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"If I ran the Muppets" thread. Post YOUR good ideas HERE!

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by spcglider, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. christyb

    christyb New Member

    Sweet! I'm a Canadian...and I was born in the US. Now figure that one out. Anyways, I understand. It bugs me to say re-introduce too. I say it because I'm not managing a coffee shop..and working way to many hours. So I have Muppet music playing a good chunk of the time. You'd be amazed at how many have no idea who is singing! It's sad really. Have we gone this far? :sympathy: :cry:
     
  2. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    Its still a tough sell.

    And it is a function of ALLOWING the Muppets to be as good as they can be.

    These characters are not deep, but they are broad. Expansive. If given a chance, just by trusting what has come before as a guide, these characters can practically write themselves. But it requires someone who is willing to LISTEN to them speaking in the "mind's ear" and writing it down. Not forcing the writer's words onto the character. The writer brings the sitaution to the table... the characters are the ones who bring the reaction.

    That requires a writer to sublimate their ego a bit and accept what the characters give. Tough work for some writers. Especially comedy writers.

    I'm really happy that you're finding this thread entertaining/useful/edifying/interesting, Ilikemuppets. I am gratified that I have something to contribute to the conversation. And I'm pleased that this subject can be broached here and receive such terrific response!

    There may, in fact, BE hope that someone from MHC will make use of all this... which is the stated purpose! :)

    -Gordon
     
  3. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    Really now? How can you kow know who is singing in those distinguished voices? Is the 'coffee crowed' just not that into muppet's or something?
     
  4. spcglider

    spcglider Member


    I think the phrase is "Casting pearls before swine"?

    Naww.... the coffee crowd is looking inward, not outward. We can forgive them.

    -G
     
  5. christyb

    christyb New Member

    Si, we can. Then again...they're not quiet aware of anything before I give them their coffee. That might be why. Oh well, I enjoy my dose of muppets at 6:00 am
     
  6. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    I got banned from playing Muppets too early at work. Evidently some people find their happy demeanor too intense or distasteful early in the morning.

    :p

    -Gordon
     
  7. Gorgon Heap

    Gorgon Heap Active Member

    I agree with this statement for a few reasons, not the least of which is my fondness for the characters themselves. I wanted to like "Muppets Tonight!" but I didn't; the writing was off (lack of Jerry Juhl), characters new and old alike lacking in dimension, direct parody too frequent, overall thrust of the show scattered and unfocused, and finally, lacking in ensemble. The old regulars were sidelined, the new regulars were underdeveloped, and the 'ensemble' was random. Uncle Deadly, for example, was both part of an ensemble and a developed character in his own right. He filled a niche (the charismatic monster/cult favorite). Same with Thog (sweet monster counterpart to other, scarier monsters). Same with the other full-body characters (great in spots with guest star, boon to production/dance numbers). MT! wasn't structured in the best way nor equipped with characters that could give it versatility. Many of the writers and directors came from other areas of TV comedy and IMO didn't know how to 'do' Muppets.

    Main thing I would do if I were in charge is focus on the writing and do it the way it used to be, update as little as necessary. More "Very Merry Muppet X-Mas" and less "Muppets Wizard of Oz" -- remember, adult humor does NOT necessarily mean dirty. I'd refocus the writing to appeal on multiple levels the way it used to, from bad puns to highbrow references, and re-introduce the more complex aspects of the characters. The only updating I would do, really, is introducing situations in which the characters can continue to grow and in which the audience can explore their depths. If you want to know what I would do, read some of my TMS outlines: http://forum.muppetcentral.com/showthread.php?t=16531&page=4

    Gordon, I agree that the Muppets are broad (or at least they were), but disagree that they're not deep. As far as characterization goes, there is depth but a lot of it has been lost in the years since Jim died. Ever read "Of Muppets & Men: The Making of The Muppet Show" by Christopher Finch? It's a great read and lays out the characters and how they and their universe work in surprisingly complex detail, and I'd highly recommend finding it. Quite possibly the best book ever written on the subject of the Muppets.

    As far as projects, I'd go with more TV appearances, and not just core characters. Do some sketches like the old ones, with Whatnots, monsters, and other assorted unknowns, as well as old favorites. Work toward doing half-hour variety specials in the same vein. Work that toward a revival of TMS. There is talent out there enough to support a variety show; what is lacking is behind-the-camera talent who know how to do variety shows well, since the Variety Show Writer is an animal that's been extinct for about 20-25 years.

    "The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made" would be a great theatrical release if it could be done right. I'm skeptical, but after watching "Muppet Classic Theatre" I know there's some hope and that the writers CAN do the classic Muppet style. The big question is whether or not they're ALLOWED to do the classic Muppet style. As far as I'm concerned, writing is everything. A bad script sunk both "Kermit's Swamp Years" and "Muppets Wizard of Oz" before one frame of either was taped. And the bad script was a clear result of trying to pander to the audience, 'dumb it down' for an attempt at a certain demographic. And it's worrying.

    As far as reruns, when was the last time Muppet Babies was on anywhere? Run it, run TMS, run FR. Re-familiarize the old audience with it and introduce new audiences. And make it prominent.

    I'll post more if I think of anything.

    David "Gorgon Heap" Ebersole
     
  8. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Try doing this, say two words and see how people in the general puplic react to them. The words are Kermit the Frog and The Muppets. See how people react to thouse words. If they look at you like your from an other planet or somthing then maybe they do need to *reinrtduse" the muppets. If people know what your talking about though, and might carry on a dencent conersation about the Muppets or Kermit then i say that the Muppets are still in the hearts and minds of people all accorss the nation and the world.
     
  9. Skekayuk

    Skekayuk Member

    Hmmm,
    I'm not sure about doing new stuff.
    IMHO one of the reasons the Muppets were so successful is that the perfect combination of writers and performers came together at the right time. Although it's very nice to want to try, I'm not sure that magic could be re-created.
    If people want to do new stuff, then I think yes try and get the writing to the standard is was in the good old days. But writers and performers need to be given the freedom and encouragement to creat their own new stuff. Trying to copy what went before can look like imitation; and sometimes rather poor imitation.
    So many of the Muppet characters were a part of their original puppeteers or vice versa, that (with the obvious exception of Steve Whitmire's Kermit) it just isn't going to be the same if someone else does a character. For example, I think Eric Jacobson has the potential to do a good comedian character, yes fufillling Fozzie's old function, but not Fozzie- because that character was just so Frank Oz. In many ways, if they are going to do new stuff Muppets Tonight were on the right track with new characters such as Clifford, and in particular Spamela. In some ways Spamela fufilled Annie Sue's old functuion of being Miss Piggy's rival, but she was very much her own character, a character performed by Leslie Carrea (where as Annie Sue was very much Louise Gold's character).

    I don't really agree with The Muppets doing new stuff. I think the muppets are great, but of their time. In the words of the musical Ragtime "We can never go back to before". However, if people want to try doing new stuff, then let's go the whole way and have new characters. It worked with Star Trek. It's worked with Dr Who; one might even cite Blue Peter (new presenters usually bring their own personalities to that programme).
     
  10. zeekeroo

    zeekeroo New Member

    i'd try to get together with jim henson company and sesame workshop to do another muppet-fest. Then I'd stop production for the new muppet show and make new episodes of the original muppet show (as well as reruns of old ones) and then get rid of muppet wikia because 1/2 of the info is wrong and I doubt Danny Horn knows anything about the muppets and scarcroe banned me for no reason.:):D:crazy:
     
  11. christyb

    christyb New Member

    That's because you didn't have the right connections. I'm pretty good with the manager and she lets me play it. (Oh yeah did I mention the manager was yours truly? :p)
     
  12. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    I don't thik it nessasary to reintroduce anything. THe people who care will be the ones who always have. And if people are interested, then the'll keep whaching and find our or be reminded. But you reall can't shove if down people throats to try and remind then becausethere going to think what there going to think one way or another. But I think it always possible for the Muppets to be sucessful no matter what.

    Just give them good material and the rest will wirte itself.
     
  13. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    Sorry, Just my opinion.
     
  14. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    i really think that the re introducing thing is all because the only muppet thing that has been steadly on tv since the lates 1990's was SS. I think it is not really reintrdocing the Muppets to the pulice but reintorducing them to T.V
     
  15. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    Yup. It's in my personal library. I failed to qualify the statement.

    The Muppets, IMO, are very much like the concept of P'u in Taoist philosophy. Explained very concisely in "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff, the "uncarved block" or the "accepting innocent" is a vital overall attitude for the Muppets. They approach everything they encounter with a near-gullible innocence. Which is why their reactions to things are (or were) so refreshingly funny and often unexpected.

    My comment was intended to indicate the entirety of the Muppets (the prevailing group conciousness), and wasn't aimed at any specific characters.

    I'll take some time later on to describe what Scott McCloud, author of "Understanding Comics" calls "the masking effect"... which I feel is also quite germain to this line of thought.

    Yup...and it's exactly what we need, as admirers of the Muppets, to let the folks in charge know that we don't like.

    -G
     
  16. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    Did I mention that I run the business? LOL!!
    -G:)
     
  17. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    interseting stuff, i am going to try and call Dsney today cause i want to get some answer.
     
  18. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Here's a great indea..

    If I was in charge, I would have Disney open up a Muppet theme park. It would have Muppet rides, attractions, walk-arounds, and gift shops. Clips from various Muppet productions would be shown on TV monitors while the guests wait to go on their rides. Maybe there could be a big screen TV in the various resturaunts, for fans to watch the Muppets while eating.

    The gift shop merchandise will mostly be limited to Muppet merchandise. No other Disney-related merchandise will be sold, though I would arranbge for some Sesame Street and Henson products to be sold.

    Some of mthe attractions would include:

    The Hall of Performers: featuring animatronic versions of Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson, Steve Whitmire, and Richard Hunt.

    The Electric Mayhem in Concert: featuring animatronic versions of the band performing live.

    Muppet Labs Activity Center: where guests can explore Muppet Labs, and go into virtural reality environments.

    Uncle Deadley's Haunted House: featuring animatronic versions of the various Muppet monsters.

    Rides would include a Great Gonzo rollercoaster, which is designed to look like a rocket, which Crazy Harry blasts off, a Muppet ferris wheel, a swamp ride, and an elevador, operaded by animatronics of Seymour and Pepe.

    There would also be a water park, designed to look like a swamp, with statues of the various frogs and alligators, as well as Kermit and Robin animatronics. And there would be a water slide as well.

    Walk-around characters would include Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Rizzo, Pepe, Clifford, Rowlf, Scooter, Dr. Teeth, Floyd, Animal, Janice, Zoot, Lips, Pops, Beauregard, Bunsen, Beaker, Sam the Eagle, the Penguins, Camilla, Robin, Sweetums, Thog, Doglion, Mean Mama, George, Mildred, Bobby Benson, Marvin Suggs, Hilda, Statler, Waldorf, Johnny Fiama, Sal, Crazy Harry, Wayne, Wanda, Bill the Bubble Guy, Nigel the conductor, Lew Zeland, Dr. Phil van Neuter, Mulch, Bobo, Digit, Leon, Bean Bunny, Lindberg, Andy, Randy, Mahna Mahna, Nigel the director, Droop, Boppity, Gloat, Uncle Deadley, and The Swedish Chef.
     
  19. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    Answers to what questions?

    Just curious.

    -Gordon
     
  20. spcglider

    spcglider Member

    All GREAT ideas. Keep 'em coming folks! :)

    -Gordon (The cheerleader)
     


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