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Ideas for Muppet books thread

Discussion in 'Muppet Merchandise' started by minor muppetz, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I thought I'd start a thread about our ideas for Muppet books. What are your ideas?

    Here are some of mine:

    1. Notes from Jim Henson. This book would include notes that Jim Henson wrote about his various productions. I've read that Jim henson kept detailed notes on everything he worked on, and that he never threw them away and The Jim Henson Company saved all of his notes. Perhaps henson, Disney, and Sesame Workshop could make an agreement (similar to whatever agreements they made for the It's Not Easy Being Green book) to include excerpts from Jim Hensons notebook, with info on each show, movie, special, and many performers and characters. Perhaps Disney could also make a seperate book with hensons notes on The Muppet Show (and maybe also movies), Sesame Workshop could make a book with hensons notes on Sesame Street, and maybe The Jim henson Company could try another book with just henson productions (Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, Emmit Otters Jug-Band Christmas, etc.).

    2. The Muppet Show Book 2. This would be a sequel to The Muppet Show Book, with sketches not included in the first one plus segments from the last three seasons. I'll post what skits I'd like included later.

    3. a Muppet Dictionary, similar to the Sesame Street Dictionaries. Featuring as many characters from The Muppet Show, The Jim Henson Hour, Muppets Tonight, and the movies as possible.

    I'll post more ideas later.
  2. erniebert1234ss Active Member

    good one about the Jim Henson's notebook! Maybe we can get his REAL thoughts on the Muppet Show guest stars!

    BJ
  3. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    For my "Notes from Jim Henson" idea, here is how I would have the chapters laid out:

    introduction
    Chapter 1: the early works of Jim henson
    Chapter 2: Sesame Street
    Chapter 3: 1970's specials
    chapter 4: The Muppet Show
    Chapter 5: The Muppet Movies
    Chapter 6: The Dark Crystal
    Chapter 7: Fraggle Rock
    Chapter 8: Follow That Bird and Sesame Street specials
    Chapter 9: Muppet specials, commercials, and video projects
    Chapter 10: Muppet babies
    Chapter 11: The Storyteller
    Chapter 12: Labrynth
    Chapter 13: The Jim Henson Hour
    Chapter 14: additional projects (including unproduced productions)
    acknowledgements
    index
  4. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    A good idea for the "Notes" cover would be to have a big picture of Jim henson and then, on the side, a colum of three small pictures. One with the muppets, one with the sesame street muppets, and one with the fraggles.

    Here are ideas for some additional books featuring notes by Jim Henson:

    Jim Henson's Notes from The Muppet Show
    -Chapter 1: show development (including notes about the 2 pilots)
    -Chapter 2: Songs and Sketches
    -Chapter 3: Sets
    -Chapter 4: Characters
    -Chapter 5: The Show's Cast & Crew
    -Chapter 6: The Guest Stars

    Sesame Street Notes from Jim Henson
    -Chapter 1: Ernie & Bert
    -Chapter 2: Big Bird and Oscar
    -Chapter 3: working with humans
    -Chapter 4: animation and film
    -Chapter 5: Various Characters
    -Chapter 6: Great moments

    Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock Notes
    -Chapter 1: the shows ideas
    -Chapter 2: the cast and crew
    -Chapter 3: Fraggles
    -Chapter 4: Doozers
    -Chapter 5: Gorgs
    -Chapter 6: Doc and Sprocket
    -Chapter 7: additional creatures
    -Chapter 8: international changes
    -Chapter 9: Jim Henson's characters and directing

    Another book could be for both The Dark Crystal and Labrynth, called "The Dark Crystal & Labrynth: Notes from director Jim Henson"
  5. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    ultimate guides

    Another idea would be Muppets: The Ultimate Visual Guide. This would be part of the "Ultimate Visual Guide" collection of books from DK Books, which includes Disney: The Ultimate Visual Guide, Looney Tunes: The Ultimate Visual Guide, Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide, Batman: The Ultimate Visual Guide, Spider-Man: The Ultimate Visual Guide, and so on (the only books I have in this collection are the Disney and Looney Tunes ones). These books are great.

    In addition to that, we also need Ultimate Visual Guides for Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock.

    it would also be great to have a Muppet Show book similar to the Simpsons: A Complete Guide To Our Favorite Family (and it's sequels).
  6. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    complete guides

    Here are some ideas for how my complete guide idea would be worked out.

    Each episode would have 1-2 pages devoted to them (maybe it could be like the recent Simpsons complete guides and have two-page spreads for every episode). There would be a few pictures from every episode, with at least one picture of the guest star. There would be a section listing the shows plot, a small "playbill" listing all of the on-stage acts seen or mentioend in that episode (perhaps green font could be used for skits that were seen, purple font could be used for skits that we didn't see all of, blue font for skits that were mentioned but not seen, yellow font for skits where the on-stage performer interracted with Statler and Waldorf or the cast, orange font for skits that partially took place backstage, and red font for skits that we didn't see all of and had interraction with the cast). There would be a section for quotes, a small box for fun facts, and a box for "stuff you might have missed", as well as a box for Statler and Waldorfs ending comments (or anything different that happened at the end) as well as a box for the cold opening. At the side of the page would be a profile bar on a character from that episode.

    The book would be done like this:
    Season 1 theme (pictures, lyrics, and script)
    Fozzie's opening jokes
    Gonzo's gong hitting
    profiles on Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, and Gonzo
    Season 1 episodes
    Season 2 theme (see "season 1 theme")
    Comments from Statler and Waldorf (season 2 openings)
    Gonzo's Horn Blowing
    listing of muppets getting eaten
    Season 2 episodes
    Season 3 theme (see above)
    more comments from Statler and Waldorf (plus other things that made the openings different)
    List of explosive muppet moments
    Season 3 episodes
    Season 4 theme (ditto)
    Even more comment from Statler and Waldorf (plus other things that were different in every opening)
    Miss Piggy's Karate Chops
    season 4 episodes
    Season 5 theme (see other themes)
    behind-the-scenes photos
    Season 5 episodes
    profiles on characters who didn't have profiles in any episode
    Who performs who
  7. zns Active Member

    I have another idea. How about a book on the artwork of Michael Frith?
  8. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    season 1

    I have been thinking about one of my ideas, "A complete guide to The Muppet Show", and thought it might be nice to list what characters i would give profiles of for which epsiode page.

    Here is a list of season 1 episodes with what characters would have profiles:
    Juliet prowse: Muppy (or Scooter, or Mahna Mahna, or The Snowths)
    Connie Stevens: Zoot (or Nigel The Conductor, or Lydia, or The Mutations, or Wayne and Wanda, or Mahna mahna)
    Joel Grey: Baskerville (or Gorgon heap, or wayne and wanda, or Rowlf, or Hilda, or Green Frackle)
    Ruth Buzzi: The Gogolala Jubilee Jugband (or Robot kermit, or Blue Frackle, or Wayne and Wanda, or Floyd)
    Rita Moreno: Animal (or The beatnik, or Marvin Suggs and The Muppaphone, or The Guru, or The Country Trio)
    Jim Nabors: Scooter (or The Gogolala Jubilee Jugband, or The Houses, or dancero, or Dr. Teeth)
    Florence Henderson: The Guru (or Lenny The Lizard, or male and Female Koozebanian creatures)
    Paul Williams: Beautiful Day Monster (or Screaming lady, or Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, or The Houses)
    Charles Aznavour: Mildred
    Harvey Korman: Thog (or Animal, or T.R. Rooster, or Muppy, or Robin)
    Leena Horne: The Ragg Mopps (or Muppy, or Zoot)
    Peter Ustinov: Cyntia Birdley
    Bruce forsythe: The Snerfs (or The gawky Birds, or The Duck)
    Sandy Duncan: The banana (or The Crocodile, or Hilda, or Sweetums)
    Candace bergan: Andre The Artist
    Avery schriver: Dr. Teeth (or Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, or George The janitor)
    Ben Vereen: Droop (or Crazy Harry, or the two-headed singer, or screaming lady)
    Phyllys Diller: Hilda
    Vincent Price: Gorgon heap (or behemoth, or the ghosts, or Tom, Dick, and harry)
    Valerie Harper: George The janitor (or Bernie, or The clodhoppers)
    Twiggy: Uncle Deadley
    Ethel Merman: irving Bizarre (or vendaface)
    Kaye Ballard: Trumpet Girl (or country trio, or Nigel The Conductor, or Thog, or Floyd)
    Mummenshaz: Vendaface (or zelda Rose, or wayne and wanda)
  9. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Season 2

    Here is a list of season 2 episodes along with characters who can have profiles in those episodes.

    Don Knotts: The gingerbread men (or beast of the week, or Big Mama, or Floyd)
    Zero Mostel: Behemoth (or Timmy Monster, or Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, or Beaker, or Granny The Gougher)
    Milton berle: Zelda Rose (or Big mama, or Blue Frackle, or Green Hunchback frackle)
    Rich Little: Lenny The Lizard (or Mildred, or The newsman)
    Judy Collins: J.P. Gross (or Koozebanian Phoob)
    Nancy walker: berlington bertie (or Crazy harry, or Rowlf)
    Edgar Bergan: T.R. Rooster (or The Chickens, or Link Hogthrob)
    Steve martin: Mary Louise (or Lobbock Lou and His Jughuggers, or the Zuccinni brothers, or baskerville, or lenny The Lizard)
    George Burns: Fleet Scribbler
    Dom deluise: Merdidops (or Luncheon Counter Monster, or Doglion, or Big Mama, or Cow)
    Elton John: The Swedish Chef (or Dr. Strangepork, or janice)
    Julie Andrews: The beaver (or The Zuccinni brothers, or timmy Monster)
    Cleo lane: Ma bear (or Blue Frackle, or green frackle, or Baskerville)
    Rudolph Nureya: Sam The Eagle (or The pig ballerina)
    Lou Raws: The sleeze brothers
    Petula Clark: Mickey Moose (or The Bossmen, or T.R. rooster)
    Bernedette Peters: Robin
    Terresa Brewer: The newsman
    madeline kahn: The Mutations (or Lobsters, or Doglion)
    Bob Hope: The Horse
    jaye P. Morgan: Nigel the Conductor
    Peter Sellers: Link Hogthrob (or Rowlf, or dr. Bunsen Honeydew, or beaker, or Quongo)
    Cloris leachman: Kermit The Pig (or The Pigs, or Sweetums, or Doglion, or Chop Liver Monster)
  10. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    There's one season 2 episode I forgot to list.

    John Cleese: Sweetums (or Lobbock Lou and His Jughuggers, or Koozebanian Spooble, or The parrot)
  11. erniebert1234ss Active Member

    Various eps for comp. guide to TMS idea...

    Anne Murray--Janice
    Gilda Radner-7-foot tall talking carrot
    Diana Ross- Bossmen
    Carol Burnett-Dancing robots by Dr. Honeydew
    Rudolf Nureyev-Ballet pig
    Madeline Kahn-Gonzo (love interest ep)

    BJ
  12. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Season 3

    here are season 3 episodes along with what Muppet characters I would give profiles to.

    Kris Kristofferson & Rita Kooledge: Gladys The canteen Lady
    Leo sayer: Annie Sue Pig (or Fletcherbird, or Animal)
    Pearl Bailey: The Avocado
    Roy Clark: The Singing Firemen (or Lobbock Lou And His Jughuggers)
    Gilda radner: Marvin Suggs and The Muppaphone (or Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, or Beaker, or Uncle Deadley)
    Alice Cooper: Alice Cooper Band (or Big Mama)
    Leslie Ann Warren: Doglion (or Link Hogthrob, or Leslie and Warren)
    Harry Belefente: The African masks
    Merrissa Berensen: Lew Zeland
    Lorretta Lynn: Winky Pinkerton
    Helen Reddy: Sopwith The camel
    Raquel Welch: The Spider
    Danny Kaye: Statler and Waldorf
    Roger Miller: The Chickens
    Liberache: Fletcherbird (or The Gawky Birds)
    Cheryl Ladd: Bust of Beethoven (or The Clodhoppers)
    Elke Sommers: Beauregard (or Beaker, or Bobby Benson and his Baby Band)
    Roy Rogers & Dale Evans: The Cows
    Lynn Redgrave: Louis Kazagger (or the merry men)
  13. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    season 4 and more of three

    It seems like I keep forgetting certain episodes from certain seasons. Well, here are characters I would give profiles to for the season 3 episodes I forgot to include:

    Sylvestor Stallone: The Lion
    James Coco: The Gills brothers
    Jean Stapleton: Crazy Harry
    Leslie Uggums: Camillia
    Spike Milligan: Arabs

    And now here's season 4

    John Denver: The Tree
    Alan Arkin: Dr. Bunsen Honeydew (or The Bun Bun brothers)
    Crystal Gayle: The Prarie Dogs
    Lola Falona: Trevor The Gross (or Fletcherbird)
    Dyan Cannon: Foo Foo (or Geri and The Atrics)
    Jonathan Winters: The Gypsy Lady
    Dudley Moore: Mama
    Ann Murray: Floyd (or Zoot or Beauregard)
    Liza Minelli: Dr. Strangepork
    Linda Lavin: Wayne and Wanda
    Phyllys George: Rowlf
    Star Wars Cast: Angus McGonacle
    Shields and Yarnell: The Snerfs
    Dizzy Gillipsie: Astoria (or Floyd, or Zoot, or Inspector Labrea)
    Christopher Reeve: The Rats (or The Frogs)
    Lynda Carter: Super Sheep (or Rizzo, or Gaffer)
    Andy Williams: Cheese
    Carol Channing: Timmy Monster
    Victor Borge: Bobby Benson and his Baby Band
    Kenny Rogers: The Doctor
    Arlo Gutherie: Winny
    Dian Ross: The Gawky birds (or Fletcherbird, or beaker)
    Beverly Sills: The Chorus Girls
    Doug Henning: The Rabbits
  14. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Season 5

    And now here are the characters for season 5:

    Gene kelley: Lobbock lou and his jughuggers (or beauregard, or the announcer, or the penguins)
    Lorretta Switt: Thog (or The Chickens, or link hogthrob)
    Joan baez: Rizzo The rat (or beauregard, or he rats)
    Shirley bassey: Lips (or bruno, or trumpet Girl)
    James Coburn: The octopus (or Banana Nose Moldenado)
    Brooke Shields: The White rabbit
    mac Davis: Beaker
    Senor Wenchs: Pinnocchio (or Pops)
    Paul Simon: Pops (or Floyd, or janice, or The Asparagus)
    Mellissa manchester: Chopped-Liver Mosnter (or Floyd, or Lips, or The Mutations, or The Swedish Chef)
    Tony randall: The female singers (or The Dinosaur)
    Gladys knight: The grapes (or Pops)
    Glenda jackson: Shakey shanchez
    Wally Boag: Lonnie lemon and her Singing Wig (or The Zuccinni brothers)
    Marty Feldman: Ali Baba (or The frogs)
    Debbie harry: Mulch
    Jean Pierre-Rampa: Janice
    Hal Lindon: Geri and The Attrics (or Lips, or Statler and Waldorf, or Robin)
    Johnny Cash: Big Tiny Tall saddle (or Lobbock Lou and His Jughuggers, or Rowlf, or The Chickens)
    Linda Ronstadt: Gaffer
    Roger Moore: The Spies
  15. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    The muppet show book II

    Here is what i would include in a sequel to The Muppet Show Book:

    Audition Night (Steve Martin episode plot)
    Pigs In Space: Weight problems
    Muppet Labs: Nuclear Shaver
    Kermit & The Reporter (george Burns episode plot)
    The Swedish Chef: Chicken In The basket
    trudge Trudge Steaka steaka
    Happy Feet
    Down In The canteen (Kris kristofferson/ Rita Cooledge episode plot)
    Veterinarians Hospital: Chicken
    We've Got each other
    Rockin' Robin
    Muppet News: maceral
    The Swedish Chef: Living Dough
    Fozzie becomes more assertive (Raquel welch episode plot)
    Crime: An Editorial by Sam The eagle
    Bear On Patrol: Impersonating An Officer
    Bo & The rats (Joan Baez episode plot)
    Gonzo and his arm (John Cleese episode plot)
    Rowlf and Lew Zeland perform Tea For Two backwards
    Cloning machine (Mac davis episode plot)
    Somebody Stole My Gal
    Muppet Sports: Wig Racing
    The Cat Came Back
    Kermit fires Piggy (Lorretta switt episode plot)

    I'll post what skits that are essential to various plots I would include later. I would include John Cleese and Lorretta Switt in this book.
  16. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    For The Muppet Show Book II, in the illustrations for the Steve martin episode, I would include The Latrec Sisters, baskervilles audition, lenny The Lizards audition, The Four Fazoobs, The varsity Drag, and The Zuccinni brothers audition (and maybe also all of Mary Louise and friends auditions). For the John Cleese episode, I'd include Gonzo's cannon ball catching act, all backstage scenes with Fozzie and Floyd making jokes about Gonzo's arm, and John Cleese stretching his arm. For the Lorretta Switt episode, I'd include the veterinarians Hospital and Pigs In Space skits. For the Joan Baez episode, I'd include the Pigs In Space skit from that episode. And for the Mac Davis episode, I'd include Muppet Labs, The Swedish Chef, and Bear On Patrol. I wouldn't include any of Mac Davis' scenes.
  17. Chilly Down Member

    Those are great ideas, MinorMuppetz. I'd definitely buy the episode guide, Muppet Show Book 2 (however unlikely it is at this point), and The Visual Guide.

    I'd like to see a book about the post-Jim years. Of Muppets and Men covers the TMS years pretty well; Jim Henson: The Works covers up till his death. In the crazy time since then, a lot of stuff has happened, and what parts are truth and what parts are rumor are very much up in the air.

    I don't want a sleazy expose, mind you. It would be a well-balanced book with interviews with all the parties involved. It's just that so much fascinating behind-the-scenes stuff has happened, and I'd like a new, cohesive perspective on it.
  18. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Ever since I first read Jim henson: The Works I thought that a somewhat updated version should be made. i first read that book in 2002, so at the time Henson no longer owned Sesame Street but still owned The Muppets and Bear. Hopefully if such a book were made a good deal could be arranged by Henson, Disney, and Sesame Workshop (would permission from all three companies be needed if it is a text-only book with no pictures?).

    This book would focus more on stuff after Jim hensons death but still have a lot of good information on productions that were covered in The Works, though chapters/ sections on those productions would talk more about things not mentioend in The Works (for example, the Works did not give any special information about Follow That Bird or any of the Sesame Street specials or videos, nor did it talk about any made-for-video productions). There could be a chapter on Muppets Tongith!, farscape, Bear In The Big Blue House, a chapter about EM.Tv owning the company and the Disney buyout (perhaps with mention that henson once owned The Oddessey Channel), and a lot more. It would also be cool to see an authorised informative Muppet book that features pictures of the Muppet action figures.

    With a book like this, maybe more information on various specials could be included, as well as some information about John Lovelady and Eren Ozker, more info on Steve Whitmire's TMS work (the book didn't include any mention or pictures of Lips at all), and perhaps information about the Sesame Street human cast (especially former cast memebrs, as hardly any former cast member besides Mr. Hooper were mentioned) and information about the popularity of Elmo, Elmo's World, the current Sesame Street structures, and information about Sesame Street Muppets who are no longer on the show. In Jim henson: The Works, a lot of the Sesame Street info was about current sesame Street. Most muppets who were no longer in new material that were mentioend or pictured were ones that were still being used in older skits at the time. One of the few characters pictured who was no longer on the show at the time wa Rosevelt Franklin, who was on a christmas card. there should have been info on him, as well as Bruno, Herbert Birdsfoot, Sam The Robot, and Farley.

    If all legal clearances can be made, then bring on another book!
  19. Chilly Down Member

    I would like an unathorized book. The authorized books are neat because of all the photos that could be included. The Works is like that. But Henson had complete control over the material, and could say, "Don't print that if you want our stuff." An unathorized book -- even including the Jim years -- wouldn't need permission from any company, and could the full, true story.

    Again, I'm not talking about a sleazy expose. I'm talking about anything that a typical newspaper writer would write. I just want an objective look at the events.

    I'm not sure how many of the lesser-known projects could be mentioned without overreaching the scope of the book. But hey, I'd still be happy to see what someone could come up with! :)
  20. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I wonder if someone could legally get away with publishing an unauthorized book about the history of The Jim Henson Company (and Muppets, Bear In The Big Blue House, and Sesame Street). If somebody wanted to write a book about Jim henson, would any extra permission be needed from Disney or Sesame Workshop to include things no longer owned by Henson as long as there aren't any pictures of the things not owned by henson (and as long as Muppets or Sesame Street are not used as a selling point on the cover)?

    There was so much stuff made before Jim henson died that wasn't talked about much in Jim henson: The Works. The book did also talk about some things made after Jim henson died (The Muppet Christmas Carol, Dog City, City Kids, and Dinosaurs). Of course, that book was only made a few years after Jim Henson died.

    if I was to make a book like this, I'd want to learn some information to put in the book, like the reasons for various Sesame Street cast members (especially the first two Gordon's) leaving, the reason for John Lovelady leaving the company, and info on Follow That Bird, all Sesame Street specials, and all Sesame Street videos.

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