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The new Muppet movie and TV series

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Chilly Down, Apr 19, 2002.

  1. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Member

    Wow. You folks are all making this a great thread so far. Thanks! (I'm just gonna leave the whole "Hello Dolly" thing alone.) ;-)

    Just a few comments since the last time I got to post:

    Marina: No title yet for the show. If they follow the variety format, it may in fact be called The New Muppet Show. The title The Muppets Present got a little bit of circulation last year, but again, that sounds like variety, so if they go sitcom, it would likely be called something different. Don't worry, you're at the right place for any new information that might come along. : -)

    Frogboy: Thanks for telling me who Tug was. He'd make an intriguing addition. I'd like to hear what Kevin's version of the voice sounded like. And they could even change the personality a little if they wanted to -- appearing on three episodes of a quickly-cancelled Saturday morning show is about as obscure as Gonzo's debut as "Cigarbox Frackle" in The Great Santa Claus Switch.

    Bean: It would be interesting to see if they included Skeeter. They should have Scooter back full-time too, though, if they're going to have Skeeter. Otherwise people might get confused! Another question that would need answering: would they find a female performer to do the voice, or would they get Howie Mandel back?

    Sal: As for "what about the musical numbers" -- if there's a sitcom, there may not be any. There's kind of a mentality now that musicals are old-fashioned. Muppets from Space didn't feature any new songs; all they sang was just a little bit of "Celebration" at the end. Even the latest Disney cartoons don't have songs in them. I'm not necessarily saying I agree with it; I'm just saying that's the current trend. But if it's a variety show, naturally we won't have to worry about a lack of musical numbers, and even in the sitcom format the characters' lives would still very likely revolve around them being entertainers. I can definitely see the Clifford-as-manager idea as a likely scenario.

    As for disliking the musical numbers on The Simpsons, I have to respectfully disagree. The Simpsons has never been an ultra-realistic comedy program like, say, Everybody Loves Raymond. It's always appropriately taken advantage of the fact that it's a cartoon when necessary to lampoon some element of popular culture. What ordinary sitcom could do a Halloween trilogy every year, in which any bizarre thing can happen or all of the characters could die or meet some other horrible fate? And yet those have been some of their funniest satirical moments. Thus, I loved the episodes where they spoofed Disney productions like "101 Dalmations" and "Mary Poppins." If they hadn't spoofed the songs, the show would have been missing something. And aside from the "curfews" episode that you mentioned, I think those are the only times they sang spontaneously. Every other time it's supposed to have been rehearsed, i.e. they're watching a Broadway show or something.

    But that's just one guy's opinion.

    Finally, to all: Hmm, no one commented on my laugh-track question. Does no one have a strong opinion on this either way? I guess I'd like there to be no laugh track if there's a sitcom, and if it's The New Muppet Show, it should have a laugh track just like the original. If it's a new variety show...well, the jury's still out on that one. Does anyone else have an opinion? Anyone? Anyone? ... Bueller? Bueller?
  2. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I would say yes to a laugh-track. I know they are a little obnoxious, but all network show have them. I remembering watching a few cable "sitcomesque" shows a couple years ago that went without the laughtrack and it just seemed strange. Just my thoughts.

    Clifford as a manager is perfect. He'd be in the background like JP and not come out much, but we'll know he's there.

    Howwie Mandel...eww. I just never liked him that much. If there were ever a Skeeter she'd be grown up and have a mature voice so anyone could be cast. I vote for Karen Prell! ;) I do agree that Scooter must come first (of course). Poor guy, I miss him.

    I really hope this show makes a departure from the typical variety format. They did it in TMS, then in The Henson Hour, also in Muppets Tonight and now in this one? I'm ready for something different from them. The best mart of MT was the outakes anyway. More of that sort of Muppets being themselves and doing normal behind the scenes things intrigues me more than a show full of parodies. Sure, we can have some of those too, but I really want to see them do something fresh. I realy hope these rumors are wrong. I know that Greg really stole the Muppets' thunder, but I think they could to it better.

    Glad you like the Tug idea. He was a very intresting-looking character.
  3. Salmoto

    Salmoto New Member

    I'm gonna get bopped for saying this.

    I just re-watched "The great Muppet Caper" and Scooter seemed to have an extremely tiny role in that film. Perhaps Scooter had a big role in the Muppet Show, but his role in the Muppet movies only had him saying a few lines which were setups for the more flamboyant characters. I do think he should take a central role in the new series, after all, every group needs a straightman.

    As for an adult Skeeter, her 'Muppet Babies' persona was basically someone who engaged in sibling rivalry with Scooter, and tried to steal the spotlight from Piggy. Her adult persona would be someone who's looking to become a big star and cajoles her stage manager brother to allow her to reach that status. Sonce many male puppeteers play female roles, whoever performs the new scooter just piches his voice an octive higher for Skeeter. Of course, it might be too much work for one puppeteer to play two characters who constantly have to be interacting with eachother.
  4. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Member

    <<I would say yes to a laugh-track. I know they are a little obnoxious, but all network show have them. I remembering watching a few cable "sitcomesque" shows a couple years ago that went without the laughtrack and it just seemed strange. Just my thoughts.>>

    Actually, Jamie, I'd have to disagree with you on that one. While laugh tracks were the trend for years and years, and the "dramadies" of the late 80's kinda fizzled, the no-laugh-track sitcom is actually catching on quite quick, especially on Fox. Malcolm in the Middle and The Bernie Mac Show are both hits, showing that the audience is willing to accept such a concept now. It's also (un)used on Grounded for Life, Greg the Bunny, and The Job. In fact, the new comedy shows that seem to get the most media attention are the ones sans laugh tracks. The Muppets might make themselves seem old-fashioned if they go with a laugh track. But that's just my thoughts, and amazingly, I have been wrong before! ;-)

    I'm liking the idea of Tug the more I think about him. He'd be an interesting visual contrast to characters like Sal and Clifford (who contrast each other as well). In fact, Tug kind of looks more like a Sesame Street character than anything else, don't you think? (Not that that's a bad thing...)

    Sal: No bops from me, man! Let's definitely see more of Scooter. I think you're right that it'd be too difficult for one performer to play both him and Skeeter, though. And it'd be necessary for them to be together a lot because of the whole sibling-rivalry thing. I guess I'm kind of in favor of a female taking over the role because of the aforementioned lack of strong female Muppet characters actually played by females. (OK, we've got Red and Skeeter for Karen now. Who else?) ;-)
  5. Salmoto

    Salmoto New Member

    Let's say Bunson now has a twin sister named Bunseen, who is a scientist with a crush on Dr. Phil, experiments on him and at times reduces him to flutters of "Meep, meep meep."

    Ok, that was a joke, but it'd be funny at least once.
  6. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Active Member

    LAUGH TRAX...

    Of COURSE they need a laugh track...how else is Fozzie gonna get any laughs???

    FOZ
    (Wait! What am I saying...?!)
  7. Salmoto

    Salmoto New Member

    Of course in the Muppet Show, Fozzie still didn't get a rise out of whomever was operating the laugh track. Poor guy can't even get a recording to laugh at him. Like a Jim Belushi with fur.

    A laugh track is kind of needed with the Muppets, especially with all the corny jokes they put on the floor. Remember that whaen they removed the laugh tracks from the original Flintstones, the show just stopped being funny.


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