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Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by behemoth, Nov 21, 2002.
Not it was not common. I have all insides scanned but I need soemone to host the images.
For awhile I wondered if maybe it was common on Playhouse Video releases. It's common for me to find videos from Playhouse in flea markets (though never the Muppet ones) and for the most part they don't, but the Fairie Tale Theater videos do.
I recently found images of the inside covers for Children's Songs and Stories and Country Music. It was hard to read the facts, but it looks like in Children's Songs and Stories it says that Scooter has never ridden a scooter, and that Rowlf is related to somebody. I saw the inside images at amazon (after doing google searches for the videos and looking at images).
At one point in Gonzo Presents Muppet Weird Stuff, several Gonzo clips are shown in a row (including clips from the movies, every other clip). I recall that when most of those clips end and the next ones start, they cut to a shot of Gonzo watching them on TV, I think making some comments or observations. As I haven't seen it in a long time, it makes me wonder if Gonzo introduced all of these as his work or something.
I have Children's Songs and Stories. The inside cover says: "Few people know it, but...Scooter has never ridden a scooter in his life! No one has the faintest idea where he got his name!"
I remember reading this post when it was posted, and all these years I had misread/misremembered it as saying that most of the trivia contradicted things mentioned in the videos themselves. Which would have been funnier.
Something has hit me recently... I've always known that later compilations lacked linking footage and guest star clips, and at least for the guest stars I wondered if it had to do with paying them... But something else I've kind of noticed: At the time these videos were made, videos were very expensive. Many classic animation VHS tapes (particularly from WB and Disney) seemed to be more aimed at collectors and historians in addition to kids, including many of the best-known most-important shorts and great packaging art, while in the 1990s it seems such videos were aimed at kids (though I've seen Jerry Beck mention in the late-1990s/early-2000s that companies releasing children's cartoon VHS tapes were aimed at soccer moms), with more double-dipping, more b-list or c-list (or lower) cartoons, lesser packaging (though I kind of like the art on the Disney Cartoon Classics covers), and in the case of Disney releases they usually only had three or four shorts while Warner Home Video and other companies included at least five cartoons per release.
And so I wonder if It's the Muppets and The Very Best of the Muppet Show were aimed at kids more than kids and adults. It wouldn't surprise me, and with that in mind I wouldn't be surprised if the makers of the videos figured kids wouldn't care about celebrity guests or, perhaps, original footage (when the It's the Muppets releases came out it had been a year since TNT dropped TMS and a year before Nickelodeon aired the show, and there were no "full" episodes on video yet).
I was looking at the Internet Movie Database entry for Fozzie's Muppet Scrapbook, and it mentions that Beaker appears in it. Is this true? I haven't seen anything on Muppet Wiki on the subject... For the majority of Muppet Show compilation pages at IMDB it tends to only list performers and characters who appear in the original footage (though there are a few that list performers and characters only in archival footage, but otherwise the only "archive footage" people listed are the guest stars), and as far as I know Beaker doesn't appear in any of the clips on that video.
Today I thought up a "what if" scenario regarding these releases: What if instead of them being compilations, they were video releases of 2-3 full episodes, but still had their titles?
This would have made a good selection:
The Muppet Review
The Kermit and Piggy Story
Children's Songs and Stories
Rock Music with the Muppets
Muppet Weird Stuff
Country Music with the Muppets
Fozzie's Muppet Scrapbook (though if it were a release of actual episodes the "scrapbook" part of the title wouldn't make much sense)
Rowlf's Rhapsodies with the Muppets (but again, like the above entry, if this was a release of full episodes, it wouldn't make much sense to have Rowlf's name in the title, unless the videos still had original introductions)
Stars of Star Wars
I've done google searches for all of the videos, and found the inside covers of a few more videos. The inside cover for Rock Music with the Muppets says that Dr. Teeth has his name because he's never had a cavity, while the inside cover for The Kermit and Piggy Story says that Miss Piggy's first name is "Miss" while Kermit's middle name is "the". Gee, it seems a lot of these facts involve character names (Children's Songs and Stories mentions Scooter never riding a scooter).
And of the images I've found in recent memory, most of them begin with "Few people know it, but....", but I saw that in the inside cover for Rock Music, it starts with "Did you know....?"
And do all of the inside cover facts concern the hosts of the videos? Children's Songs and Stories and Country Music both concern the hosts, as opposed to the theme of the videos (Children's Songs and Stories very well could have had a fact about Robin). I remember that the inside cover fact for Muppet Weird Stuff has something to do with Gonzo and Camilla, and I remember the inside cover for either The Muppet Revue or Muppet Moments has a fact about Fozzie, maybe both Kermit and Fozzie.
I also find it interesting how although Beaker is the co-host of Rock Music with the Muppets, he's not pictured on the cover, his hosting duty is not mentioned on the back cover, and he's not mentioned in the inside fact (I didn't mention the lack of a back cover picture because I assume none of the back covers have pictures representing the linking footage). At least the coming attractions for the collection includes a clip with Dr. Teeth and Beaker from the linking footage.
I have most of the original boxes, and I used the front and backs to when I transferred them to DVD.. most of the back photos DO represent the footage uses, although some use stills from The Muppet Movie to represent something. For instance "Rock Music" uses a pic of Floyd and Zoot from The Muppet Movie to represent the Electric Mayhem which was heavily featured in that video.
I was referring to whether the back covers have images from the linking footage, not the clips. I know that, of the back covers I've seen, most of them have images from the clips (though I'm sure they're not really clips but pictures taken during shooting of the segments).
Interestingly, the back cover of Muppet Moments includes an image of the Snerfs, who don't appear in the video, but "In a Little Spanish Town" does appear in Rowlf's Rhapsodies. I wonder if they made a mistake or if maybe that number was meant to appear in Muppet Moments but was moved to a different video (I'd like to see if there were any official files regarding what clips to include, what clips to drop, and so on). Muppet Moments also has a picture of birds not in the video (I used to think it was meant to represent the Take a Chance on Me number, but I think different birds were used).
And I used to think it was weird that the image of Mahna Mahna on the back cover of The Muppet Revue was him in front of a blue background instead of a pink one like in the Mahna Mahna number (it's sort of more like the original performance from The Ed Sullivan Show). Most (probably all) of the ones I rented I rented before The Muppet Revue, and I had always watched the coming attractions after the videos, and noticed the Mahna Mahna clip. At the time I knew of Bip Bipodotta from Sesame Street, naturally thought they were the same character (and didn't know thier names), and thought, "Hey It's that character from Sesame Street! On The Muppet Show!"). When I rented that video I saw him on the back and knew that number would be in it, but wondered why the background was a different color, assuming it would change colors in the number or something (The Snowth's weren't in the image, but I figured they'd show up or leave at some point). Then a couple of years later I rented Muppet Moments again, saw Mahna Mahna in Sax and Violence, and wondered why I didn't remember him in that video the first time (and it was then that I noticed the differences between the two and figured they must be different characters).
Are The Kermit and Piggy Story, Children's Songs and Stories, and Country Music the only ones to not use the usual theme music at the beginning and end? I know Rock Music begins with an instrumental version of Tenderly, and I'm pretty sure the usual theme appears at the end though I can't remember 100%.
And Country Music with the Muppets begins with the first clip as opposed to introductory linking footage. Do any of the others begin with the first clip? I get the feeling that every guest star clip is preceeded by linking footage where a host character introduces or mentions the guest star (though in Rock Music, the third clip with Leo Sayer gets no introduction, but two clips with him had appeared earlier), considering that I wonder if Rock Music with the Muppets would have started with the first clip if the guest star wasn't in it.
I was looking at the Odyssey Channel page at Muppet Wiki, and saw that it mentions that The Kermit and Piggy Story has aired on that channel (and I actually think I remember reading that it was on the channel at least once). I wonder what Odyssey cut from it's broadcast.
I find it a bit odd that the one video was broadcast on the channel while the others apparently weren't (or maybe they were and the wiki page doesn't note it). I did notice recently when seeing a blog that posted scans from the buyers book regarding The Jim Henson Company's sale of the Muppets to Disney that it listed these videos as "Best of The Muppet Show" and yet also listed The Kermit and Piggy Story separately while not listing the others.
I found an image of the Muppet Moments inside cover. It says that Fozzie spent weeks waiting on Kermit's doorstep before he was granted an audition, and was a last-minute replacement for a chicken who flew the coop.
HA HA HA, I love it. I wonder how the other Muppets got their auditions. I remember Kermit once said that he discovered Marvin Suggs in a train station in Ohio. "They weren't performing, they were just waiting."
I'd love to see the playhouse videos come to DVD, I used to rent these titles at Blockbuster as a kid all the time and couldn't get my own copy because video stores always told me they were out of print. I'm so grateful for the internet to find out of print media. Does Disney own these titles now? Or are they owned by whoever owns Playhouse now a days?
Recently a big book of files regarding the Disney/Henson deal was sold on ebay and the person who bought it posted many images from it on a blog. According to that blog the Playhouse releases are currently owned by Disney.
Having seen quite a few of the inside covers lately, I've noticed that they usually have rows of two guest star images. I'd like to see the inside cover for one that has an odd number of guest stars. I also wonder if the images are taken from the show or if they are different head shot images of the guests (having recently seen the inside cover for Muppet Moments, I've noticed the image of Pearl Bailey has her in a hat she didn't wear in her episode). There are a few videos that have clips where the guest stars wear wigs and/or fake facial hair (Rita Moreno, Vincent Price, Peter Sellers), I guess the guest star images are what they really look like (I wonder if casual fans unfamilair with the guest stars were confused by the difference).
Children's Songs and Stories is on YouTube:
So is Country Music with the Muppets:
I recently found this, a YouTube "closing to Children's Songs and Stories with the Muppets":
But the promo shown advertises the first seven videos, instead of the first four. It makes me wonder if later printings of the videos had longer promos (there are some videos I've rented and later owned which while still the same releases had different opening promos, two examples being Three Ninjas and Homeward Bound).
What's weird is that this is obviously somebody holding a camera at a computer screen, but of the two copies of Children's Songs and Stories that I've seen on YouTube, neither of them has the promo included.
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