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The ask Jim Lewis thread is now open

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by dwayne1115, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. dabauckham

    dabauckham Member

    Hey Dwayne

    That's terrible! Sorry to hear about your rotten computer luck. :mad: Please don't worry - you definitely have to take care of yourself and your family first.

    In the meantime, if you want any of us to send the questions to Jim, and are able to pass on the info, let us know.:sympathy:
  2. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Hey there Dwayne! Thanks so much for all you've done in putting this thread together. We'll hold the fort till you get back. Take care!
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Or maybe Jim Lewis will read the questions and post answers himself. I know that he has posted in this thread. Just a thought.
  4. SarahOnBway

    SarahOnBway Member

    Did Jim co-write Muppet Classic Theater? It's not on his wiki page, but I could have sworn I saw his name on the credits when the kid I was babysitting for was watching it tonight. But I was dancing along to the Elvises *blush* so it was only a passing glance.
  5. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Have you and the other Muppet writers discussed the fact that the movies that were most successful were the ones that had romantic themes?

    And tres sorry about your computer, dear! Um, the public library is sometimes a good place to try. You might also try your old school--sometimes alumni have library priviledges. BTW--what part of Tennessee are you from? I was born in Tennessee!
  6. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    I'm from there too!:)
  7. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    well i was born in a small town in east tn and i also lived in nashville for anut 8 years wow i sound old now. and i moved to Fl a year ago to be with my true love and now im planning on moving back to the small town named kingsport where i was borned and spent my child hood,
    Also i gave prwan Jims e mail address so hoplfuly we can get some qustions answered soon.
  8. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Yup, Dwayne just gave me Jim's e-mail, and I'm sending out an e-mail to him right now, making sure it's okay to continue sending him questions. I'll let you all know what he says ASAP, and then do my best to carry on Dwayne's work! :D
  9. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Yay Prawnie for helping, and YAY Jim Lewis for answering questions!
  10. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Yes, YAY Jim! He's being so kind, he's really a great guy. Anyway, he told me that he'll be travelling for a while, but I did send him the questions, so he'll answer them whenever he gets back.
  11. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Hmmm... I wonder if maybe he's working on a certain Muppet mockumentary that's been announced... (no, that wasn't a question)
  12. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    hey guys! Jim's back with more answers! Keep the questions coming! :excited:

    More Answers to More Questions
    Jim Lewis

    "My question is about Beauregard. He disappeared, I've heard, because he was difficult to write for, (understandable), then reappeared with a few lines in Muppet's Tonight, was at breakfast in MFS and appeared in almost every theatre scene in VMC. Obviously, everything is collaborative and specific character lines/etc are lost, but I wondered if you knew whether Beau had a reason for reappearing? Was it just chance that pulled him out of a puppet box for VMC, or was he originally given lines? Is he a character you can see returning in a world where movies tend to focus on very few main characters?"

    I really don’t know the story behind Beau’s use in those various productions. For me, speaking generally, the answer is simple: Certain characters drive a scene or a story (e.g. Gonzo, Fozzie, Pepe, Rizzo, and of course Kermit and Piggy, to name but a few). Some characters are great as punctuation to a scene (e.g. Statler & Waldorf, Sam, Animal). Beauregard falls into this latter category. But his reactions tend to be so subtle and heart-tugging, that he can only be used in certain situations. Jerry Juhl was a master of this—using Beau to evoke comedy and emotion at the same time. I am not a master of subtlety, so I don’t always think to put Beau in a scene. That’s my excuse. I’ll work on it.

    "You seem to be trying in your writing to bring the Muppets back to being the way they really where during The Muppet Show, Do you think that will include bringing back some of the regulars that have slipped away into the background?"

    The Muppet Show is the gold standard: Inspired silliness. Ecstatic foolishness. Sweet Madness. Call it what you will. Capturing that spirit is certainly the goal. I’d love to see some of the old regulars re-appear; the Muppets are a grand repertory company and no one ever really disappears, they are simply touring in some other unseen production.

    "I have a question. It's about Rowlf. Lately, I've noticed a very big push to get him back into the reigns of a main Muppet character again. I love this. Is this a concious effort? Or did it just sorta happen?"

    Rowlf was such a great Jim character, that I think there was an initial hesitance (and awe) to trying to re-create him and re-capture the magic. But as time passed and confidence grew, we’ve tried. Like Kermit, Rowlf is an aspect of Jim Henson’s personality—a wry, pun-loving, novelty-song-singing raconteur. To me, he’ll always be a mainstay of the Muppets. I, too, hope we can continue to use him.

    "In a world where CSI's and murder mysteries are the primetime entertainment (and the occurence of family entertainment is slowly going down), how do you keep in that same heartfelt feeling and optimism in your writing?"

    "Also, do you feel that the positive and fun attitude in your writing is genuine and comes from you? In other words, do you identify with the messages that you communicate in your fun, simple way of writing, or is it simply that you are portraying the characters that you have to write for?"

    The Muppets initially reflected the spirit of Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Juhl, Jerry Nelson, Don Sahlin…the list continues. They entertained themselves and we got to watch. How can you not love that and want to be part of it? Having had an opportunity to play a small role in the Muppet world, I’m an optimist. I believe the glass is always half full…even if it is a dribble glass. Ahhh! Funn-ee!

    "Thinking back to all of your writing projects, of which project are you the most proud and why? Also, which project do you feel came the most short of what you originally envisioned?"

    My personal favorite among my own projects is "Muppet Classic Theater" which I co-wrote with Bill Prady. It was done relatively soon after Jim’s passing, and it was in many ways a re-gathering of the clan. It was fun. Plus it’s just silly, with no great message. I’m fond of it and hope it sees the light of DVD someday. As for "most short" of what I envisioned: I’d rather not say—not just because I want to be coy, but rather because I can’t think of a really good "short" joke to end this answer with. (Or proper grammar, apparently).

    "Do you have a favorite Muppet movie and/or classic Muppet Show episode, and if so what are they and why do you like them so much?"

    "The Muppet Movie". It has that ‘we’re all in on this joke/accept the premise and you’ll love the bit" spirit that makes the Muppets so much fun, and it’s such a character piece for all the characters, a chance to really explore who they are. As for classic episodes of "The Muppet Show": I love the John Cleese episode. And Peter Sellers. And Zero Mostel. Oh heck, let’s watch ‘em all, okay!

    "Jim, when writing 'Before You Leap' were you influenced at all by Kermit's previous book 'One Frog Can Make a Difference'?"

    No. I didn’t really look at that earlier book. It’s far more earnest than what Kermit and I wanted to do in "Before You Leap". It was all about the message; "Before You Leap" is about anything that popped into the frog and my head.
    "Have you and the other Muppet writers discussed the fact that the movies that were most successful were the ones that had romantic themes?"

    That’s a good point. I think the Muppets are a big love affair, amongst the characters, between the characters and the audience and, oh yes, there’s the whole pig and frog scenario, too. It’s all about making us care about the characters and what happens to them. And when you care about what happens to frogs and pigs, bears and whatevers…well, that’s not just something special, it’s downright strange.
  13. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Here is my new question: Do you happen to know what special effects were used to make bubbles come out of Bill the Bubble Guy's head? Of course, that's assuming that you got to see the puppet in person, and saw how it worked.

    RKUNKLER New Member

    Hey Jim do you think that its possable to have The Muppet Show back on air with new seasons to continue the show?
  15. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    hey yall im back and i have a computer now thanks to the wonderfull people at wal mart (my Job) and the great people at rent a center for leting me rent a laptop from them. These qustions where so good and the answers where wonderful. prwan i think if you want me and you can take truns sending Jim the qustions, since i am busy with some other things i cant really say at this point. Just let me know.

    Here is my Question

    Some people say that what the Muppets reeally need is for Frank Oz to come back in some way ethier directing or even muppetering. What do you think?
  16. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Hey Dwayne, really, I'll do it however you want. I'll send the questions to Jim all the time, or we can take turns, whatever works for you my friend! :D

    I also have a question for Jim...

    Has Jerry Nelson's recent retirement been the only reason we haven't seen Robin the Frog around hardly at all anymore? Because some of Jerry's other characters, such as Floyd, Lew Zealand, and Crazy Harry have all been recast wonderfully, and I'm wondering why the same hasn't been done for Robin.
  17. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    yea thats cool i still want to send in some qustions every now and then to though. cant let ya have all the fun lol.
  18. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Hey Jim, thanks for answering all our fan-bop questions! I don't have a question right now (well, I have about a hundred actually, but...) but I wanted to say that I love the direction that the Muppets seem to be moving in at the moment, and athough as fans our job is to want "more" (More Beau, more Rowlf, more Robin, more romance, more Stufffffff) we really do appreciate everything you guys are doing for the Muppets at the moment and look forward to the future.
  19. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    I like the fact that some things that we have brought up about the muppets and the writing that jim says "he will try and work on that" i think that really means a lot. somone out there is listing to us.
  20. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I know that I already asked a question, but I realised that this question that I asked the last time around must have been missed.


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