The Newsman is the weary, bespectacled Muppet News Flash anchor on The Muppet Show, debuting in the second episode. The Newsman always tried to deliver the news with accuracy but was visibly flummoxed on camera by the day's latest bizarre story or interview. Interviews were a more common part of the News Flash in its first season, where the interviewees were portrayed by the show's guest star. From the second season onward, he suffered from a nasty streak of bad luck that usually culminated in some person or object - somehow related to the day's story - falling on his head.
For example, a plea to return missing library books results in a pile of books falling on the Newsman from seemingly out of nowhere, and a stock market report that beef is falling dramatically causes a cow to plummet upon his person. One Muppet Show episode had random objects falling on another Muppet, which causes Kermit to question what is happening, as "things are only supposed to fall on the Newsman!"
One would think the solution would be to give up the news after so many mishaps (but that would obviously end the sketches), but due to either dedication to his craft or a limited sense of self-preservation, the Newsman keeps plugging along.
Apart from his Muppet Show berth, the veteran journalist has presented breaking news bulletins in The Great Muppet Caper, A Muppet Family Christmas, and The Jim Henson Hour (as well as non-news related cameos in The Muppet Movie, The Muppets Take Manhattan and as an audience background character in Muppets Tonight). In The Muppets Take Manhattan, the Newsman is among the guests at Miss Piggy and Kermit's wedding. He tells Sam the Eagle they must wait for the bride and groom to arrive.
He later surfaced in the video games Muppets Inside and Muppets Party Cruise, in The Muppet Show Live at MuppetFest, and on Muppets TV. Following appearances include The Muppet Show Comic Book, the music videos for "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "The Muppet Show Theme", as well as News Flash segments on Muppets.com.
In The Muppets, he appears as one of the telephone operators during the telethon. During the credits, he makes announcements about the Muppets following their grand finale. In a picture from the set, he appears in a deleted scene with Scooter, Kathy Griffin, and Billy Crystal. For this movie, he is rebuilt with new eyelids that can open and close. In Muppets Most Wanted, he reports on Constantine escaping from the Gulag and Kermit and Piggy's supposed marriage.
On The Muppets, the Newsman works for a news station across the street from the Up Late with Miss Piggy studios. He has access to their office space, and in "Hostile Makeover" competes with Bobo selling girl scout cookies for his daughter because every box he sells makes him look better than his ex-wife.
- The Newsman's film appearance in The Muppets Take Manhattan is owned by Sony Pictures, the four Muppet movies are owned by Disney (along with the rest of the Muppet franchise).