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. 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. They always have the last word, with a final comment at the end of each episode.
Waldorf is the one with the pug-like face, mustache, and whiter hair. In almost all productions, Statler appears on the audience's right and Waldorf on the left. A helpful mnemonic is that Waldorf has the wide face.
Statler and Waldorf first appeared as a pair in the 1975 pilot The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence.
On the first season of Muppets Tonight, 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.
In The Muppet Christmas Carol, they play the ghosts of Scrooge's business partners, Jacob and Robert Marley. In Muppet Treasure Island, Statler and Waldorf are the Figurehead of the Hispaniola. In The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, they appear as the Kalidah Critics, strange beasts who shout insults at anyone attempting to cross a treacherous bridge.
From 2005-2006, Statler and Waldorf starred in a bi-weekly online series, From the Balcony, on the website Movies.com. In the series of short videos, the crotchety pair dished on the latest movie releases.
The duo take on a featured role in The Muppets, sharing the fine print of the Muppet contract with villain Tex Richman. Of course, Statler and Waldorf don't realize that Tex plans to raze Muppet Studios and drill for oil, which would mean the end of their balcony - and their heckling.
Statler and Waldorf are almost always seen together, but they have made occasional individual appearances. Examples include:
- Waldorf appeared as P. Fenton Cosgrove in the 1975 Muppet Meeting Films "The Muppet Introduction" and "Just a Few Announcements".
- Named as 'Conrad Waldorf', Waldorf was featured in a 1976 UK appearance on Des O'Connor Entertains.
- Statler alone is involved in a plot in The Muppet Show Episode 120, in which he goes backstage to meet Valerie Harper. He brings an African Berry Bush with him as a gift which takes over the backstage of the theater.
- Waldorf tries to convince John Denver to back out of his appearance on The Muppet Show in the teaser for Episode 401.
- When Statler can't make it to The Muppet Show guest starring Dizzy Gillespie, Waldorf brings his wife Astoria, who bore a striking resemblance to Statler.
- Statler appeared on his own frequently in The Muppets comic strip (1981-1986), sometimes to heckle on his lonesome but often in the background or as foil to characters outside of the usual (such as a patient to Dr. Bob).
- Waldorf parodies Marlin Perkins in a Wild Kingdom spoof in the 1983 calendar The Muppets Look at TV.
- Waldorf appears without Statler in the 1985 video Children's Songs and Stories with the Muppets, making a song request to Scooter.
- Statler plays a gambler in the fictitious movie "High Ruin" in the 1988 game Muppets Studios Presents: You're the Director.
- Statler appears in the "Cliff's Nightmare" episode of The Cosby Show with Bill Cosby playing his curmudgeonly partner.
- Statler appeared in an episode of The Bachelorette on May 21, 2012, in the audience of a fundraiser variety show featuring the Muppets.
Until 2011, in almost all productions, Statler traditionally sat on the right, and Waldorf on the left. One notable exception was their debut in The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, where their positions were reversed. With the duo out promoting The Muppets from late 2011 onward, sides were reversed.
Instances of the occurrence of Statler on the left and Waldorf on the right include:
- 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.