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Are the Muppets as popular as they were 30 to 40 years ago?

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by DMHFan, May 20, 2017.

  1. Bliffenstimmers

    Bliffenstimmers Well-Known Member

    Some Sesame Street skits didn't really have much educational value. Here, for example, is one of my personal favorites, a cartoon about the letter V. Two guys talking to eachother on top of a giant V.

    What do we learn from this skit?
    • "If you hold your fingers like this, you can make a V with your hand!"
    • "Not too many words begin with this letter."
    • "Don't do that, it could damage your hearing!"

    Besides that it's a lot of gloriously cheap jokes. "Can you think of 10 words that begin with the letter V?" He can, but you never hear them. A bit nonsensical, but that's what makes it all the better.
  2. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Well-Known Member

    Guys don't put any more SS stuff. This is only about Disney's Muppets. Not Sesame Street. Yeah don't worry I'm not mad or angry. I'm fine with who ever wants to like what of what Jim brought to the small screen or the big one. Understand?
  3. Prof Bunsen

    Prof Bunsen Well-Known Member

    I would say they have fluctuated in popularity. After Jim passed away, the cast and the studio was sort of in a slump the same way Disney experienced after Walt died. (They went through a "What would Jim do?" kind of phase.) And it actually sort of started when Jim was still alive; in 1986, Labyrinth was released to lukewarm reviews and was a box office disappointment. Although it has since received a cult following a decade or so afterward, Jim at the time felt so distraught about the film's modest success that he kind of created a lull for himself. His latest project, The Jim Henson Hour, only lasted for nine aired episodes. For the most part, what took place between the end of Fraggle Rock in 1987 and his death in 1990 was mostly either Sesame Street or trying to negotiate agreements with Disney over his assets. But I would argue he was never the same after Labyrinth bombed at the box office.

    The 1990s was sort of a mixed bag. They have released some good series out there like Bear in the Big Blue House and the short-lived Dinosaurs, and their "90s trilogy" of movies was good (Muppet Treasure Island is arguably their best from that era), while at the same time they tried rebooting The Muppet Show with Muppets Tonight which could never match to the original's standards, not to mention Frank Oz's eventual outing of the Muppets all together by the end of the decade.

    I would consider the 2000s a "Dark Age" for the Muppets. Most of their film output was not as memorable as the 80s or the 90s trilogies (I've actually only seen one movie from that era), and Jerry Nelson would soon leave full-time due to health problems, losing another person that has been involved with the Muppets since the 1960s. However, they did make some contributions to the popular PBS series Between the Lions, which I liked. But overall, I think they lost their spark by the turn of the 21st century.

    Now their 2010s output was kind of an improvement from the previous decade. 2011's The Muppets made an effort to introduce the Muppets to a new generation. Jason Segel was a big real-life Muppet fan and wanted the Muppets to see a renaissance in popularity. And I thought that movie was pretty good in doing that. It also left behind some pretty emotional moments in there, especially with Kermit's "Pictures in My Head" and the standing ovation scene right at the end of the movie. Muppets Most Wanted was also not very bad, even though it made me question the Muppet's competence even more that only a FEW Muppets smelled a rat with Constantine until the end of the movie! (But it may have been just a running gag, which the Muppets were known for). They have had some mishaps, such as the 2015 Muppets, which did not do as well as the film installments and only lasted one season, and not to mention Steve Whitmire's recent unceremonious departure, but I would say the Muppets have successfully ushered in a new generation of fans, thanks to the recent Disney films and the internet. I don't know what their future is going to be, but I hope they will continue to grow fans of both young and old for years to come.
    ryan19, DMHFan and ConsummateVs like this.
  4. Blue Frackle

    Blue Frackle Well-Known Member

    The 2000's were perhaps the "Dark Age" lol, with the best thing coming out that decade maybe being the Palisades Toys :)... like honestly, there was a time where you could go into a mainstream toy store and buy an unbelievably detailed Lew Zealand figure for under 10 bucks.

    Even though we're still in them, I wonder if the 2010's will be considered the last ditch effort; at least they tried, though I feel like they totally misunderstood the characters in the TV series.

    Whether good or bad, they live on in memes.
    BlakeConor14 and Prof Bunsen like this.
  5. BlakeConor14

    BlakeConor14 Well-Known Member

    The nineties was actually pretty ok if you think about it
    Arguably the best kids shown of all time began in bear in the big blue house
    2 great films and a good but not muppet standard Muppets from space
    A TV show that was not liked by the public but I liked
    And a Disney park attraction

    I think it was OK
    Prof Bunsen likes this.
  6. jobi71

    jobi71 Well-Known Member

    Are they as popular as they were in their hey day? Short answer no. They were a world wide phenomenon. Are they still very popular? In my opinion yes. There are three groups of popularity. Fans like us who always have and always will love them. As someone at the beginning of the thread mentioned their young nieces were discovering the Muppets and loved them, so there is a new audience out there. And the casual fans who may not seek out new Muppet material, but get very excited/nostalgic by a commercial, talk show appearance or video that has them. So, I think great affection is still there, but just not to the same level.
  7. DMHFan

    DMHFan Well-Known Member

    I see. Have we gathered all the info to answer this question or we haven't?
  8. LittleJerry92

    LittleJerry92 Well-Known Member

    I really think it's all a matter of taste.

    I mean, some people stopped watching modern stuff when many classic performers died/retired.
    Froggy Fool and Prof Bunsen like this.
  9. Froggy Fool

    Froggy Fool Well-Known Member

    I really think that the Muppets really aren't as popular. There was a period when the 2011 movie came out when they were mainstream again, but now I think mostly hardcore fans pay attention to them now.

    Hopefully, when and if the supposed Disney streaming show gets off the ground they'll be in more of the limelight.
    LittleJerry92 and Blue Frackle like this.
  10. DarthGonzo

    DarthGonzo Well-Known Member

    Eh. Disney is going to throw so much crap onto their streaming service that the Muppets are going to be lost in the shuffle.
    LittleJerry92 likes this.
  11. DMHFan

    DMHFan Well-Known Member

    What do you mean?
  12. DMHFan

    DMHFan Well-Known Member

    Well, it's been said. To wrap this up, the Muppets' popularity is a mixed bag.
    Blue Frackle likes this.
  13. MWoO

    MWoO Well-Known Member

    The Muppets are icon popular, but not actually popular. It's like Mickey Mouse. Everyone claims to love Mickey mouse, but when was the last time any Mickey production was released that was popular with a non-preschool crowd?

    The Muppets are no longer popular for their humor. They are popular for the memory of their humor. Anytime they try to do something new people act like their childhood got ruined and every time they do the same old thing no one cares. Personally, I love when they try something new and even liked the 2015 series and both new movies. However, most people just don't care.

    My hope is that the new Muppet Babies show will introduce a new crops of people to the characters and hopefully grow a new audience. My fear is that the new audience will only see the Muppets as children's characters. The show is done well and the people behind it seem like they really care about the Muppets so hopefully the new crop of fans continues to enjoy them into their adulthood.
    Froggy Fool and Pig's Laundry like this.
  14. DMHFan

    DMHFan Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that explanation. Let's also hope that when Disney+ launches next year, we can get a chance to see that new Muppets series as a chance for the characters to become more popular. I also hope the Muppets catalog will be avaliable on there, including the stuff that never got released on DVD.
  15. MWoO

    MWoO Well-Known Member

    How much presence the Muppets have on Disney+ will pretty much show us how much Disney cares about the Muppets in general. So far we have no actual news of a new show. Nothing has been shown and no word about it going into production has been officially mentioned. The only productions we heard about were the stage shows and for some reason Kermit playing the Wizard of Oz in a play.

    I suspect we will see the 4 Disney produced movies (MMW, TM11, MTI, and MCC). We will likely see the new Muppet Babies and The Muppets 2015. GMC and TMM are a toss up and MTM and MFS may still have rights issues with SONY. I'd be pleasantly surprised to see the entire old Muppet Babies and TMS as well as all other Muppet Specials. Anything that isn't already remastered in HD I will be shocked to see.
    Froggy Fool, DMHFan and LittleJerry92 like this.
  16. DMHFan

    DMHFan Well-Known Member

    I agree with you on this. I also would be surprised to see MT on there as well.
  17. Blue Frackle

    Blue Frackle Well-Known Member

    We just live in a society where quality like Mickey Mouse and Muppets is not respected.
  18. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    The entertainment industry has progressively stopped respecting or caring about quality over the past twenty years or so.
  19. LittleJerry92

    LittleJerry92 Well-Known Member

  20. Blue Frackle

    Blue Frackle Well-Known Member

    Yep; 2007 was pretty much the death of mainstream music for me, where everything became unlistenable. It became more about posturing and less about artists singing about things they actually care about, and now every chorus is just "wah oh wah oh wah, whoa ah oh ah oh ah oh".
    Prof Bunsen and LittleJerry92 like this.

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