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2002: A Pivotal year

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by beaker, Jun 13, 2002.

  1. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Anyone who has read the recent Hill articles on the Disney/Henson thing...heard th enews of the NBC movie/Fox show...and of course what will no doubt be a buyout of some kind by year's end has to be thinking what a pivotal year it is for
    our beloved furry friends.

    Why, not since the early 80's can I recall so much cool TMS merchandise coming out. We got TV blitzes going on(Swedish Chef on primtime commercials? Who woulda though?)
    Im actually believe it or not, starting to get that giddy excitement I had in the late 80's(the last peak of Muppet mania)

    A year ago today we got word of 'Muppetfest' which literally blew me away. Im hoping a similair announcement is made soon. Muppetfest 2002 signifies(if it indeed takes place later this Fall)
    th eultimate congregation/conference for the very future of Muppetdom.

    There's the Fox show. It's easy to go off about how potentially envelope pushing/back to the muppet magic we love this could be. What would my wish be?

    Every generation needs something fresh. How do the Muppets get out of their current quagmire imposed for 12 years?
    The obvious answer is a buyout, a parent company to breathe new light into projects and awareness. Some muscle.

    But look back to that oh so envigorating Muppet time as the mid 70's. How ahead of its time was the Sex and Violence pilot?
    Quick, mtv style rapid fire. My goodness, some of that spontanaity was lost in the vaudville broadway esque shuffle...but still you go back to that pilot...then flash forward to 1989 with th e'Muppet Central' portion of Jim Henson Hour and you see how fresh, edgy, ahead of the times, and innovative a Muppet Show can be.

    What I would like JHC and fans to do is go back to the Jim Frawley screen test on the Muppet Movie dvd.
    Tell me you were not in awe of the sheer ingenuity and stark
    explosive fun-ness of this. The Muppets, in a real enviroment on total improv. Now days a Muppet film would sadly be on a controlled set, with a tired script. But here...here, you saw something incredible. You saw it at Muppetfest...no script, just raw, live, and magical.

    So what I propose...(and boy do I wish in a dream world I could be where Brian Henson was up until a week ago.)

    The Muppets need to go live(AND OUT of a studio), and do something the fans and public would not expect. Ive mentioned this before, but you look at recent examples of Elmo on Capital Hill of all places!?!, to that Frawley screen test, etc...then you look to even the four 80's Muppet films, to even Uncle Matt's segmants on FR...the Muppets work so well in real non set enviroments...you add the sheer excitement of live(and you know the puppeteers get such a kick out of it) and voila!
    You have something so wonderful...and back to the original zanyiness and wacky mayhem of the Muppets.

    I envision turning on the tv, and a segmant where Pepe and Rizzo or Bobo go up to people on the street, just out of th eblue spontaneous on time Square. I envision a day when the mention of the Muppets isnt greeted with a nostalgic 'oh those, yeah I remember when I was a kid' response.

    Evolution is a foot...and its time to evolve from the safeness of script rewrites, controlled sets, and old school vaudevilel variety show routines. We need fresh writers, we need Juhl back,
    we need the ability to take the chains of formula off the Muppets and try something new. We certainly do not need the recent scipt specs commissioned by JHC(ie: Greg The Bunny producers' script, etc) That Cheapest Muppet Movie is beginning to sound better.
    Personally, I would like to see the most edgiest 'I cant even say the word Im thinking on MC' epic Muppet film ever. I have ideas...but hey, what do I know?

    Kudos to network execs and higer ups willing to give out of the box thoughts a chance, and may 2003
    bring the triumphant return of the Muppets.

    ///beaker///
  2. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    <<Evolution is a foot>>

    ...... and devolution is a hand ! ;-)

    <<We need fresh writers, we need Juhl back>>
    <<We certainly do not need the recent scipt specs commissioned by JHC(ie: Greg The Bunny producers' script, etc) >>

    Those two statements are kind of conflicting. For these script specs and also for the new Fox show they have tried to use new writers/producers and other fresh talent, because they think that the way to get the Muppets out of the stale 'quagmire' you talk about is to get the funky people in the industry to get involved writing for them, because they've got a feel of what is needed today, rather than just using people who did well in the 70's and 80's. I think you should probably watch the movie and the new TV show and then make up your mind about just who should be making the muppets 'edgy' and 'fresh'.

    I agree that the Muppets are great in live situations, although it's rare even in those situations things are truly totally unscripted - i like the idea of using characters outside on the streets, we'll have to see what the new show brings.

    I think 2003 will be the pivotal year for them - they'll have the viewing figures back from the movie, and the new Fox show will probably either make or break them. This year has been good, but i think they've milked the brand for the money rather than doing anything monumental, as great the figures are, we should really be talking about reunions and special anniversary TV shows in such a big year.
  3. EmmyMik

    EmmyMik New Member

    Ah 2002. The year I go broke and run out of room in my room because of all of the Muppet junk I must buy...
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Yeah! I miss rapid fire stuff. Now it's all a bunch of 20 somethings giving smug comments and drinking coffee.
  5. GWGumby

    GWGumby New Member

    > The Muppets need to go live(AND OUT of a studio), and do something the fans and public would not expect.

    I completely agree with this statement. I think Muppet improv would be absolutely hilarious. Maybe they could do something like Christopher Guest's "Waiting For Guffman" and "Best of Show" where they have a loose story, but everything is filled in between with improvisation.

    Anyone see the Conan bit with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog talking to Star Wars fans in line for Episode II? That was absolutely hilarious watching a hand puppet dog interview these "real" people on the street. That would be a great direction to take the muppets (minus the "For me to poop on" part.)
  6. MIKEB97

    MIKEB97 New Member

    Anyone see the Conan bit with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog talking to Star Wars fans in line for Episode II? That was absolutely hilarious watching a hand puppet dog interview these "real" people on the street. That would be a great direction to take the muppets (minus the "For me to poop on" part.) [/B][/QUOTE]


    I haven't seen it but that reminds me. As I rewind to 1989, I envision Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting. Kermit was out in the streets of NYC asking folks how to get to Sesame Street, while Grover was an annoyance. Even Don Music was lugging his piano in the streets.
  7. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    >>I completely agree with this statement. I think Muppet improv would be absolutely hilarious. Maybe they could do something like Christopher Guest's "Waiting For Guffman" and "Best of Show" where they have a loose story, but everything is filled in between with improvisation.

    oh man!!! that would be too brilliant! For anyone whose seen Kermit/Piggy, Bert&Ernie on the today show...you know how cool live shows can be for our furry pals.

    >>>Anyone see the Conan bit with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog talking to Star Wars fans in line for Episode II? That was absolutely hilarious watching a hand puppet dog interview these "real" people on the street. That would be a great direction to take the muppets<<<

    well, if we headed up the jhc think tank the possibilities would be endless...unfortunately they seem from press releases to be tapping into horeendously dated, cliched, and lame ideas.
    lets hope the fox show truly is avant garde edgy, maybe even more so than the jhh muppet stuff.

    >>>I haven't seen it but that reminds me. As I rewind to 1989, I envision Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting. Kermit was out in the streets of NYC asking folks how to get to Sesame Street, while Grover was an annoyance. Even Don Music was lugging his piano in the streets<<<

    wow, so they have done this before? I remember that sesame special, oh the endless joys of 1989! (the last great muppet year)


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