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E-mail from Larry Mirkin

Discussion in 'Fraggle Rock' started by Princeton, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. Princeton

    Princeton Well-Known Member

    So I recently e-mailed Larry Mirkin (one of the executive producers for FR) and asked him what his favorite/least favorite episodes of the series were. I thought you'd like to see his incredibly detailed and thoughtful reply.

    "Hi Brian,

    Thanks for this lovely note. Since you’re such a fan, I’m sure you know what a joy it was to make the show. I often say that as much fun as you would think it would have been to make Fraggle Rock, it was more fun. Just a great group of people working on a great idea in a spirit of total collaboration and a joyful striving for excellence every day.

    As to favourites and non-favourites, that’s a hard one. Among my favorite episodes, in no particular order, are “Scared Silly” (because of its complete goofiness, brilliant performances by Dave and Steve, directed so well by Doug Williams, and Jocelyn Stevenson’s script mirrored the game that she and Dave and Steve always played), “The Perfect Blue Rollie” (because David Young wrote an episode really about economics but it doesn’t look like it, inspired by Lewis Hyde’s book “The Gift”), the last four shows of the series (which form a kind of “whole” way of ending the series but opening it up at the same time), “All Work and All Play” (because it was the first Doozer story with a wonderful script by the incomparable Jerry Juhl, a great performance by Kathy Mullen as Cotterpin and, to my mind, the best direction Jim did on the show), both episodes with Boober’s alter-ego Sidebottom, “Mokey Then and Now” (because Jocelyn wrote a perfect little time travel story), and “The Grand Society of Poobahs” (because it was so Jerry Juhl- full of utter goofiness, but with a lot of mischief in poking loving fun at pretension). I could go on, as you may imagine.

    As to my least favourite episodes, I would say first that one of the things I’m most proud of is that our “worst” episodes were still pretty good. I always find that the mark of a fine series is not only the great work you do, but the standard of excellence episode to episode, and if your worst episodes don’t fall too much below that high standard, you’re doing OK. So I think my least favourite shows were “Fraggle Wars” mainly because of the direction which was so flat and low in the frame and because there wasn’t as much fun made in the execution of Laura Phillips’ script in the show itself. It should have been funnier to make its thematic point. The other show, whose title I can’t remember, was the one with Wander McMooch who kidnaps the Trash Heap’s rats, Philo and Gunge. Wander McMooch is the only “evil” character in the show and it was a conscious choice as we all wondered what would happen if we put such an evil character into our world. After doing the show we all agreed that while the episode was OK, it didn’t really “belong” in the series, as the series doesn’t really contemplate a world of good and evil. The conflicts in the show, and this is rooted deeply in its philosophy, are the result of contrary interests or misunderstandings of others, not because there is good and evil. Sugith Varughese, who wrote that show, was inspired a bit by Beckett and it had some good moments in it but philosophically it just isn’t right for the show- in my opinion.

    Hope this answers your questions. Thanks once more for your interest in our show all of these years later. For those of us who made it, it still gives back to us so much joy all of the time, and a fan letter like yours makes me smile.

    Best regards,

  2. Dodo

    Dodo Active Member

    Thank you for sharing this! It's super cool that you got such a thoughtful reply, too. Interesting that he didn't like Fraggle Wars - It's one of my favorite episodes, and I've never met anyone who didn't like it. I suppose if you're the one making something, it's easier to be picky about direction rather than just being in it for the story... Other than that, I find myself agreeing with him. Now I'm tempted to go ask other show staff the same question (for research purposes, of course), but I'd be afraid to bother them :o
  3. Old Thunder

    Old Thunder Well-Known Member

    Can't say I've ever watched Fraggle Rock (I really need to, I know) but I found this to be quite interesting. Thanks for posting it!
  4. Princeton

    Princeton Well-Known Member

  5. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Very interesting indeed. And I agree what he said about the Wander McMooch episode. It wasn't an awful episode, it just didn't fit well with the show. I think it's too bad it wasn't written for another show, as I think the story was still pretty solid. And I must say, I still really like McMooch as a character.

    I'm sure they wouldn't be too bothered. Jim Henson and co were really great with picking very kind people who are very nice to their fans. So i'm sure if you contacted them, they'd be more than happy to respond! As long as you don't contact them too many times within a small window, i'm sure they won't be annoyed.
  6. Old Thunder

    Old Thunder Well-Known Member

    Bliffenstimmers likes this.
  7. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Don't you know, there's always time to watch Fraggle Rock! It even said so in the bible!
  8. Old Thunder

    Old Thunder Well-Known Member

    No wonder I failed theology!
    Pig's Laundry likes this.
  9. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    *tisk tisk. I can't believe you forgot the fourth most important commandment!
  10. Old Thunder

    Old Thunder Well-Known Member

    I always uphold the Sabbath! Usually by playing Black Sabbath!
  11. Pork

    Pork Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting this letter. Fantastic to read!
    MikaelaMuppet and dwayne1115 like this.
  12. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Well Hello Stranger!!!!
    Pork likes this.
  13. DrGroverFan

    DrGroverFan Well-Known Member

    So great that Larry Mirkin took the time to respond to your e-mail! Thanks for posting this for all of us to read.
  14. Princeton

    Princeton Well-Known Member

    I didn't want to footnote the entire reply but there were several inaccuracies in Larry's email. First, there are three Sidebottom episodes. I'm assuming the one he forgot is the one everyone forgets: Sidebottom Blues. Second, the Wander McMooch episode he mentioned is called Home is Where the Trash is and also it was Wander's second appearance, the first being Junior Sells the Farm.

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