Big Mean Carl 1
Big Mean Carl 2
Big Mean Carl close up

Big Mean Carl is a shaggy monster who continued the proud tradition of Muppet characters with voracious appetites.

Although Carl made his first appearance in the 1992 Muppet Meeting Film "Think Bigger", in which he was called Chairman Budget and performed by Dave Goelz, he is best known for his role on Muppets Tonight, where he received the name Carl and his new performer, Bill Barretta.

On Muppets Tonight, Carl's stage name would change slightly from appearance to appearance, always starting with "Carl the Big Mean" but usually ending with a different appellation depending on what kind of act he was performing. But the acts, which ranged from Bagpipe-Eater to Ventriloquist, were usually just a cover for Carl's real intentions: to eat another character. Always a performer, though, Carl would usually end the with a triumphant "Thank you!"

He made six such appearances on Muppets Tonight:

Carl also appeared regularly in one the show's recurring UK Spots, the game show Swift Wits, in which he always ate the contestants. He also performed with the Smashing Pumpkins in episode 210 and was visited by his mother, Carla the Big Mean Mom, in episode 212.

A modified version of the puppet appeared as "The Grox" (performed by Leslie Carrara-Rudolph) in The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss episode, "There Is Nothing To Fear In Here".

In a more recent appearance, Carl played the "boss," lording it over the director Pokey and a control room full of rats on the November 13, 2008 broadcast of Today, in which the Muppets took over the show to promote the newly opened Whatnot Workshop. He also appeared in A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa and "Bohemian Rhapsody" and starred in the viral video "Stand By Me".


Book appearances