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Noticing new things in 30 Years special

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by minor muppetz, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Recently, Gilbert Gilchrist uploaded a restored version of The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, and as I've been watching this restored version, I'm noticing a lot of things that I hadn't noticed before.

    You can watch the restored version here (and you can still watch older, unrestored uploads as well):

    Some things I have noticed from the restored version, along with some things that I kind of noticed before seeing it restored:
    • When Statler and Waldorf comment on Miss Piggy falling, you can see Pops sleeping at the table behind them.
    • I'd known that the David Lazer Muppet was in this, but for a long time thought he was the only Muppet Meeting Films character there (he used to be the only Muppet Meeting Films character listed on the Muppet Wiki page). I thought it was odd that Leo and Grump weren't there, but then recently I spotted Grump in a promotional picture for the special, and when watching this recently I noticed that they do appear in the special. They're in the very back when Big Bird talks about shows for kids.
    • Until I saw this restoration, I hadn't noticed that Rizzo and Louis Kazagger sit at the main TMS characters table (well, the main ones who don't get special seats by the podium). I had noticed them in other places in the special (and I've noticed in promotional images that Louis sits with Jim Henson and the main characters), but not there.
    • It seems like some characters sit kind of low in their chairs. I'm referring to characters who sit in chairs that face back from the camera, some being held a bit low (though still a little visible). Louis Kazagger is among them (perhaps why I hadn't noticed him there before), but in some shots it looks like Sully is held a little low, with his hat being the main thing seen (I've actually always noticed this with the opening pan-around).
    • I've always thought that the place Jim Henson sits at was meant to be as far from the stage as possible, in an area that's otherwise cut off by the screen. It's pretty much a side view, but the characters shown sitting around there had been shown at other locations (see below, though). One thing I hadn't noticed before is that Statler and Waldorf are among those in that shot, and we don't see the other elderly characters who were sitting with them, or any of the Sesame Street characters who should be shown there.
    • One thing that I've sort of noticed, but am noticing a lot more, is that quite a few characters switch seating locations quite a bit. I wouldn't say this is a goof, since they're likely leaving their seats to socialize with others sitting far away from them. Rizzo is seen with at the main character table a few times, yet there are also close-up shots of Rizzo with the rats at another table (which is clearly across the room from that table). Traveling Matt and Sprocket sit in the very back, near the various Sesame Street characters section, yet when they get their close-ups, it looks like the are sitting closer to the stage.
    • While it wouldn't necessarily be a goof that some characters would switch tables, I wonder if it would count during the finale, where in some shots certain characters are at one place,but in another shot they're somewhere else. I guess it would definitely be a good if they're in one area and in the next shot are in a farther area, but would they leave areas during a music number? Some examples here include Herry and Grundgetta being behind Big Bird and the birds and then a few shots later being in the Sesame Street section (to the side of where the birds were). In fact during that particular shot, Grover isn't there, but a couple of shots later (when there's a close-up of the pigs table, which still includes a good view of the table with main Sesame Street characters), Grover is there singing with them. In fact there's a few other shots where Grover is at the Sesame Street table, in addition to working as a waiter (I wonder why Mr. Johnson wasn't there). I believe Terry Angus once said that for this special, after they shot all the wide shots, they'd shoot close-ups and take down certain sections after they shot all shots of those sections. Maybe this was a result of them taking down sections throughout taping.
    • While Clementine doesn't appear in this, there is a Fat Blue cowgirl sitting with Forgetful Jones and Buster. I wonder what's up with that. In fact, I wonder why there were so many Anything Muppets (and Whatnots) with (I assume) one-time features, when there's a lot of Sesame Street characters not there. Not sure how many of them had their own puppets vs. only existing when the AMs are dressed to be them, but that combined with the fact that there were enough puppeteers makes me wonder why there weren't more fairly familiar characters (not to mention the fact that very few if any characters who were no longer on the show appeared), like Don Music, Dr. Nobel Price, Elmo (he was starting to become a major character around that time), Clementine, and the Martians (I'll give them some slack for not including Snuffy, since he's such a huge character they probably didn't want to go through the trouble of transporting him, not to mention it might have been trouble to put him on a raised platform AND that he was just starting to "become real" at the time... But I feel it would have been a little nice to see him in the Jim Henson scene at the end, behind everybody).
    • The Sam and Friends sequence goes from showing Sam and Friends clips, to a variety show clip, and then to commercials, with no introduction of the later, only with that montage to be followed by Fozzie making a comment that he didn't know the Muppets did commercials. As a kid, I used to think that the La Choy Chow Mein commercial was the only commercial in that montage (it's the only color clip included). I also thought "I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face" was a Sam and Friends clip (well how do we know that they didn't do that on the show?).
    • The version of I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face is from The Ed Sullivan Show, only in black and white, and it incorrectly lists 1956 as the air date. That's when the routine was performed on The Tonight Show, an important historical performance for the Muppets, but if the point was to represent the first national TV appearance by the Muppets, why put the wrong date in if there's not even an introduction telling viewers of the significance of that performance?

    There's more I want to say (and it may be stuff I've said on the forum before), I'll probably talk more later.
  2. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Kevin Clash often talks about how during the taping of the finale there's a part where a bunny was hopping up and down while everyone else was smoothly moving back and fourth, with Kevin wanting the performer to not be so wild, only to learn that it was Jim Henson performing that rabbit. That shot doesn't seem to be in the special (I wonder if it was a close-up shot of a group of rabbits, or if it was a wider shot, I did see a rabbit near the front but it wasn't wild). Or could Jim have performed the rabbit "properly" afterwards? I also wonder if maybe Jim was testing Kevin and Steve, since they were put in charge of making sure the scene was done right.

    But while such a scene with the rabbit doesn't appear (as far as I can tell), there is something similar during the shot of Sesame Street characters singing. While the Sesame Street Muppets are pretty much smoothly leaning to the sides singing, there is a pumpkin Anything Muppet wildly moving to the sides. Sometimes I wonder if Kevin was actually referring to this, misremembering what the character in question was.

    Something else about that character wildly moving: He's in front of Bruno, as Bruno is shown singing along with the others. It seems like it's hard for Bruno's mouth to give good lip synch (even when he doesn't have Oscar with him, like in this shot... See also the "Put It in the Trash Can" number, where his lines are either "Trash can" or "do do do do do do", lines easy to not need good lip synch... and when he sings his only full non-scatting line in that song, he's off-camera). Of course, with Bruno being in the back and there being many characters, it's a wonder that they'd need to hide his lip synch.

    Muppet Wiki mentions that Simon Soundman is in this special, but I've never been able to spot him. Has anyone spotted Simon here? In the scene with the Sesame Street Muppets that I've mentioned in this post, there is a Fat Blue Anything Muppet who I wouldn't be surprised if people mistook for Simon Soundman, but this AM has a full head of hair when Simon is bald with hair around his head, and he's not wearing a hat. Pretty much all Muppet characters who normally wear hats are shown with their regular hats here (worn with their tuxedos).

    Something I hadn't noticed until last week is that Sherlock Hemlock wears his detective cape over a tuxedo.

    This specials performance of "The Rainbow Connection" is missing a number of verses. I wonder if the whole song was recorded/taped and then shortened after editing. There's a number of things not shown that could have been. The "hopping rabbit" could have been among them, but there's some close-ups not there that should have been, like the main area that the main Muppets sit at (aside from a shot of Bert and Ernie there), the table with the major secondary TMS characters, a close-up of the Sam and Friends characters...

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