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The Jim Henson Company Puppets to perform at the 2011 Grammys

Discussion in 'Henson Alternative' started by TheMonsterAteMe, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Mike Quinn

    Mike Quinn Member

    To cuss or not to cuss..... ;) Muppet or not Muppet?

    They all did a great job and the energy of the performance and number came across on the screen, which was nice. As there does seem to be some confusion, Muppets is a legal and trademarked entity owned by Disney. That means specifically Muppet Show characters and the TV shows and films made by them. Anything not made by Disney is legally and technically not a Muppet. That means Fraggles and Dark Crystal and no doubt Dog City, Storyteller, Sesame Street and more are most definitely NOT Muppets. Unfortunately due to grey areas it does lead to confusion like this. As far as the cussing goes, people are always a lot more outraged when it's a puppet, due to the expectation of a puppet being for kids. However if you look at the history of puppetry they have a long track record of being for adults more than kids. This was the Grammys and it was post 9pm where in the UK at least, cussing is allowed. It was very clear this was not a daytime kids show. There were many other occasions where audio had to be dropped during the show. When something slips out during and excited thank you speech I can understand it. My only question is as an artist, if you know it's going to be "bleeped" out on the broadcast, leaving a big cavernous audio hole, how is that serving and entertaining your public? It is more self serving than anything, but that's just me...... Otherwise, non- kid puppets should be allowed to do and say adult things if the piece requires it. Last night's performance was intended to be a non-kid piece. Last year I provided all the puppet sequences for a music video and several of them were doing adult things, at the director's and musician's request. Yes several people got offended but the majority enjoyed it. As the musician stated, it wasn't at anyone else's expense or mean spirited. For those who are not faint hearted, you can find it on YouTube if you search "Thomas Dolby The Toadlickers". Happy Monday puppet people :)
  2. Gonzo's Hobbit

    Gonzo's Hobbit Well-Known Member

    I didn't know they were even Henson Company. I thought perhaps they were an independant group made for the artist or something. However, all I could think about was the Muppet Show Episode with Elton John.
  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I think I saw someone from City Kids... some robot super hero looking dude playing a keyboard.

    But who was thay creepy multicolored turkey Muppet playing the piano and singing? :eek:

    (yeah, I know... I know... but if I didn't say it, someone else would).


    But here's what's confusing. Sesame Street DOES still refer to them as "Muppets" and notes "Muppets Holding" or "Muppets Studios" in the end credits of the show, even today.

    even Sesame Street's website credits them as "Muppets"
  4. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Jim Henson objected to being pigeonholed as a kids' performer and I think the Henson Company has given enough to the world by way of childrens' education and they deserve to act as creatively as they choose. Last night's performance was a huge win for any classic Henson fan. :attitude:
  5. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    It doesn't matter, if they're Henson related, they're still Muppets. Like Drtooth said, the characters on SST ARE still refered to as Muppets, because they ARE Muppets. They come from Jim Henson's Creature Shop, as do just about ALL Henson-related puppets, whether they be owned by Disney, owned by Sesame Workshop, or still owned by JHC, they're Muppets, even if they can't legally be called that.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    And the "You don't get the point award goes to..."

    I could spend hours lambasting that. I don't want to seem unfriendly, but YOU DON"T GET THE POINT! This isn't some preschooly nonsense that teaches kids shapes or colors, this is a national performance for adults, and any kid out looking for trouble CLEARLY knows trouble exists. I know it, you know it, Frankenstine jr. and the impossibles know it.

    I for one am SICK of people saying Puppetry and animation are for kids, and everything that fits into that category has to be cleaned up, neutered, and lobotomized so grouchy old farts don't complain that kids who aren't watching may be watching somehow somewhere sometime. Kids either don't know or don't care. And the one that know don't care.

    At the risk of being offensive, Jim Henson's character of Sam the Eagle is specifically a mockery of that view point. Closed mindedness, artistic repression, all in the name of an imaginary state of "wholesomeness" that EVERYONE since the beginning of time thought there was. No matter what, music has ALWAYS been scruitinized by older people. In the 50's it was "rock" in the 30's it was jazz... all the way back to someone saying "Gregorian Chants are the devils music."

    Let the Henson company do what they WANT to do. Jim would have been proud to have done something like this, and if anyone over there had any problems with it, they wouldn't.

    Seriously, the point is completely and utterly missed once again.
  7. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    You go Drtooth!
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Really, people like that who do nothing but whine and censor everything think they're bleeding heroes... ooh we care so much about kids. Sure, we're not putting an end to gang violence, and tightening restrictions so child molesters can't become coaches, but we'll be darned (pardon the French) if we let kids see such horrifying displays of REALITY!
  9. anytimepally

    anytimepally Active Member

    Your kids watch the Grammys for life lessons? Really? :confused:

    As for the "Muppet" thing.. as far as the trademark goes, obviously that belongs to Disney, but a Muppet is not just an entity, a trademarked group of things. To me, it's first and foremost a style of puppet-making. There aren't other puppets that look quite like the Henson ones. So, artistically, they're still Muppets, regardless of who owns the trademark to call theirs Muppets. And, anyway, legally speaking, Disney isn't going to sue us for continuing to refer to them as Muppets.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    That person is probably just lazy enough to do that. After all, TV should be heavily regulated so parents don't have to raise their kids... like snack foods and everything else besides sex offenders. :rolleyes:
  11. anytimepally

    anytimepally Active Member


    I agree. And all the small government people should start by getting rid of the FCC.
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The FCC is a JOKE! It's already "gone" in a sense that they don't do what they should, regulate the business OF communications. Basically any company can purchase as many media outlets as they want (cough cough MURDOCH cough cough), and they don't move a muscle. However, it's their job to overregulate children's programming AND listen to idiotic complaints from self important, self righteous censorship fiends that hate being offended, when EVERYTHING in the world offends them.

    As for Small government... chuckle chuckle... I could spend HOURS on that. Basically Small government is 0 government regulation of big business. The businesses pay people to tell people that they want big business... and these are the same people who want the government to regulate who people want to marry, what people can do in public, what we watch on TV... everything but making sure toys aren't doused with lead paint and oil rigs aren't built out of 5 dollars worth of off brand erector sets.
  13. Quesal

    Quesal Active Member

    I wasnt sure what to expect myself, but I was very amused by it. I always wanted to put my puppet characters in a rocking band number like that, so to see these puppets do it was awesome and I congratulate them for getting such a cool opportunity. Henson Co. Keep em coming!
  14. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    I've seen some interviews with Cee Lo where he mentioned that initially he actually did want to do the number with The Muppets but was unable to pull off getting them in time (his telling of the story makes it seem like he had difficulty getting in touch with "their people" as they were wrapping up the movie which may be true but i also think they may not have wanted to get involved) but Henson Company stepped in and as far as Cee Lo was concerned that was the next best thing/just as good. That may also account for the initial confusion regarding the Muppet name - Cee was probably buzzing about working with "The Muppets" and that's what first got picked up (though, yeah, there would have still been "reporters" who referred to them as Muppets anyway even if Henson was always going to be doing it from the get-go - as evidenced by the write-ups Happytime Murders tends to get).

    Given how inspired by Elton John's TMS Crocodile Rock that outfit was, i'm betting Cee Lo's original idea was to totally physically recreate the look of that number, playing with Electric Mayhem.
  15. MelissaY1

    MelissaY1 Well-Known Member

    Correct me if I'm wrong but growing up, the back of my Sesame Street records always said "featuring Jim Henson's Muppets" or "The Anything Muppets". So clearly Muppet was the term for the characters themselves, and not so much a brand. Disney probably uses it as a brand and considers MUPPETS the main characters we know and love, but Big Bird was always a Muppet wasn't he?
  16. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Jim Henson himself created those characters for SST - Big Bird, Oscar, Ernie and Bert, Cookie Monster, etc; therefore, they ARE Muppets.
  17. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    I do want to say that doing what's technically a cursing song in a :: wink wink :: sort of fashion does not automatically make their performance more adult.

    I know the performance wasn't for kids, but frankly I wouldn't have wanted to see it either. Sorry but if I want to see puppets doing adult humor, I'll watch The Muppet Show. Not this. ;)

    And I'm saying this as a fan of South Park! There's a difference between using curses in a creative way, and just using curses for shock value.

    And while it's true that the FCC overreacts at times, it is still necessary to have some sense of standards. I mean look at TV in general and how low it has sunk. We're one step away from Roman Coliseum entertainment.
  18. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    That's what I've said before regarding adult cartoons in general: that's the main problem with most of them these days, is that all the go for is shock factor, there is no clever and solid writing, all it is is, "Gee, let's see how far we can push the envelope this week with what we can get away with."

    I think it's in a sense that yes, a lot of people DO seem to clump cartoons and puppets into a "kids only category" (you how when growing up, once you reached a certain age, Muppets were "for babies only"? Well, when I was growing up, but middle school, cartoons suddenly became "for babies" too, even though ironically, the same kids who said that always watched SpongeBob), and because of that, I think people who do adult cartoons, especially Seth MacFarlane, exploit that, and use it to their advantage, by doing the raunchiest, foulest, most vulgar things imaginable to ordinary people, just to say, "Think cartoons are just for kids now?"
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Which bugs me... how come THIS is offensive when Biggest Loser, a show that subjects fat people to humiliating mud-wrestling and crying to lose weight is "inspiring", even when contestants are double dealing and conniving. The worst in humanity it in reality TV and NO ONE is doing a thing to stop it. Yet, if a musician writes "offensive" lyrics, they should automatically be branded worse than pornographers. And Maury Povich's Parade of Promiscuity still goes on the air without a hitch.

    Maybe it's just me, but everyone is making this out to WAAAAAAAAAY worse than it is. Other than a huge chunk that was bleeped out, and the "a" word, the song was cleaned up into an unrecognizable mush. Now, I want to make it brutally clear, this wasn't a song about "smackin' hoes" or any of that violence promoting stuff... nor was it sexually explicit. This song is literally Pat Boone compared to stuff I've heard. And for the record, the puppets sang back up, and played instruments. They didn't bump and grind, they didn't do anything suggestive, they didn't even make a rude gesture beyond singing cleaned up lyrics. This is clear and utter overreacting to something that's Pg-13 at best.

    How come we're suffice to jump over and attack that and let Jersey Shore and Teen Mom Happy Fun Bad Role Model hour on TV in peace? How come we're so excited to punish Seth MacFarline for a show he basically just does voice work and collects a pay check over (the current episodes are NOT his style of humor) but we can let Jerry Springer be the host of a family friendly competition show? It's completely and utterly hypocritical.

    I know what you're getting at, but when something like this happens, very prudish people start over reacting, and it trickles down to the modest people. Then it just builds outrage over nothing when junior can't even walk the streets alone with drug dealers, gangs, child molesters, and whatever else is on the streets.

    Above all, you're kid is always in danger of hearing bad words.... there's always a barefoot guy about to drop a hammer on his foot somewhere. I defy someone to say "Phooey" when that much pain hits you. At least, that's when I let them all out.
  20. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    I'll say that both are offensive. ;)

    Like I said I agree that some people overreact. But that doesn't mean there's nothing to react to in the first place. ;)


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