Statler and Waldorf are two elderly, curmudgeonly Muppet critics from The Muppet Show.
Statler and Waldorf share the stage left balcony box in the Muppet Theater, and the two delight in heckling every aspect of The Muppet Show. They usually have the last word, with a final comment at the end of most (but not all) episodes. Statler and Waldorf are especially unforgiving to Fozzie Bear. However, it is revealed in A Muppet Family Christmas that the two critics were friends with Fozzie's mother, Ma Bear. Waldorf is the one with the pug-like face, mustache, and white hair. In almost all productions, Statler appears on the audience's right and Waldorf on the left.
In the first season, Statler and Waldorf are seen watching the show from the living room of what appears to be a retirement home. In the second season, they watch the show on a portable television from various locations, including a golf course and a ski lift.
Statler and Waldorf share a joint role of Jacob Marley by playing the ghosts of Scrooge's business partners, Jacob and Robert Marley. As in the story, they appear to Ebenezer Scrooge to warn Scrooge of his impending visits by three spirits. True to the characters playing them, they heckle at Scrooge's expense.
In the film, Statler and Waldorf are the mermaid figureheads of the Hispaniola, although fully sentient like the other characters.
Statler and Waldorf appear as the Kalidah Critics, strange beasts who shout insults at anyone attempting to cross a treacherous bridge. Their primary victim is, appropriately, Fozzie Bear playing the Cowardly Lion.
- Statler: "If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were reciting some sort of important plot point."
- Waldorf: "I hope so. Otherwise I would've bored half the audience half to death."
- Statler: "You mean half the audience is still alive?"
- ―Statler and Waldorf after explaining the contract
Of course, Statler and Waldorf are unaware that Tex plans to raze Muppet Studios and drill for oil, which would mean the end of their balcony - and their heckling. The two eventually find out about Richman's true intentions and decide to help raise money by attending the telethon. When special guest Jack Black stated that he was "being held captive by these weirdos", Statler replied: "Now you know how we felt for the past 40 years".
When the studio fails to raise enough money, even Statler and Waldorf are saddened about this, since the other Muppets were still their friends, despite their heckling. However, when the Muppets realize their fans still love them and will help them get back on top even without their name, Statler and Waldorf are happy again (though they would be happier when everyone else wasn't singing). After Gonzo manages to make Richman laugh, he gives Statler and Waldorf back the theater and name.
The duo travel with the Muppets while watching their touring show. When watching Miss Piggy's performance of the Macarena, they claim it has made the show even worse, managing the impossible and causing them to applaud the show for the first time.
Statler and Waldorf appear as the neighbors of Miss Nanny's daycare. While they are less antagonistic than they were in the The Muppet Show, they do make occasional snide remarks towards the Muppet children.
- Statler and Waldorf were named after two New York City hotels—the Statler Hotel (which was renamed the Hotel Pennsylvania in 1992), and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Waldorf's wife, Astoria, completes the set.
- Early in The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, Statler claims Waldorf has had a pacemaker for over 30 years.
- The Waldorf puppet appeared as P. Fenton Cosgrove in the 1975 Muppet Meeting Films "The Muppet Introduction" and "Just a Few Announcements".
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