Jim Henson. He is an orange, particularly fuzzy bear who works as a stand-up comic and has a catch phrase, "Wocka Wocka Wocka". Shortly after telling the joke, he is usually the target of rotten tomatoes and ridicule, especially from hecklers Statler and Waldorf. He wears a brown hat and a polka-dot necktie.
Fozzie is very good-natured and he loves his friends. He was originally performed by puppeteer Frank Oz, although in recent years he has been performed by Eric Jacobson. In Muppet Babies, his voice was provided by Greg Berg, who also voiced Baby Scooter. Berg also voiced him in the ill-fated Little Muppet Monsters. Masashi Ebara voiced the character on the Japanese productions.
Though it is often believed Fozzie's name is a play on Frank Oz (F.Oz), he was actually named after Faz Fazakas, the person who created the mechanism that allowed Fozzie to wiggle his ears.
Fozzie Bear was originally Oz's main character. The popularity of Miss Piggy overtook Fozzie's, but he remained popular. One of his largest roles ever was in A Muppet Family Christmas, where he took all of his friends to his mother's farm for Christmas.
In the late 1980s a children's video was released called Hey, You're as Funny as Fozzie Bear! which was to help kids develop comedic talent.
During the 1990s, his roles became much smaller, due to the fact that Oz had turned his focus to directing non-Muppet films and reduced his time with the Muppets. Fozzie was only a supporting character in the Muppet films of that decade, and only appeared in six episodes of Muppets Tonight. However, he returned to prominence when Eric Jacobson took over beginning with It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, in which Fozzie was the focus of a number of scenes.
The character now belongs to The Walt Disney Company after Disney bought the franchise from The Jim Henson Company. The original puppet is kept in the teddy bear museum in Stratford-upon-Avon, founded by Gyles Brandreth.
Family and friends
Fozzie's mother Emily Bear (performed by Jerry Nelson) appeared in A Muppet Family Christmas special. To Fozzie's surprise, she was friends with Statler and Waldorf, despite the heckling they inflict on him. In The Great Muppet Caper, Kermit the Frog and Fozzie are questionable news reporters and apparently twin brothers. Fozzie also has a cousin who appeared in the first season of The Muppet Show, also performed by Frank Oz. In the Muppet Movie Fozzie makes reference to his uncle, whose Studebaker he traded in while his uncle was hibernating.
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