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The Brand New Ask Jim Lewis Thread

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by dwayne1115, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. Colbynfriends

    Colbynfriends Well-Known Member

    sure,
    Jim, what was your faveroite thing you ever wrote?
     
  2. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    I'm gonna re-post my old question:

    Hi, Jim!

    I noticed that Beauregard has a tendency to show a more heroic side. In The Great Muppet Caper, Beauregard was the only one "fighting" with Nicky Holiday instead of getting wrapped up in the "baseball game". There's also an episode of The Muppet Show where he defends the rats. Have you or any of the other Muppet writers given any thought about possibly exploring this aspect of the character further?​

    Also, perhaps this has been asked already, but do you have any thoughts on Muppet pairs? Such as Statler and Waldorf, Gonzo and Rizzo, Rowlf and Fozzie, etc. Muppets are always the funniest when they play off just the right character. Have you had a hand in bringing together some of the more recent duos? Do you have more fun writing for frequently paired characters? And, are there any relationships you'd like to explore further? (Muppet relationships, that is)

    Looooooooooooove the Muppets website! It's a great way to use the Muppets, I think. Kudos, sir!
     
  3. Colbynfriends

    Colbynfriends Well-Known Member

    You wrote for the It's Not Easy Being Green Sing-a-Long, in addision to writing for it, did you get to pick the songs for that video too?
     
  4. BobThePizzaBoy

    BobThePizzaBoy Well-Known Member

    What's the status of the Jim Henson's Doodle Dreams book? Will we be able to pre-order it soon?
     
  5. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    (Someone remind me if this question has already been answered.)

    Jim, why are there so many songs about rainbows?
     
  6. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    And, seriously, what is on the other side?
     
  7. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    These questions are just AWESOME. I think I'm going to PM Dwayne and ask if he'd mind if I sent out this batch of questions--since we already have so many waiting to be answered.
     
  8. AnimatedC9000

    AnimatedC9000 Well-Known Member

    Hi, Jim. My name is Caitlyn, or AnimatedC9000 (or AnimatedC). If you don't mind, I want to ask you a question: How did you end up working with the Muppets and what did you do before you became a Muppet writer?
     
  9. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Hello Jim! TogetherAgain here with a question for you. It seems to me, in my humble, humble opinion, that Rowlf and Kermit have the potential for some great interaction... which was never really easily feasible, what with both of them being performed by Jim Henson, which is part of what makes "I Hope That Something Better Comes Along" so wonderful... but now that both characters have found new voices in different Muppeteers, can we expect to see them interacting some more soon?
     
  10. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Questions for Jim have been sent! :zany:
     
  11. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Wow I cant wait to hear the one about Kermit and Rowlf that sounds like a great question!
     
  12. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Questions for Jim Lewis (July 8, 2008)

    From Ryan “theprawncracker”…
    “Incredibley awesome answers, Jim! Thank you so much, again, and again for answering our questions! You, sir, ROCK! Also, I'd like to totally commend you and the Muppeteers on the recent Muppet videos surfacing on the new website. The Bunsen and Beaker video was absolutely fantastic--my new favorite. I also really love Kermit's new video blog with Miss Piggy. Very exciting stuff.


    Now... we in the Muppetverse have recently discovered that the Muppets are going to be appearing in a special on the Disney Channel on July 19th with Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Zack and Cody, and some of the High School Musical crew. I have a couple questions about this incredibly exciting and interesting project. Firstly, of course, did you write any of the material for it? Second, What's your opinion on the Muppets working with the Disney Channel tweeny-bopper crew? And third, does it bother you that Animal has emerged as his own, uberly popular character, and because of that is sort of starting to send the rest of the Electric Mayhem into obscurity? (Feel free to just answer that last question if you can't spill any beans about the Disney Channel special.)

    First, no comment. (I have to say that and besides I’ve always wanted to say that)
    …Second, as the father of two kids who sometimes feels like the Disney Channel is the only thing on that doesn’t require constant monitoring and as one who remembers when the Muppets were on during something called “TV family hour,u201D I think the pairing is great. The Muppets mix well with everyone. Or as Fozzie says in “Caper”: Put some sugar in it and it tastes just like ginger ale!
    ….Third, as for the Electric Mayhem: you’ll see. Long may they rave.

    Oh, and Sam would like you to know that he will be unable to perform "Milkshake" for you because he found the lyrics to be lacking deep, profound, and patriotic meaning. He apologizes profusely and wishes you the very best in your own American endeavors. Oh, and he liked the new "Battle Hymn of the Elevator" tape on Muppets.com. That is all.”

    On that note, check out Sam Eagle on YouTube (and elsewhere).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDA9NbPAK8o

    From Dwane…
    “When writing for Animal, is there a certain list of words he knows?u201D

    What? No!....Bunny?......LOUDER!......To answer your question: no there is no list of words he knows. He is mostly monosyllabic. The rule tends to be: put more than two words in his mouth and he doesn’t sound like Animal. The truth is, Animal is extremely well read. As you’ll see if you keep checking Muppets.com.

    From Colbynfriends…
    “Jim, what is your favorite thing you’ve ever written?u201D

    Anything I’ve written with Kirk Thatcher. With Kirk, I’m like Floyd Pepper, holding onto Animal’s leash and interpreting his genius. He’s amazing. In the words of Whitman, he contains multitude.
    As for specifics: while there are many pieces here and there that still make me smile, the one that I think worked best as a whole was a mostly forgotten, but still would-it-kill-them-to-re-release video called “Muppet Classic Theater”.

    From Super Scooter…
    “Hi, Jim!
    I noticed that Beauregard has a tendency to show a more heroic side. In The Great Muppet Caper, Beauregard was the only one "fighting" with Nicky Holiday instead of getting wrapped up in the "baseball game". There's also an episode of The Muppet Show where he defends the rats. Have you or any of the other Muppet writers given any thought about possibly exploring this aspect of the character further?

    Good question. Very good question. Beauregard has always been an enigma to me. (Maybe ‘cause I’m a “word” guy, and he’s not.) I’ll see what Dave Goelz has to say about this. Perhaps Beauregard could be a superhero – “Custodian: Cleaning Up Crime!u201D ….(See what happens when I try to write without getting paid?)

    Also, perhaps this has been asked already, but do you have any thoughts on Muppet pairs? Such as Statler and Waldorf, Gonzo and Rizzo, Rowlf and Fozzie, etc. Muppets are always the funniest when they play off just the right character. Have you had a hand in bringing together some of the more recent duos? Do you have more fun writing for frequently paired characters? And, are there any relationships you'd like to explore further? (Muppet relationships, that is)

    You are absolutely right. The Muppets always play best off each other—their various obsessions working at cross-purposes, their peccadilloes and ticks creating a cosmic dissonance that rends the very fabric of reality. In short, what the heck am I talking about. To some extent, the pairing depends on performers. Steve and Dave work brilliantly together, ergo Rizzo and Gonzo do too. Bill creates in Pepe a problem for whatever character he’s working with, but especially with Kermit. That’s a pairing I especially like. As for my hand in bringing these pairs together: not really. While it’s sometimes based on availability (Fozzie, f’rinstance, is forever touring), it’s always based on what works best….and how to keep one performer from having to perform more than one character in any given scene.
    ….Are there any relationships I’d like to explore further (thanks for the Muppet-specificity of this, or I’d be in such trouble at home): I can’t say there are any that I want to do that I haven’t, but I’m sure everyone out there has suggestions. That said, I love spending time with Kermit and Fozzie, as in the “Fridays With Fozzie” section of – SHAMELESS PLUG – “Before You Leap”.

    Looooooooooooove the Muppets website! It's a great way to use the Muppets, I think. Kudos, sir!u201D

    From Colbynfriends…
    “You wrote for the It's Not Easy Being Green Sing-a-Long, in addition to writing for it, did you get to pick the songs for that video too?u201D

    Did I write that? I don’t remember. Do you like it? If so, I wrote it. I know I didn’t pick the songs.

    From BobthePizzaBoy…
    “Can you tell us the status of the Jim Henson's Doodle Dreams book? Will we be able to pre-order it soon?u201D

    I hope it’s coming out soon; I heard something about this fall. I don’t have the exact date. But I am excited that for the first time ever, I get my name next to Jim’s on the cover, though I am hardly worthy of steam pressing the hem of his garment.

    EDIT FROM JIM: This just in...As per one of the questions:
    You can order
    "Jim Henson Doodles & Dreams" at Amazon now.
    http://www.amazon.com/Jim-Hensons-Doodle-Dreams-Inspiration/dp/0696239884/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1215535634&sr=8-1

    From Beauregard…
    “Jim, why are there so many songs about rainbows?u201D

    Not only that, but what’s on the other side? And if it is Munchkins, how exactly does one get into the Lollipop Guild? Suffice it to say: this is a question better addressed to the wonderful, extraordinary and talented beyond all get out singer-songwriter, Paul Williams.

    From Super Scooter…
    “And, seriously, what is on the other side?u201D

    Hey, that’s my line. See above. Or, if you’re strange, see over to the right side of the screen just beyond the edge of your computer.

    From AnimatedC9000
    “Hi, Jim. My name is Caitlyn, or AnimatedC9000 (or AnimatedC). If you don't mind, I want to ask you a question: How did you end up working with the Muppets and what did you do before you became a Muppet writer?u201D

    Four words: Federal Witness Protection Program.
    Sorry, I love that answer.
    The real answers: I was fat. You know, one of those kids in school who uses his mirth to protect his psyche from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. So I always had a joke reflex. And I always wanted to be “funny for money”, but couldn’t figure out how. (Not sure I have yet, actually.) Anyway, I started out as a newspaper reporter, then wrote for magazines, which somehow brought me to “Muppet Magazine” back in the 1980s. For those not familiar with it, this magazine was written in the voice of the characters. It gave me a lot of practice “being” the characters in print. When time came to do some videos, there was a need for someone who could write in the voice of the characters. (The great Jerry Juhl was on to other things, as well as hobnobbing with his fellow wizards…) And so, I landed a few writing gigs and got to work with Jim Henson (who, on my very first job, actually asked me if it was all right to cut one of my lines! Unbelievable! No one has ever done that since.) I haven’t let go since. And that’s how this happened….unless you prefer the first answer.

    From TogetherAgain…
    “Hello Jim! TogetherAgain here with a question for you. It seems to me, in my humble, humble opinion, that Rowlf and Kermit have the potential for some great interaction... which was never really easily feasible, what with both of them being performed by Jim Henson, which is part of what makes "I Hope That Something Better Comes Along" so wonderful... but now that both characters have found new voices in different Muppeteers, can we expect to see them interacting some more soon?u201D

    Ooh, I like this idea, too. It’s a matter of finding the perfect place to pair them, as in “The Muppet Movie”. They are two sides of Jim Henson. As Jerry Juhl put it so brilliantly (and I paraphrase): Rowlf is who Jim would have been if he didn’t have the drive he had—a born raconteur who enjoys every single moment of life. Kermit is that, too….but with a plan…and no fur.
     
  13. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    Thanks, Jim!

    Awesomeness.

    I got another question now... What do you think Beauregard's superhero alter ego would be called? Super Beau? Captain Beau? Admiral BenBeau Inn? Wait, that's Muppet Treasure Island. ... Maybe Beau-Man.

    :p :zany: :p

    On a more serious note, have you ever wanted to write anything for Sesame Street?
     
  14. AnimatedC9000

    AnimatedC9000 Well-Known Member

    This is AnimatedC saying "thank you for answering my question(s), Jim." I have a couple more questions that I would like to ask. One: Is there anything planned for the Electric Mayhem in the future (besides the Disney special coming up)? Second: What do you think of Muppet fandom in general? (Feel free to voice your opinion; we don't mind if you do.)
     
  15. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    Super-Beau! Oh how fantastic that would be...He does have super strength, after all, and can play a harmonica. Two things all superheros need!

    Another question, yesssss we are full of thossssse! Sesame Street keeps adding new female characters (such as Abby Cadabby) because they feel the ones they already have can't fit every female-role. Do you think there's a reason that most female Muppets never caught on? (Miss Mousey, Hilda, Mildred, Annie Sue) And we were left with just Piggy, Camilla, Yolanda and Janice.
     
  16. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    By the way, Jim,

    "I'll give you 350 for the whole frog!"

    I LOVE Muppet Classic Theater. I especially love Jerry Nelson's wolf character. Oh, and Brian Henson's performance of Eugene in "Gotta Get that Name" (the little guy that shakes his head around like crazy). The movie was brilliant, I think, and it's a shame that it seems to get forgotten. It does deserve it's own DVD release.

    "Take that, Mr. Ralph Lauren!"
     
  17. Colbynfriends

    Colbynfriends Well-Known Member

    Thanks for answering my questions again Jim. I have another.
    Would you ever consider writing another book similer to Before You Leap, but from the perspective of Fozzie or Piggy?
     
  18. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Jim Lewis! Jim Lewis? Fifteen seconds to a new question, Mr. Lewis! Jim, what's your opinion on Scooter? It seems that, since "The Muppet Show," Scooter has evolved into more than just the go-fer--he's become a core part of the group. A prime example of this is in "The Muppets at Walt Disney World" where he played the straight man to Bean Bunny's cuteness. Do you have any future plans for Scooter (albeit as a go-fer or otherwise)? It would be great to see the kid make a comeback. ;)
     
  19. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    Agreed!

    ;) ;) ;) <--- muchos Scooter-ness
     
  20. AnimatedC9000

    AnimatedC9000 Well-Known Member

    I would like to see more of the go-fer as well, Jim. My question, however, concerns the go-fer's twin sister. If it were up to you, would you make Skeeter an official part of the Muppet family?
     

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