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The MuppetCast - Show #53 - Follow That Fran!

Discussion in 'On the Web' started by stephenjlizard, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. For a first episode of the second year on the web, this episode isn't too shabby! Not only is there a review of the Sesame Street classic, Follow That Bird, but we have an interview with Fran Brill!

    Lots of news (thanks to Greg at the Muppet News Flash), listener feedback, Muppet history, and great Muppet clips to top it all off. There's more to read in the show notes, complete with lots of links you need to check out this week. I can't wait to read your feedback here on the forums!

    Have a good one.
  2. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Oh... Steve, where to begin? This was probably one of my fave episodes, sending Season 2 of the MuppetCast off to a roaring start.

    1 As far as SST releases go, I'm waiting for Abby in Wonderland myself.
    2 Huh... FR Season 4 released on Halloween week? Guess that means most of us will probably kill two birds with one John Stone and get FR and SST Old School Vol. 3, should it be announced this year.
    3 Did you know... *Cue up either the ESPN "Did You Know" musical sting, or the one from Disney's Mousercise (yes, that's probably dating my television-viewing knowledge). John Stone made a cameo of sorts in the Muppet Show world. In a Muppets book titled The Phantom of the Muppet Show (not refering to Uncle Deadly this time) found on Muppet Wiki, it turnsout that the Muppet Theater was built in 1802 by a John Stone whose ghost now lingers and watches over the current cast of performers, helping them when in trouble from time to time.
    4 That version of ABCDEFGHI was from the Alphabet Album, wasn't it? It lacked the intro and outro with Susan heard on the version here on MCR.
    5 That tribute to Jim was wonderful and funny and all sorts of great.
    6 Kermit on the Daily Show... Ah yes, I remember that well. That took place on a Monday, the same Monday after Jon was one of the ten contestants on Celebrity Millionaire 2, where Kermit also made a guest appearance helping answer some of the lower-level questions.
    7 Fran's interview... Aargh! That was for the MuppetCast? Didn't know... Missed out on another opportunity. But you said she'd answer remaining questions via email, so does that mean we can submit some questions for her too?
    If so, here's the main one I have for her. She said the reason Zoe was named "Zoe" is because she didn't want to have a Muppet character named after herself, Fran. So the little orange monster's name came from a poem by J.D. Sallinger. And yet, there now exists a Muppet character named after her, from Season 37, Fran who works as David Letterguy's stage manager/assistant. How did that decision/accord come about? Was she no longer hesitant to have a Muppet namesake?
    8 The goth Muppet she mentioned from The Jim Henson Hour was named Zondra, from the Gorilla TV segments. Ask KermiClown for Episodes 05: The Ratings Game and 12: Food to get those bits.
    9 According to the Wiki, Fran did indeed perform the Solid Foam's Female Drummer. Perhaps you should get both the audio and video of the song "The Music Keeps Rolling Along" from Episode 08: Musicians, along with the image on the Wiki to Fran, admissible as an exception to the rules against hearsay as it would be used to refresh her memory.

    Follow That Bird.
    Oh, so many happy memories...
    10 Though Oscar is the first Muppet we see, Big Bird is part of the opening too... At least, an animated version of Big Bird who presents the sponsors in typical SST style, the number 1 as this was the first SST movie and the letters W and B which float upwards forming the iconic Warner Bros. shield logo.
    11 Listening to the intro with the Board of Birds I realize Minor Muppets was right... Kevin's voice is heard coming from the parrot, preceeding the Hoots puppet who says Big Bird looked happy to him instead.
    12 Something that marks my particular current condition... If I were to watch this movie now, when María reads the postcard from Big Dodo, Big Bird, I'd be concentrating on her reading exclusively. I say this because having seen the movie when I had better sight, if I were to watch it now, I'd miss out on Ernie's face lighting up upon hearing of the riding lawnmower the Dodos own.
    13 Something only us long-time fans would sort of remember... Big Bird is painted blue, becoming the Bluebird of Happiness. Parts of that puppet were used when BB's superhero alter-ego appeared on a couple of sketches on Sesame. That hero identity? Blue Bird. His armor suit was the blue Big Bird puppet, though he retained the traditional yellow-feathered head and beak and hands.
    14 Thought we wouldn't catch that mention of An American Tale during Big Bird's stay with the Dodos huh? Sneaky...
    15 Another interesting factoid. In this movie, Gordon's VW beetle was yellow and Big Bird was painted blue. Later episodes after the movie then showed BB back in his normal yellow and the car painted a sort of similar powder blue. Interesting little yuxtapositioning role-reversal there.
    16 That M*A*S*H star you're thinking of was Loretta Swit, from Episode 502 of the Muppet Show. That's Season 5 for you to look up later.
    17 Love the sweeping circular panorama motion when they're enforcing the family circle around Big Bird at the end.
    18 You mentioned the street looked more real than on the show. Yeah, that's something I kinda know of. Some TV shows air their first episodes in what looks like a more real or open-air setting when compared against later season episodes, it feels like a layer of plasticity covers the atmosphere of the world from that point onwards. Compare Season 1 episodes of The Legendary Journeys of Hercules and Xena Warrior Princess against Season 4 episodes and you'll see what I mean by this.
    19 Not sure how much I would like to go into this for fear of the conversation spilling into negative territory, but if you look at the movie's underlying storyline, one could make an argument that there exists a degree of disassociation or division between the bird family—Big Bird's ideals—, and the family he shares at Sesame Street.
    20 But wait, no! Don't leave yet! You'll miss the best part of the movie! We'll let you off with a warning this time since you did have a Prairie/Count sketch as part of the true montage immediately following the bird... And if you're in the mood for something exotic for lunch, might I recommend the clam chowder with marashino cherries? No? Then perhaps a simple toss salad.
    *Fires salad at Steve from behind the kitchen counter.

    Great job, hope the next one's as good as this.
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I haven't listened to this episode yet, but the version on the alphabet album (I assume you are referring to Sing the Alphabet) was sung by Elmo, not Big Bird. The album Songs from the Street cuts the introduction to the song.
  4. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Well... In the rereleased album titled Sing the Alphabet, that song was indeed sung by Elmo. But in the original Muppet Alphabet Album, it was sung by Big Bird with no additional dialogue from Susan either preceeding or following the song. That is the version I refered to when citing it as one of the highlights of this episode. Hope that helps dispell any confusion. :wisdom:
  5. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Wow! Fantastic show Steve! Absolutely LOVED the Fran interview, so awesome. Her intro with Prairie and Zoe was great. *hugs autographed Prairie picture* Fran's a really great lady.

    Thanks for playing the song I sent in, think it went over well. I'll try and think of some other fun songs to send in for you.

    Great show Steve! Fantastic way to kick off year 2! :excited:
  6. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    *Goes to get some spoons and raisins to eat our way to help Gonzo in the vat of tapioca. Next time Prawny, make sure he has the marshmallows, though I'm not eating those. The thumbtacks do bring back a pleasant memory. Just hope the tapioca doesn't explode all over the place like the lemon custard that one time at the dorms. :concern:
  7. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Oh good grief, don't bring that incident up again... ;) Haha.
  8. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Aww, I ADORED that intro with Praire and Zoe! I can totally identify with her watching SS and Mr. Rogers occasionally when she was down, lol, and also trying hard to make it in her business life too.

    I do recall the Solid Foam drummer either being credited once with Fran, or at least she was seen puppteering it once in Secrets of the Muppets. But it probably wasn't a full time thing.

    And she's so right, there is no one type of little girl! It is nice to hear from a female puppeteer for once!

    It is strange how show business is so obsessed with typecasting. You'd think people would have learned by now not to be so rigid, lol.

    "Most extroverted human being I have ever, ever met!" Lol, that's great, also the part about releasing your inner critic. Thanks for asking that question! ;)

    "Brought out the best of you by making you feel secure." I agree, that is so important as a leader. :)

    Finally, Fran was very nice to put the phones on hold for us, lol.

    Thanks for the interview!
  9. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    I love that you looked up Oceanview Illinois, I had wondered about that, lol. And the candidate for Mensa comment, hehe.

    Probably one of my favorite scenes from Follow that Bird is Maria reading Big Bird's letter. It's so sweet and hilarious and first but then gets very sad and melancholy. You can see they're geuniely nervous and upset about how Big Bird's doing. It's a rather uncomfortable, but perfectly done moment. I wish the show would do more of this nowadays.

    One barely heard line I always find amusing is when the Dodo's are on TV and Donnie says "I never thought I'd make it!" LOL

    "The Dodos...and...they certainly are!" :)

    Oh dear, I never thought of it before but...those turkeys are....::gulp::...well it's not a two way ride! That's just...ugh....lol

    I think you can hear pretty clearly there that Oscar does say "I never promised you a rose garden." :grouchy:
  10. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    Another excellent show! Really loved the Fran interview! Keep up the good work!:super:
  11. These are awesome comments, thanks everyone! I think we can amass a few more questions for Fran if you want (but let's try and have those together by this weekend). I think it's so cool that these people take time and interact with the fans on this level!

    Ilikemuppets, I love your avatar! Is that Stick Stickly, cousin of Topo Sticky?
  12. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I thought the song was just added to the reissue. I'll have to check Muppet Wiki, but I don't think one version of the song replaced another version.
  13. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hi... Just checked, and I retract my earlier comments about the song. Steve already told us his source for it in a previous post. So I'd just like to apologize for the mix-up. Oh well, everybody makes mistakes.

    And hey Steve, please forward my question to Fran if you could.
    If you need material of "The Music Keeps Rolling Along" LMK and I can call in some friends to get the audio and video so you can punch it up to note the Female Drummer.

    Take care pal.
  14. Thanks Count! I actually acquired the complete run of the Jim Henson Hour recently, so I'm sure it's on one of those discs. New stuff to watch, woohoo!
  15. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Yaey! Been meaning to complete a deal with KermiClown, also got a project on the backburner for when I finish with classes relating to the Electric Mayhem. :flirt: :sing:
    You're gonna love it all... And I have to mention Monster Maker as that holds a very special place for me inspirationally.
  16. Yeah, I'm really excited about JHH. Although I have to admit, the statement that I "recently" got the discs means within the last two months, and I still haven't had time to sit down and watch them! Hehe...I almost have to schedule time to sit down and watch Muppet projects that I'm not covering on the show that week. I know! I'll just do a series of shown about the JHH, and that way I'll get to really watch all of them!
  17. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets New Member

    Why yes it is!:D
  18. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Heh... Fully understood Steve. Got a ton of Muppet/CTW DVD's from Christmas 06 I still haven't gotten to enjoy because of one chore or another, or due to procrastination from the daily grind. Oh well... First on the docket are a couple of FR episodes for a law class essay, if I can watch 'em and get away with doing my focus on that. Talk to you soon buddy.
  19. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Heh... Fully understood Steve. Got a ton of Muppet/CTW DVD's from Christmas 06 I still haven't gotten to enjoy because of one chore or another, or due to procrastination from the daily grind. Oh well... First on the docket are a couple of FR episodes for a law class essay, if I can watch 'em and get away with doing my focus on that. Talk to you soon buddy.

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