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Discussion in 'Friends and Family' started by Phillip, Sep 6, 2002.
WOW!! Old friends are coming back! This is wonderful! . Welcome back Pam!
I remember! I loved that site. I really do need to stock up on new MUP3s, come to think of it.
Hello/Bonjour, I joined Muppet Central, a while ago but I never did this. I am a Canadian, I am from Toronto- the home of many Muppet productions. I have been a Muppet fan for ever since I remember. The obsession started with Sesame then progressed to the Muppet Show. I would continuously borrow Muppet videos from the library and Rogers' Video Store (Canadian Blockbuster). I have loved the zany comedy and the heart of the Muppets and am so pleased that they have inspired creativity in so many individuals.
Fun Muppet Tidbit- In the second grade, I wrote to Sesame Street pitching character ideas and story line ideas many of which were terrible. I had a story of Oscar and Grundgetta's wedding.
Hello, Greetings, Top of the morning, and Ciao fellow Muppet fans,
I come to the forum in peace - with goodwill, good intentions, and an open mind. It means a great deal to be welcomed into this inner circle, if you will, of all things Muppet and Henson (along with others). What a pleasure it is to finally become a member – I’d been reading some of the threads while visiting as a guest for far too long. I knew I would have to join eventually, and I’m now glad I did. I look forward to meeting, speaking to, and getting to know some of you based on the few posts I’ve seen (several of you in particular, I’m really eager to talk to). If given the chance, I’d also like to make some new friends among the forum.
On the other hand, I’m quite saddened and feel somewhat low-spirited to have come at such a dark time. A sense of guilt bothers me for not joining earlier. The “dark time” that I refer to is relevant to a three-week-old “incident”. Many of you might be familiar with said incident as it’s been causing a disturbance in the Muppet/Muppet fan community since mid-July. Fellow members, know, that I, like some of the people here share the very same feelings about it. I also wish to discuss the matter when convenient, while there are still conversations concerning it (thankfully, I already know which thread to go to).
Anyhow, returning to the positives, it’s probably best that I now introduce myself. You may have noticed that my profile name is “AfricAnimalAZ”. What does that stand for, exactly? Well, (because I couldn’t fit the full name within the character limit) it’s a shorthand form of one of my favorite ‘Sesame Street’ songs, the 1995 classic, “African Animal Alphabet” (I believe there’s another version with Kermit from the early days, but I mean the more recent one). Coincidentally, I also like African animals and hope to go to Africa on safari someday, so the name is fitting for that second reason. Please feel free to call me any of the following: AfricAnimalAZ, AfricAnimal, AAAZ which is just the profile ‘acronym’, or by a real name, Saba.
As for my Muppet experiences, they began when I was watching ‘Sesame Street’ at a very young age. I had heard of the actual “Muppets” group (Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, etc., though I already knew Kermit from the “Street”) then, but it was there on 123 Sesame Street that I first discovered a group of outlandish and distinct characters, a menagerie of monsters, animals, and grouches created by THE Jim Henson. From that point, a few years later, I had gotten around to watching a Muppet movie (my first), “The Great Muppet Caper”. Afterwards, despite liking the movie, I didn’t really give the Muppets much thought (a serious mistake on my part), and was not as immersed in them as I am now. It wasn’t until some (recent) years back when I came across old Sesame Street clips online. A documentary showed behind-the-scenes footage and puppeteers performing characters. Fascinated by it, I found myself gradually becoming interested in the Muppets again. Through Sesame videos, I happened upon Muppet clips and in not very long, I was recording their films. These movies with Kermit and friends were so captivating that they led me right into the magical world of Jim Henson, where I unearthed other gems – series’ like ‘The Muppet Show’, ‘Fraggle Rock’, ‘The Jim Henson Hour’, and ‘Muppets Tonight’, fantasy films like “The Dark Crystal” and “Labyrinth”, and specials such as ‘A Muppet Family Christmas’ and ‘The Muppets at Walt Disney World’.
Onward, I’ve named a few Muppet/Henson works above. Which ones do I like the most, you ask? My favorite shows are: ‘Sesame Street’ (though it might now be obvious), ‘The Muppet Show’, ‘Fraggle Rock’, ‘The Jim Henson Hour’, ‘Muppets Tonight’, and at a close sixth, ‘The Muppets’ (the short-lived 2015 ABC show). The big screen treasures to me consist of, “Muppets Take Manhattan”, “Muppet Christmas Carol”, “MuppetVision 3D” (yes, I count that as a movie), and of course, I can’t leave out “The Muppet Movie”. There are also the non-Muppet classics, “Dark Crystal” and “Labyrinth” – in both of them, we see a totally different side of Jim. However, out of all the Muppet movies, the ones that really speak to me are “Christmas Carol” – I get excited seeing Kermit and Robin walk up the street every time singing “Tis the season to be jolly and joyous…” and “Manhattan” – how could you not enjoy listening to “Together Again” or laugh at lines like “Peoples is peoples…” and “Ocean Breeze Soap will get you clean…”? The greatest Henson specials in my opinion are, ‘A Muppet Family Christmas’, ‘Song of the Cloud Forest’, ‘The Muppets at Walt Disney World’, and ‘The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson’. Sincere apologies if I’ve bored you, but hopefully it’s become clear-cut why I’m here.
Additionally, I think what makes Jim’s collection of works so incredible and unbelievable is the vast assortment of characters that we’ve seen in them. I’ve grown to love Big Bird, Oscar, Ernie and Bert, Cookie Monster, Grover, the Count, Kermit, Fozzie, Robin, Swedish Chef, Lips, Rizzo, Wembley, Gobo, Sprocket, Cantus, the Trash Heap, and countless others. It’s possible I’ve forgotten some in these first favorites - there are too many to list and it would be hard to do that here. One thing is for sure though, the characters mentioned prior to and all the rest have varying unique personalities and traits – traits that we can sometimes relate to. It’s not necessarily always the case, but I find that I can mostly relate to Bert. He easily gets fed up with Ernie’s antics, doesn’t take kindly to lots of noise, and is the type of person who would much prefer to sit quietly with a good book. Not to say that I come off as bitter, but I can’t blame him – give me a book and a comfortable armchair, then I’d probably be at peace too. Regardless, we all have our reasons for making Jim’s special creations a part of our lives and I think relatability is one of them. *On the subject of characters, I didn’t reveal who my favorite Muppet Performer is. How about if I play a game and leave you to figure that out? The only hints are the smilies below.
Adhering to the introduction prompt, I can’t leave out Muppet memories. One significant memory is seeing and listening to Kermit sing “Rainbow Connection” at the beginning of “The Muppet Movie”. That scene is so calming and the song itself is moving. I challenge you to not melt on the inside and fill with elation when you hear those opening banjo strums. Without a doubt, it’s a Muppet song with deeper meaning (the deepest one I’d think, alongside “Bein’ Green”) – you know just from its lyrics, “Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection…”. As powerful words as they are, I wonder if Jim was foreshadowing something. I suppose in a way he was if we bring to mind May of 1990. Speaking of 1990, the next favorite memory I was going to elaborate on is Jim’s memorial. What a sad and equally happy occasion it was, no denying it. Those of us who’ve seen footage of the entire service would know. It was a meaningful time when friends and family of the man behind the frog congregated to mourn and celebrate his life. And I admit, while I liked seeing everyone remember Jim together, I still wish he hadn’t gone – it all happened so suddenly. I myself wasn’t around when he passed, but I still feel heavily affected by the loss of him. On the bright side, one of the lighter moments in the whole remembrance was when the six Muppet Performers took to the stage to sing Jim’s favorite songs. The musical tribute by Frank, Jerry, Richard, Kevin, Dave, and Steve was emotional, but it brought joy all the same. That said, I can’t think of a more touching bit than when all the puppeteers gathered to finish off the service with “Just One Person”. What better way to say their final goodbyes to a dear friend, and one of the most influential people in the world. I’m fortunate to know who he was and appreciate how gifted he was (though gifted is an understatement). Perhaps after reading this introduction, you might like head over to YouTube and look up video clips from the memorial – think of Jim again and let the fun memories flood back.
Nearing the end, though I’m not quite done yet, I ask for your patience. I wanted to add that, although I’d most likely be considered a ‘more recent’ fan, I like to think of myself as an “old” one. Sure I’m not the ‘die-hard’ kind, but I think being close to that is enough to keep me content. And I at least did start out seeing Henson-created puppets as a kid…like many others…on the “Street”…I don’t need to add anymore to that. Basically, my point is that I may have been a true Muppet fan all along, and didn’t realize it until thereafter. Anyway, I have set aside some goals to in a sense compensate for that lost time. My first idea, influenced by Jim, is to create Muppet art one day. I’ve written down various concepts for drawings and artworks, but haven’t actually gotten to making them yet, with the exception of a Doozer drawing that’s been left hanging since…I don’t remember…August 2015? Whenever it was, circumstances have often changed and reasons for not returning to it so far have been everything from there not being enough time (due to other priorities) or me simply experiencing a lack of further inspiration. My desire is to come back to art in the near future – art and puppetry. Yes, I’ve also been interested in puppetry for some time and still am. Unfortunately, I’m hesitant to pick that hobby up again, similar to how I feel about art. You see, about five years ago, I made (well…tried to build) a Cookie Monster puppet – he looked so unappealing and off on the first (and only) attempt that I disassembled him. The way he turned out, I was not pleased by any means. An incomplete Slimey puppet had pretty much the same issues in its preliminary stages. After those two failures, I just gave up on puppet-building and never went back. I don’t consider myself capable enough to accomplish such a feat. On the contrary, the same way I conjured up ideas for Muppet artworks, I thought of and jotted down a handful of concepts for skits, characters, and other puppetry-related/creature-building-related things I’d like to do when the right time comes. They sound decent in theory, but I won’t know unless/until I take a shot at them. Jim tried it out and look what he became? I only hope it’s as doable for me.
In closing,…hopefully I haven’t bored you to sleep. If you’ve managed to read this far, thank you! I won’t feel bad. I wanted to end by saying that even though I never got to meet Jim, I’m grateful for his creativity, unparalleled talent, and to have discovered the amazing legacy he left behind. He really did leave the world a much better place for his having been here. Our fandom is pure evidence of it. He is/was by far, one of the most inspirational people I’ve/we’ve come to know, through his work. Wouldn’t you all agree? I think so. Nonetheless, it looks like I’ve shared everything I wished to get across in terms of Muppets, Jim Henson, and the like…for now. And as of today, you know the origins of how I came to the fandom. Until then, we have more to converse about, be it characters, Jim, miscellaneous topics, etc. – I await it! Humbled, I am. Thank you all once again, for taking the time to read my ‘essay-length’ introduction (please forgive me!) and for welcoming me into the herd that is Muppet Central Forum.
Peace and all the best,
*P.S. - I was just curious – does anyone happen to know what an umber bird is? And as a last side note, tigers do NOT live in Africa! Here’s a link to the “S. Street” song, which after you listen to, my previous sentence will make more sense:
- AAAZ/Saba/the cheetah running underneath the moon
That is quite the introduction! Welcome!
Welcome to Muppet Central, @AfricAnimalAZ! We look forward to getting to know you more!
(BTW, is your fave puppeteer Steve Whitmire? )
But seriously though, welcome to MC. Don't worry about not being as big a fan as some of the others, I assure you I probably still beat you in that regard.
Separate names with a comma.